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Silencers Are Legal? Better Believe It

by Robert W. Hunnicutt   |  April 30th, 2012 34

Most SGN readers know that silencers (as Hiram P. Maxim called them) or suppressors are legal in 40 of the 50 states, provided you get a $200 federal tax stamp. That bit of information is less well known by the general public; remedying that was the purpose of the Silencers are Legal Shoot at the Elm Fork Gun Club in Dallas April 28.

The shoot drew more than 2,000 spectators and participants, who examined and fired everything from .22 pistols to .50 cal. rifles, all suppressed. Even with dozens of people firing, there was no need for ear protection. You could hear birds chirping in the exhibitor area.

For more information on the shoot, see

  • Doug

    My state makes it hard to get a suppressor, 1 1/2 miles to the border and five past that a friend builds them for a living. Should be as easy to get a groceries in my opinion.

    • c….j….

      would you mind sharing how to contact him for one. thank you CJ

      • Doug

        c….j….. it Flandreau, S.D. 410 east 2nd ave 57028 Clary's Custom Comps -good luck!

  • C Rogers

    Wish the price for the device would drop some as I would like to have one for .22, 9mm 45 ACP and 223 but that represents around $5000 in hardware and close to another grand for the Govt. and applications. Guess I'll settle for 223 and 45… still a hit. I am in GA now but have shot at Elm Fork often while living in the big D, miss it greatly!

    • Waiting on Mine

      Silencerco has one that is multi cal that would take car of all but 22lr. Just need correct cam that are about $75 each. Per caliber. I'm waiting on my tax stamp now. I saw them, at the NRA convention.

    • Carl W.

      You can shoot .22lr in the .223 suppressor. I do it all the time. This is assuming that we are talking about rifles. It would be heavy on a pistol. That would remove one off the list if you can get away with it.

  • Heretic

    Not in Iowa they're not. No title II. No full auto. No silencers. No fun.

    • woodchuckwacker666

      And I thought that CA was the communist state!

      • Al Brady

        The whole left coast is commie to the core, but the Peoples Republic of Iowa is a little taste of the Unamerican heartland.

  • bobby

    they should be cash and carry there's no need to regulate them as anything more than a basic accessory. no different than buying a flashlight or bi-pod

    • Chis

      Amen bobby

    • Carl W.


      You're correct. Even England allows suppressors as accessories. They have some of the most strict gun laws in the world. I am a FFL/SOT and it takes me a month to get one transferred on a Form 3. Then time to the customer is 4-6 months to finally get it. I think that they slow down the process to keep people from wanting to go through the hassle.

  • Matt

    I agree with Bobby. They should be considered nothing but an accessory and nothing else. They should not have to be registered, restricted, or banned (illegal) by any state. Do you think the mafia or crime lords etc. are going to not use them in states they are banned (illegal) in?

    I say remove the laws making them and all other firearms and accessories illegal in the states they are. (*Cough, Illinois, Cough*)

  • Dewey E. Du Bose

    In most cases, only the bad guys can afford them. Think about this, the even amount of $200.00 was pulled out of somebodys azz as a deterent to keep the common man fron being able to buy one. This was done before there was an ATF. Back then it was the Treasurery Department that implimented these stupid rules and regulations, not Congress or ever the sitting president. We are talking about life in the roaring twenties.

    IMHO, Congress should show some leadership and revoke some of those arcain rules and regulation that prevent honest folk from being able to buy a supressor. We all already know that the bad guys don't go through proper channels to BUY Automatics and supressors.

    • 2WarAbnVet

      Bad guys by definition don't follow government rules.

    • Dave


  • Andy Seredy

    Hmm, they're semi-legal in CT. You just need a preban lower, and then you can run what ever you want (ie +14" barrel, foregrip, flash hider, or bayo.) I think less than 14" barrel in CT is considered an illegal mod, or its to be treated like a pistol or something, and cant have a stock. In any event, its a stupid law. You'd still need an SBR stamp on it though.

    • gunstuff

      Hello Andy,
      I think that some of your information may be a little off:
      1) Sound suppressors are completely legal in CT.
      2) We have an AW Ban, but it is still completely legal to implement a sound suppressor with a post-ban receiver gun. If it is a detachable suppressor you'll just need to use some type of proprietary attachment other than having exposed muzzle threads. If it is an integral suppressor there's no issue at all.
      3) Any rifle with a barrel length of less than 16" is considered a Short Barrel Rifle and must be SBR'd with the ATF, suppressor or not.
      4) One of the definitions of a handgun is something with a barrel length of up to 12"???
      5) Yes, CT is plagued with very stupid laws, probably because CT is plagued with very stupid voters that put these idiots into public office and keep them there.

  • Marty

    Does anyone have a list of the states that are legal for Silencers ????

    • Roman

      Hi and hello,
      Would like to get a suppressor / silencer . What or how do I go about getting paper work etc etc for New York ?????

      • mopar514

        cant own one in ny

  • Gun Trust Lawyer

    You can check to see if silencers are legal in your state


    Here in Oregon, if you pay the $ 200 tax stamp. you can own anything. All my life, I've been told, " it all comes down to MONEY." So, pay off the government, and do what ever you want., I myself, i reload ammo, I've been doing it for over 30 years. just load your rounds down to 400 F.P.S., or lighter, depending on your gun, AK"s are the best. and you DO NOT NEED A SILENCER. BE SAFE, AND HAVE FUN.

  • Jeepers Creepers

    If you stay out of the biggest cities. I can think of 5 states that do not enforce the gun laws. I have seen people hunting P. Dogs with short barreled full auto silenced weapons. In front of law enforcement officers.
    It is nice living in Rural America. Also if you do it safely 90mph in a 55mph zone (again in front of police).
    I could never live on less than 5 acres of good American dirt. Or any firearm of my choosing.

  • Jim Stutzman

    Legal in Washington State with tax stamp also.

  • OldManMontgomery

    Nebraska is rather understanding. There's a local gun shop – yes, local gun shop – has them in stock.

    However, even if legal in state of residence, they cannot be easily taken to another state, even temporarily.

    And yes. The Federal requirement should be repealed.

  • goosepiss

    of course threading the end of a barrel on like a model 70 rifle just flushed its value

    so the real question is:

    subsonic is 730fps give or take, and loading that slow really is difficult to punch paper at out past 50 yards
    so what is the sense of silencing any rifle?

    Unless I am mistaken and silencers are being produced to silence bullets being driven at 3000fps

  • Old Salt

    The "stamps" or any of the 'infringements' are and, all 2nd amendment people know this, a sneaky, socialist, back door way of confiscating your weapons because you didn't jump through a particular hoop that they have devised. This article, however, is exciting because I was always told that having a silencer or even the obvious materials to make one, would result in your castration, legally made a felon, along with the confiscation of all your firearms. Now I'm going to see if I can get a stamp in my State and then as a machinist, I'll make my own.

  • Dale Gibson

    I have one on a 257 Roberts and thought about trying it on my. 223 AR. What do you guys think on that? Too small or acceptable? I had no problem getting mine. A trip to the Sheriff office got the ball rolling.

    • Orville Thomas

      If the suppressor thread matches your AR you shouldn't have a problem. I sometimes use a sturdy 9mm can on my M16. It's not quite as quiet but still don't need ear protection. As long as the can was made for a larger caliber you can use it on smaller one.

      Just be sure the can is designed to handle the pressure & diameter of of the cartridge your shooting. In your case, 257 Roberts trumps .223. Just use common sense, don't use a light duty aluminum pistol can on a high powered rifle or on full auto.

  • TomCat

    In reference to the comment, "they cannot be easily taken to another state, even temporarily".

    It is no more difficult than packing it up and go.

    Contrary to what many believe, ATF does not require a form 5320 to transport suppressors or AOW's interstate.

    If permanently moving, it is recommended filing form 5320 to reflect a permanent change of address.

  • Orville Thomas

    In reference to the comment, "they cannot be easily taken to another state, even temporarily".

    It is no more difficult than packing it up and go.

    Contrary to what many believe, ATF does not require a form 5320 to transport suppressors or AOW's interstate.

    If permanently moving, it is recommended filing form 5320 to reflect a permanent change of address.

  • Daryl

    Uncle John, how in the world is it possible to load an AK round to 400 FPS. Please give me your secrete load formula. I have to see it to believe it. Ain't no way in hell.

  • Johnobody

    In a more recent article, there was a segment about Trusts. The importance of choosing members of the trust carefully was stressed. Is it possible to add or remove someone from an existing trust? (Son reaches 21 and is responsible. Wife reaches 45 and becomes ex-wife)

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