Recently we have been asked what our policies are regarding the sale of silencers/sound suppressors to governmental agencies is in states where civilian sales are illegal.
Our policy is as follows: For any LE agency purchase, REGARDLESS of geographic location or the state laws regarding NFA transfers to civilians, we require a “Statement of Benefit” document signed by the Chief Law Enforcement official in the requesting jurisdiction. This statement reinforces the reasons that silencers are beneficial for ALL user groups, including civilians. These statements are then filed and can be used at our prerogative to assist in our lobbying efforts to legalize civilian silencer ownership and hunting with silencers where they are prohibited by state law. Silencerco/SWR’s goal is to promote the use and ownership of silencers for civilians, Law Enforcement and Military. We do not support agencies whose administrations do not support the rights of the people to own these important personal protection devices.
Quite simply, agencies who won’t sign the statement of benefit and thereby assist our efforts to promote silencer ownership and usage, will not be sold or supported by us. The form is as follows:
In order to purchase firearm silencers/sound suppressors for agency use, Silencerco/SWR requires a signature from the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the purchasing agency acknowledging the benefit of their use and ownership.
I understand and acknowledge the following regarding the use and ownership of silencers:
- The silencer is a piece of personal protective equipment designed to enhance the safety of the user.
- The use of a silencer on any given firearm does not render it “silent.” The goal of a silencer is to reduce the muzzle report of a firearm to a more hearing safe level for the user. The use of hearing protection may still be required to prevent hearing damage.
- The silencer reduces felt recoil, alleviating shooter fatigue and possible recoil related injuries. It cannot eliminate recoil completely.
- The silencer greatly reduces muzzle flash, lowering the risk of flash fires and helping to protect the user. It cannot eliminate flash or fire risk completely.
- The use of the silencer cannot eliminate the sonic “crack” created by bullets exceeding the speed of sound. This crack may or may not be hearing safe and is audible for great distances Once again, the silencer is not “silent.”
- The use of the silencer does not have a significant effect on the ballistic performance characteristics of the ammunition being fired through it, nor does it increase or decrease the lethality of a weapon.
- Silencers are used successfully for their intended personal protection purpose by all user groups to include military, law enforcement and civilian shooters and hunters. silencers are not illegal at the federal level for use and ownership by any of the above groups.
- Silencers are federally regulated and registered by the BATFE NFA (National Firearms Act) branch. Possession is limited to law enforcement agencies and civilians to whom they are registered and all applicable background checks, registrations and associated taxes ($200.00 per device for individual purchasers, tax free transferred to government entities) having been paid. They are not transferrable or available legally through other means.
- An agency wishing to transfer possession of a silencer to another agency must complete the ATF form 5 and receive approval from the NFA branch.
Must be signed and acknowledged by the Chief Law Enforcement Officer or persons authorized to make purchase and firearms policy decisions for the agency.