American Rifleman | Silencer Central: Suppressor Buying Simplified

Suppressors protect our ears from the dangerous high frequency sound waves that are an unfortunate natural by-product of gun use. They are the most effective flash hiders on the market. They make it far less likely that a shot will startle a hunter’s quarry. They cut off the felt recoil significantly. You can often even make your gun more accurate.

Not to be overpowering, mufflers are great, and the fact that our government is deliberately discouraging their property and use through a tiresome filing process and what is a $ 200 sin tax is an absolute farce.

Silencer Central, a South Dakota-based muffler manufacturer and distributor, has streamlined the process of purchasing mufflers to the point that it is no longer a problem for potential buyers. The company’s range of Banish Suppressors (left) currently comprises five models.

Despite all of these advantages – and the best efforts of their manufacturers, the American Suppressor Association, and publications like this one – silencers are still the segment of the firearms industry most surrounded by puzzles and misinformation. To this day, every single article I have ever written in the field of the oppressor has generated well-meaning but ignorant comments from readers who read, “Why are you doing this? Don’t you know suppressors are illegal? ”

No, in reality they are now legal in 42 states (basically all but the vehemently opposed to freedom that you would expect to be holdovers) and are allowed to be used in all but two of them while hunting.

Under the current system, there are three barriers to oppressor ownership: the $ 200 tax stamp, the long wait (sometimes more than a year) while the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Bureau (ATF) handles the transfer , and the complicated process itself, which falls under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

However, Silencer Central, a South Dakota-based suppressor manufacturer and distributor, is working to remove this latter obstacle by demystifying the process and making testing easier and less labor intensive. Simply select the correct suppressor for your needs, trust Silencer Central to take care of the formalities, and wait for the “can” to be delivered straight to your door.

Silencer Central sales representative

Silencer Central’s sales force works individually with customers (see above) to determine the right suppressor for their needs. Then fill out the paperwork for them and create a free state-specific gun trust for every purchase. The company also has its own machine shop where a customer’s keg (above) can be threaded for just $ 80 for suppressor compatibility.


Brandon Maddox, a pharmacist who really fell in love with the hunt after seeing the difference a muffler makes in the field, started the company as South Dakota Silencer in 2005 after his own bad experience buying mufflers from it had convinced me to find a better way. The process was so daunting that his local gun shop actually tried to dissuade him from selling because his staff refused to bother about the end of the necessary papers.

Maddox immediately began obtaining his own license and pledged to become an expert on the patchwork of state and federal regulations that unfortunately govern suppressor ownership, while keeping abreast of the advancement of ATF interpretations.

He started small, mostly working local gun shows, but the business has grown steadily over the years until his scope of activity has now expanded to the national level, which resulted in a name change to Silencer Central in August.The company with 75 employees is now nationwide approved for sale of suppressors in all 42 states permitted by law to use them.

In addition to the proprietary Banish line of silencers, the website also offers products from other manufacturers. And while many rifle models these days come threaded from the factory for compatibility with a suppressor, Silencer Central’s in-house machine shop can thread your muzzle for you and then ship the barrel straight back to your house, a very reasonable price of $ 80 ($ 100 US dollars if you also want quality thread guards).

This is how buying suppressors usually works: you do your research and determine what you need, then visit a local Class 3 dealer (not all FFLs can sell or transfer NFA items) to discuss what makes and models they ship can meet these requirements. Once you have decided on a particular muffler, you will start with the required documentation and will likely have to prepay in full the can, tax stamp, merchant transfer fee and sales tax for the purchase.

Before you can take your muffler into custody, the transfer must be approved by the federal government and the serial number of the muffler must be registered. This waiting period varies from a few months to almost 2 years, depending on ATF’s current workload. Until this approval is available, “your” suppressor will be with the dealer.

You can transfer the title of suppressor to yourself as an individual, form a trust and transfer the suppressor to that trust, or transfer it to a legal entity such as a company. Each path has its advantages, and the process varies a little depending on your choice. Although some of the benefits offered by a trust have been challenged by the enactment of ATF Final Rule 41F in July 2016, most gun law experts I spoke to still advocate its use.

This is because trusts allow joint ownership of the suppressor in question, avoid the tax requirements of a corporate transfer, and tend to speed up the approval process. Registering the can for yourself as an individual means that in the unfortunate event of your death, survivors will have to jump through a few extra hoops to transfer it out on your behalf – not so with a trust that can have multiple trustees.

Note, however, that if you do go down this route, although there are legal services out there that will be happy to prepare the trust documentation for your use, expect an additional $ 100 or more for convenience.

Regardless of your choice, the forms are a confusing pain and you will provide ATF passport photos and fingerprint cards. Your local law enforcement officer must also be informed of your upcoming purchase.

If you haven’t really planned ahead, it likely means leaving the merchant, completing these tasks and the required forms, and returning at a later date for the final delivery of your package – and the clock won’t start ticking until all of this is completed and is in the hands of ATF. Months later, once your Form 4 has been approved, your dealer will notify you, and after one final trip to the FFL, you can finally take your suppressor home with you.

For comparison, here’s the difference Silencer Central makes: first, you call the company and discuss the suppressor options with a sales representative until you decide on the right model. This employee takes your information and enters it into the system. You can also buy directly online.

The company software creates personalized ATF records for you, and state-specific gun trust is free with every suppressor purchased through Silencer Central. The documents will then be sent to you either digitally via DocuSign or in paper form for signature. Ink and a set of fingerprint cards will be sent to your home, as will instructions on how to take a passport photo with your cell phone. So both steps can be carried out from home.

Then, send the fingerprints and papers back to Silencer Central in a pre-addressed envelope and email your photo to the sales representative. Once received, your fingerprints and photos will be scanned into the system and saved for use in future purchases. So you never have to repeat these steps. You will be notified by email (and SMS) that your package has been received. Before filing, your completed paperwork will be reviewed by Silencer Central’s compliance team and emailed to you along with your NFA gun trust.

Silencer Central will then submit your application and notify state law enforcement of the transfer for you. In addition to providing monthly updates on your status, ATF’s email address and phone number are also provided so that you can check the progress of your application for yourself. If the approval is taking longer than currently usual, the system will flag it and a representative will contact ATF for an explanation.

Once approval is received, you will be notified and final documentation will be sent for signature. Upon receipt, your suppressor will be delivered straight to your doorstep. The process is so well oiled that once the company has your fingerprints and picture on file, staff can often submit a package on the same day the customer places the order. An email address and / or a camera-enabled mobile phone will speed up the process, but are not required to complete a Silencer Central order.

Ultimately, your waiting time isn’t much shorter and you still don’t have to pay for a tax stamp. However, when you use Silencer Central to purchase a suppressor, your footwork is reduced to practically nothing – as is your stress level. and you get a free boot of trust.

Another sweetener sweetener to the process from Silencer Central is the interest-free installment payment plan, which allows customers to split the cost into four equal payments. This means you won’t have to spend the entire cost of the suppressor empty-handed for a year. The government’s wheels are turning slowly.

Silencer Central has done a tremendous service to suppressor owners around the world. By managing the records, streamlining requirements for fingerprint, photo and law enforcement notifications, and providing a free gun trust for every single customer, the company has simplified ATF’s complicated NFA process so that it is no longer a problem for qualified employees , prospective buyers. And if you are in any way unhappy with your purchase, the company will buy it back from you.

If this results in more gun owners having the opportunity to personally experience the many benefits of these wonderful tubes, and if their use brings more mainstream acceptance and understanding, then the whole gun community wins. And I certainly can’t be the only one who has literally dreamed of having a muffler delivered right to my front door.

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