In previous posts, we've discussed moving with suppressors, or any other NFA item, as well as traveling temporarily with them. Now, we'll dig into NFA storage requirements and best practices while you're away and you have to leave it behind.
Trusts — the easiest way
If you own your suppressor under an NFA gun trust or a Single Shot Trust from Silencer Shop, you can easily have another responsible party hold on to your suppressor while you're traveling or deployed.
If there's no one else on your trust, you can easily have a responsible person added to your trust so that they're able to store it for you. For instance, if you're stationed in a state in which silencers are illegal (looking at you, California), adding a friend in your old state to your trust could be an easy solution.
If you don't own your suppressor through a trust, however, the ATF’s website states that “NFA firearms may be left in a safe deposit box in their former state of residence.” The ATF also allows for an easier option: you can lock the suppressor in a room, safe, or a container at a friend/relative's residence as long as you are the sole person possessing a key. Just be sure to leave your helpful friend/relative with copies of the suppressor's registration form and a letter from you authorizing storage at that location.
There are no big surprises here for responsible firearms owners, who are accustomed to safe NFA storage requirements and practices. If ever in doubt, it's always a good idea to call the ATF and speak with someone to clarify any questions you may have. You can reach them at: 304-616-4500 or email NFA@atf.gov.
I can’t keep them locked in my safe whilst I’m out of state? All mine are in trusts.
Hi Michael! Yes, you are able to leave your NFA items safely locked away in your safe as long as only you have access to it. Make sure that the safe is located at the same address as the item is registered to (or a trustee's address, if you have someone else on your trust).
If you have additional responsible individuals on your trust, they may also have access to the safe.
Hi Pete! All you have to do is take a physical copy of your trust and two copies of the amendment to add the trustees to a notary. The notary will sign and notarize it, and you will staple the two notarized amendments to your trust. That's it!