moving states with suppressor, moving with suppressorsmoving states with suppressor, moving with suppressors
  • Silencers are legal to own and possess in 42 states across the country, and you can move to these states with a silencer easily.  
  • Moving with a silencer does not require any additional ATF paperwork or approvals. 
  • Moving in-state while an AFT Form 4 is pending will not disrupt your paperwork from processing.  
  • Out-of-state with a silencer still pending approval can require a withdrawal, unless you have an NFA trust established. 
  • There are 8 states where silencers are prohibited and cannot be owned, try to avoid moving to these states.  

Moving with a Suppressor: The Complete Guide 

If you need to relocate and you currently own a silencer, or have one pending approval with the ATF, this guide is for you. In many cases, this process is very simple and requires little to no effort on your behalf. We’ll walk you through moving with an approved or pending item and moving in-state vs moving across state lines with a suppressor. We’ll even discuss states where possession of silencers may be unlawful, to ensure you know the rules and regulations concerning moving with a silencer. 
NOTE: This is not intended as legal advice; state laws continually change so please review the current law in your state, or in the state you might be traveling to, and please consult with a licensed attorney in that state. 

Table of Contents

Moving In State with a Suppressor 

If you’re moving in state with a suppressor already approved, this is the best-case scenario. There is no paperwork or forms to fill out.  As long as the county/city you’re moving to does not prohibit silencers, simply pack up and move into your new place. The ATF recommends filing out a Form 5320.20 to notify of a permanent change of address, but it is not required. 

Moving Out of State with a Suppressor 

If you are moving to another state with a suppressor and you already have an approved tax stamp, don't worry! There are currently 42 states that allow legal possession and ownership of silencers, as long as you’re moving to one of these states, you’re good to go. Again, the ATF would like you to fill out ATF Form 5320.20 when moving states with a suppressor, but it is not required for transporting silencers.

moving with a suppressormoving with a suppressor

Moving to Prohibited States with a Suppressor

If you’re moving to one of the eight states that are less friendly to Second Amendment enthusiasts and do not allow for the possession of silencers, things are a little more complicated.

Prohibited states include:

  • California
  • Delaware
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • District of Columbia

A few states, such as Washington, prohibit use of a silencer with certain types of firearms but not with others, and do not outright prohibit possession of silencers. Even within states that prohibit possession of a suppressor, you still have options.  

  • If your silencer is registered to a trust, you can leave the silencer in your home state, where it is legal, with a responsible party named on your trust. 
  • Rethink your move; come to a free state like Texas. 
  • Dispose of the silencer. This should be a last-ditch effort (and be aware, ATF has very particular views on appropriate ways to dispose of NFA items).

Moving While Waiting For Your Suppressor

If you are moving within the same state, you are good to go. Once your Form 4 is approved, you can visit your dealer and pick it up as usual. There is nothing special for you to do if you’re moving to a new town in your current state of residence.  
If you are moving out of state with a pending ATF Form 4, it is a little less straightforward. You have two primary options: A responsible person of the NFA trust in the original state can receive the silencer once it is approved. Otherwise, you will have to withdraw your Form 4, have the silencer transferred to a new Powered by Silencer Shop dealer in the new state (assuming silencers are legal in the new state), and then resubmit your Form 4.

How to Notify the ATF of Change of Address

To be clear, Form 5320.20 does not apply to silencers, and does not need to be filled out when transporting suppressors, permanently or temporarily. However, if you want to submit this notification to the ATF, Form 5320.20 is simple and can be submitted electronically. In the past, these forms have taken about four weeks to be examined.  

The best way to submit a Form 5320.20 is to access the form on ATF’s website, then email the completed form to NFAFAX@ATF.GOV. 


Moving with a silencer, or while a silencer is pending approval, doesn’t have to be scary. We’re here to make the NFA process as simple as possible and to give you all of the information you need to be a well-informed suppressor owner. In most cases, there is nothing for you to do when moving with a silencer, no forms, no documents, no headaches. In the instance that you’re moving to a new state, or to a prohibited state, there is a little more work to do. An NFA trust can be useful for keeping the silencer in a legal state.

Moving with a Suppressor FAQ 

Do you have to let the ATF know if you move with a suppressor? 

No, the ATF does not require notification for moving or transporting silencers. 

Do I need to carry my tax stamp with my suppressor?

Yes, you should always have a copy of your tax stamp with any NFA i 

Do you have to notify the ATF when you move with an SBR? 

Yes, moving with an SBR requires an approved ATF Form 5320.20.