Who can own a suppressor?
-Anyone who is a legal U.S. resident, 21 years of age and older, a non-felon, and lives in one of the 40 states that allow private ownership of suppressors. Suppressors are illegal in the following states: CA, DE, HI, IL, MA, NJ, NY, RI, D.C..
Why would anyone want a suppressor?
-A silenced firearm is eminently more enjoyable to shoot than one without a suppressor. Suppressors generally increase the accuracy of a host firearm while reducing recoil and eliminating up to 90% of the muzzle signature. Shooters are able to concentrate more on breath control and trigger pull when they are not subjected to the fatigue and distraction of a deafening, bright, muzzle report. Beginning shooters are typically not intimidated when introduced to the shooting sports with a suppressed firearm, and are able to easily hear instructions given to them by trainers as the report of a host firearm is reduced to below the OSHA guideline level for hearing damage. Suppressed firearms are also less likely to disturb any people, livestock, or wildlife that may be in close proximity to where you shoot.
YES, SUPPRESSORS ARE LEGAL, AND THEY ARE EASY TO OBTAIN.
-No, you do not need a license to purchase a suppressor but you do have to pay a one-time $200 tax for each suppressor you purchase. You also have to live in a state where suppressors are legal and have to meet certain criteria to be eligible to own one.
-Determine whether or not your state allows you to own a suppressor. Suppressors are legal but they are regulated on a per-state basis. However, the National Firearms Act (NFA) branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) ultimately controls any transfers, and all suppressors are registered by this branch. Individuals, corporations, and trusts can legally purchase and possess silencers in 38 states. However, if you are a dealer, manufacturer, peace officer, or a law enforcement agency or other government agency, there are additional states where you can own a suppressor.
I QUALIFY PERSONALLY AND GEOGRAPHICALLY TO OWN A SUPPRESSOR, NOW WHAT?
1. Choosing a product.
2. Locate a class III dealer in your state.
3. After the monetary transaction takes place it will be assigned to you and separated from the rest of the inventory, ensuring that you have a product serial number for your form.
4. Once you have an assigned product serial number, the class III dealer will then give you the ATF Form 4 (5320.4), Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm, in duplicate with the serial number of the product filled out in the appropriate section. You must fill out the rest of the form in duplicate. You can download the form 4 HERE.
5. You will send in a $200 check or money order with the completed application, along with a recent photo and fingerprint cards.
STEPS TO COMPLETING YOUR FORM 4 AS AN INDIVIDUAL
1. Obtain the ATF Form 4 (5320.4) (Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm) from your dealer in duplicate. Some information should be pre-filled by your dealer, such as the dealer’s name and address, the model of the suppressor you are purchasing, the overall length of the suppressor, the caliber of the suppressor, the serial number of the suppressor, and the manufacturer’s information. Make sure the dealer signs the appropriate fields. Remember to complete all information in duplicate.
2. Fill out the required information on the front of the form, including your name and address. Complete the back by answering the questions and stating the reason you are acquiring the suppressor. Sign and date the back of the form. Again, remember to complete all information in duplicate.
3. Affix a recent color passport-sized photograph of yourself on the back of each copy of the form.
4. Acquire a signature of the chief law enforcement officer of your county or your local sheriff. Don’t let this step scare you; this is a routine request. If you feel that your police chief or sheriff will not sign the Form 4 because of personal or political concerns with the Second Amendment, do not worry. You can bypass them by purchasing the silencer under your Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation, or under a trust.
5. While you are at the station obtaining the required signature, ink up your fingers and get two copies of FBI fingerprint cards (FBI Form FD-258) that you will send in with the two duplicates of Form 4.
6. Fill out the ATF Form 5330.20 (Certification of Compliance). This form does not have to be in duplicate.
7. Place both completed copies of Form 4, the two copies of FBI fingerprint cards, and the completed Certification of Compliance form in an envelope, along with a check or money order (payable to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) for $200 and mail to the address listed on Form 4. We advise that you use a check and not a money order so you can see when the ATF cashes your check. This is a great way to confirm if the form actually arrived and is being processed. Otherwise, you may just be waiting for two to six months for approval, when, in fact, your paperwork never arrived.
8. After the ATF approves Form 4, they will put a stamp on one of the two copies you sent them and then send it to the dealer where you purchased the suppressor. The dealer will then notify you that the paperwork has returned and that the suppressor is ready to pick up.