What do I need to own a suppressorWhat do I need to own a suppressor

You don't need a special class of firearm license or certification to own a suppressor. Nor do you need to be a law enforcement officer or have friends in high places. Just a few simple steps stand between you and your suppressor dreams. This blog post is here to sweep any misconceptions aside and answer your question to what do I need to own a suppressor? Let’s go!

Choose & purchase a suppressor

This is the fun part! Deciding on a suppressor will depend on a couple of factors. Here are some features you’ll want to consider before you pull the trigger on your suppressor purchase:

  • Your firearm setup
  • How you intend to use the suppressor
  • Your budget

You’ll also want to weigh what’s most important to you in your suppressor’s performance. Things like size, weight, length, long range accuracy, durability, modularity, sound performance, and repeatability, are all options in finding your perfect silencer set up. Don’t fret! Our customer service professionals would be happy to help you narrow down our vast inventory to find a good fit for you.

Alternatively, our website has a few helpful guides listing some of the top suppressors for each caliber, and their particular strengths and weaknesses. These posts could be a great place to start: 22lr, 9mm, 5.56, 45 ACP, 7.62, Big Bore, and multi cal.

Buy a tax stamp

An approved tax stamp is how you get to make your dream suppressor yours. This is a $200 federal tax for the purchase of all items regulated under the National Firearms Act. For each suppressor you purchase, you will need to add a tax stamp to your cart.

Select a file method

In addition to purchasing a suppressor and tax stamp, you'll need to choose how you intend to file as the owner of your suppressor. These options will allow you varying degrees of flexibility. Let’s get into it.

The options for how you choose to file are:

  1. Individual
  2. Single Shot Trust (this is the most popular)
  3. Traditional NFA Gun Trust
  4. Corporation

Filing as an individual permits you and only you to handle the suppressor. But filing as a trust or corporation means responsible parties can be added or removed at any time to use the suppressor without you present. Click here to read about the full advantages of each file type. And again, if you have questions, use our chat feature to contact our customer service pros.

Provide information to fill out your application

Your application to own a suppressor requires some personal information from you, but Silencer Shop makes it easy to compile and submit. Here's a quick rundown on the information you'll need to provide:

  • Fingerprints: This is super simple to do, and you only have to do it once! We have a whole host of kiosks all around the nation so you can find a dealer nearest to you. You can also do this manually with a paper packet that has all of the instructions that you need to easily complete and send back to us using the prepaid shipping label provided. 
  • Demographic information: You may have needed to submit this sort of information for a concealed carry permit, depending on your state. If you visit a Silencer Shop kiosk to submit prints, you can submit this information then, or you can do it through your customer portal on our website.
  • A passport-style photo: The ATF is picky about which photos are acceptable, but our Silencer Shop app makes it easy to snap a compliant selfie.

Once all the above materials and information have been submitted, Silencer Shop will compile them into a complete Form 4. Before we're able to submit, the application will be emailed to you for your electronic finger signature. We'll check everything over one more time, then get it out the door!

Bide your time

Once all your paperwork has been submitted, your part is done. The ATF will need to review the paperwork and approve it before your suppressor can be picked up. You can see average ATF wait times here. Sit back in the meantime. At the end, you have a silencer waiting for you on your dealer’s shelf!

Bring it home & try it out

When you finally get the call from your FFL dealer, it's time to celebrate! Head to your dealer, fill out a Form 4473 (the same form you would have used when purchasing an ordinary firearm). If your dealer has a kiosk, you’ll be able to quickly fill out this form electronically. Next, you’ll take your new suppressor directly to the range. Enjoy yourself, you’ve made it!

In all the excitement, don't lose track of your paperwork — it's important to keep your tax stamp paperwork stored in a safe place, and to bring copies with you when you head out to use it.


As you can see, the process is super simple! If you have any lingering questions, let us know in the comments. Refer back here for each step, and we’ll see you through it. Now you can start the hunt for your perfect suppressor! When you begin to scroll through our best of lists, relax and enjoy the ride. We’ve got you covered.