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How to Buy a Suppressor – Simplified Step-by-Step Process

Would you like to own a suppressor but need help navigating the purchase process? Silencer Central can help with their proven step-by-step process.

How to Buy a Suppressor – Simplified Step-by-Step Process

Banish 30 Suppressor (Photo courtesy of Silencer Central)

When the Hearing Protection Act was introduced in 2017, gun owners hoped silencers would eventually be removed from the purview of the 1934 National Firearms Act. That would have meant purchasing a suppressor required nothing more than filling out form 4473 at your local FFL dealer and undergoing a background check, same process required when buying a firearm. Passage of the Hearing Protection Act would have also eliminated expensive tax stamps, burdensome paperwork and would have reduced wait times to own a suppressor.

Alas, the Hearing Protection Act appears to be dead. That’s a shame, and it shows how out of touch the United States is with the true nature of silencers. In places like Europe and Africa, gun ownership is highly regulated but purchasing a silencer (or suppressor, if you prefer) is a comparatively simple process. And it should be. Silencers greatly reduce the noise generated with each shot and that translates to fewer cases of hearing loss, and silencers also reduce conflicts with neighbors who don’t appreciate listening to gunfire. The general public’s opinion that suppressors are largely used by criminals is a fallacy perpetuated by movies and television. Statistics show that suppressors are very rarely used in crimes.

Before you throw your hands up in consternation over the apparent death of the HPA, allow me to share some good news. The failure of the Hearing Protection Act means that you’ll still have to jump through legal hoops to own a suppressor, but Silencer Central has effectively streamlined the suppressor purchasing process to make it as fast, simple, and affordable as possible.

how-to-buy-a-suppressor-silencer-central
(Photo courtesy of Silencer Central)

Path to Silencer Ownership Made Simple

For 15 years, Silencer Central has been working to simplify the silencer buying process. They have developed a fast, straightforward process that streamlines suppressor purchases while still complying with all NFA mandates. Buying a silencer begins with a quick phone call and a few simple questions.


“The first part of the phone call is usually questions about the silencer,” says Adam McClary, a member of the Silencer Central sales team. Most customers – especially first-time suppressor owners – aren’t certain what type of silencer best suits their needs. McClary and the Silencer Central sales team discuss options with buyers and help them buy the best suppressor for their shooting needs and budget.


“Once that’s over, the purchase process is next,” McClary says. “There are usually a lot of questions about how difficult it is to get a silencer.” The 20 or so pages of ATF documentation that accompanies any suppressor purchase intimidates many potential buyers, but Silencer Central representatives ask 12 to 15 questions and handle all of that paperwork. Afterwards, buyers are sent a copy of the paperwork to be digitally signed.

Fingerprints are required with any suppressor purchase, but Silencer Central once again eases the burden on buyers. Instead of having to go to the local police station, which may or may not offer fingerprinting services during this season of COVID-19, Silencer Central sends customers an at-home fingerprint kit that allows them to complete the fingerprinting process at home. This is a major benefit of buying from Silencer Central. A passport-quality photo is required, but a Silencer Central customer rep will walk you through the process of taking a suitable photo on your cell phone to save time.

Following these steps, the long wait for ATF approval begins. The process usually takes between six months and a year (current wait times as of publication are running between seven and nine months), and while there’s nothing that Silencer Central can do to shorten the ATF wait time, they do offer a zero-interest payment plan that allows buyers to divide the cost of the suppressor and the tax stamp over the course four months. Not having to pay everything up front is a major benefit of buying from Silencer Central.

how-to-buy-a-suppressor-silencer-central
(Photo courtesy of Silencer Central)

Done in Less Than 10 Minutes

When I began the purchase process with McClary, he promised that it would take about 15 minutes. In reality, his questions took less than 10 minutes to answer, and when they were complete, he agreed to send me the paperwork to sign via email the next business day.


Based on my research and my conversation with Adam, I elected to purchase the Silencer Central Banish 30 for use on my hunting rifles. Banish suppressors are made from titanium alloy which makes them light and easy to clean. Titanium has a better tonal quality than aluminum (fewer decibels and no “ping”) and the Banish’s eight interlocking STifle baffles come apart without much hassle. Since the lightweight Banish 30 works on rifles from .17 caliber to .300 Weatherby Magnum and reduces noise by 34 decibels (for a .308), I knew it was the right choice for my hunting rifles.

I also elected to purchase a Banish 22 for rimfire shooting. With that suppressor in place my kids and I can shoot in the back yard without hearing protection or the sharp crack associated with rimfire rifles.

how-to-buy-a-suppressor-hunting
(Photo courtesy of Silencer Central)

McClary took my credit card info and set up a payment plan (25% down and then three equal monthly payments). Spreading out payments over several months without interest eliminates the need to have all the money upfront, and by setting up automatic payments, I never have to worry about forgetting to pay the bill. Even better, Silencer Central’s eZ-Pay program doesn’t require an application or credit check, they offer it to everyone. When my suppressors eventually pass muster with the ATF, they will arrive at my door (with no FFL fees) because Silencer Central is the only suppressor company with an ATF variance allowing your silencer to be shipped directly to your home. The entire process is extremely simple, and it’s little surprise why so many shooters elect to have Silencer Central handle their suppressor paperwork and purchasing.


Setting Up a Trust

When you purchase a suppressor, it’s critical to set up a trust, McClary says. The primary owner will serve as the trustee and they can elect to add co-trustees.

Why is this important? For legal reasons, primarily. If I purchase a silencer without establishing a trust, my wife and children will never legally be allowed to possess that silencer. If I die, they’re left with a firearm accessory that they cannot legally touch. To prevent issues down the road, you need to set up a trust, and Silencer Central does that for free.

“Most companies charge fingerprint fees and FFL fees, but we offer a free NFA gun trust for everyone at no cost,” McClary says. Should you want to add a co-trustee to your trust, Silencer Central generates the required papers and you simply have the paperwork notarized. Once that happens, the new co-trustee is immediately added to the gun trust.

Don’t Let Suppressor Law Scare You

Completing the required ATF process to own a suppressor can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be. With Silencer Central on your side to help navigate you through the step-by-step process, you can be on your way to owning a suppressor in a matter of minutes. Congress may have failed to pass the Hearing Protection Act, but shooters shouldn’t allow that to hinder them from owning a suppressor. With the help of the experts at Silencer Central, buying a suppressor is a simple and painless process. Once you start that process, you’ll be sorry that you didn’t call them sooner.

For more information on Silencer Central’s products and services visit their website at silencercentral.com.

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