Yes, Silencers Are Legal.®

Silencers are regulated federally by the National Firearms Act (NFA) and on a state-by-state basis. Currently, suppressors are available for private ownership in 42 states. These regulations are enforced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE).

How to purchase a silencer, step-by-step:

  1. Fill out a BATFE Form 4 in person or eForm 4 online with your dealer at time of purchase
  2. Obtain two passport photos and submit them with your Form 4
  3. Have your fingerprints taken for your FBI Form FB-258
  4. Inform your local CLEO (Chief Law Enforcement Officer) of your intent to own a suppressor
  5. Pay a $200 tax stamp to the BATFE and submit it with your Form 4 
  6. Wait for the ATF to approve your Form 4 before the suppressor is transferred into your possession
  7. Your dealer will notify you when your silencer is ready for pickup

To purchase a silencer, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Reside in one of the 42 states that currently allow civilian ownership
  • Be a resident of the United States
  • Be legally eligible to purchase a firearm
  • Pass a BATFE background check
  • Be at least 21 years of age to purchase from a dealer
  • Be at least 18 years of age to purchase from another citizen
For more detailed information and examples of all the forms needed, see the How to Buy Guide PDF.

42* States Permit Silencer Ownership.

The eight states that currently do not allow individuals to own silencers are California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

*If you are an FFL dealer, manufacturer, peace officer, or member of a law enforcement agency or other government agency, there are additional states where you can own a silencer.

Silencers Are Legal map of the 48 states in the USA where suppressor ownership is legal.

How Does A Silencer Work?


Instead of exiting directly from the muzzle, propellant gases first enter the silencer’s expansion chamber, losing some of their energy.


Pressure continues to divert and slow within the baffles while heat dissipates, allowing the projectile to exit before the majority of the gas.


As a result, the report of the shot is suppressed to a hearing-safe level and the de-corking effect, or BANG!, is mitigated.


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, and the NFA (National Firearms Act) was passed, giving silencers the well-known $200 tax stamp (at the time, equivalent to $3,000 by today’s standards).

The $200 tax stamp remains today.

ASA logo


Guns don’t have to be loud, and we believe the citizens of America should be entitled to the safe and enjoyable exercise of their Second Amendment Rights.

We will continue to advocate this belief and invite you to join us as we support the ASA.

The SilencerCo Brand.

Since our birth in 2008, our dedication to authenticity and innovation has never wavered. Today, we continue to focus on exceptional customer service and industry-leading products; products that are crafted by people with the utmost dedication to our industry. We are hunters, shooters, and gun enthusiasts, just like you. Our mission is to bring you products that will enhance your shooting experience.