How Long Does It Take to Buy a Suppressor?

Buying a suppressor can seem like a daunting process, with many potential buyers wondering just how long it will take. In this blog post, we will explore the timeline for purchasing a suppressor in the United States, from start to finish.

Purchasing a suppressor requires patience and following specific steps to comply with federal regulations. With the right information and guidance, the process can be smooth and straightforward. Now, let’s dive into the details of how long it takes to buy a suppressor.

Understanding the Application Process

Buying a suppressor involves navigating through a series of steps that can sometimes feel like a bureaucratic maze. But fear not, we’re here to break it down for you. The first thing you’ll need to do is fill out the ATF Form 4, also known as the Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm. This form requires detailed information about both the buyer and the suppressor being purchased.

Next, you’ll need to get fingerprinted and provide a passport-style photo for the necessary background checks. Once all the paperwork is in order, you’ll submit your application along with a $200 tax stamp. This stamp is a one-time fee that is required for all suppressor purchases.

After submitting your application, the waiting game begins. The approval process can take anywhere from a few months to over a year, depending on various factors such as the current backlog of applications and any potential issues that may arise during the background check. Remember, patience is key when it comes to buying a suppressor.

Regulations and Wait Times

In the realm of suppressor purchases, there are a set of regulations that applicants must adhere to. One of the most important regulations is that individuals purchasing a suppressor must be at least 21 years old and legally able to own a firearm under federal, state, and local laws. Additionally, purchasers must pass a background check to ensure they do not have any disqualifying factors.

When it comes to wait times, it’s essential to set realistic expectations. While some lucky applicants may receive approval in just a few months, others may experience longer wait times due to factors beyond their control. As of 2024, the average wait time for a suppressor approval is around 8-12 months. This lengthy process is largely due to the high volume of applications received by the ATF.

Remember, staying informed and up-to-date on regulations is crucial when purchasing a suppressor. Be sure to consult with a knowledgeable firearms dealer or legal expert if you have any questions about the process. And always double-check your paperwork to avoid any delays in the approval process.

So, if you’re considering buying a suppressor, arm yourself with patience and knowledge to navigate the application process successfully. Sit tight, follow the regulations, and before you know it, you could be enjoying the benefits of your new suppressor.

Common Delays and How to Avoid Them

Buying a suppressor can take time due to common delays like paperwork errors, background check issues, or incomplete forms. To avoid these delays, make sure all forms are filled out accurately, including your personal information, the type of suppressor, and the transfer details. Double-check everything before submitting to prevent any errors that could slow down the process. Additionally, ensure you meet all eligibility requirements, such as being a U.S. citizen and not having any felony convictions. By being thorough and diligent from the start, you can avoid delays and expedite the approval process.

Expedited Options for Quicker Approval

If you’re looking to speed up the suppressor buying process, there are a few options available to expedite approval. One way is to use the ATF’s eForms system, which allows for electronic submission of paperwork, potentially reducing processing times. Additionally, some dealers offer services that can help streamline the process for a quicker turnaround. Another option is to opt for a trust or corporation instead of an individual purchase, which can sometimes lead to faster approval. By exploring these expedited options, you may be able to cut down on wait times and get your suppressor sooner.

  • Utilize the ATF’s eForms system for electronic submission of paperwork.
  • Consider services offered by dealers to streamline the process.
  • Explore purchasing through a trust or corporation for potentially faster approval.

Reference: ATF eForms System

Transfer and Pickup Procedures

After your suppressor purchase is approved by the ATF, the transfer and pickup procedures kick in. Typically, the process involves your chosen dealer receiving the approved Form 4 or Form 3 transfer paperwork. Once your dealer receives this, you’ll schedule an in-person visit to complete the necessary paperwork, such as ATF Form 4473. Once all paperwork is finalized, you can finally take possession of your suppressor. This whole process usually takes anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your dealer’s availability and how smoothly paperwork is processed.

Navigating State-Specific Laws

When it comes to purchasing a suppressor, it’s crucial to understand your state’s specific laws and regulations. Some states have outright bans on suppressors, while others might have certain restrictions in place. For example, states like California, New York, and Illinois have stricter regulations regarding suppressor ownership. Before making a purchase, do thorough research on your state’s laws to ensure you can legally own a suppressor. It’s important to note that even if federal laws permit suppressor ownership, state laws can still supersede these regulations. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your state’s specific laws to avoid any legal complications down the line.

State Laws Considerations:

  1. Check if your state allows civilian ownership of suppressors.
  2. Research any additional restrictions or requirements imposed by your state.
  3. Be aware of any registration or permitting processes specific to your state.
  4. Understand any local laws that might further restrict suppressor ownership.
  5. Consider consulting with a legal professional specializing in firearm laws to navigate state-specific regulations effectively.

How Long Does It Take to Buy a Suppressor?

If you’re wondering how long it takes to buy a suppressor, the process can vary. On average, it currently takes around 9-12 months to purchase a suppressor in the United States. This timeline includes the time it takes to complete the necessary paperwork, undergo a background check, and receive approval from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Top Tip: To potentially expedite the process, consider purchasing your suppressor through a trust or legal entity. This can help streamline the paperwork and approval process, potentially reducing the overall wait time.

Tips for a Smooth Process

To ensure a smoother and more efficient experience when buying a suppressor, consider the following tips:

  1. Research Your Options: Take the time to research different suppressors to find one that meets your needs and preferences.

  2. Consult with a Dealer: Work with a reputable dealer who can guide you through the purchasing process and answer any questions you may have.

  3. Prepare Your Paperwork: Gather all required documents, including your ATF Form 4 and supporting paperwork, to avoid delays in the approval process.

  4. Stay Informed: Keep up to date on any changes to suppressor regulations and requirements to avoid any surprises during the buying process.

  5. Be Patient: Understand that the process can take time, but the end result of owning a suppressor can be well worth the wait.

Extra Tip: Consider joining a local gun club or shooting range to connect with experienced suppressor owners who can provide valuable insights and advice.

Interesting Facts About Suppressors

Did you know that suppressors were originally invented by Hiram Maxim in 1902 to reduce noise and recoil from firearms? Contrary to popular belief, suppressors do not completely silence a gunshot but instead reduce the noise to a safer level for hearing protection. Additionally, using a suppressor can help improve accuracy by reducing recoil and muzzle blast, making it a valuable accessory for both recreational shooters and professionals.

Did You Know? The term “silencer” is often incorrectly used to describe suppressors. In reality, suppressors reduce the noise produced by a firearm but do not completely silence it. This distinction is important for understanding the function and purpose of these accessories.

Remember, when purchasing a suppressor, thorough research, preparation, and patience are key to a successful buying experience. Happy shooting!

  • Alex Mitch

    Hi, I'm the founder of! Having been in finance and tech for 10+ years, I was surprised at how hard it can be to find answers to common questions in finance, tech and business in general. Because of this, I decided to create this website to help others!