Millions of Americans of individuals and families swap addresses every year. If you've moved recently, you remember just how much of a hassle it can be. And just when you're drowning in change-of-address paperwork and cardboard boxes, you remember… "Wait — what am I supposed to know about moving with a suppressor?"
Don't panic! This blog post is here to help you know what to do with your suppressor or your currently-pending Form 4 application.
In-State Moving with a Suppressor
If you're just heading down the street — or even from El Paso to Houston (bless your heart) — you'll simply need to notify the ATF's NFA branch of your change of address in writing to update the NFRTR (National Firearms Registration & Transfer Record).
In-State Pending Approval
If your application is pending (or approved but not yet picked up), have your dealer contact the ATF's NFA branch for instructions on updating your Form 4 application before the transfer is complete. Give us a call if you need assistance with this!
In State Approved Form 4
If your application has already been approved and you have picked up your suppressor, you'll need to notify the ATF of any change to the registration address in writing. A formal letter can be sent via fax or email to NFAFAX@ATF.GOV.
Out-of-State Moving with a Suppressor
First things first: If you're moving out of state, make sure suppressors are legal in your new state. If you're going to California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island or D.C., you won't be able to take it with you. Consider other states instead, and commemorate the move with a states that don’t suck t-shirt! If you're going to a state where suppressors are legal, you’ll just need to notify the ATF's NFA Branch with a Form 5320.20. You will also need to receive the application back from the ATF (approved of course) before you may transport said suppressor to your new home.
Out-of-State Pending Approval
If you have a pending application, you might need to pull those forms and restart your application (see caveat for why you may not have to do this!). We can help you with the withdrawal request, and you will get a refund for your tax stamp. Your original dealer will use a Form 3 to send the suppressor to a dealer in your new state, where you can restart the application process.
A quick caveat: if you registered as a trust or corporation, and a responsible person listed on the trust is still in the state, then that person could still pick the suppressor up on behalf of the trust or corporation once the application is approved.
Out-of-State Approved Form 4
Now, let’s say you’ve got an approved Form 4, you’re planning on moving to a new state where it’s legal to own a suppressor, but you haven't picked up your suppressor yet. Easy as pie! Complete your transfer and pick up your suppressor, then submit your 5320.20 to update the ATF of your new out of state address. Upon approval of your 5320.20, you are now clear to move stress free.
How to Notify the ATF when Moving States with Suppressor
Before you take your suppressor out of state, make sure that you receive an approved 5320.20 back from the ATF.
It's always a good idea to reach out to the ATF if you're planning on moving with your suppressor or NFA item. Enjoy your new home!
This was very helpful. I think you can also now return your form 5320.20 by E-mail.
The form can also be submitted via facsimile to the NFA Branch at (304) 616-4501 or may be scanned and emailed to NFAFax@atf.gov.
Please verify this before sending in. I am not a professional
How do I notify the ATF's NFA branch of your change of address in writing to update the NFRTR? Is there a form I fill out, what address do I send it to, do I have to list my suppressors, or do I just write on a piece of paper that my new address is X?
Thanks for the article BUT is missing quite of bit of information that most of us like me don't know and so far can't find it. 1- Which methods I can use to transport the silencer(s)? Can I take it with me on checked bag on a plane? can I ship it to my self using UPS,USPS, etc? Do I need to drive it? 2- What about Trusts when filling the form? I just downloaded the form and first question is Name and Address of the registered owner? so that will be the trust name? or both names (my wife and me)? I will appreciate an update to those questions which I am pretty sure more people will have. Thanks :-)
Hey Angel, some of your questions are answered in our Traveling with a Suppressor blog post, but I'd be happy to help you out here.
1) You can check a suppressor, it must be in a locked case and declared to the desk agent, the same as a firearm. You can ship it through a private logistics service like UPS and FedEx, but not USPS.
2) The name on the Form 5320.20 would be the trusts name, as the trust owns the suppressor.
Great questions, Angel.
Moving to another state becomes messy, because it requires you to provide a change of address before you even move to the new state. And not only that, but to allow time for ATF to respond which may take, what, weeks? What if you move but haven't yet found a residence for the new address, yet, staying in an extended stay hotel until a new permanent address may be obtained? We REALLY need to get suppressors OFF the NFA list. If I cannot take it/them with me and I can't simply sell or give a suppressor away, what am I to do? Litter the bottom of the local lake (amongst countless others lost due to "boating accidents")? I don't want to get involved in a federal littering case like the one at Alice's Restaurant.
Totally hear you, Anthony. The best case scenario is to submit your form 5320.20 in advance as soon as you know your new address, but as you pointed out sometimes moving is more complicated. If you need any assistance please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or a call at 512-931-4556. - Chase
This info is not 100% accurate. According to the ATF website, you are allowed to transport a suppressor across state lines without notifying the ATF. If you move, you are allowed to submit the Form 20 after the move is complete, for suppressors.
what if i already moved (IA to GA), earlier this year with my two suppressors and am only just now thinking of this address change stuff. What in the world do i put as the dates the suppressor would be in transit since they were already in transit like 8 months ago lol?!?!
Thank you for this! I'm a month away (supposedly) from the release date for my can in BATFE jail and I plan on moving within the next 6 months. I was so worried about the process but not anymore. Is it bad I postponed my move so I didn't have to start the paperwork all over again? :)