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Silencers are legal!
From the Arizona Game and Fish Department Hunting Regulations 2014-2015 (http://azgfdportal.az.gov/hunting)
Arizona Revised Statute — Title 17 Laws (http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp?Title=17)
A.R.S. 17-251: Possession or use of a firearm silencer or muffler while hunting; definition:
A. The commission shall not adopt or enforce any rule that prohibits the lawful possession or use of a firearm silencer or muffler, including for the
taking of wildlife or while hunting.
B. This section does not limit the authority of the commission to prescribe the type and caliber of firearm or ammunition that may be used for taking
C. For the purposes of this section, "firearm silencer or muffler" means any device that is designed, made or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm.
Hiram P. Maxim was born into a family of innovators. Both his father and uncle were well-known inventors, credited with many technological advances in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This spirit of progress and improvement on ideas took hold in young Hiram, and he pursued mechanical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He became a pioneer in ham radio components and automobiles, and worked in several other industries before developing the technology for which he would come to be best known: firearm silencers.
An avid outdoorsman, Hiram particularly enjoyed shooting and hunting. Often shooting in close proximity to neighbors and feeling sensitive to the nuisance he was creating, he contemplated the idea of applying the scientific principles of an automotive muffler to reduce the sound signature of a firearm.
His product was hugely successful and sold in hardware stores for $3.25. While Maxim himself called the product a "silencer," it did not silence the firearm, only suppressed the sound of its report. Sportsmen and hunters freely enjoyed the benefits of silenced shooting until 1934 when this right was violated by an ill-conceived piece of legislation called the "National Firearms Act" (NFA). This law created a number of unreasonable barriers to silencer ownership that are still in place today, including a $200 per-item tax. In 1934, $200 was equivalent to over $3,500 today.
Yes, silencers are legal — and they are as easy to obtain as standard firearms through proper dealers. Silencers are regulated by federal law, and on a state-by-state basis. The National Firearms Act (NFA) branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) ultimately controls any transfers; this branch registers all silencers.
No, you do not need a license to purchase a silencer, but you do have to pay a one-time $200 tax for each silencer you purchase. you also must:
-be a resident of the United States.
-determine if your state allows civilian ownership of silencers.
-be legally eligible to purchase a firearm.
-be at least 21 years of age to purchase a silencer from a dealer on a Form 4 (5320.4)
-be at least 18 years of age to purchase a silencer from an individual with a Form 4 to Form 4 transfer (of course, contingent on state laws).
-be at least 18 years of age to possess a silencer as a beneficiary of a trust or as a member of a corporation.
-pass an ATF background check during the ATF Form 4 approval process.
-at suppressor pick-up, complete an ATF Form 4473. If an other-than-individual, ex. Trust or LLC, is the Form 4 Transferee, a locally produced addendum to the Form 4473 is required prior to taking possession of your suppressor (in AZ, or perhaps other requirements determined by your state).
Per the ATF website regarding 41F: On January 4, 2016, the Attorney General signed ATF Final Rule 41F, Machineguns, Destructive Devices and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity With Respect To Making or Transferring a Firearm, amending the regulations regarding the making or transferring of a firearm under the National Firearms Act (NFA). The goal of the final rule is to ensure that the identification and background check requirements apply equally to individuals, trusts, and legal entities who apply to make or receive NFA firearms.
See our 41F Information page for more.
How to purchase a silencer:
1. Choose a silencer that meets your requirements.
2. Contact Quiet Time Sports - firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase an in-stock suppressor, or have another dealer or manufacturer transfer your suppressor of choice to Quiet Time Sports on a Form 3. Purchasing an in-stock silencer cuts down on overall wait times because it eliminates potential Form 3 wait or manufacturer build-time wait.
3. If we have your silencer in stock, pay for the silencer. We require that you pay for the product in full. Under some case-by-case situations, we can work with you to pay a deposit if not paid in full. If we do not have the silencer in stock, the transferring dealer or manufacturer submits a Form 3 to initiate the transfer to Quiet Time Sports.
4. NFA transfers (ATF Form 3 - manufacturer or dealer to dealer, and Form 4 - manufacturer or dealer to end user) can take months to for the ATF to process. Check www.nfatracker.com, or other sites and forums, for current ATF process times.
5. Once you have purchased the silencer, and we have identified it by serial number, we will prepare the ATF Form 4 packet [Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm] and if purchasing as a trust or other entity, we will prepare the Form 23(s) [NFA Responsible Person Questionnaire].
6. Finally, the following items are sent to the ATF according to whether you are purchasing the suppressor as an individual or through a Trust or LLC:
To the ATF:
- Original-signed (by me and the individual) Form 4 ATF Copy 1 (p. 1-6) and Copy 2 (p.7-9)
- A passport photo attached to the ATF copy of the Form 4 (Attach with double-sided tape; Do not stapled the photo to the Form 4)
- Two original fingerprint cards (FD-258)
- $200 transfer tax. Payment options include check, money order, or credit card (on p. 3 Form 4). Make a check or MO payable to the ATF
To your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO):
- Original-signed (by me and an RP) Form 4 CLEO copy (p. 10-12)
TRUST or LLC:
- Many options exist for creating your gun trust. We recommend reviewing trust options with an attorney that is knowledgeable in NFA firearm laws. www.azgunlaw.com is the most experienced gun trust and NFA firearms attorney in Arizona. They have no-kidding completed 1000s of NFA gun trusts. Mention that we referred you to receive a discount on any of their trusts. If you prefer to meet face-to-face with a knowledgeable trust attorney, we recommend Paul Melo in Sierra Vista. Mr. Melo has created NFA trusts for many happy clients in southern Arizona.
To the ATF:
- Original-signed (by me and an RP) Form 4 ATF Copy 1 (p. 1-6) and Copy 2 (p.7-9). Your trust or LLC name and address used on block 2a Form 4
- Original-signed (by respective RP) Form 23 packet per each RP (p. 1-2) (with one passport 2x2in photo attached on page 2) (Do not stapled to Form 4)
- Two original fingerprint cards (FD-258) per Form 23, that is, per RP
- A copy of your notarized trust or LLC’s articles of incorporation
- $200 transfer tax. Payment options include check, money order, or credit card (on p. 3 Form 4). Make a check or MO payable to the ATF.
To the the local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO):
- Original-signed (by me and an RP) Form 4 CLEO copy (p. 10-12)
- Original-signed Form 23 CLEO copy (p. 3-4)
Link to printable Trust - How to's with specific printing instructions
7. After your paperwork has been processed and approved, the ATF will affix the stamp to Form 4 "ATF Copy 2 - To be Returned to Registrant" and snail-mail it to Quiet Time Sports. We will notify you when the paperwork arrives. You will then need to complete an ATF Form 4473 (5300.9) Part 1 (Firearms Transaction Record Part 1 - Over-the-Counter) at our location. For pre-41F approved Form 4s, a NICS check is still required for other-than-individual, ex. Trust or LLC, purchases, and if an other-than-individual is the Form 4 Transferee, a locally produced addendum to the Form 4473 is also required prior to taking possession of your suppressor. The addendum states "under the penalty of perjury, the under-signed declares that the Form 4473 is correct and accurate" and contains the NFA item's serial number, make and model. Approved "new" Form 4 (May 2016) applications submitted after 41F implementation on 13 July 2016, still require the 4473, but a NICS check is not required prior to taking possession of the item as long as the person completing the 4473 was identified as an RP on the Form 4 application.
National Firearms Act of 1934, Gun Control Act of 1968, and Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986:
National Firearms Act of 1934
The NFA was originally enacted in 1934. Similar to the current NFA, the original Act imposed a tax on the making and transfer of firearms defined by the Act, as well as a special (occupational) tax on persons and entities engaged in the business of importing, manufacturing, and dealing in NFA firearms. The law also required the registration of all NFA firearms with the Secretary of the Treasury. Firearms subject to the 1934 Act included shotguns and rifles having barrels less than 18 inches in length, certain firearms described as "any other weapons," machineguns, and firearm mufflers and silencers.
While the NFA was enacted by Congress as an exercise of its authority to tax, the NFA had an underlying purpose unrelated to revenue collection. As the legislative history of the law discloses, its underlying purpose was to curtail, if not prohibit, transactions in NFA firearms. Congress found these firearms to pose a significant crime problem because of their frequent use in crime, particularly the gangland crimes of that era such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The $200 making and transfer taxes on most NFA firearms were considered quite severe and adequate to carry out Congress’ purpose to discourage or eliminate transactions in these firearms. The $200 tax has not changed since 1934.
As structured in 1934, the NFA imposed a duty on persons transferring NFA firearms, as well as mere possessors of unregistered firearms, to register them with the Secretary of the Treasury. If the possessor of an unregistered firearm applied to register the firearm as required by the NFA, the Treasury Department could supply information to State authorities about the registrant’s possession of the firearm. State authorities could then use the information to prosecute the person whose possession violated State laws. For these reasons, the Supreme Court in 1968 held in the Haynes case that a person prosecuted for possessing an unregistered NFA firearm had a valid defense to the prosecution — the registration requirement imposed on the possessor of an unregistered firearm violated the possessor’s privilege from self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Haynes decision made the 1934 Act virtually unenforceable.
Title II of the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968
Title II amended the NFA to cure the constitutional flaw pointed out in Haynes. First, the requirement for possessors of unregistered firearms to register was removed. Indeed, under the amended law, there is no mechanism for a possessor to register an unregistered NFA firearm already possessed by the person. Second, a provision was added to the law prohibiting the use of any information from an NFA application or registration as evidence against the person in a criminal proceeding with respect to a violation of law occurring prior to or concurrently with the filing of the application or registration. In 1971, the Supreme Court reexamined the NFA in the Freed case and found that the 1968 amendments cured the constitutional defect in the original NFA. Title II also amended the NFA definitions of "firearm" by adding "destructive devices" and expanding the definition of "machinegun."
Firearm Owners’ Protection Act of 1986
In 1986, this Act amended the NFA definition of "silencer" by adding combinations of parts for silencers and any part intended for use in the assembly or fabrication of a silencer. The Act also amended the GCA to prohibit the transfer or possession of machineguns. Exceptions were made for transfers of machineguns to, or possession of machineguns by, government agencies, and those lawfully possessed before the effective date of the prohibition, May 19, 1986.
(Reference: https://www.atf.gov/content/firearms/firearms-industry/national-firearms-act as of 14 March 2015)
Silicone Oil treatment of your silencer baffle stack or monocore (the guts)
Interested in a little experiment to keep your guts easier to clean than without such silicone treatment? Read Steve Boelter's info at http://www.rrdvegas.com/silencer-cleaning.html. Although Steve hasn't or doesn't use the treatment on Aluminum baffles, I have experimented treating Aluminum baffles with good results. Disclaimer: You must contact your silencer's manufacturer for their "ok" prior to treating your silencer guts to anything that is not expressly stated in their literature or your owner's manual. I have not read or heard of any manufacturers either endorsing or suggesting against the use of silicone treatment, and am not suggesting or implying silicone treatment is safe to use. Firearms are dangerous. Know what you are doing and get your manufacturer's permission prior to any modifications to your equipment. Buyer/user takes full responsibility for their actions.