View Full Version : BYO Suppressors - Form 1 or Class 2?

April 23, 2009, 06:08 PM
I've been interested in suppressors for years. I've shot several, studied most, but don't yet own any. Recently, I've been considering buying on, but then it occurred to me that I know enough about metalworking that I could build my own. There are about 3 or 4 types I'd like to try. So, for those of you that have gone through this, my question is:

Send in a Form 1 for each?
Get my FFL and Class 2 NFA mfg?

Pros and cons? I understand the the Form 1 taxes are $200 each, whereas the Class 2 is only $500 on top of initial FFL licensing and such. What kind of time is involved in getting the FFL and Class 2?

Any intelligent, informed answers would be greatly appreciated!

Zak Smith
April 23, 2009, 09:07 PM
My company has an SOT and we build cans.

If you can pass a "Form 4", you can submit the Form 1. There are no other requirements. Once approved and the can is built, you cannot possess "extra" suppressor parts.

The FFL/SOT requires all relevant city, county, and state licensing/approvals for the business location. You will have an ATF agent come and check out your site before issuing the FFL. You have paperwork requirements. You must pay ITAR yearly on top of the FFL/SOT fees. If I remember correctly, it took about 6 months to get our FFL and another 3 to get the SOT issued.

You can also sell them through other NFA dealers on form 3's, or directly to people in your stat on form 4's.

With the SOT, however, you can manufacture as many as you want (subject only to paperwork and no additional taxes per can), and you can also manufacture or get machineguns if you have the appropriate LEO demo letter.

You must keep the FFL/SOT up to date. If you let it expire, then before it is gone, you must transfer all the suppressors to yourself personally (and pay the transfer tax at that time). On the other hand, the Form 1 never expires.

Hope this helps

David Hineline
April 24, 2009, 12:20 AM
Getting the FFL and SOT to save tax money is a loosing idea, and also not within ATF rules. You must try to run a business with a FFL is not to be used for personal collection.

If you just want a few silencers pay the tax on them, if you come up with a great new design that beats everything in the commercial market, it would just be easier to license the design to a company with the means to mass produce it.

April 24, 2009, 09:26 AM
The initial SOT is $1,000. A reduced tax of $500 applies to small manufacturers that have less than $500,000 in gross sales receipts for their business (entire business for the FEIN). ITAR sucks monkey balls.

As a Class 2 you don't need a demo letter to make a machine gun, but you need a letter to buy from another SOT.

You must be in the business of being an FFL/SOT. It cannot be used to improve your personal collection.

Mr. Hineline is right on the money with the licensing of a design. Beware that the Form 1 is not a prototyping license. You make one complete suppressor and that's it. To improve the design it will take another Form 1 and tax.

April 24, 2009, 01:38 PM
Thanks for all the great advice!

I've been thinking that I want to manufacture suppressors for several years, so this isn't only for my personal collection. I've even gone so far as to go back to school for Manufacturing Engineering (but I still have a lot to learn).

On the other hand, maybe I should try building a couple on Form 1's before I decide to dive head first into an investment I may not enjoy as much as I think I will.

I'll start with six of one (Form 1 builds) and, if I really like it, I'll do a half dozen of the other (FFL/SOT).

Thanks again - I really appreciate it!

April 24, 2009, 07:26 PM
That's a safe bet. Good luck.

David Hineline
April 24, 2009, 11:26 PM
If you have a talent and valid silencer ideas, no reason you can't take a job with an existing manuf. gunsmith shop and get listed as a responsible person on thier license, then do R+D and manuf. for the shop learn the business and then branch out on your own if it works out.

May 3, 2009, 09:53 PM
If you have the capital, talent, and tools. I say stay inside the law and go for it. You could end up with a new career!