When it comes to gathering information in our day and age, there is one source we all default to: the Internet. And that’s okay, as long as we remember that the Internet is full of facts and opinions. Sometimes, it straight lies to you… like assessing your intelligence is in the top 4% of the population by answering six unimpressive questions.

Everything on the Internet is subject to this paradox, including information about the process of purchasing a silencer.

For example, let’s say you’ve decided to finally get that silencer. You’ve heard something about a trust, you know there are forms to fill out, and you read something about finger prints. But where do you start? What forms do you need and where do you get them? What parts need to be filled out? Where do you send them once you are done? And then it hit you; you don’t even know what a trust it.

If you’ve had any of these thoughts run through your head, you’re not alone, but more importantly, you’re in luck! This post will answer ALL of your silencer-buying questions in nine easy steps and set your mind at ease. So get ready, you’re about to become a silencer-buying expert.

Quick tip—the easiest way to buy a silencer, regardless of manufacturer, is by using a silencerCo SuppressEd EasyGuide. We will talk about this more later on in this post.


Individual vs NFA Trust

There are two ways to purchase a silencer: as an individual, or through an NFA trust. We have outlined the two options below so you can choose the best path to take. Great news—there is no wrong choice here.


Purchasing a silencer as an individual is convenient and quick because only one person is responsible for submitting all the required forms. This in turn means less paperwork overall and less room for error. Purchasing as an individual also means that you do not need to pay the additional legal costs associated with establishing a trust.


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Purchasing a silencer through an NFA trust provides flexibility and peace of mind because multiple people can share ownership of a single silencer. Additionally, if you decide later that you want to share ownership with another person, no formal transfer has to occur; you can simply add them to the trust. Trusts also provide legal parameters for how property will be handled in the event of death.




Taking the NFA trust route? Get started with a SilencerCo EasyTrust. When your purchase is complete, proceed to Step 3.

Taking the individual route? Skip this step and go to Step 3.


Passport Photos

Whether purchasing through an NFA Trust or as an Individual, you will need two (2) passport photos. For all the rules and regulations on passport photos, check out the US Passport and International Travel website.



Next, you need to get a total of two (2) completed FBI Form FD-258’s (AKA fingerprint cards) in blue or black ink. The easiest way to get your fingerprints taken is to pay a visit to your local police station or law enforcement agency; they have the fingerprint cards there and will help you get a clear print. Remember, you need two (2) completed fingerprint cards.


Dealer Transfer

Your next step is to visit your local NFA dealer — don’t forget to bring your passport photos and fingerprint cards! Unsure who your local NFA dealer is? Click here to find out. Your dealer will help you find the right silencer, then begin the process of “transferring” it to you. Silencers are considered a “Title II” item, which means they are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE). “Transferring” is the official term used by the BATFE when someone buys a silencer. Once the transfer is approved by the BATFE, you get to take your silencer home with you.

This is basically like buying groceries at a supermarket, except with a longer wait time. BATFE approval is like your credit card being approved, upon which the supermarket transfers the groceries to you. Make sense?


The Forms

You’ve visited a dealer, have your silencer picked out, and are ready to rock and roll. The next step is to complete your forms. The easiest was to complete your forms is with a SilencerCo SuppressEd : EasyGuide. Your dealer should be stocked with EasyGuides. If not, you can request them through the dealer, order them through the SilencerCo web store, or use the printable forms below.

Buying as an individual? Download your printable form.
Buying with an NFA trust? You have two (2) forms to download.
Download Form 4
Download Form 5320.23
Great! You now have all of your transfer forms.


The Paperwork

Now, you get to fill out your forms. Don’t let the word “paperwork” intimidate you; most of the information you will fill out is about you. Easy, right? You can refer to your EasyGuide packet for example forms and checklists. We also have example forms and a checklist available online you can reference.
Individual example forms and checklists
NFA Trust example forms and checklists

Remember, every silencer you buy is subject to a $200 federal tax stamp. When paying the $200, we suggest writing a check because when it clears, you will know that your forms are being reviewed.

For those using an NFA trust, please be aware that all “responsible persons” you list will also be required to submit paperwork. Though this may seem intimidating, it’s pretty basic. Check out these quick tips for information.


Make Copies

Now that your forms are filled out, you need to make some copies of the completed forms.
Make (1) photocopy of your completed Form 4 with passport photo affixed
NFA Trust:
– Make one (1) photocopy of your completed Form 4
– Make one (1) photocopy of your trust documentation
– Make one (1) photocopy of each Responsible Persons Questionnaire



Mail your forms! If you’re using the EasyGuide, you will find addressed envelopes included within the packet. If not, you will need to use your own envelopes. You will be mailing two (2) separate packets. One packet will be mailed to the BATFE, and the other will be mailed to your Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO).

Buying as an individual? Here is what you need to include in your packets.
CLEO Packet
– CLEO: One (1) Photocopy of BATFE Form 4 (5320.4) (Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm)
BATFE Packet
– One (1) $200 Check to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
– Two (2) Original BATFE Form 4s (5320.4) (Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm)
– Affix one (1) Passport Photo to Item 15 of each Form 4, do NOT staple
– Two (2) Original FBI Form FD-258s (Fingerprint Card)

Buying using an NFA trust? Here is what you need to include in your packets.
CLEO Packet
– One (1) Photocopy of BATFE Form 4 (5320.4) (Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm)
– One (1) Photocopy of BATFE Form 5320.23 (National Firearms Act Responsible Person Questionnaire) from each Responsible Person

BATFE Packet
– One (1) Photocopy of Trust Documentation
– One (1) $200 Check to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
– Two (2) Original BATFE Form 4s (5320.4) (Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm)
– One (1) Original BATFE Form 5320.23 (National Firearms Act Responsible Person Questionnaire) from each Responsible Person
Affix one (1) Passport Photo to Item 3e on Form 5320.23, do NOT staple
– Two (2) Original FBI Form FD-258s (Fingerprint Card) from each Responsible Person

Remember, we’ve also taken the time to roll all of this information up into one convenient EasyGuide packet you can pick up at your local dealer. If your dealer is out of stock, request that the dealer order a resupply or pick one up yourself through the SilencerCo web store. You can also download an EasyGuide (minus envelopes and registration card) from our website: EasyGuide for Individuals or EasyGuide for Trusts.


You are done! We hope this post has laid to rest any questions or misconceptions about the process of purchasing a silencer. If you still have any questions, please contact our industry-leading Customer Service team

Pssst… if you’ve heard rumors about exactly what changed with the introduction of 41F, put them to a rest with some solid facts.