Under federal law, it has never been illegal to own a silencer. If it is legal for you to buy a handgun, and you live in a state that allows ownership, then it is probably legal for you to own a silencer. The basic requirements are as follows:
You must be at least 21 years old
You must live in a state that allows ownership
You must not have any felony convictions
2. Which states allow silencer ownership?
The following states allow private ownership of silencers: AL, AR, AK, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT*, WA, WI, WV and WY.
*The use of suppressors for hunting goes into effect July 1st, 2020.
Of the remaining states; CA may allow silencer ownership for people in possession of a valid FFL.
3. Do I need a special license to own a silencer?
No! There are some rumors that you need to have a “Class 3” license to own a silencer; but, this simply isn’t true. You do have to pay for a “tax stamp” when you first buy the suppressor – but there are no ongoing fees or licenses required. This tax is similar to paying sales tax on a purchase, except that it goes to the federal instead of the state government.
4. Do I give up any rights when I buy a silencer? (Will the ATF start showing up to search my house?)
This often comes up because of the mistaken belief that a “Class 3″ license is required to purchase a suppressor. A “Class 3″ license is a dealer license – and the ATF absolutely can show up to search a dealer’s premises; but, silencer buyers don’t give up any rights at all.
5. Can I use one silencer for multiple firearms?
Yes. As long as the firearms are threaded in a way that will accept the silencer, you shouldn’t have any problems.
6. Can I use one silencer for multiple calibers?
You can use a larger caliber suppressor to suppress a smaller caliber firearm as long as you have the appropriate adapters. Using a larger caliber silencer is not as efficient as a silencer made for the specific caliber, but it will still be a significant sound reduction in most cases.
7. What is the difference between a suppressor and a silencer?
There is no difference; these are just different words for the same thing.
The word “silencer” is the legal term; but, either “sound suppressor”, or just “suppressor”, is more technically accurate since they don’t actually silence the firearm. You can use either term with us and we’ll promise not to care.