Yes, Silencers Are Legal.

HISTORY

Hiram P. Maxim was born into a family of innovators. Both his father and uncle were well-known inventors, credited with many technological advances in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This spirit of progress and improvement on ideas took hold in young Hiram, and he pursued mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He became a pioneer in ham radio components and automobiles, and worked in several other industries before developing the technology for which he would come to be best known: firearm silencers.

An avid outdoorsman, Hiram particularly enjoyed shooting and hunting. Often shooting in close proximity to neighbors and feeling sensitive to the nuisance he was creating, he contemplated the idea of applying the scientific principles of an automotive muffler to reduce the sound signature of a firearm.

His product was hugely successful and sold in hardware stores for $3.25. While Maxim himself called the product a “silencer,” it did not silence the firearm, only suppressed the sound of its report.Sportsmen and hunters freely enjoyed the benefits of silenced shooting until 1934 when this right was violated by an ill-conceived piece of legislation called the “National Firearms Act” (NFA). This law created a number of unreasonable barriers to silencer ownership that are still in place today, including a $200 per-item tax. In 1934, $200 was equivalent to over $3,500 today.

FUTURE
SilencerCo’s origins are rooted in innovation, superior quality, and customer service, and these principles inspire our every step. We reject the notion that guns must be loud and believe that the citizens of the United States of America should be entitled to the safe and enjoyable exercise of their Second Amendment right. We will continue to advocate this belief and invite you to join us as we:
FIGHT THE NOISE

OWNERSHIP

YES, SILENCERS ARE LEGAL — AND THEY ARE EASY TO OBTAIN THROUGH PROPER CHANNELS.
No, you do not need a license to purchase a silencer, but you do have to pay a one-time $200 tax for each silencer you purchase. You also must:

BE AT LEAST 21 YEARS OF AGE TO PURCHASE A SILENCER FROM A DEALER

BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE TO PURCHASE A SILENCER FROM AN INDIVIDUAL ON A FORM 4 TO FORM 4 TRANSFER (CONTINGENT ON STATE LAWS)

BE AT LEAST 18 YEARS OF AGE TO POSSESS A SILENCER AS A BENEFICIARY OF A TRUST OR AS A MEMBER OF A CORPORATION

BE A RESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

BE LEGALLY ELIGIBLE TO PURCHASE A FIREARM

PASS A BATFE BACKGROUND CHECK WITH A TYPICAL PROCESS TIME OF 60-120 DAYS
RESIDE IN ONE OF THE 39 STATES THAT CURRENTLY ALLOW CIVILIAN OWNERSHIP OF SILENCERS

DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT YOUR STATE ALLOWS SILENCER OWNERSHIP
Silencers are legal but are regulated by federal law and on a state-by-state basis. The National Firearms Act (NFA) branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) ultimately controls any transfers; this branch registers all silencers. Individuals, corporations, and trusts can legally purchase and possess silencers in 39 states. However, if you are an FFL dealer, manufacturer, peace officer, or member of a law enforcement agency or other government agency, there are additional states where you can own a silencer. Look at the map to see if you are eligible.

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HOW TO PURCHASE

1. Choose a product.

2. Locate an SOT holder or NFA dealer in your state. You can find a local dealer by visiting SilencerCo’s Dealer Locator

3. NFA transfers can take a significant amount of time to process and therefore tie up the dealer’s inventory. Because of this, once you choose a silencer, the dealer may require that you pay for the product in full or provide a deposit.

4. If the dealer has your silencer in stock, it will be separated from the rest of the inventory to ensure that you have a product serial number for your Form 4.

5. Once you have an assigned product serial number, the dealer will then give you two BATFE Form 4’s (5320.4) [Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm] with the serial number and various details of the product entered in the appropriate section. If you are making this purchase as an individual, you will fill in both copies of the Form 4 as well as a BATFE Form 5330.20 Certification of Compliance (certification of US citizenship) with your personal information. If you are making this purchase through your Trust or LLC, fill in the name and address of your Trust or LLC; a Form 5330.20 will not be required.

5b. At this point, if you are purchasing the suppressor as an individual, you will need your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) to sign your Form 4. Most often, this is your local Sheriff, Chief of Police, or deputy/officer appointed by the CLEO to sign on their behalf. While at the police station, have two copies of finger print cards made – this will be needed when you mail in your Form 4. If you are purchasing the suppressor through your Trust, you will not need the signature of your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer or fingerprint cards.6. Finally, send in the following items to the BATFE according to whether you a purchasing the suppressor as an individ- ual or through a Trust/LLC.

INDIVIDUAL:

CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES

BOTH COPIES OF THE COMPLETED TWO FINGERPRINT CARDS

TWO PASSPORT PHOTOS COMPLETED FORM 5330.20

TRUST OR LLC:

CHECK OR MONEY ORDER MADE TO THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES

BOTH COPIES OF THE COMPLETED FORM 4’S

A COPY OF YOUR TRUST OR LLC’S ARTICLES ON INCORPORATION

*We recommend sending a check instead of a money order. When you see that the check has cleared, you’ll know that your paperwork has been received and is in process.

7. After your paperwork has been processed and approved, the BATFE will affix a stamp to one of the two Form 4 copies and return it to dealer through whom you purchased the silencer. The dealer will notify you when the paperwork arrives, and you’ll then be able to pick up your item.

If you do not live in a silencer-friendly state, visit the American Suppressor Association for a full list of ways you can help affect change in silencer legislation in your area.

How To Purchase A Silencer

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BENEFITS

INCREASED ACCURACY
Silencers offer many practical benefits for civilians, law enforcement officers, and members of the military alike. One of the most common problems for shooters is poor accuracy due to the anticipation of noise and recoil. This anticipation causes shooters to flinch, experience slight tremors in the hand from nervousness, and sometimes close their eyes or blink right before they pull the trigger. All of these issues cause the gun to move from the intended target area. Silencers have very little affect on the accuracy of the host firearm, but because they dramatically reduce these negative effects, the shooter’s overall accuracy is increased.

GENERAL HEARING PROTECTION
The most common purpose of silencers is hearing protection. Even with earmuffs or plugs, guns are still loud enough to hurt your ears and cause ringing long after you are finished shooting — sometimes permanently. Earmuffs and plugs can be very uncomfortable; when shooting with conventional hearing protection, it is nearly impossible to hold a conversation or communicate with your shooting companions. This type of hearing protection also mutes your surroundings and makes you less aware of your environment. SilencerCo silencers lower the sound signature of your firearm to the point where it is comfortable to shoot without the need for hearing protection, making your shooting experience safer and more enjoyable.

HOME DEFENSE
When shooting in close quarters, such as a room or hallway, gunfire is loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss and immediate disorientation. If you are in the position where deadly force is necessary in order to protect yourself or your family in your home, applying earplugs or muffs is a liability both for time and situational awareness. Using a suppressed firearm in a home protection situation allows you to maintain your senses and better protect what’s most important.

HUNTING
Hunting with silencers is legal in most states; visit the American Suppressor Association to check the laws in your area. Hunters rarely use hearing protection because listening is crucial when tracking game. Unsuppressed gunfire from hunting rifles is loud enough to cause permanent hearing loss; using a silencer-equipped rifle can save the hearing of both you and the friends you hunt with. Silencers allow you tomaintain complete auditory situational awareness while reducing recoil and muzzle rise, which contributes to better accuracy and target acquisition by reducing the shooter’s tendency to flinch in anticipation of recoil. Increased accuracy also translates into more humane hunting, as shots are more effectively placed. Reducing the muzzle rise of a firearm also makes it possible for the shooter to follow up with secondary shots more quickly – a vital benefit when trying to take down game.

IT’S YOUR RIGHT
It is your right under the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America to keep and bear arms. Unexercised rights have a way of becoming “privileges.” The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was designed to allow its citizens to hold the ultimate “check and balance” and to defend against an overreaching and tyrannical government.

HEARING PROTECTION FOR ARMED FORCES
Noise-induced hearing loss is a serious threat to our men and women in the military and law enforcement communities. In 2014 alone, hearing damage was the #1 disability claimed by veterans, with claims totaling $2.26 billion. Much of this hearing loss occurs due to repeated exposure to gunfire, both operationally and in the training environment. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), any exposure to noise over 140 dB causes immediate and irreparable hearing loss; unsuppressed handguns and rifles generally create a muzzle report well above this threshold. Silencers protect against hearing damage from gunfire, thereby negating unnecessary occupational risk and liability.

IMPROVED SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
The ability to hear is a crucial part of achieving optimal situational awareness; even more so than vision, your hearing can make the difference in life or death situations. The use of unsuppressed firearms — or the use of earplugs or muffs to counter their effects — is a serious impediment to operational effectiveness, situational awareness, and effective communications. Silencers free up the use of your hearing, thereby increasing the chance for operational success.

Silencer Science

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