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Firearm Suppressor Sales Expected To Explode in 2016

Firearms Blog January 21, 2016

Firearm Suppressor Sales Expected To Explode in 2016



In this article we are going to discuss how to buy suppressor silencer in Florida and what new rule changes that were just introduced in the beginning of 2016 that is going to make how to buy suppressor silencer in Florida an easy, seamless process, which will drive up NFA sales making it the single largest growth category in the firearms industry.

Matt Adika, President and Owner of this site Florida Gun Classifieds and the main contributor to this firearms blog, attended Shot Show in Las Vegas this year and had the privilege of speaking to Josh Waldron, CEO of Silencer Co., one of the countries largest distributor and manufacturer of suppressors silencers in the US. He gave us some insight on what we can expect this year and next due to the rule change announced early January 2016 removing the CLEO signature requirement from the Form 4.

Currently in order to obtain any NFA item, specifically a suppressor silencer in Florida, you must either:

  1. Obtain a signature from your Chief Law Enforcement Officer (Chief or Sheriff)
  2. Submit (2) copies of the Form 4 via a Class 03 firearms dealer (must be printed front and back of each page, so page 1 should be on the front of the paper, and if you flip the paper over page 2 should be on the back.
  3. Include two sets of fingerprint cards and two sets of passport photos.
  4. Include a $200 check/money order or now credit card payment to BATF to pay for the tax stamp.
  5. Wait for your $200 tax stamp to arrive in the mail from the ATF (currently about 6 months from time of submission). Once you receive the stamp, you can now go to your class 03 FFL dealer to pick up the suppressor silencer.  ATF form 4473 must be completed and a NICS background check must be performed on the trustee that is picking up the suppressor silencer.


  1. Have a firearms trust with specific language that specifically discusses NFA items, how to handle these items in case of death or incapacitate, and the trust must be ratified to become an active legal document. A trust is treated as a “person” under US law just as a corporation acts as its own entity. In Florida a trust must have:
    1. Grantor – a person who created the trust and also acts as a trustee of the trust
    2. Co-Trustee or Successor Trustee – a person who will carry out fiduciary duties in the event the Grantor becomes incapacitated or dies. Must be 21 years or older and pass a federal background check to make sure they are legally allowed to possess that NFA item.
    3. Beneficiary – designated by the Grantor when creating the trust. The trust instructs the co-trustee or successor trustee on what to do with the assets inside the trust for the benefit of the beneficiary. *A beneficiary can be a minor as long as the trust specifically deals with what to do if the Grantor becomes incapacitated or dies while the beneficiary is still a minor.
    4. Must be ratified under the laws of your particular state. In Florida each Trustee and Co-Trustee must have their signatures witnessed and verified by a notary public, as well as (2) witnesses who also verify the signer is present and signed the document.
    5. Purchase your suppressor and Submit (2) copies of the Form 4, and (2) copies of your trust via a Class 03 firearms dealer (Form 4 must be printed front and back of each page, so page 1 should be on the front of the paper, and if you flip the paper over page 2 should be on the back.)
      1. If you purchase a suppressor silencer and submit the form 4 before July 18th, 2016 you do not have to submit fingerprints or photographs of any of the trustees if the trust is purchasing the suppressor silencer.
      2. After July 18th, 2016 you must also include (2) copies of every trustee’s fingerprint cards and passport photos to be submitted with the form 4.
    6. Wait for your $200 tax stamp to arrive in the mail from the ATF (right now the wait is about 6 months). Once you receive the stamp, do your happy dance and head over to your class 03 FFL dealer to pick up the suppressor silencer.  ATF form 4473 must be completed for the trustee picking up the suppressor silencer and a NICS background check must be approved before leaving with your new toy.
  • *NOTE: ATF is currently revamping their E-FORMS system, which currently only allows Form 1 to be completed online without having to mail any paper to the ATF. They introduced this new system at Shot Show 2016 and say once implemented, will remove much of the waiting time from applications.
    • Form 3, which is for class 03 dealers to transfer items to each other.
    • Form 4, which is the application for an NFA item purchased from a Class 03 dealer. Once submitted, they will be automatically distributed to an ATF examiner for electronic processing and nothing has to be submitted through the mail.

When the rule change is implemented July 18th, 2016, you will now have to submit fingerprints and passport photos with every application, regardless of using a firearms trust. This adds a little bit of work to the process, but it sure beats trying to get your Chief law enforcement officer to sign off on your Form 4, an almost impossible task unless you know him personally.

If this process sounds complicated, having a knowledgeable, licensed FFL and SOT class 03 dealer to walk you through it will make the process smooth and seamless. Florida Gun Classifieds specializes in Class 03 NFA items, give us a call or stop in and let us help you through the process.

Josh Waldron, CEO of Silencer Co., continued to tell Matt Adika president of Florida Gun Classifieds Tuesday at Shot Show that they think suppressors should be removed from the NFA classification. “We support the Hearing Protection Act that was introduced on October 22nd, 2015 which is a piece of legislation that is aimed at removing suppressors / silencers from the NFA and instead having their transfer go through a traditional ATF form 4473 – the exact same way a person would purchase a standard rifle or pistol from a FFL dealer.”

What does this mean for you?

  • No $200 tax stamp.
  • No excessive wait times.
  • No fingerprint cards, passport photos, or Chief Law Enforcement Officer signature.
  • No NFA trusts, unless you want to be able to transfer ownership of the suppressor / silencer in case of death which can also be done by regular means such as a will.

This proposed legislation would make purchasing a suppressor silencer a simple process, just like purchasing most firearms through your dealer.

“Citizens should not be taxed for trying to protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights.” said Adika, president of Florida Gun Classifieds. “We support the Hearing Protection Act because it makes sense. Anyone who owns a suppressor silencer knows its not what Hollywood makes them out to be”. The Hearing Protection Act also includes a provision for all people who purchase a silencer between the time the bill is introduced until the day it passes, so should you purchase a silencer during that time, you will receive a $200 tax credit to cover the cost of any new silencer tax stamps you pay for.

This bill is championed by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ), its primary sponsor. Rep. Salmon hails from Arizona’s 5th District, and as a member of the Freedom Caucus is a great supporter of the Second Amendment and personal liberties. He is also a fellow owner of NFA products.

So how does all this affect industry experts prediction that the suppressor silencer sales will explode in 2016 and 2017?

In 180 days, as a result of the Obama administration’s executive actions on National Firearms Act trusts, consumers will be able to purchase gun suppressors without needing the sign off of the chief law enforcement officer from the county they live in. Instead, FBI background checks as well as fingerprints and photo IDs will be required. This new rule will not only apply to purchases of gun suppressors but also fully automatic weapons, short-barreled rifles or a short-barreled shotguns.

“It’s still a lengthy process, but now we don’t have a problem where some sheriffs wouldn’t sign, because they are not pro second amendment. Some guys didn’t want the responsibility so they refused to sign,” Waldron said. “So that was a big reason why people used trusts. It was because you didn’t need to get that signature, but now with trusts you do have to do fingerprints and photo IDs. So it was kind of a give-and-take from the industry.”

In preparation for the rule change Waldron’s Silencer Co. is pushing out a new campaign to explain to the public why law gun owners would use silencers, a concept that tends to be unknown to most people outside the gun industry.

“The fight the noise campaign is a grassroots effort to change the way people really view silencers or suppressors. It’s an education campaign  just as much as its an advocacy campaign,” said Waldron. “Basically we want to have a paradigm shift, so that when someone sees a suppressor they think of hearing protection and not of what Hollywood wants to portray, because that’s not what it really is.”

“It’s hearing protection. And the biggest thing is, if you think about it, if you’re wearing your hearing protection, whether your ear muffs or ear plugs, you can’t hear your surroundings when you’re hunting so hunters don’t use them when they’re hunting. So it’s really a hearing loss problem that that all hunters [come across],” Waldron noted, adding that his own dog went deaf.

“You train these dogs to go out with you and they’re right next to you and they’re right by your side and you’re constantly shooting and nobody thinks about the dog’s hearing. You spend all that time and effort to train these dogs and then they go deaf. They’re  basically useless for hunting,” he said.

Waldron said the suppressor issue has not received any political pushback and 30 pro-suppressor bills passed different state legislatures in the past four years. He views gun suppressors as a bipartisan safety product as opposed to what an assassin may use to take out a target.

“Silencers are not what people think they are. They’re not as quiet as people think they are, and there just hasn’t been a problem on the books, so there just hasn’t been a reason, because they are [going to be] easier to buy,” Waldron explained.

“You just have to do a background check. We’re not all of a sudden going to have spike or a rash of violent crimes committed with silencers, because we haven’t had that in the past,” he added.


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