How To | Silencer Laws | Silencers 101
Form 4473: What You Need to Know as a Suppressor Owner

Form 4473: What You Need to Know as a Suppressor Owner

Form 4473: What You Need to Know as a Suppressor Owner

Form 4473: What Is It and How Do I Fill It Out?

If you’ve ever purchased a firearm before, then you’ve filled out the Federal Form 4473 – Firearms Transaction Record. While the form name doesn’t mention suppressors, it’s important to understand that because of the National Firearms Act of 1934, suppressors are considered firearms in the eyes of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. As a result, you’ve got to fill one out to take possession of your new suppressor.

It probably seems odd to require even more paperwork on top of everything else you completed to get a suppressor, but if you follow this blog post, you’ll be well on your way to filling things out correctly and shooting with your new suppressor in no time!

What is Form 4473?

As we mentioned briefly above, the Form 4473 is a Firearms Transaction Record. While you may fill out other forms related to firearms purchases depending on your state and local laws, this is the form required by the Federal government. Even though we all know that a suppressor isn’t a firearm, the Federal government and the ATF treat it like one, and you cannot take possession of a suppressor without completing a Form 4473.

If it’s been awhile since you last filled out a Form 4473, you should know that there have been some changes to the questions that went into effect on April 1, 2023. This is due to new statutory requirements set forth by the Biden Administration in both the NICS Denial Notification Act and the Bipartisan Safer Community Act (BSCA), and to reflect the implementation of ATF Final Rule 2021R-05F.

Why Do I Need to Fill Out Form 4473?

Because the ATF treats suppressors like firearms, the Form 4473 allows Silencer Central to legally transfer ownership of the silencer(s) to you as the customer after ATF approval of your Form 4 and before shipping the silencer right to your door.

Thanks to the government’s legalese language used, the form can be confusing and any inaccuracies could delay or restrict Silencer Central’s ability to ship a customer’s silencer to them.

Follow the FAQs listed below that go through the Form 4473 section-by-section to ensure that you understand the questions and how you’re answering them.

Form 4473 FAQs: Section-by-Section

Accurate completion of the Form 4473 is required in order to receive your suppressor from Silencer Central, so it’s important that you read each question carefully and make sure that you’re answering them honestly and correctly. Failure to do so can lead to delays or restrictions on Silencer Central’s shipment to you.

Section A

This section is completed by the seller, which in this case is Silencer Central. As the buyer, you don’t have to fill anything out, but it’s a good idea to look everything over just in case.

Section A recently saw the addition of the Privately Made Firearm (PMF) record category. Building your own firearm for personal use is perfectly legal in most states, even if you don’t put a serial number on it, but if you intend to sell that PMF to someone else, it has to be assigned a serial number before the sale can take place.

Section B

This section is filled out by you as the purchaser. It includes qualifying questions to establish whether the person receiving the silencer – that’s you as the transferee – is a prohibited person.

The government defines a prohibited person as someone who is legally prohibited from possessing a firearm/silencer.

There are two new questions in this section that are aimed at straw purchasers and gun traffickers. A straw purchase is where a person buys a gun for someone that they know is a prohibited person and would otherwise be unable to obtain a firearm legally.* Since criminals are, well, criminals, it stands to reason that they wouldn’t tell the truth on this form anyway, so adding these questions is likely just an administrative tool to use against them in the event they are caught and accused of being a straw purchaser or a gun trafficker.

*You can not purchase a silencer as a gift for someone else as they are a NFA item and require a tax stamp. Silencer Central does give you a free NFA Gun Trust with each silencer purchase which allows you to share ownership of silencers with others who would legally be able to own one.

Line 21.b & Line 21.c

These are the two new questions in Section B mentioned above that are intended to be an extra deterrent for straw purchasers and gun traffickers.

Line 21.b. asks, “Do you intend to purchase or acquire any firearm listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s), or ammunition, for sale or other disposition to any person described in questions 21 (c)-(m), or to a person described in question 21.n.1 who does not fall within a nonimmigrant alien exception?”

In simpler terms, line 21.b. asks whether you intend to give or sell the silencer(s) you’re buying to someone that you know to be a prohibited person.

Line 21.c. asks, “Do you intend to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm listed on this form and any continuation sheet(s) or ammunition in furtherance of any felony or other offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of more than one year, a Federal crime of terrorism, or a drug trafficking offense?”

Again, in simpler terms, line 21.c. asks if you plan to use your silencer(s) to commit a crime, engage in terrorism, or sell drugs.

Section B, Line 10

Section B, Line 10 asks for your address, which is pretty straightforward, but there’s a new box asking if you “Reside in City Limits?” This might seem like a silly and arbitrary thing to ask, but there is a method to the madness. The addition of this box is referring to the fact that although some people’s address says they live in that city, they may actually reside outside the marked limits. This comes into play with local firearm laws that may prohibit the possession of firearms or silencers, but would accurately exempt people who technically live outside of the limits and, therefore, may not be subject to those prohibitions.

Section C

To comply with the BSCA 10-day waiting period on certain transfers involving transferees under the age of 21, Section C has been revised to reflect the new changes in the initial instructional header.

The main takeaway from the revisions to Section C is that the individual questions now include spaces and places for information to be entered regarding if and when the purchaser can take possession of their firearm or silencer.

This waiting period can be up to 10 days in length for purchasers between the ages of 18 and 20 so that their juvenile records may be searched for anything that would preclude them from purchasing a firearm. This waiting period did not previously exist before the BSCA went into effect.

While it may be argued that a right delayed is a right denied, the fact of the matter is that this is the current Federal law and it must be followed.

Confidently Purchase Your Silencer Today

When you purchased your silencer from Silencer Central, we made a commitment to you that we would be there every step of the way to guide you through the process of getting your silencer, and that commitment doesn’t stop short of the Form 4473.

We understand that the Form 4473 can be confusing, and if you are confused by any of the questions that you need to answer when completing the form for your new silencer, we are happy to help explain the questions so that you understand how to answer truthfully and lawfully.

If you have questions about the Form 4473, don’t hesitate to call Silencer Central at 888-781-8778 or send us an email. It’s important to note, however, that Silencer Central can explain questions to you, but we cannot coach customers on exactly how they should respond to a question.