Selling a silencer to a private party isn’t like selling other items lying around your house. Although we wish it was that easy, it isn’t a same-day type of transaction. Just like it was a process for you to acquire it, there is a procedure in place to sell it, and it still includes a Form 4. Post 41F also changed the game for some transfers as well, and there hasn’t been much information put out onto the ether, so we wanted to give you an update just in case you were considering it.

How To Sell A Silencer

Pre-Application Run Down

  1. Where It’s Legal. First, let’s be clear about where it’s legal to own a suppressor. As always, we recommend that you check with your local laws just to be sure you are in compliance with them prior to starting any paperwork.
  2. Age Requirements. In order to legally purchase a suppressor from a dealer, you must be 21 or older. Interestingly enough however, to be of legal age to transfer a silencer from an individual via Form 4 to Form 4, you must be 18 years of age or older (we don’t make the laws, we just abide by them).
  3. Legal to Own. If the purchaser has any convictions, whether it be violent crimes or felonies, their application will not be approved. To save both parties time, and the purchaser money, it might be beneficial to double check prior to applying.

In-State Transfers

Before a transfer can happen, we’d recommend that the seller and the buyer reside in the same state. Transfers within the same state are less arduous because all it requires is for the Form 4 (and applicable accompanying paperwork) to be mailed to the ATF with the $200 tax stamp. We’ve seen some individuals choose this option primarily for one of the following two reasons: either the can they want is out of stock, so they purchase it used; or the can is unique or difficult to find. There may be other circumstances, but these are the most common of them that we’ve personally seen.

Out of State Transfers

If you are attempting to purchase or sell a used silencer across state lines, the process can be rather extensive. It’s still a doable option, though, so we’ll give you the run down just in case. The seller will need to transfer their silencer to their local (in state) FFL/SOT with a Form 4 and $200 tax stamp. The FFL/SOT would then transfer the silencer to an FFL/SOT in the buyer’s state using a Form 3 (this form does not require a fee). After that, the buyer’s FFL/SOT would transfer the silencer to the buyer, using a Form 4 and paying the $200 tax stamp. You can see how laborious and extensive that process can be, financially and in wait time.

Application Process

You can still file three separate ways, which we’ll list below. But any of the applications should include the $200 tax stamp made payable to BATFE, and two copies of the Form 4 paperwork, printed double-sided with original signatures. We do offer a Form 4 generator to help assist you no matter which way you choose to apply.

  1. Individual Applications. Two FD-258 fingerprint cards need to be included with this application.
  2. Trust Applications. When 41F was passed, it did alter the application process for transferring silencers as well. If the purchaser is filing under their trust, each individual listed on the trust as a responsible party needs to submit their respective information as well, including two of their own FD-258 fingerprint cards.
  3. Corporation Applications. Along with your paperwork, a proof of good standing (this might have different titles based on your state) for the corporation should be included.

In addition to these points, we should note that there is a section on the Form where the seller allows the purchaser the ability to contact the NFA Branch directly to get status updates; we’d highly recommend you say ‘I Do’ in Section 9 pertaining to this.

Disposal to the New Owner

Just like you had to wait for you ATF approval prior to the dealer disposing the silencer to you, the seller will need to hold onto the silencer until the Form 4 has been approved. That approval should go straight to the seller’s address listed on the Form. At that point, the seller would contact the purchaser and dispose the silencer to the purchaser.

Expectation for Resell Value

We should warn you that although silencers are categorized with firearms, their respective resell values cast a stark difference. Similar to vehicles, once you’ve taken your silencer for a spin, its value has a propensity to decrease, whereas with firearms, they have been known to hold their value fairly well. Additionally, silencers also require a transfer fee and paperwork, and, depending on the state of the transfer, their firearm counterparts do not require either.

Conclusion

As you can see, purchasing a used silencer still requires a fair amount of paperwork and time (you can always check NFA wait times as well), so the market isn’t as fruitful as it is in the purchasing of used firearms. There’s also a trust factor that happens when you think of someone holding onto your new toy while waiting for the ATF to approve of this transfer. We aren’t trying to sway you one way or the other; we just want to lay out the facts so that you can make the most informed decision.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about anything, we’ve made it as easy as possible to get a hold of us.