Contrary to popular belief, silencers are and always have been legal to own under federal law.
At this time the following states allow private ownership of silencers: AL, AR, AK, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MS, MT, ND, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV, and WY.
Of the fourteen states that do not allow civilian ownership, CA, IA, MA, MO, and MI allow Class 3 dealers to possess silencers.
Silencers like machine-guns are regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 and are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms. Go to our Buying NFA Item’s page for more information
To legally purchase a suppressors or any item falling under the National Firearms Act (NFA), you must be at least 21 years of age, a resident of the United States, and have no felony record. The first step is to locate a Class 3 dealer in your state who will accept the item you are interested in. Once the suppressor has been transferred to the Class 3 dealer they will provide the prospective purchaser with duplicate ATF Form 4 and two sets of fingerprint cards. The Form 4 must be filled out on both sides, with passport photos of the prospective buyer affixed to the backside of the form. The two fingerprint cards will need to be completed and signed by agency doing your cards. The completed paperwork is then sent to ATF with a check or money order for $200.00 for the transfer stamp. As long as ownership remains with the same person, the tax need not be paid again. Only if the owner sells it will a new transfer tax need to be paid. An owner may will his silencer to a lawful heir with no tax incurred.
It normally takes about 6 to 9 months to receive the approved paperwork back from the NFA. Once the approved paperwork is received the dealer will contact the prospective purchaser to pickup their new silencer. A copy of the approved paperwork will need to accompany the silencer at all times. The original needs to be stored in a safe place. Silencers can be transported to other states that allow their ownership. Transporting a silencer into a state which prohibits private ownership can subject the owner to serious state felony charges.
Silencers are ILLEGAL for individuals in the following States
DE, DC, HI, IL, MS, MT, NY, NJ, RI
Class 3 dealers only in: CA, KS, MO, and MN