View Full Version : Silencers..... whats legal ?

August 25, 2008, 08:21 AM
Surfing thru U tube I see a ton of silenced firearms videos on there.
Id like to have one on a 22 to dispatch the armadillos that love to dig up my yard and not disturb the neighbors with it.

Does anyone know exactly what is the law on silencers? :confused:

August 25, 2008, 08:30 AM
It depends on the state. On the most part, silencers are illegal.

If you search the web, you'll get some answers.

For example, even in gun lovin' Texas silencers are not easy to obtain.
First, I would have to get a federal license and then I would have to buy the local
sheriff a beer or three.

August 25, 2008, 08:32 AM
The paperwork is expensive, plus you are then on a government list - come SHTF you are likely to have a knock on the door as jack booted thugs come looking to take away your guns.

They are legal in many areas, including my state New Hampshire.

August 25, 2008, 08:47 AM
it will depend on your local laws and willingness of the local sheriff to sign off on the paperwork..

other given that is good to go..find a shop that has the necessary FFL that can handle suppressors, find the one you like ..then you need to file paperwork, fingerprints with ATF, pay the $200 tax stamp. and wait. Once the paperwork is approved, go pick up your suppressor.

for the most part they are legal to own with the proper paperwork.

August 25, 2008, 08:52 AM
Rmart30 -

It depends on where you live on as to the STATE laws of owning a silencer. Silencers are not and have never been illegal. They do require a federal tax stamp to own and the paperwork involved is about what you would expect when dealing with the government.
Google "silencers, class 3, your town/state" and you should be able to find a local dealer that can guide you through the process.

SAAB1911 - I beg to differ. The problem is not Texas, but the part of Texas you are in. Berkley on the Brazos is not known as a bastion of personal freedom. Here in the Houston area, there are at least 3 Class III dealers in a 35 mile radius, not to mention several Class 2 manufactures.


August 25, 2008, 08:56 AM
SAAB1911 - I beg to differ. The problem is not Texas, but the part of Texas you are in. Berkley on the Brazos is not known as a bastion of personal freedom. Here in the Houston area, there are at least 3 Class III dealers in a 35 mile radius, not to mention several Class 2 manufactures.

Guess where I lived before I moved to Austin. Yup, Special Kommunist
Municipality of Berkeley. After having lived in the real thing, Berkeley
on the Brazos is a piece of cake.

August 25, 2008, 12:53 PM
You need to check with your State as to the legality of using a silencer for hunting purposes also. I have been told that here in Montana it is not legal to use a silencer for ANY hunting, whether it is game animals, varmints, whatever.

AZ Med18
August 25, 2008, 03:22 PM
Montana has a gun law?????

August 25, 2008, 03:56 PM
I would think that a "wrist rocket" (slingshot) would do the job . I have seen some with a bar that goes over the wrist to achieve a huge power advantage .

August 25, 2008, 09:19 PM
I would think that a "wrist rocket" (slingshot) would do the job . I have seen some with a bar that goes over the wrist to achieve a huge power advantage .

If they make one that can take em out at 75 yards im sold :D

thanks for the replies..id never given much thought to it before seeing all those videos..... probably would put you on the short list though if you did have one registered.

August 25, 2008, 09:24 PM
Silencers are legal for civilian possession in 34+ (I believe it is now up to 36) states. They have always been legal under Federal law. It takes less paperwork to purchase a suppressor than a new car, but it does usually require fingerprints, a photograph and a signature by your Sheriff. It is a one time tax of $200 for each suppressor. You are not on any list you are not already on when you purchase a gun. Going through the effort is very much worth it -- suppressors are fun and bring out the best of shooting.



August 25, 2008, 10:28 PM
Requires nothing more than a little research to determine if they are Legal in your state. Then determine if your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) will sign off on the Form 4. If he is not NFA friendly just form a trust and obtain the suppressor anyway. It ammounts to a little bit of paperwork and a little bit of patience as the BATF approves your paperwork and issues you the $200.00 tax stamp.

August 25, 2008, 10:35 PM
Silencers are not and never have been illegal. Anyone saying such things (yes, you Saab1911) is spreading misinformation.

August 26, 2008, 07:56 AM
For you Texans, go here;http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes/statutes.html and search for silencer. It will tell you that;

ยง 46.05. PROHIBITED WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly possesses, manufactures, transports, repairs, or sells: .....(4) a firearm silencer[0];..... (c) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the actor's possession was pursuant to registration pursuant to the National Firearms Act, as amended.

So in other words, you need to make sure that you have a copy of your ATF form 4 or form 1 whenever you bring your silencer to the range or hunt with it (if legal). While only the ATF can demand that you produce the form, the local police can put you in jail if you do not show it to them to prove you are legal. Only a few others states are like this. But TX is one of the 37 states that allow unlicensed civilians to own silencers.

Instead of relying on web boards (even gun forums), it is best to look at the law yourself or contact a lawyer.

Sometimes I think gun owners are their own worst enemy. I see crap like some of what I am seeing right here in this thread all the time. Silencers are illegal, illegal in most states, you need a permit, you need a license, a yearly tax, the ATF does warrentless searches on you, they do not work on high powered rifles, they only work with subsonic ammo, they always reduce accuracy, only killers use them, they have no sporting use. All of these common statements are false. You might think that some gun owners are employees of Waxman or the Brady Campaign by the way they talk. Are gun owners really this stupid or are they just prejudiced?

For those that are reading this thread, here are a few links with lots of info and a minimum of stupid in them. http://www.subguns.com and http://www.silencertests.com . The subguns website has lists of local dealers, downloadable forms and a good forum. Silencertests has a forum and some good info on legalities. Make sure your county government has no restrictions before you buy or make a silencer. Good luck


August 26, 2008, 10:14 AM
As for some of the posts in this thread all I can say is wow, just wow. Why would you even bother posting if you are not 100% sure that you have at least some idea of what you are talking about. Yes I am getting crochety in my old age....

August 26, 2008, 01:21 PM
VUPDblue - I don't thing age has anything to do with it.:p


August 26, 2008, 03:32 PM
It seems like we just repeat this topic every single week. Look down on the front page and you'll see at least 5 topics all asking the same thing with the same answers. Don't have to use the search tool.

August 26, 2008, 06:59 PM
The Sheriff, where I live signs, off on all NFA paperwork as you are getting fingerprinted. :) So yes, it does depend on where you live.

August 27, 2008, 08:18 AM
Yep, legal. Legal to own and legal to build. I've built 3 of my own and helped with building 3 others. All 100% legal on Form1s. The current sharif where I live is so NFA friendly he actually has a rubber stamp made up for the ATF Forms.

Years ago when I lived in Kerr county I discovered (much to my horror) that Sharif Rusty did not "believe civilians should have those things". Not knowing about the trust rout at the time I had the Constible sign off. ATF said no, I sent a 118 page appeal (well the appeal was 2 pages the rest was supporting documentation on my arguments) and got my approved From 1 two weeks later.

There are ways to get it done if you really want to but be warned. Silencers are very addictive, you cannot stop at one.

PS. someone mentioned hunting in Texas. Current Texas Parks and Wildlife manuals state that suppressors are legal for all non-game animals and a valid hunting license is required. (must have the tax income youknow). You cannot use a silenced firearm on any game animal. I personally have shot axis deer with a suppressed .308. Talk about a hoot:)

Exeter Arms
September 25, 2008, 12:01 PM
I am new here but have been a Class 3 dealer for many years. Please visit my website for REAL information on NFA weapon ownership. I have shipped silencers all over the US, to both civilian and law enforcement customers. If you ave any questions that are not answered on my site http://exeter-arms.com/
You can call me anytime at 402-366-1596 and I will answer your questions. I am available 24/7 so you never have to worry about calling too late