Silencer Shop Direct: Are We in the Golden Age Of Suppressors?

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When I founded TFB back in 2007 the gun market was very different. AR-15s were very popular, but they had not permeated all the way through gun culture (best exemplified by Outdoor Channel personality Jim Zumbo’s Terrorist Rifle blog post/rant). Meanwhile suppressors were viewed with even more skepticism and hostility than black rifles by the general gun community.

Most shooters were ignorant of the benefits of suppressors. They were convinced by decades of exposure to Hollywood that suppressors were only useful to gangsters and assassins. They thought that the overt adoption of suppressors by the gun community at large would only lead to more gun bans.

The reality is that silencers are very beneficial to the community. They prevent hearing loss, reduce recoil without the punishing shockwave of a muzzle brake to all those around you (even been at an indoor range standing next to someone shooting a .338 Lapua bolt action? I have. Never again.) and they reduce the impact of hunting and shooting to nearby residents, campers and wildlife. Also, they are fun!

Well, I am preaching to the choir, my point is that gun culture has come a long way since the dark days of the early 2000s. We are in a Golden Age of suppressors, an age not seen since the early 1930s when suppressors could be purchased at any local hardware store.

Today we have online retail stores dedicated to suppressors. Silencer Shop is one of these. They have just launched their Silencer Shop Direct program which takes care of all the work needed to get a suppressor to their customers. All their customs have to do is register a corporation (easy) or a trust (harder, requires a lawyer). From their website …

This new program is referred to as Silencer Shop Direct, and it makes the buying and registration process easier, faster, less expensive, and more consistent for everybody – regardless of what state you live in!

How does Silencer Shop Direct work?

It’s actually very easy using either a trust or corporation:

Purchase the suppressor directly from our website or over the phone. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have when picking out a suppressor, and we’re happy to help!
Pay the $200 NFA tax. Most people just add this into the initial order; but, it can be purchased a bit later if you prefer – and a credit or debit card works just fine. (Remember that we can’t start your Form 4 transfer until the tax stamp has been purchased.)
We’ll email you instructions on how to provide us a copy of your trust (typically email or fax works best). If you’re registering using a corporation, we only need the legal name.
That’s it! We’ll take care of getting everything reviewed and submitted electronically right away.

Once your Form 4 transfer has been approved by the NFA Branch, we’ll let you know right away – and you can simply pick up your suppressor from a local FFL/SOT1 that we have contracted with.

With this program, we will take care of 100% of the NFA process for you. There is no need to pay any additional transfer fees – and you don’t have to worry about locating a local FFL/SOT1 to handle the transfer.

It is not as easy as walking to the local hardware store and paying $7 (or $82 in today’s money), but nor is it prohibitively difficult.

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Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


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  • MrSatyre

    And then they sit on your money for the next 9 to 12 months, earning interest while you wait for the paperwork to go through the BATF before mailing you your silencer. Sweet! :-D

    • sianmink

      Hah. banks don’t pay interest anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t Obama ban the trust thing?
    -someone not in the know

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      No it’s still good

  • tenaciousjeebs

    Where on earth do they allow .338 Lap in an indoor range? That’s incredible.

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      I’ve never seen it! The biggest I’ve seen or used was an FN in .308 firing full auto.

    • gunslinger

      place i went to let up to .50s.. so…

    • noob

      In Australia there is an indoor test facility that checks samples of new lots of ammunition for quality and to see if they get projectile breakup. If they fail, the lot goes back for rework. There are some pretty big small arms calibers going downrange there.

  • Capybara

    My local indoor range allows anything up to .50 BMG. But when guys bring in the big iron, they do it at night, separate sessions so as to not terrify and irritate the other shooters. I have been there when people the next lane over were shooting their Mosin 91/30. It was irritating as I was trying to teach some new shooters who were kids about gun safety and then the clown the next lane over is shooting the Mosin. Why would people want to shoot a Mosin at a range that maxes out at 18 yards?

    • iksnilol

      I agree.

      Comrade can shoot blanks at maximum of 100 meters to knock down target with concussion. Real bullets are reserved for ranges past 100 meters.

      At 15 meters, Comrade use bayonet.

    • gunslinger

      how dare someone use a gun range to, you know, fire a gun!

  • hami

    I am familiar with setting up a trust for class 3 purchases but can someone point me to a resource about registering as a corporation? I am not familiar with this method.

  • echelon

    “but nor is it prohibitively difficult.”

    See. This is why we can’t have nice things. My right to bear arms including a suppressor should not require any of this “not prohibitively difficult” crap to jump through!

    We should be protesting this with all of our collective might, but instead we’re just cool with it because, well, it’s not prohibitively difficult to cough up an extra $200 on top of the $600-1000 that I’m spending on the can itself, plus creating a fictional person (corp) or paying a lawyer to open an arbitrary trust, then waiting 6 months for the ATF to get around to signing off on the thing and having to go to a specialty dealer to get the thing.

    Oh and if I don’t want to go the trust/corp route then all I have to do is get my fingerprints and mugshots taken like a criminal and submit them to my local law enforcement chief and beg and plead that he allow me to own such item as a slave and subject in his jurisdiction. And he can refuse or sit on the paperwork too!

    Nope not prohibitive at all. Truly a Golden Age!! Spot On! Yay for 2A, molon labe and all that jazz…no infringin’ goin’ on here, nope.

    • Steve (TFB Editor)

      Of course I agree with you. The wait times are crazy, and they should not be restricted in anyway (I also think machine guns should be unrestricted, but we should leave that to another debate), but that does not mean we are not in a Golden Era. I would say there are far more people using suppressors today in all manner or shooting, than there were in 1920 when they were readily available. Also the civilian uptake has mean’t for more choice and advances in technology. This is all in SPITE OF the legal hurdles. No, we are not in a Utopia, yes things could and should be a lot better.

      • echelon

        I do agree with you that the use of suppressors is very high right now. I think the internet and YouTube videos etc, have really shown people what suppressors are really like – not like the glorified Hollywood silencers that can make a cannon sound like a “click”.

        I’m truly glad that this type of education is spreading and I sincerely hope that it will lead to the overturning of stupid NFA laws and the GCA, etc. Actually I’d like to see the ATF completely done away with…but like the machine gun thing, I guess that’s another debate!

        The point of my sarcastic post was not to bash you – if you felt that I apologize – it was to hopefully get people thinking about all of the ludicrous rules and hurdles in place just to get one of these.

        I guess to me, rather than highlight that the sheep are following these asinine rules in record numbers, either grudgingly or gleefully, we should be focusing on things to proactively get rid of them.

        Just think: everyone is praising the gun owners in Connecticut right now for not registering their lawfully owned firearms that were deemed “legal” one day and “illegal” the next on a whim. We are saying these people are heroic. But to the state they are now class D felons. In like fashion what if people either made or sold suppressors to people without going through all of this rigamarole? Would it be “illegal” to the state? Yep. But if nobody was following the “law” then obviously it would have to be abrogated. There’s no way the state could litigate against everyone. See the cognitive dissonance here? Either we stand up for our rights and fight this in every way shape or form or we get in line and do what our politicians and “lawmakers” tell us. It can’t be both ways…

        But again, I forget that this site isn’t about politics just guns…I apologize for my category mistake!

      • allannon

        I would argue that we are not, in fact, in a Golden Era. More like Silver Era: nice, but not quite as nice as it should be. ;)

        It does seem to be getting better. I wouldn’t’ve thought that even a few years back.

  • WFDT

    I had heard that trust purchases were going away but that when this goes into effect ATF would no longer require local LE sign-off to streamline the process. Any truth to this?

    • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/ Phil W “Senior Writer TFB”

      For a trust there are no signoffs, no fingerprints or photos.

      • Cymond

        Supposedly, ATF really dislikes the trust method. At one point, there was discussion that the ATF was going to change the paperwork for a transfer to a trust, to require the full information (name, address, etc) of every trustee. There was also discussion of ATF discontinuing the Chief-LEO signature requirement. The end goal would be to make trusts more hassle (with more paperwork) while eliminating the major reason people establish them.

        As far as I know, it never happened.

  • BryanS

    The golden age will be when we dont need to ask “Uncle May I?” to a federal tax agency or face 10 years in prison for safety equipment or an arbitrary barrel length.

  • Res

    It never fails to to amaze me the hoops Americans have to jump thru to get such a important price of safety gear. I’m glad that people do as with numbers comes the power to hopfully change the rules

  • Doug

    You don’t need a lawyer for a trust.

    • Cymond

      True, but if an amateur makes a trust, it may not actually meet the requirements to be a legitimate trust. ATF does NOT review trusts to ensure they qualify under applicable state laws, they only review the transfer. An illegitimate trust basically doesn’t exist, so it would be very bad to transfer an NFA item into a legally nonexistent trust.

      So no, you don’t need a lawyer to create a trust for NFA items. You need one to do it safely.

  • Stonia

    It’s certainly not the Golden age here in Iowa. We came close, but couldn’t quite get it.

  • SafeArmsReview

    Thanks for the article and I would like to see more info on the gun trusts.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Philip

    I’m just curious about whether it is desirable to shop through one company. Doesn’t that hurt the average mom and pop store? It’s like buying everything from Wal-mart or Amazon. It’s great until all the other stores close down…

  • Skeptikal_Realist

    “Are We in the Golden Age Of Suppressors?”

    Not until they are available without extra federal paperwork, unconstitutional taxes, and felony consequences if a cop doesn’t like the fact that you have one.

  • Bob Forsberg

    Unfortunately, all laws in our country are/were fashioned to deter the dumbest of deranged individuals from causing our government to be liable for whatever negative actions they might commit, unless you’re also a desperate, ineffective politician up for election and need votes.

    Misdirected uproar for more gun control immediately following basement dwelling game addicts believing the next level of “Grand Theft Auto” is real life, is our greatest problem.

    Suppressors as standard issue on my M-16 in Vietnam would have been very welcome at night, and allowed me to return home with more than 50% hearing.