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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

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Buying a silencer seems like a daunting task. When you think of the paperwork involved, the research on the type of silencer you should buy, the legality in your state, and the likes. You almost want to give up the thought of buying a silencer. Well, you shouldn’t. What if we told you buying a silencer isn’t as daunting as you think? I’m sure you probably have that doubtful look on your face right now. Let’s clear that doubt. This article will unveil all you need to know and more about buying a silencer. Fullyloadedclip is ready to help you out. If you are, scroll down, and let’s get on with it.

What is a silencer?

Detail of man aiming high powered hand gun with silencer
Detail of man aiming high powered hand gun with silencer

If you aren’t new to shooting, then you probably know what a silencer is. Otherwise known as firearm sound suppressors, silencers are detachable firearm devices or accessories that are used to reduce the noise of and recoil in firearms while shooting. Remember that long black object that “Jason Statham” and “Agent 47” screw into the tip of their guns before shooting in movies. Yeah, that’s a silencer. Silencers improve accuracy, reduce the noise from the gun, and just make overall gun usage better. You are properly wondering why a cool device like that has so much legal restriction. Beats us too. The good news is you can still buy, own, and use a firearm silencer depending on the state you reside in. However, you need to complete some pre-purchase requirements. Don’t sweat it though, it’s all worth it in the end.   

Here’s how to buy a silencer

The first thing to do is to check if buying, owning, and using a firearm sound suppressor or silencer is legal in your state. If it isn’t, we are sorry to inform you that you can’t own one except you are prepared to be thrown into a legal battle and subsequently charged with a felony or you could just relocate to a new state where it is allowed. However, we feel relocating to another state just to own a silencer is a bit over the top. Ultimately, your decision depends on how bad you want one and how far you are willing to go to get it. If you live in New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Massachusetts, California, Illinois, The district of Columbia, and Hawaii, you should know silencers aren’t legal in the hands of individuals.

Homer Simpson buying a silencer

Next, you need to find a class III arms dealer. If you already have one, then you can just approach him. Then you need to choose a silencer that fits your firearm (handgun, rifle, or shotgun). You can ask the dealer for recommendations if you aren’t too sure.

Now, here comes the paperwork. If you want to take your silencer home the same day you choose a silencer, you might want to take a chill pill because that isn’t going to happen. You can’t purchase the silencer until it has been registered to you by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF). The registration and approval by the BATF is to recognize you as the legal owner of the silencer and to attest that you have no criminal record. There are 3 ways to register your silencer with the BATF. You can register the silencer in your name, Register it to a trust, or register it as a corporation.

  • Registration to a trust. Many dealers advise intending silencer owners to use this registration method. This is because by forming a trust, you can bypass the whole fingerprint and photograph part of the registration process. Registration with a trust makes buying a silencer relatively easier in most cases. Also, while registering to the trust, you are allowed to fill in the names of other individuals as trustees. Anyone listed as a trustee can have access to the silencer once it is registered to you. You can even use the same trust for future NFA items. The major downside to this registration method is the fee involved in setting up a trust. The cost can range from $100 to $500 and the people you add as trustees also need to go through some sort of verification. This method is suited for those with large a large family or a group of people filled with gun enthusiasts. Certain companies can help intending silencer owners to compile and speed up the necessary documents required for BATF registration such as the “Silencer central.”
  • Registration in your name. For this registration method, you will need to present your passport photographs and have your fingerprints taken. The dealer will give you duplicate BATF forms (form 4’s) and fingerprint cards (usually 2). You will need to fill the forms, complete the fingerprint cards, and affix your passport photographs. Both documents have to be signed by a law enforcement agency. When you have gotten the signatures, the completed documents will then be sent to the Department of Treasury with a cash amount of $200 in “transfer tax”. The $200 cash or check is mandated under the 1934 NFA for any transfer of firearm, silencer, and other guns described as “NFA firearms.” Check www.fullyloadedclip.com for a complete understanding of the 1934 NFA. A copy of the approved paperwork has to be kept by the new owner of the silencer and taken along with the silencer at all times. The disadvantage of this method is that no one can use the silencer but you. If that’s what you want, then this registration method is suited for you. Also, be prepared for extra charges from your dealer for the mailing of your paperwork and the transfer of the silencer.
  • Registration to a corporation. This method is suited for those who already have a corporation. If you do, you can register the silencer in the name of the corporation. The registration method also has the same advantage as setting up a trust because anyone listed as an officer in your corporation can have access to and use the silencer. If there is a need for a new officer to be added to the corporation, he or she has to also complete a verification process to ensure the individual has no criminal record and is allowed to use the suppressor.

These are the three methods of registering your silencer. You can select a method that suits you best. After you have completed the registration process and the approved paperwork has been sent to you, the dealer can then release the silencer to you and let you pay to have it. Ensure to take your approved paperwork everywhere you take your silencer.

So there you have it. Ensure owning a silencer is legal in your state, pick out the best silencer for your firearm, fill out the appropriate paperwork, and wait for it to be approved. Once these have been done, you can legally own a silencer, use one and even transport it with you in the right way to states in which silencers are allowed.

Let us know if you have any comments or questions by leaving them below in the comment section. From all of us at fullyloadedclip, have a great day.

Rell is a network engineer with over 10 years of experience in IT management and network optimization. He has a passion for firearms and previously worked with the US military in California, where he gained knowledge and experience in the gun world. Rell is a firearm instructor and range safety officer who runs a website for gun enthusiasts, where he provides information on gun culture, safety, and maintenance.

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