January 25th, 2023

Suppressors More Popular — Probably 3,600,000+ in USA Now

BATFE ATF suppressor silencer form 4 application tax stamp 3600000 2023 dean weingarten ammoland

Based on discussions with ATF representatives at SHOT Show 2023, it appears there are now over 3,600,000 registered suppressors (silencers), in the USA. Gun Journalist Dean Weingarten reports: “The total number of silencer tax stamps in existence in the USA as of 2019 was 2,042,719. The total number of silencer tax stamps existent in the USA as of 2020 was 2,664,774. The increase was 622,055 from 2019 to 2020. The number of legal silencers in the United States has not been updated since 2020. It is now 2023. When this correspondent asked representatives at the briefing if the numbers presented represented about a one million increase in legal silencers from 2020 to the end of 2022, they stated the number was reasonably correct.” That would mean the number of legal silencers/suppressors in the United States now exceeds 3.6 million in year 2023.

Procedure for Obtaining a Suppressor
Suppressors are now legal in 42 U.S. States. There are certain legal requirements for obtaining a suppressor, including paying a $200 Tax Stamp. To own a suppressor you must be legally eligible to purchase a firearm, pass a BATFE background check, pay a one time $200 Transfer Tax, and satisfy age requirements. (SEE ALL Requirements). In most (but not all) of those states you can use a suppressor for hunting. The eight (mostly blue) states which still prohibit civilian suppressor ownership are: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. READ FULL ARTICLE on GunsAmerica Digest.

Expect Delays on Form 4 Request for Suppressor Permits
An ATF presentation at SHOT Show showed how many NFA applications were processed in the last three fiscal years up to September 30, 2022. The vast majority of these applications were for suppressors, using ATF Form 4.

BATFE ATF suppressor silencer form 4 application tax stamp 3600000 2023 dean weingarten ammoland

This huge increase in NFA Form 4 applications for suppressors means that suppressor applicants can expect very significant delays in processing. An ATF slide show indicated that the ATF’s Form 4 processing now takes an average of 270 days for the eForm, and a full 315 days for paper forms. That’s over 10 months!

Dean Weingarten observed: “The presentation made a good case the NFA division of the ATF is overwhelmed with NFA applications, leading to significant wait times to process those applications. The NFA division is experiencing considerable stress in processing NFA forms expeditiously, especially Form 4s. The ATF does not receive the $200 tax for NFA applications. The money goes directly to the general fund. Therefore, the NFA cannot hire more people to process more forms.”

Read story by Dean Weingarten on Ammoland.com. Read more by Dean Weingarten on his GunWatch website. ©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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