If you’ve never purchased a sound suppressor (aka, silencer), or other NFA item, you may be intimidated by the process.
The purpose of this page is to clarify exactly how the NFA process works.
Have you been researching how to buy a silencer, short barrel rifle (SBR), short barrel shotgun (SBS), or machine gun online? Are you feeling a bit confused?
There is so much conflicting and outdated information that it seems overwhelming to even think about diving in to begin the process.
Fortunately, buying an NFA item (such as a silencer) is a simple process that generally requires less paperwork than buying a new refrigerator! (Plus, suppressors are way “cooler” than fridges. Ha!)
In an ironic twist, ATF 41F opened the door for Silencer Shop to apply revolutionary technology to the suppressor ownership process in a way that was not possible prior to the rule changes. With their Secure Identity Documentation (S.I.D.) Kiosk and our Silencer Shop Mobile App, they’ve streamlined the arduous process to a more efficient and convenient practice. If you so choose, the entire process can be handled digitally and you won’t have to fill out any paper forms!
Moreover, many people are still under the mistaken impression that they need a Class 3 license in order to own a suppressor. Thankfully, this is NOT true. If you live in a state where suppressor ownership is legal (and you may legally purchase a firearm), then you can buy a suppressor!
Assuming you have already established that silencers are legal in your state and decided how you want to register, the following steps will guide you through the simple process to get your new silencer, short barrel rifle (SBR), or short barrel shotgun (SBS).
Selecting the correct silencer is a huge decision. We offer six major categories of suppressors, with a wide array of units in each.
- RIMFIRE: For many people, the logical choice for a “first silencer” is to pick up a .22 can. They’re as close to “Hollywood” quiet as possible and very enjoyable. The .22 silencer is also a very economical way to take the plunge into the world of NFA items, with most models selling for well under $400.
- PISTOL: This category is a great way to start shooting with silencers. These units provide reduced sound levels (often more than a good set of earmuffs), reduced coil, virtually eliminate blast, make faster follow-up shots possible, can increase accuracy, and are a good way to introduce new shooters to handguns.
- 5.56MM RIFLE: For rifle silencers, there are several effective options on the market. This category can be easily navigated if you ask yourself, “What are the most important characteristics that I’m looking for in a rifle silencer, such as: length, weight, sound suppression, attachment method, and caliber?”
- 7.62MM RIFLE: The same aspects of the 5.56mm rifle category apply to the 7.62mm rifle category.
- LARGE BORE: For higher caliber firearms (e.g., .338, .458, .50), the large bore class of suppressors brings several impressive, effective options to shooters.
- SHOTGUN & SPECIALTY: Somewhat of a niche category, this grouping offers suppressors for integral units, dedicated submachine gun cans, and silencers specially designed for a specific host firearm.
2. COMPLETE PURCHASE AND GET YOUR REGISTRATION CODE
Once you’ve selected your brand new suppressor, you’re ready to complete your purchase! Buying silencers online is similar to purchasing products via any online retailer, with one important difference:
- You will NOT be able to take possession of the suppressor until the selected transfer has been approved by the NFA branch.
After purchasing, you’ll receive your serial number(s) and a registration code, keep the code handy for the all-important next step.
3. LOCATE NEAREST S.I.D. KIOSK
To locate the nearest, most convenient, dealer/kiosk to you use the Class 3 Finder or choose a dealer with a fingerprint icon on the “Select Your Pickup Location” menu in the product’s page.
With our new kiosks, we’ve gone digital! If you’ve selected a dealer at checkout who has an S.I.D. Kiosk, the use of the kiosk is free at that location.
That doesn’t mean you can’t use a dealer without a kiosk; although, you should keep in mind that some dealers might charge a minimal fee if you’re using the kiosk at their location for a transfer to another dealer.
Note: If you are in the Austin, TX area (or willing to drive), you can register for free at our facility during regular business hours!
4. FOLLOW KIOSK INSTRUCTIONS
Although the entire registration process can be completed “manually” via traditional forms, the opportunity to introduce new technology to streamline the procedure was too tempting to pass up. Therefore, the S.I.D. Kiosk and Silencer Shop Mobile offer suppressor enthusiasts new, convenient means to register your NFA items. Below is a breakdown of the needed intel and the specific outlets to accommodate each.
- Fingerprints: S.I.D. Kiosk
- Signature: S.I.D. Kiosk, Silencer Shop Mobile App, or Website
- Customer Profile: S.I.D. Kiosk, Silencer Shop Mobile App, or Website
- Email address
- Physical address
- Phone number
- Personal Information: S.I.D. Kiosk, Silencer Shop Mobile App, or Website
- Date of birth
- Photo: Silencer Shop Mobile App
All-in-all, the entire process should only take you around 10 minutes to complete at the S.I.D. Kiosk. Everything except the fingerprints can be collected later on the app or site if you are in a hurry!
Once you’ve completed the registration process, download the Silencer Shop Mobile app on your smartphone to snap the necessary photograph. This app allows for submission of a quick and convenient “selfie” that meets the ATF’s requirements. Plus, no more going to the local pharmacy for a passport photo!
6. RECEIVE CONFIRMATION AND WAIT
After you’ve checked each step off the list and all intel is submitted, a confirmation email/text will be sent. So, keep an eye on your account/phone to receive the notification ASAP. Unfortunately, the final hurdle is the toughest: Kick up your feet and wait!
Your patience will definitely pay off once you open your suppressor’s box…