How to Get a Suppressor Tax Stamp
November 13, 2019
You’ve probably wondered how to get a suppressor tax stamp. Well, it isn’t that difficult but like all things involving the ATF, it can be stressful. There’s a lot of misinformation and confusion out there too, especially when people talk about ATF Form 1 vs Form 3 suppressors, trust vs individual registration, and more.
Knowing how to get a tax stamp for a suppressor is half the battle. Getting the suppressor itself is the other half, especially when you consider how long it takes to get a suppressor tax stamp. So, let’s take a closer look!
How To Get a Tax Stamp for a Suppressor
There are two ways to get a suppressor tax stamp. The first way is to buy a ready-made suppressor on an ATF Form 3. This means you are buying a suppressor from an FFL dealer or from somebody who is selling a suppressor. Since a private party sale still has to go through a dealer to properly handle the background checks, all Form 3’s are ultimately dealer sales.
The other way to get a suppressor tax stamp is to file an ATF Form 1, which is the application to manufacture an NFA item. If you’re handy with machine tools, you can make your own suppressor at home, although it might not be as effective as a commercial model. You can also buy “solvent trap” kits that exist in a vague legal gray area and can be readily turned into suppressors. Talk to a good firearms lawyer before you Form 1 some of these “not-a-real-silencer” kits.
Individual Registration vs. NFA Gun Trust
At this stage, you have to decide if you are going to register your suppressor as an individual or in the name of a trust. Most people choose an NFA Gun Trust in order to make estate planning easier so that close family and friends can be allowed to take possession and use the suppressor or other NFA items. Plus, it makes ATF eFiling easier in most cases.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Suppressor Tax Stamp?
Unfortunately, the answer is anywhere from 30 or so days if you e-File using an ATF Form 1 in the name of a trust to about 12 months if you e-File a Form 3 as a trust. We aren’t quite sure why, but assume the ATF isn’t in a hurry to get things done. However, they did hire 25 more examiners to help clear the backlog from the government shutdown, so we should expect to see things speed up in the near future.
Meanwhile, the only thing you can do is hurry up and wait and hope that the ATF starts moving through things faster.
Getting Your Suppressor Tax Stamp
Most people use Form 3 when buying their suppressor. When you buy from Silencer Central, we make buying a silencer simple. We are approved by the ATF to handle the entire suppressor sales process digitally and by mail – you never have to come into one of our retail offices. With other dealers, you’ll be filling out the paperwork on location and returning again when the ATF approves your application and background check.
As the nation’s largest silencer dealer, Silencer Central has managed to streamline the process in three simple steps. Check out our more detailed guides on Form 1 and Form 3 suppressor transfers to better understand the process or contact us with your questions!