Bill Offered to Remove Suppressors from NFA Regs

Supressor Selection

U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz (AZ-05), has proposed legislation that would remove suppressors and silencers from National Firearms Act regs and treat them as regular firearms. Here are more details about the bill.

This legislation (H.R. 3799) will remove suppressors from the purview of the National Firearms Act (NFA), replacing the federal transfer process with an instantaneous NICS background check. The act also includes a provision to refund the $200 transfer tax to applicants who purchase a suppressor after October 22, 2015.

It is currently legal to hunt with a suppressor in 37 states. Forty-one states allow private ownership of suppressors.

“The American Suppressor Association believes that citizens should not have to pay a tax to protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights,” said Knox Williams, president and executive Director of the American Suppressor Association (ASA).

Supressor Selection
Suppressors are a great addition to most any caliber. They make shooting fun and reduce the chance of negatively affecting your hearing or those around you. In a home defense scenario, this is a serious consideration.

Also known as silencers, the laws of physics dictate that no suppressor will ever be able to render gunfire silent. Suppressors are simply mufflers for firearms, which function by trapping the expanding gases of ignited gunpowder at the muzzle.

On average, suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by 20 to 35 decibels (dB), roughly the same sound reduction as earplugs or earmuffs. In addition to hearing protection, suppressors also mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting lands.

“The removal of suppressors from the National Firearms Act has been our ultimate goal since day one. For months, we have worked alongside Rep. Salmon’s office and the National Rifle Association to craft this legislation,” said Williams. “Although we recognize that introducing this bill is the first step in what will be a lengthy process to change federal law, we look forward to working with Rep. Salmon and the NRA to advance and ultimately enact this common-sense legislation.” Suppressors have been federally regulated since the passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934. The NFA regulates the transfer and possession of certain types of firearms and devices, including suppressors. Currently, prospective buyers must send in a Form 4 application to the ATF, pay a $200 transfer tax per suppressor, undergo the same background check that is required to purchase a machine gun, and wait months for the ATF to process and approve the paperwork.

“Suppressors significantly reduce the chance of hearing loss for anyone who enjoys the shooting sports,” said Chris Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action.

According to the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record for 2015 (and listed as Exhibit 8 in the Firearms Commerce in the United States Annual Statistical Update), there were 792,282 silencers registered in the country, up more than 221 thousand from 2014’s total of 571,150.

Civilian silencer ownership jumped 37% in 2013, when the tally was half a million, compared to 360,000 in 2012 and 285,000 in 2011.

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Comments (54)

  1. Many of these laws were passed by our liberal ancestors, suppressors were originally designed as a form of hearing protection and had no “covert Ops” relationship with any group good or bad. Its ridiculous that a non firing inert component is higher taxed than the piece that does the dirty work.

  2. So cut the fee to $ 100,
    Eliminate all obstruction by state laws,
    Allow them to be inherited by qualified persons via Last will & T.

    1. I don’t think the NFA suppressor fee should be cut to $100. It should be cut to paperwork costs, maybe $10-$15.

    2. State Laws are the reason you can legally own one. It is the Feds that requires all the tracking and costs. So eliminate the Gov. part and allow us to own what we want, as per the 2nd Amend.




    : ))

    1. You can look it up. When you receive your Florida Concealed Weapons License, you also receive a copy of Florida Statutes, Chapter 790, which has approximately 65 laws concerning concealed weapons ONLY. Throw in the rest of the non-concealed laws and it is in the neighborhood of 250 laws. PLUS the County laws. PLUS the city and town laws. Just guessing, but say there’s only 20 for each city/town and county. In Florida there’s 65 counties. There’s also 410 incorporated municipalities. That’s 475 x 20 = 9500 + 250 = 9750. In Florida.
      Times 50 states = 487,500 gun laws on the books. Now. Does 20,000 or 35,000 look so large all of a sudden? Sure a lot of them are repeats. But remember, this number does NOT include any federal laws. And I bet there’s more than a handful of those.

    2. @ Bil

      There are approximately 23 actual Gun Laws in this Country and it’s Territories. But, is Sub-Divided into ~12,351 Sections.

  4. In Idaho, you can make your own suppressor as long as its made with parts not already made for firearms and you also have to stamp “made in Idaho” on it. If you stay in Idaho with it, no tax stamp is needed.

    1. @Johnny in Idaho…

      It’s still illegal to possess a silence you manufactured according to federal law regardless of Idaho laws unless you have followed what you need to follow to be a manufacturer.

    2. Any manufacture of suppressors in ANY state is still federally regulated . . . until and IF the bill passes. Manufacture and/or Possession of a suppressor with out a tax stamp and proper paperwork (form 1) can get you some serious federal penitentiary time.

    3. Suppressors are a BATFE controlled item under the NFA, i.e. Federal Government. At this time, control of NFA hardware falls under Federal Law and not State Law. Being an FFL 07/02 myself, you do not want to screw around here. The Feds are not going to care if your can is stamped “Made in Idaho” when they come knocking on your door.

  5. Yes the ridiculous cost will come down I can make and effective can my self.The end of the ATF Looky lou on you the CO Sheriff can do the job.and the case of of buying a trust ,via the lawyers. mean mass production to current manufacturers Yehaa! ! The dreadful scheme of a TAX stamp B.S. the End of Democrat Democracy!

  6. The legalizing the ownership and use of suppressors without paying for the “TAX STAMP” and registering of them is a no brainer. Any body can make illegal ones with household items within a few minutes. There is no reason for the law that requires people to pay for the privilege of owning and using on. There is no down side to removing the law.

  7. Bud has it right. Suppressors are required on all vehicles, lawn mowers, and other small gas powered tools. So why can’t they at least be optional by choice on firearms. By industry standards they would be required in a workplace.

  8. Sound suppressers are way more costly , never mind the high tax but in some localities they are not legal.
    The science today should eliminat the need for a seprrate.screw on extension; take some time to study how airguns quiet their weapons and in the past there was work done in both Britain and Europe ofbquiet barrels.

  9. Well it is good to know that if it does go through I will be getting a $600 refund for the 3 Form 4’s I just mailed off to the BATFE today.

  10. There are few if any known crimes that were committed with attached suppressors. There is no reason to regulate these as much as they do. They don’t “silence” a weapon. In fact, they make a weapon harder to conceal by increasing length of a handgun two-fold.

    Personally, I’d pay a $400 tax if it meant near-instant approval, similar to current background checks. The government is going to tax me one way or another. I’d love to get something for my taxes, like removing the 9-month wait for a suppressor transfer.

    With enough money, I can drive to my local gun store in about 15 minutes, buy a dozen guns and be home within an hour. But, if I want to protect my hearing when I’m hunting with a 7mm Remington, I have to wait until next hunting season. Go figure. Involve the government, and all you end up with is a mess.

  11. As an owner of two cans, I would love this. As several have pointed out to get it passed is a whole different problem. For the ppl wanting cans, shop around, both of mine with 400 dollars in stamps another 450 with an atty. written trust I am at just under 1200 bucks. I have a 22 can AAC and a HVT-QM.

    First one for plinking and having fun, second one for having even more fun. I got the HVT for next to nothing due to Gemtech going to the quicksand and some others, but with the quick detach all I did was buy adapters for the rifles/carbines i wanted to shoot with.

    The only bad thing was the year wait (total combined time) to get the stamps. What needs to happen is the NRA and other Org. is to get both gun control acts which are in direct violation of the Constitution removed. remember you can kill an unborn baby, but can not own an automatic firearm without gov. permission.

  12. If firearms were invented OSHA would require suppressors and rightly so. There is no legal, moral, or practical reason to ban them.

    1. @ bud rector.

      You might not think so, if you Heard and Felt the “Staccato” effect of Thirty 7.62×39 Bullets coming your way from 350-meters out. Back in the early 90’s, a Group of Friends of mine and Me. Were Hunting in the Woods, when a “Rippling” of AK-47 Bullets came Flying By, Through and Around Us. Some IDIOT with a Suppressed Modified AK, emptied a 30 round magazine in Our Direction. At first, we thought it was “Rain”. Unfortunately, Rain doesn’t “Ricochet” off of tree’s and rocks. We “NEVER” Heard the AK being Fired, but “WE” definitely Heard the Bullets “Flying” Around Us. That why I think a Suppressed Hunting Rifle is a “BAD” Idea.

    2. @Slowpoke Rodrigues

      Umm, WHAT?! You think it’s a bad idea to hunt with a suppressed firearm because someone fired a suppressed AK in your direction and you didn’t hear it?

      Come on, man. Use your brain! #1, how do you know it was an AK? #2, nearly all bullets will travel out of a gun faster than the speed of sound. If you get hit by a bullet, it will happen before you hear it. #3, how do you know it was modified? #4, how do you know it was a 30 rounds magazine?

      You should like you an anti-gun troll just making up a story.

    3. @ JP.

      Because after being Fired Upon, we Tracked back the path of the Bullets, to the point of Origin. Three Assholes Whooping It Up sharing a Cooler of Brew’s. At which point, the Five in our party, were thinking of Creating some Creative MAYHEM of our own.

    4. Talk to me Texas! You are SO RIGHT. A well respected, knowledgeable and a proven leader in firearms training within our community, the man knows what he is talking about…it might bring the price down without the added expense of having to pay Uncle Sugar for your rights when the brave men & women in our armed forces have already down so with their blood.

    5. @ bud rector.

      Incorrect, Sir. Crowd Control created OSHA. “Black Friday” in 1969, during the Christmas Rush. Several people were Killed, after being Stampeded to Death in a Department Store. OSHA Act of 1970, ratified in 1971…

    1. They insist the guns are causing the violence. Today, we had someone drive into a crowd at an Oklahoma Homecoming event. Several dead, several dozen injured. Many Medevac’d with critical injuries. If an AR had been involved instead of a vehicle, Obama and Clinton would be on TV right now asking for my guns.

      We will always have tragedy. We will always have evil. Take away guns, and you will have more stabbings, sword attacks (like in Sweden the other day), and people running through crowds with their vehicles. People disturbed and upset enough to want to murder aren’t going to put smiley-face T-shirts on and watch Dr Phil simply because they can’t find a gun. They will still do the evil they intend to do.

    2. And you can bet they won’t be giving the firearms back when they discover that all their gun-laws have accomplished nothing. Of course “safety” was never their concern in the 1st place

  13. I live in southeast Arizona and a while back I thought I read something about suppressors made entirely in Arizona do not have to be ‘blessed’ and approved by the BATF, that any locally made ones can just be bought and screwed onto your gun with no mumbo jumbo BS from anyone. I suppose it evolved from the stance that Montana (I think) took when they passed legislation a while back that said any guns made within Montana’s borders were not required to be registered or approved by Fedzilla. Correct me if I’m wrong, thanks.

  14. I understand that many other nations grant the right to own and use a suppressor if one qualifies to own a firearm.
    The other portions of the NFA that bother me are the restrictions on barrel lengths for shotguns and stocked pistols. Technically, handguns that fire shotgun shells, like the Taurus Judge or S&W Governor would seem to violate the prohibition on short barreled (less than 18″) shotguns. Problems also pop up if one wants to put a shoulder stock on a handgun. Is there any movement to remove these useless restrictions?

    1. Not only do many other countries allow the use of suppressors, many countries REQUIRE the use of suppressors for hunting, for example. Using them then reduces the effect of gun noise on other wildlife, and on other hunters, and folks who may live in the area. I, for one, think suppressors should be required in this country, and should as available as a box of ammo – with the same (local) terms.

    2. I was going to comment the same re: European nations allowing or mandating suppressors, Bil, until I saw your post.
      I might add that it is considered “bad form” in many European countries to NOT use a suppressor.
      I have one question about this bill adressed to the commenters at large.
      If the bill conflates suppressors as firearms, then it should be legal to construct a suppressor for one’s own use, correct?

    3. Not if they are designated as a Handgun first, James. As soon as you put a stock on that Judge or Governer it changes its original designation and is therefore a crime without the proper paperwork and taxes being filed.

    4. James, I suggest you go read the definitin of a shotgun. It is defined beyond just barrel length.

    5. I’m also confused about shot gun law I can get a 410 barrel for a Thompson Contender had gun. It i definitely shorter than 18 inches.

  15. a suppressor is no more a “firearm” than the cardboard tube in the center is a “paper towel” od a hubcap is a “motor vehicle”. It is simply a optional component part of the system. The suppressor by itself cannot hold or fire the cartridge. It is as dangerous as the headless handle of a hammer – a mere club or paperweight. We don’t need govm’t permission to purchase hammers, at least not yet. The NFA and every restrictive gun law since the ink dried on the 2A is, on the very surface, unconstitutional, without all the legalese involving theories of how much scrutiny is needed to decide that issue or not. All those laws need to be gone, the folks who voted for them and signed them need to be arrested as traitors and also charged with restricting free enterprise in the stifling of market forces.

    1. I can only assume the serialization of the suppressors is to appease the Libs so that they can sleep at night knowing they aren’t going to be in the hands of the “Bad Guys.”

  16. This is something I’ve hoped for quite some time. Too bad it will never happen. I normally try to stay positive, but am also a realist – our current Republican majority Congress just passed the 2016 Defense Budget but couldn’t even get it signed without King Oblahblah vetoing it. And then he spoke to Congress like they were children or rather his royal subjects upon sending the vetoed bill back. I am so sick of this condescending prick.

    Part 2 of my rant here is the outrageous over pricing of suppressors. We’re talking $200-$500 for a .22 version and easily $600-$800 for a 5.56 version. Then add on the Federal Tax Stamp, FFL fees and shipping and you’re over a grand. At today’s lower prices you could buy a decent mid-range AR for that much.

    However, I know not to blame the manufacturers for the high cost of a suppressor given that it being an NFA listed item forces demand down and thus production costs to go up. So on the off chance this bill actually does get signed into law, let’s see when demand goes up, will we also see suppressor pricing fall; or will the industry attempt to capitalize on new sales and take advantage by continuing to gouge us for an otherwise much needed piece of equipment.

    1. I couldn’t come up with a better description of our fearful leader if i tried. It’ll never pass – I can hear the idiot reps from NY, MA, and CA already crying that we’d be shooting silent guns all over the place – just like in the movies. I’d love to get one for my AR as I just can’t get comfortable sighting it with my muffs on and plugs don’t provide enough protection. My hearing is not good to begin with so I try to be real careful at the range.

    2. @ G-Man

      The part’s you’re leaving out. Is the Fact that Military Service Men and Women. Loss, Off-Base Housing Subsidies, Commissary Privileges, PX Privileges, Medical, SSDI Benefits, VA Benefits, etc. In2014 the Pay Raise was 2.6%, in 2015 it was reduced to 1.3%, WHY.

    3. @ Sich,

      I wouldn’t have thought to include the things you claim I left out, because none of it is true. I don’t know where you obtained your information, but it is woefully incorrect. I will categorically debunk each of your claims below in the interest of fellow vets that read this forum.

      There is no such loss of off-base housing subsidies, just a reduction of 1% – which is barely noticeable to an individual, but saves taxpayers $4.8 billion over five years. While any cuts suck, the final 1% is still far better than the 5% Obama was pushing for.

      Also there is no such loss or change of any type of Commissary or Exchange privileges either. The only issue remotely related, involved Obama wanting to completely cut the Commissary subsidy which would have forced members to pay more than the current 5% surcharge in place now. But instead, Congress entirely rejected Obama’s wishes in their final bill.

      As for medical, there were no changes to TriCare this year either. Congress even completely rejected Obama’s recommendation to increase prescription co-pays off-base.

      Your mention of Social Security and VA Benefits has no bearing here as they fall under their own separate authorization acts and therefore have nothing to do with the Defense Authorization Act that I mentioned Obama just vetoed.

      And finally, as for pay raises – Obama wanted raises capped at only 1.3 percent for 2016. Instead Congress formulated a raise of 2.3 percent. However, the bill’s wording does allow Obama to institute a raise at a lower rate, but the ultimate decision for such a cut would fall on him and not Congress.

  17. I hope this or a similar bill gets traction soon and during a Republican administration passes. Makes good sense. The anti-gun crowd is probably already crowing about the blood that will be flowing in the streets.

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