Most people think getting a silencer is hard. Think again.
It never ceases to amaze me how misinformed the general public is regarding NFA (National Firearms Act) regulated firearms, ie Silencers, Suppressors, Short Barrel Rifles, AOW’s, Machine Guns, etc. The most common misconception I hear on a daily basis is “I need a Class III license for that” or “The background check takes years” or my personal favorite “If i get a silencer, I give up all of my rights, the government can come to my house and take my guns any time they want”. None of the misconceptions hold any truth at all. They are myths created in the minds of the misinformed as ways to talk themselves out of a process that little did they know, is relatively simple. Can you walk into your local gun store, pick out a silencer, mount it to your gun and walk out with it that day? Not quite, but that scenario is closer to the truth than the myths about needing a Class III license, years of background checks and security clearance and losing your search and seizure protection. Here’s the process:
Step 1: figure out whether you want to purchase the silencer as an individual, trust or corporation. Keep in mind that if you purchase as an individual, you will have to include with your application a set of fingerprints, photographs and a letter signed by your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer. As a Trust or Corporation, you are able to bypass the fingerprinting, photographing and Chief LEO letter requirements. 9 out of 10 buyer chose to purchase as a trust or corp for this reason alone – not to mention the logistical and estate planning benefits the trust will provide.
Step 2: pick out and purchase a silencer, either from your local stocking NFA dealer or from a reputable website like SilencersOnline.com. Any dealer worth their weight will be able to guide you thru the process of determining what type(s) of silencer or suppressor you need as well as help with mounting solutions for any gun you wish to suppress.
Step 3: It’s out of your hands at this point! The dealer will submit the paperwork on your behalf to the National Firearms Branch at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives. After approximately 3-4 months, the dealer will receive the filed application back in the mail approved and stamped by an examiner at the NFA Branch of the BATFE. At this point, the dealer will call you and you are able to pick your new silencer or suppressor up and take it home right away. Buyers that purchased as a Trust or Corp will need to complete ATF Form 4473 (the same form used when purchasing a gun).
Step 4: Thread your new silencer on your favorite gun, get rid of the earmuffs/plugs and fire away! (safely of course)