By Anne Vinnola
Customers coming in to Magnum Shooting Center for the first time frequently view our silencer section, and remark on how they didn’t know silencers were legal for private citizens to own. I wasn’t sure of the reasons myself, and how they could be of service to the general public, but after doing some research, I found some great reasons to have my own silencer.
The most obvious reason comes out of the name. A silencer or suppressor is used to protect your hearing. It won’t make the sound completely disappear, but will bring gunfire noise down significantly, reducing the need to wear hearing muffs or earplugs.
Shooters might also see an improvement in the accuracy of their shots if they tend to flinch and anticipate the noise and the recoil of their firearm. A silencer can allow a shooter to focus more on their technique and less on the sound. Of course, just having a silencer won’t be a substitute for regular practice, but can assist.
In my hunting experiences, I can’t remember anyone around me using hearing protection while tracking. You need all of your senses working together to find your animal, then to set up your shot… so hearing muffs and plugs are impractical in most cases.
Having experienced the pain of a loud hunting shot ringing my ears, it never occurred to me that, unless I wore hearing plugs in the field, there was another way. A fantastic tool, silencers allow you to use all of your senses and reduce the felt recoil and muzzle lift of your firearm, allowing for improved accuracy and a faster follow up shot if needed. While hunting with a silencer is legal in most states, it is important to check out the laws where you are hunting and traveling.
Safer home defense is yet another application where a silencer can be a great tool. While in a defensive situation, applying hearing protection is not practical and could frankly be inhibiting to your safety, and the safety of those in your care. Loud gunfire will give your position away and can also disorient you in close quarters.
So, it is clear that there are a number of practical, beneficial uses for silencers.
When you have decided you want a silencer, there are a few steps to ownership.
- Pick out the silencer that you want from your preferred dealer. Magnum Shooting Center has many to choose from at competitive prices.
- NFA transfers may take some time to process, and, in turn, tie up the dealer’s inventory. As a result, after choosing a silencer, you may be required to pay for the product upfront. The dealer will then separate your silencer from their other inventory and will assign the serial number for your Form 4.
- Next, the dealer will provide you with two copies of your BATFE Form 4 (Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm) with the silencer’s serial number and product details. Here are the steps for both an individual purchase or a purchase through Trust or LLC:
Fill in both copies of the Form 4 as well as a Certification of Compliance which certifies you are a U.S. citizen. Then, you will need your local Sherriff to sign your Form 4. In states other than Colorado, it could be signed by a Chief of Police or other law enforcement official. At the Sherriff’s office, you will have two fingerprint cards made. Then, you’ll need two passport photos and a check or money order for $200 (made out to the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Explosives) with your application.
Purchase through Trust or LLC:
Fill in the name and address of your Trust or LLC; and a Certification of Compliance will not be required. You will need to provide a check or money order, made out to the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Explosives. No Sherriff signature or fingerprint cards are required. You’ll need a copy of your Trust or LLC’s Articles on Incorporation.
- Following your paperwork processing and approval, the BATFE will place a tax stamp on one of the two Form 4 copies, and return it to your dealer. Once the dealer receives your paperwork, you should receive a phone call. You’ll then need to complete a 4473 background check. After which, you’ll be able to pick up your silencer.
Don’t be intimidated by the process! Magnum Shooting Center will be sure to help you handle all of your paperwork and guide you through the process.
Once you own your first silencer, you will look at your firearm collection in a whole new light.