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How to Buy a Silencer/Suppressor

Posted by Joshua Brangenberg on

Beginning July 1st, Minnesotans can now apply to purchase and use a suppressor. Even though no one can hunt with a suppressor until August 1st, getting your application in fast is essential. It can take months for your application to go through ATF. Be aware, when I say months, it will be a lot of waiting time. A lot. If you do not know where to start your purchase of a suppressor, just follow these steps!

  1. Place your suppressor order at a dealer. Yes, this means you will need to pay an arm and a leg, but you will not be taking anything home but an empty wallet.
  2. Wait for the suppressor dealer to get the actual suppressor serial number .Unless your dealer has the suppressor you want in stock, the dealer has to go through her own federal paperwork process, and you can’t apply for your tax stamp until the actual suppressor you will own is set aside for you. This may take a month, or two, or three.
  3. Pick up your paperwork from the dealer .The dealer will give you two copies of an ATF Form 4 with the make, model and serial number of the suppressor already filled in.
  4. Fill out two copies of your Form 4 .This is your application for a federal tax stamp required to own a suppressor, which is regulated under the 1934 National Firearms Act.
  5. Get two passport-style photos .You can do this at many drugstores and copy centers.
  6. Get fingerprinted. Yes, you need to submit fingerprints to the federal government in order to be trusted with a silencer. Sorry.
  7. Get a Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) signatureA local chief law enforcement officer (your local police chief, sheriff, or county attorney, usually) must sign your Form 4 application, indicating that they are not aware of any legal reason you should not own a suppressor, and that the fingerprints and photos are actually yours.
  8. Send the application, fingerprints, photos, and a $200 tax payment to the ATF. After that, more waiting. ATF will eventually get to your application, eventually.
  9. Wait and wait and wait! Processing is currently taking almost a year, according to Silencer Shop. This changes all the time, and there may be a surge of applications from Minnesota.
  10. Dealer receives your tax stampThe ATF will eventually mail the dealer a copy of your paperwork, with your tax stamp affixed.
  11. Pick up your suppressor! When your dealer notifies you that your paperwork has arrived, go pick up your suppressor!
  12. Keep your suppressor safely stored or in your physical possession. Under federal law, you need to maintain physical possession of your suppressor. That means that no one else but you has access to it, and that you keep it in your personal possession, or at the address on your application. When you take the suppressor with you, make sure that you have a copy of the registration paperwork with you to prove that you are in legal possession.

There you go! With a good amount of money, form submissions and patience, you can shoot to your ear's delight!

There is another, potentially easier way to obtain a suppressor that involves setting up a trust with a gun-trust lawyer. This eliminates a couple of the steps and can be used for multiple suppressor purchases.

Here at F.O.G. Firearms and Cartridge Co., we carry suppressed ammunition, in particular, we carry subsonic 300 Blackout that pairs perfectly with a suppressed AR that shoots 300 Blackout.

If you are in need of a dealer to complete a transfer for you, we are capable of doing exactly that, but we will not be offering suppressors for sale.

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