New Suppressor Registration Nears 1 Million in Past Year

by
posted on August 12, 2016
si-news-2015-5-28-15.jpg (40)

The recent passage of legislation permitting the ownership of firearm suppressors in three states, as well as the expansion of silencer use by hunters, resulted in a substantial increase in the number of such devices registered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), according to data released by the agency this week.

The ATF’s Firearms Commerce in the United States Annual Statistical Update 2016 contains the most recent data on the number of firearms manufactured and imported by the U.S., as well as tax revenue and information on firearms registered under the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), including silencers, machine guns and short-barreled rifles and shotguns.

ATF statistics show that from April 2013 to February 2016, the number of silencers increased 60 percent, from 571,750 to 902,805. The five states with the highest numbers of silencers are Texas (165,499), Florida (61,015). Georgia (49,357) Oklahoma (32,192) and Virginia (31,205), accounting for more than one-third of the overall total. 

In recent months, lawmakers in Vermont, Minnesota and Iowa passed laws legalizing personal ownership and use of suppressors for the first time, bringing the national total to 42 states. It remains illegal to own suppressors in California, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Delaware and Hawaii.

In addition, New Hampshire, Alabama, Montana and Maine have legalized suppressors for hunting during the past two years. 

Heavily regulated under federal law, suppressors are formally classified as “silencers” under the NFA, requiring a one-time $200 federal tax (per device) and an FBI background check for purchase. Persons in possession of unregistered or untaxed suppressors may be found in violation of federal tax code (tax evasion), a felony punishable by fines and up to ten years in prison. 

The ATF is tasked with enforcing suppressor regulations in accordance with federal law. Suppressors are classified as a restricted “firearm” and, as such, each has its own individual serial number. 

Interest in suppressor use has increased exponentially in the past few years, as shooters and hunters have become more aware of potential hearing damage caused by firearms. Suppressors also reduce recoil and muzzle rise, and in many cases may help increase accuracy. The noise reduction offered by suppressors is seen as a benefit for hunters seeking permission to hunt on private land and in areas of expanding urbanization where hunting is permitted, as well as at shooting ranges located in developing areas.

Latest

AK maintenance block
AK maintenance block

First Look: Midwest Industries AK Receiver Maintenance Block

Keep your AK-pattern firearm secure and safe on your workbench.

First Look: XS Sights for HK VP9 OR Pistol

Two options are available for this popular defensive pistol.

True Facts About Composite Ammunition

What’s the deal with True Velocity’s full-power rifle ammunition in a composite case?

I Carry: Taurus G3XL Pistol in a Lone Star EDC Holster

In today's episode of "I Carry," we have the new Taurus G3XL 9 mm pistol carried in a Lone Star EDC holster along with a Buck Knives Sprint Pro pocketknife.

It’s a Lifestyle

Staying safe requires more than just a gun and some gear.

Internet Imposters

American consumers lost $392 million to online-shopping scams in 2021, according to the latest report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). That figure is up nearly $150 million from the previous year. Unfortunately, the firearm industry hasn’t escaped the criminal activity.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.