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How to Buy a Suppressor

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In the past, seeing a suppressor at a shooting range or while hunting was uncommon, but times have changed. Suppressors have now become more prevalent, and the process of purchasing one has become simpler. Residents in states where suppressors are legal can now buy one without leaving their homes.


A firearm suppressor functions akin to a car muffler, serving as a noise reduction device. Several states, including California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island, currently prohibit suppressor ownership. While suppressors significantly lessen noise levels, they do not eliminate the need for hearing protection entirely, with OSHA recommending exposure to impulsive noise not exceed 140 dB.

Reduce recoil

Suppressors also reduce recoil by adding weight to the firearm and dispersing gas from the bullet’s propulsion. They do not render firearms silent but reduce sound to safe levels, especially when paired with subsonic ammunition. A single suppressor can be used across multiple firearms as long as the caliber matches. Building your suppressor is legal, subject to the $200 tax and legal procedures.

Suppressor Ownership

When considering suppressor ownership, individuals must choose between individual or trust ownership. While individual ownership allows personal and limited shared use, trust ownership permits broader sharing. However, in the event of an individual’s death, an unregistered NFA item in their possession poses complications for the estate executor.

Acquiring a suppressor

When acquiring a suppressor through a trust, any co-trustee has the authority to possess and use the suppressor. Designating a beneficiary allows for a smooth transition of the trust’s ownership upon the original owner’s passing.


Alternatively, purchasing a suppressor under a corporation permits employee usage, but dissolution of the corporation poses challenges akin to individual ownership, leaving a suppressor without an owner, which is disapproved by the ATF.

Conventional approach

The conventional approach to purchasing a suppressor involves visiting a dealer with a Class 3 Federal Firearms License. The dealer assists with paperwork, photographs, and fingerprinting, in addition to selling the suppressor.


Costs include payment for the suppressor, a $200 tax to the Federal Government, and a transfer fee typically ranging from $25 to $100. After submission of paperwork, photo, fingerprints, and tax payment, approval from the ATF is awaited, a process that can take between six and nine months, with variations from three months to nearly a year.

Purchasing a suppressor

Purchasing a suppressor through a dealer offers several benefits. Dealers often have suppressors readily available for viewing and testing before making a purchase.

An individual

In cases where you’re buying from an individual, the dealer can manage the entire process. Some dealers even provide assistance in setting up a trust, although this task may require legal assistance if done independently.

42 states

There are 42 states where ownership is legal. Some dealers have transformed the suppressor buying experience by offering personalized guidance from experts to choose the ideal suppressor.

Paperwork process

They streamline the paperwork process by assisting electronically, facilitate payment for the suppressor and the $200 tax, and provide the option of spreading payments over four installments.

Fingerprint kit

Upon receiving a fingerprint kit and instructions for a $10 fee, you submit the completed kit and a digital photo.

After approval

After approval, you electronically fill out Form 4473, similar to buying a firearm, and within seven days, the dealer ships the suppressor to your address.

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This article was originally published at Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak,...