Silencer Ownership made easy!

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10 Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions, check here first.

There are plenty of resources on the web about silencers, but unfortunately, most of the so-called facts about silencers which are circulating the web are just plain wrong. A lot of what you might come across in forums are nothing more than opinions of people who have little or no experience with silencers. We’re here to set you straight. Read on to learn some history and important facts about silencers:

1.  ISN't the preferred term for a silencer a “suppressor”?

A suppressor is actually a more fitting description, because you’ll never completely silence the report of a firearm. You merely suppress or muffle it. However, for our purposes, we will refer to suppressors as “silencers”, because that’s what most people still call them. Plus, the legal term is “silencer” per ATF definition.

2. Are silencers even legal in North carolina?

Yes, silencers are completely legal. They have always been legal in the United States since they were first invented. In the past, anti-gun politicians tried to pass legislation to ban silencers, but because of the second amendment, it was struck down by the courts. To get around the wording of the second amendment, the Federal government then figured it could effectively ban silencers through taxation. So they levied a $200 tax on every silencer purchased by civilians. That was in 1934. Two hundred dollars in 1934 was an insanely high price to pay the government for the “privilege” of owning a silencer. That $200 tax stamp hasn’t changed since 1934.

3. Do I have to pay the $200 tax stamp every year?

No. The $200 tax stamp fee is paid once per NFA item, and it's yous for life - there are no recurring fees. Sure the $200 tax stamp that you have to pay to Uncle Sam sucks, but to keep things in perspective, consider how much worse it could be today if we had to pay the equivalent in 2015 dollars. In 1934, the average worker earned $119 per month. You don’t have to do the math to figure out that $200 isn’t so bad today compared to back then. If you happen to live in one of the many states (including NC) which allow private ownership of silencers, you can most certainly exercise your second amendment right to own a silencer.

4. One of the most common questions asked about silencers is.. WHY do you need one?

Why would you want to put a silencer on your gun in the first place? We believe the best response to that question is, WHY NOT? While it’s certainly a subjective topic, who can argue with taking measures to drastically reduce the report of a firearm? It’s not like you need the massive explosion of the round to enjoy shooting. Your ears and your neighbors will thank you when you use silencers. In fact, when Hiram Percy Maxim developed and marketed the first silencer at the turn of the 20th century, one of reasons for his invention was so people could shoot in their backyard without disturbing their neighbors.

Plus, as an American, you should own and use silencers for the simple reason that you CAN own them! Who knows what the future of our gun rights in the USA will be? Enjoy silencers now while you legally can!

5. What are other advantages of using silencers?

A silencer will reduce recoil, especially on larger caliber rifles. You can think of a silencer as a very effective muzzle brake, but much quieter. Increased accuracy is another benefit from silencers. Because of the change to the barrel harmonics of the gun, and the the way the baffles of a silencer affect the dynamics of the escaping gasses around the bullet, a well-made silencer can actually improve accuracy. Most likely, the silencer will change the point of impact. Once your firearm is sighted in while the silencer is attached, you will get consistent results on your target.

Another big advantage to shooting with silencers is the benefit it offers to novice shooters. When the high-impulse sound  pressure of the muzzle blast is diminished, it simply makes shooting the gun easier. This is important to first-time shooters who might otherwise be turned off by the loud noise and recoil of most guns. Introduce your children to firearms equipped with silencers, and they will be much more likely to enjoy the sport and become a better shooter, faster.

6. Can I buy a used silencer?

Yes, you can, but it won’t save you any money. Every time a silencer legally changes hands, the government wants $200 before they’ll issue the buyer the tax stamp. Check out this article at the Silencer Research site about why it’s important to find the best silencer for your needs and buy it new: Cost comparison of new vs. used silencer

7. I have my Concealed Carry Permit. Will that make it any easier for me to get approved to own a silencer?

First of all, thank you for obtaining your concealed carry permit. Good decision. Your CC permit falls under your state’s jurisdiction though and has nothing to do with silencer ownership. Having your state CC permit won’t make any difference as far as the ATF is concerned. Silencers are regulated at the federal level. The ATF Form 4 application process and tax stamp are handled and issued by the federal government, not your state government. Just make sure you live in a state where silencers are legal to own.

8. Do I have to have my “Class 3 license” in order to buy silencers/suppressors?

Um… I’m not even sure how that rumor got started because it doesn’t even make sense. A “non-licensee” (that’s how you are defined according to the BATFE) private citizen does not obtain a “Class 3” in order to buy silencer. A Class 3 (and Class 2) license is something that an FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer needs to have in order to deal in silencers. And you can’t have a Class 2 or Class 3 designation unless you have earned your FFL first. Therefore, if you were to have your “Class 3”, you would no longer be a non-licensee…. you’d be a dealer. So, the answer is no. As an average non-licensee Joe Citizen, you DO NOT need to have a Class 3 in order to buy and own silencers.

9. Is it legal to hunt with a silencer in NC?

Yes! As of October 1, 2013 it is legal to hunt any game that’s in season with a silencer. Click HERE to learn more about hunting with silencers in NC.