First off. Happy Independence Day, everyone. I hope you are all well this year and wish you well for the remainder of it.
If you have ever thought about getting into the NFA scene, then you already know that suppressors are probably the most rewarding category to get into. The suppressors and short-barrel firearms nearly break even, in regards to the expense of the items alone. Both categories can range between $400 to $1,500+ or so – depending on the manufacturing quality. This is before you pay the $200 registry tax, paid in full upon submitting the appropriate forms, to the ATF. I am here to share some things that I have learned from owning suppressors and what I’ve learned from others.
The first, and most important, assessment that you need to make is which platforms do you wish to suppress in the first place. For most people, a simple .30-caliber suppressor is perfect for what they have and / or are likely to purchase. As an example, if you purchase the appropriate mounts, you will be able to put a .30-cal. suppressor on .308 Winchester, .300 Blackout and 5.56mm-rated firearms. The muzzle devices are going to cost for each platform, but it is well worth having when you will be able mount that suppressor on all of them. The Gemtech ONE suppressor is rated for over seventy individual calibers; from .300 WSM down. Suppressors do not work the other way, obviously. You cannot put a 5.56mm rated can on a .308 rifle – not without destroying the suppressor.
Comparatively, the Advanced Armament 762-SDN-6 multi-caliber suppressor also works well in that role. The Gemtech has specific notations of minimum barrel length requirements to prevent adverse amounts of wear on the suppressor during firing. If someone wishes to purchase a rimfire suppressor for their rimfire firearms, I’d highly recommend going straight to the top of the quality standard and purchase one with full-automatic and 5.7x28mm ratings on it. You may never shoot it with such high-pressured calibers such as 5.7mm, but you could always put it on a threaded FN-Herstal PS90. Examples of these suppressor qualities can be seen in the AAC HALYCON, SilencerCo’s Spectre and Sparrow 22s and Dead Air Silencers’ Mask. The same applies to a higher cyclic-rate freedom dispenser. The longevity within the quality of the item should be at the forefront of your mind.
There are still many Americans who don’t know that suppressors are completely legal to own. The biggest complaint, of those who do know the legality, is the waiting period for the approval on the paperwork. The current waiting period for the Form-4 Transfer and Registration paperwork is between nine and ten-months. This is the entire reason why there aren’t more suppressors out in circulation. The complaint is entirely petulant. You can go to your local DMV and see that transferring a title on a vehicle is a bigger pain in the ass.
Furthermore, the thought-process can also be blamed for the failure of the Hearing Protection Act [H.R. 367]. Firearms owners needed to ram the number of recorded suppressors straight through the roof and up the nose of the contemptuous politicians who, later and inevitably, claimed that there was no reason to delist suppressors from the NFA. The ones that look down their noses at firearm owners everywhere. Currently, you can go to a site called NFATracker to keep up with the current waiting times for Form-1s and Form-4s.
Instead of registering the suppressors to an individual, it is usually suggested that you do it under an NFA Gun Trust. Multiple people can be made as trustees on such a trust, and the process is reportedly faster than doing them up as an individual. With each trustees’ fingerprints and photo cards submitted to the ATF for processing – as covered by the latest ATF Rule-41P – they, then, would be allowed to legally take possession, transport, and use (plus other ATF jargon) just as the main trustee can. The only good thing about ATF-41P is that, if you ultimately decide to proceed with a purchase as an individual, you no longer have to wait for a local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) to sign off on it. You must only notify them of the registration. That means there is no prohibition on the purchase, assuming the local area and state that you live in allows for such items.
The current interpretation of the law (National Firearms Act [26 U.S.C. Chapter 53], IRS Code) defines “silencers / suppressors” as “firearms”. While it might be an asinine catch-all phrase, akin to another category called “Any Other Weapon”, the law determines that suppressors are covered under the Second Amendment. If one already has the funding to purchase such devices, then they should exercise their Constitutional rights. It really is that simple. Most people are enamored by some fellow, on a shooting range, who owns a suppressor. I am still impressed by other cans that are brought out to my local shooting range.
After looking at the platforms you want to suppress: do your research, buy the appropriate muzzle devices and the associated suppressor(s). As an example, SilencerShop has additional mount options for most of the non-direct thread suppressors, including the AAC 762-SDN-6. The prices are falling on firearms and accessories with a Republican in office. It is the time to get into it, right now.
After finishing this article for Thunder Roads Louisiana magazine, two critical events took place which affect the topic of suppressors. The first thing that happened was the announcement of the “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act” by Representative Jeff Duncan (Rep. – S.C.). The SHARE Act included a provision on suppressors, written similarly to what had been in the Hearing Protection Act [H.R. 367]. SHARE also includes a ton of other important firearms legislation, such as: new importation parameters, removal of reclassification of ammunition, removal of firearms reclassification as “destructive devices”, and more.
Quite unfortunately, the day it was to be heard by the House Committee on Natural Resources, the United States watched the aftermath of the Alexandria, VA baseball practice shooting. The gunman went to the local baseball practice to kill members of the Republican Party. Fortunately, he was only able to wound five personnel before being killed. He did critically wound House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise (LA – R). However, the event halted the hearing on the SHARE Act and it is still to be determined when it would be seen.
I wish Rep. Steve Scalise a speedy recovery, as well as the other men and women who were shot on that field.
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