Who can legally own a suppressor?
- Suppressors are LEGAL to own as a private citizen under federal law per the National Firearms Act of 1934 and are legal in most states. They are however regulated and taxed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Suppressors are legal for private ownership in the following states: AL, AK, AR, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MO, MS, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY. Of the fourteen states that do not allow civilian ownership, CA, IA, MA, MO, and MI allow Class 3 dealers and Class 2 manufacturers to possess silencers. The legal requirements to purchase a suppressor or any item falling under the purview of the NFA are that a private individual must be at least 21 years of age, a citizen of the United States, have no felony record, and must meet all the same requirements required to lawfully purchase a handgun.
Do I need a license to buy or own a suppressor?
- No, a license is only required if you are a dealer or manufacturer. However, there is a registration process that is required for purchase.
What is the process to purchase a suppressor?
- Decide which suppressor you would like to purchase and contact us.
- We will order the suppressor. FARGO ARMS must complete some transfer paperwork with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (BATFE) to receive permission to transfer the suppressor from the manufacture to FARGO ARMS. This process usually takes about 4-5 weeks, but can take longer in some cases.
- Once FARGO ARMS receives the suppressor, or if it is already in stock, you can then begin the registration and transfer process from FARGO ARMS to you. You will need to complete the following:
- BATFE Form 5320.4 ("Form 4") in duplicate.
- Also requires that two passport sized, color photographs be affixed.
- For individuals, this form must be signed by your local Sheriff or Chief Local Law Enforcement Officer’s signature.
- BATFE Form 5330.20 ("Citizenship Certification") in duplicate.
- FBI Fingerprint cards in duplicate.
- If you are purchasing as a Corporation, LLC, or Trust, include copies of your articles of incorporation or trust paperwork.
- BATFE Form 5320.4 ("Form 4") in duplicate.
- Once the paperwork is completed, it is mailed to the BATFE address listed on the front of the Form 4, along with a check for $200. We recommend using a check and not a money order so that you can see when the check is cashed and start the clock ticking on your transfer.
- Wait… The BATFE background check and Form 4 transfer process will take about 4-6 months to complete. It seems like a really long time. But it will be well worth it!
- Once your suppressor is approved for transfer, we will contact you and let you know that your suppressor is ready to be transferred to you. When you receive your new suppressor and use it you will wonder why you ever shot without one.
Where can I download the necessary forms?
- The required transfer paperwork is available from the BATFE – http://www.atf.gov/forms/firearms/
- Fingerprint cards are usually obtained from your local law enforcement agency when they fingerprint you.
What is the difference between a silencer and a suppressor?
- A silencer and a suppressor are the same thing. They are both designed to reduce the noise of the firearm when shooting. We refer to these devices as suppressors since they do not silence the noise but provide a significant reduction in the decibel level when shooting. The legal term as used by BATFE to classify these weapons is "silencer". You may also hear people refer to suppressors by the slang term "cans".
How does a suppressor work?
- A suppressor works in much the same way as the muffler on a gas combustion engine. In fact, both were developed around the same time by Hiram Maxim. The primary function is to cool and slow the escape of hot, high pressure, combustion gasses into the surrounding atmosphere. As a practical example of how this works, imagine two inflated balloons. If you were to pop one of the balloons with a pin, the air inside would rapidly expand into the surrounding, lower pressure air over a very short time period. The result would be a loud pop. Take the second balloon and simply release the neck. It will putter around through the air as the higher pressure air inside slowly escapes through the neck into the lower pressure surrounding air making much less noise.
- More info on the history and function of suppressors: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suppressor.
How does a suppressor mount to my gun?
- Most all modern suppressors mount to the host weapon by threading onto the barrel. In some cases, suppressors mount to the host weapon with some type of quick-detach device. Usually this quick-detach adapter will require a threaded barrel to mount to the host weapon. We can recommend barrel threading services.
What is the $200 Transfer tax about?
- The short story is: Since 1934, the US Government has required a $200 transfer tax to be paid on any machine gun, short barrel rifle, short barrel shotgun, destructive device, and silencer. The tax was instituted by Congress essentially as a de facto ban on NFA Firearms. It was their hope that such a prohibitively expensive tax on such weapons would make them unobtainable for the average person. They also did not want to outright ban such weapons and cause bloodshed in an attempt to confiscate such weapons from their owners (hence the requirement for registration). As the tax has never been adjusted to keep pace with inflation, it is now more of a "nuisance tax" than a real barrier to owning NFA weapons.
- Yes, unfortunately you have to pay it… no two ways about it. Everyone you’ve ever met that has a silencer has paid it. As we say, "You’ve gotta pay to play!" And just remember, $200 was a whole lot more back in 1934.
- The long story – if you like to read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Firearms_Act
Do I need to shoot subsonic rifle ammo with my suppressor?
- No. Subsonic ammunition is not required. In the case of .22LR or handgun suppressors, subsonic ammo will provide the best sound performance and there are many available subsonic loads. For centerfire rifle, while subsonic loads are available they are not required or recommended.
Can I shoot subsonic centerfire rifle ammo with my suppressor?
- The use of subsonic centerfire rifle ammunition is AT YOUR OWN RISK. There are simply too many variables that affect the performance and stability of subsonic ammunition for us to warranty the suppressor when used with this ammunition.
What is the maximum velocity for ammunition to remain subsonic?
- The speed of sound varies based on temperature. As a general rule, ammunition should be labeled with a velocity below 1,080 fps to stay subsonic. To calculate the speed of sound, based on a given temperature, use the online calculator. As the temperature increases, so does the speed of sound.
Is it legal to hunt with a suppressor?
- YES, in North Dakota, It is 100% legal to hunt ANY (game or varmint) animal using a suppressed firearm.
What are the benefits of using a suppressor?
- Always Use Protection – By reducing the overall sound signature, silencers help protect the shooter, and those around, from tinnitus, or irreversible hearing loss. Tinnitus can result from single shot exposure.
- Firearm Control – Silencers improve accuracy by minimizing recoil and muzzle blast, allowing shooters to focus on the fundamentals of shooting.
- Better Accuracy – Silencers also improve accuracy by promoting the harmonic stabilization of the barrel and reducing gas-induced instability when the projectile exits the muzzle.
- Camouflage – Silencers disguise the location of the shooter by reducing muzzle flash and minimizing environmental disturbances.
- Youth Shooters – By mitigating the concussive effects of firearms, silencers allow young shooters to safely and quickly learn how to shoot.
- Command & Control – Silencers help users maintain command and control by enabling shooters to communicate both at the range and in the field.
- Night Vision – While predator hunting, AAC’s silencers prevent "blooming" of night vision equipment and help preserve unaided night vision by eliminating muzzle flash.