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How to Buy a Silencer

When it comes to buying a silencer, it may seem like a daunting task, and with hours of online research and you may find yourself even more confused than when you first started. We assure you though, it’s not as difficult as some say it is. Yes, purchasing a silencer is a process by the ATF under the National Firearms Act (NFA) but with the incorporation of the new ATF e-form 4 system setup at the beginning of 2022, as well as the innovation and introduction of in-store kiosks, purchasing a silencer has become very intuitive.

To purchase a silencer, just follow these steps:

Decide your needs

When it comes to silencers, there is a multitude of things you need to consider. Simply said, you should find what works to fit your needs based on:

  • USE
  • Once you’ve found what fits your needs, head over to your local stocking dealer or e-store and get the ball rolling.

    Decide on how to buy (Dealer or E-store)

    There are TWO primary ways you can purchase a silencer. One is through your local stocking dealer, and the other is through an online retailer. Both have pros and cons.

    Online retailer
    There are many retailers that sell silencers online and make it very easy to pick your silencer and go through the paperwork process. One of the fallbacks to an online retailer is that you won’t be able to get as much of a personalized buying experience as you would with a stocking dealer. This may be especially important for first-time purchases. In addition, the online retailer will have to transfer your silencer to your local dealer.

    Stocking dealer FFL/SOT
    Local stocking dealers are a great place and a good resource of knowledge where you can find a suppressor that fits your needs, and you get a personalized step-by-step how-to on purchasing a silencer. Many stocking dealers also have in-store kiosks that will help you through the paperwork process with ease. One of the upsides to using a stocking dealer is that they can special order a silencer for you.

    Purchase your silencer

    Once you make the decision on what you would like to buy, purchase your silencer from your preferred online retailer or stocking dealer.

    Decide on how you would like file for your Tax Stamp

    There are a few different ways you can file for your silencer, which mainly entails who can possess the silencer once you are approved to take it home. Those options are:

  • Individual- Only you can possess it
  • Trust- (Traditional or Single Shot) Anyone whose name is on the trust can possess it
  • Apply for your Tax Stamp

    Unfortunately, there is no way around this. During your purchasing process, you will need to apply for an ATF FORM 4 to obtain a tax stamp. The cost of this stamp is $200. Once your application is approved your stamp is delivered to your dealer where you can then take possession of the silencer. The ATF Form 4 and tax stamp purchases can easily be processed and purchased through or via an in-store kiosk.

    Collect your photos and fingerprints

    Once you have applied for your tax stamp and figured out how you’d like to file for your silencer, you must get 2 passport photos, and a copy of your fingerprints to be added to your application. You can get these multiple ways, with the easiest being at an in-store kiosk that can process both on-site at the stocking dealer.

    E-sign your documents

    Now that you have your tax stamp applied for, and your eform 4 documents and application are ready to file, all you have to do is make sure everything is signed and prepared properly. Once you’ve completed this, all you’ll need to do is submit it to the ATF for review. Most stocking dealers as well as online retailers will have someone or a team of individuals that will help you make sure that everything is filled out properly prior to submitting the paperwork to the ATF.


    The hardest part of purchasing a silencer is the wait time. Over the past few years, there have been multiple stories of individuals that purchase a silencer and had to wait over 14 months to get their approved FORM 4 applications back and receive their tax stamps.

    However, in recent months, the ATF has now made it possible for people to file their applications digitally making the wait times drop significantly. Consumers are now starting to see average wait times around 90 days versus the 9 to 12 months they experienced prior.

    As you wait for your application to be processed, you can still be active in learning everything you can about your silencer, how to mount and maintain it properly, as well as discover other accessories for your silencer that are available to purchase to enhance your silencer experience.

    Sidenote: One of the perks of purchasing a silencer at a stocking dealer FFL/SOT is that, if they have a range on-site, you may be able to shoot your suppressor before the application comes back as long as it stays on-site and in the possession of the dealer until the approved application comes back and the tax stamp is received. Check with your local dealer before making your purchase.

    Enjoy your silencer

    Congratulations! The wait is over and you now have your approved tax stamp and you are able to take your silencer home. The final step is to fill out the ATF form 4473 at the dealer. It is the same form you fill out every time you purchase a firearm from a licensed FFL dealer. This allows the dealer to transfer possession of the silencer from their bound book to you.

    It is important to maintain and hold on to your ORIGINAL tax stamp and keep it in a safe place. This is the only document that recognizes that you have authorized permission from the ATF to own your silencer. It is recommended that silencer owners make copies and digitally scan their stamps to have “back-up” and take them with them while traveling with their silencers.

    For any additional information or to find your local stocking dealer contact us at

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