View Full Version : WA silencer use bill hearing!!!

January 20, 2011, 08:13 AM
1/26/11 1:30 pm
Senate Full Committee
Senate Hearing Rm 1
J.A. Cherberg Building
Olympia, WA

Public Hearing:
1.SB 5112 - Changing restrictions on firearm noise suppressors.
2.SB 5115 - Concerning private transfer fee obligations. (Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute.)
3.SB 5170 - Increasing the number of judges to be elected in Grant county.

Everyone needs to be at this hearing, especially industry representatives, silencer owners and people who want to use silencers.


January 20, 2011, 10:06 AM
If you own a silencer already, will they take it away from you?

January 20, 2011, 10:41 AM
No. Washington is one of the 37 states that allow unlicensed civilians to own silencers, but the only one of those states that bans their use by anyone, police and military included. Bill 5112 makes an exception for silencers that are registered with the federal government.

The police (for the most part) want this bill passed. They like to use them for the same reasons civilians do. Thousands of people own silencer in WA. It is just that their use had been banned since 1934, allegedly over poaching issues.


January 20, 2011, 11:00 AM
So, if I understand correctly, if you live in WA, you can build silencers in your garage, hang them on the wall or screw them onto the end of your garden hose, but just can't use them on guns - and they don't have to be registered?

Willie Lowman
January 20, 2011, 11:16 AM
and they don't have to be registered?

They have to be registered with ATF. If they aren't registered they are illegal anyway.

You were right about everything else... Garden hose silencer... :p

January 20, 2011, 01:10 PM
It is impossible for anyone to legally own any firearm silencer in the USA without it being registered with the ATF. This includes dealers, police and military.

There are a few states that have passed laws to regulate various firearms (including silencers) and exempt them from registration (and the $200 tax) with the ATF. But the feds are opposed to these laws and the ATF has warned licensed dealers that they still have to comply with the registration requirements. As far as I know, the law has not been tested in court.

Bills 1016 and 5112 only affect Washington State. All the bills do is allow the use of any registered firearm silencer. Use of an unregistered silencer would still be illegal and result in a $5000 fine and a year in jail in addition to the much more severe federal penalties which start with a $10,000 fine and 10 years in prison for evading the tax and registration requirements.

WA State has no registration requirements for silencers. The only mention of them in the WA code is to ban their use on a firearm.


January 20, 2011, 04:25 PM
There are a few states that have passed laws to regulate various firearms (including silencers) and exempt them from registration (and the $200 tax) with the ATF.

I'm just trying to understand this - so if I lived in Washington and decided to build a silencer in my garage - and do nothing else with it other than admire it in my curio cabinet, AND NOT REGISTER IT, there is an untested legal issue as to whether or not it must be registered. Fed says it must be registered, but state law says it doesn't have to be registered. Does that correctly sum it up?

44 AMP
January 20, 2011, 08:36 PM
Fed says it must be registered, but state law says it doesn't have to be registered. Does that correctly sum it up?

There is a difference between not requiring registration and saying you don't have to register it. My understanding is that while there is no state requirement to register it, the state law does not exempt you from having to register it with the Feds.

I am certain the Feds expect you to register it (and do so before manufacture), they have prosecuted people for not registering units that didn't even work! IF you make something that you intend to use to reduce the report of a firearm, without getting Fed approval beforehand, you are in violation of Fed law. That's my understanding of it. I could be in error, but I don't think so.

January 21, 2011, 07:50 PM
Federal law trumps state law. From http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/44/921
(24) The terms "firearm silencer" and "firearm muffler" mean any
device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a
portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or
redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a
firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for
use in such assembly or fabrication.
Silencers are defined as firearms in the US Code. It is illegal to possess one without it being registered.


It shall be unlawful for any person -
(d) to receive or possess a firearm which is not registered to
him in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record


January 23, 2011, 11:35 PM
I want to be there for the hearing, but I work nights. What is the latest time I can arrive to sign up for the sign in sheet without having to be heard?

January 25, 2011, 08:23 PM
RAnb I appreciate you staying on thisbill for us all. I wrote to both of my state legislators and they responded today informing me they were sponsors. This has to get done as I really want to hang a can on my KAC.

January 26, 2011, 12:56 PM
No one is required to speak. Just fill in your name/address, position on the bill and whether or not you wish to speak. I think you can sign the sheets at any time during the committee hearing. They might not be out on the table for people to see, so you might have to ask for them.


January 26, 2011, 10:40 PM
I think it went well. There were no opposed sign ins. 5 of us spoke with sen Roach afterwards. She actually wanted a demostration of how the suppressor attaches! Of course no one had one with them.

January 27, 2011, 01:51 PM
Thanks guys for attending. I was not able to get out of work due to a commitment I made several months ago. Not much happening today at work, it would have been no problem for me to make it to Olympia this afternoon. I tried to record the hearing, but all I got was the part on the mortgage/foreclosure bill. Are the hearings tape delayed?

When I met with Representative Haigh last year at her office in Shelton, I brought a 9mm silencer along. When I asked her if she wanted to see a silencer, she lit up a bit and said yes. She was able to see that it was just a simple little muffler with baffles inside. She was amused when I told her it cost me $20 plus the $200 tax to make on my lathe. In retrospect it should not have been a surprise that she later sponsored bill 1016. She had previously told me that she would not sponsor a silencer use bill.

I did not see any "no firearms allowed" signs at the O'Brien and Cherberg buildings the last time I was in the Capital, but I would hesitate to bring a can there. :)


January 31, 2011, 03:21 AM
While you are right as to there being no signs. I would ask the WSP troopers if concealed carry is infact allowed. My wife's aunt use to work in the Goveners building and she said concealed carry is NOT allowed there. I never did verify that though.

February 8, 2011, 02:13 PM
Bill 5112 was heard by the Senate Judiciary Executive Committee this morning. There was no debate. The decision was a unanimous "do pass" recommendation. It goes to the Rules Committee next.