With recent current events, now would be a great time to purchase a silencer. We can walk you through the process so that it is simple and easy. Whether you’re buying for a trust or as an individual, we have the experience and knowledge to eliminate mistakes and avoid delays. Here is some information on silencers and reasons for owning them.
Silencers: A Brief History
Hiram P. Maxim invented the silencer in the early 1900’s. His iconic product sold in hardware stores for $3.23, with no tax stamp. While Maxim himself called the product a silencer, it did not silence the firearm, only suppressed the sound to safer levels.
During the Great Depression, it was feared silencers would be used for poaching. In addition, the impetus for the National Firearms Act of 1934 was the gangland crime of the Prohibition era, such as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, and the attempted assassination of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933. Like the current National Firearms Act (NFA), the 1934 Act required NFA firearms to be registered and taxed resulting in the $200 tax (equivalent to $3,750 by today’s standards), which was quite prohibitive at the time. With a few exceptions, the tax amount has remained unchanged.
Which Is It – Silencer or Suppressor?
The U.S. Patent Number US916885 A is entitled “silent firearm.” That was published in 1909. In the 100 plus years since the publication of that patent, science demonstrated that it is impossible to, “silence,” a gun and that, “suppression,” is the most accurate descriptor for this class of items. H.P. Maxim trademarked the name Maxim Silencer. There is a debate about using, “silencer” because the first products developed were called, “silencers.” This makes the word a reference to historical meaning. Whether we say, “silencer,” or, “suppressor,” we are ultimately referring to the same items that perform the same tasks: recoil reduction, increase in accuracy, decrease in pressure and sound.
In the English language, car mufflers are called, “silencers.” Also, without baffles, a suppressor is a can, so the slang descriptor, “can,” is also used to describe a suppressor. The first documented use of the word, “suppressor,” was in US Patent Number 4530417 in 1985.
When the NFA was made law, they used the word, “silencer,” as a descriptor, which the ATF uses to this day.
Silencer, Muffler, Suppressor, Can… take your pick! The most scientifically accurate descriptor is, “suppressor”, while the legal name is “silencer.”
Why Should I Buy/Use a Silencer?
1. The obvious answer is that reducing the noise from your firearm makes for a much more enjoyable shooting experience.
2. When it comes to teaching a new shooter, particularly a child to shoot, silencers can be among the best tools to make the experience more enjoyable.
3. Reduced noise, reduced recoil and muzzle flip all contribute to increase the comfort and reduce the intimidation factor for new and experienced gun enthusiasts alike.
4. In hunting applications, not only is it considerate to other hunters as well as any neighbors that are in the area, the reduced noise can provide less reason for game to be so skittish.
If I purchase a silencer, will the ATF be allowed to inspect my NFA item(s) at their leisure without a warrant?
NO. The ATF cannot inspect or search your personal property without a warrant, which they must get based on probable cause. Owning a silencer or any other NFA item does not grant the ATF nor any other federal, state or local agency the authority to inspect your personal belongings without a warrant.
If I have a silencer or other NFA item(s) in my possession when I pass away, will those items have to be handed over to the ATF?
NO. If you purchase a silencer or other NFA item as an individual, your items may be transferred to a lawful heir upon your death without any further tax implications. The lawful heir will still have to go through the same process as you did when purchasing (background check, fingerprinting, pictures, etc.), but the items will not have to be “given back” upon your death. To transfer these items to a lawful heir, a Form 5 must be completed promptly by the executor of your estate and submitted to the NFA branch of the ATF.
If a silencer or NFA item is purchased through a Trust, nothing needs to be done except for submitting a change of address form for the new location in which the silencer/NFA item will be housed. Trustees have equal rights under the Trust to own and use the NFA items, but the ATF must be informed of the moving of the item from one location to another.
For more information, please contact us at [email protected] or call the shop at 317.530.9013. Feel free to stop by during normal business hours and discuss in person, as well, at 400 Tracy Road, Suite 2, New Whiteland, IN 46184.