Silencer Laws
Can You Borrow A Suppressor? Who Can Use Suppressors?

Can You Borrow A Suppressor? Who Can Use Suppressors?

Can You Borrow A Suppressor? Who Can Use Suppressors?

Gun owners are generally a friendly bunch of people. They want to share the love and often let others shoot their guns in safe and controlled environments. This works out great to bring new people into the gun community.

Since suppressor owners are fewer and farther between than gun owners, it only makes sense that a suppressor owner would want to let someone new experience the joy that only a suppressor can provide. Beyond that, suppressors are expensive, and few people are willing to take the financial plunge without ever having used one before. That leads to the inevitable question: “Can you borrow a suppressor?”

The answer is, unfortunately, not as cut and dry as a simple yes or no. It’s more like a “yes, if…” or a “no, but…” kind of situation.

Don’t get discouraged, though, as there are absolutely some ways for you to be able to rent, lend, or borrow a suppressor.

NFA Regulations

The National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 is the federal law that governs suppressors. It established how to buy a suppressor, who can own a suppressor, how they can use it once they own it, who may or may not borrow it, and more.

The NFA is a lot more stringent and restrictive about borrowing and loaning items that fall under its purview when compared to other firearms. As a result, many people choose to use an NFA Gun Trust when they buy a suppressor.

What is an NFA Gun Trust?

An NFA gun trust is a legal tool for holding and transferring assets. Because NFA items have to be registered to a legal entity, many people choose to put them into a trust for various reasons. At one time it was a common workaround for a now-obsolete rule.

That rule required a local chief of police or sheriff to sign off on an application to make or buy an NFA item. Without that signature, the ATF would not approve the NFA item. However, such signoff was not required for a trust or corporation, and NFA trusts were sometimes the only way to acquire NFA devices.

That rule is now obsolete and the ATF no longer requires local law enforcement approval to acquire NFA items, but trusts are still commonly used so that multiple approved people can share any suppressors that are listed in the gun trust.


How to Get An NFA Gun Trust

The easiest way is to buy a suppressor from Silencer Central. We offer a personalized NFA Gun Trust free to anyone who buys from us. We have completed over 15,000 silencer-to-gun trust transfers and counting!

Alternatively, you can opt to pay a lawyer to draw one up for you, but that’s definitely going to be more expensive than either buying a trust document from another silencer dealer and it’s certainly more expensive than the free one you get when you buy from Silencer Central.

Other Types of Gun Trusts

NFA items like suppressors are not the only items that can be held in a trust. While you don’t have to put “regular” firearms in them for other people to be able to safely and legally able to borrow them, you can certainly do it if you so choose.

Who Is Responsible for The Suppressor If It Is Borrowed?

Ultimately, the owner of the suppressor is responsible for anything that happens while someone else is using it. That doesn’t mean the borrower is free of responsibility; it just means that the owner will be on the hook, too.

If you wouldn’t trust someone with one of your guns while out shooting with you present, then you shouldn’t trust that someone with your suppressor.

Who Can and Cannot Use Your Suppressor?

In addition to all of the other stipulations, there are rules and regulations that apply to who you can and cannot let use your suppressor, either in your presence or as a named person on a trust. In many ways, they are similar to the ones that apply when purchasing a firearm or an NFA item.

These include:

  • Be at least 18 years of age to possess a suppressor as a beneficiary of a trust or as a member of a corporation (contingent on state laws).
  • Be a resident of the United States.
  • Be legally eligible to purchase a firearm.
  • Not be classified as a prohibited person.

That last one is, by far, the most important. If someone is a prohibited person, meaning that they are unable to legally purchase or even possess a firearm, then they certainly cannot borrow a suppressor.

Beyond the legal requirements, it comes down to common sense and good judgment. You should only let someone you trust use your suppressor in the first place, whether it’s while they’re shooting with you present or they’re a person named on the trust that holds the suppressor.

How to Borrow A Suppressor

The three easiest ways to borrow a suppressor are to make friends with someone who owns one, be added to an NFA gun trust, or rent one from a shooting range.

If you don’t know anyone who owns a suppressor, then renting one at a range is going to be your best option. Who knows, you might even make a new friend who will eventually let you shoot theirs. As time goes on, they may even come to trust you to the point where you get added to their trust.

Get Your Own Suppressor Instead of Sharing

So you’ve got the suppressor itch and you’re ready to give it a more thorough scratching than just borrowing or renting one. Good news: you’ve come to the right place!

At Silencer Central, we are passionate about compliance, knowledge, and community education in firearm sound suppression. With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, we are the nation’s largest silencer dealer. We’re also the only one licensed in all 42 suppressor-legal states that can sell, process, and ship your new suppressor directly to your front door.

Give us a call today and let us get you started on the path to suppressor ownership!