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Getting a tax-stamp for your Class-3 Firearms such as the suppressor or silencer is a confusing and tricky process. If you do not have an FFL license, and looking to buy a suppressor from an FFL-licensee or you are willing to make one yourself then you are going to need an NFA tax stamp.
The NFA tax stamp for suppressors is worth 200$ and issued by the ATF. There are two types of ATF forms available for getting a tax stamp on the suppressor. Based on your need, you need to fill out one and get it approved by the ATF. In this article, we are going to give you all the details you need to know about how to get a suppressor tax stamp.
What does it mean by a Suppressor Tax Stamp?
The NFA tax stamp is a Federal tax stamp worth $200. It was introduced for the first time in 1934. The $200 tax stamp was an astronomical figure at that time, but with inflation, it has become a reasonable amount as years progressed.
Unless you are an FFL (Federal Firearms Licensee), it is mandatory for you to get a suppressor tax stamp before buying or making a suppressor. The NFA Stamp is necessary for all “Class 3 Firearms”. As suppressors also fall under “Class-3 Firearms”, the suppressor tax stamp is absolutely necessary.
Why Do You Need a Suppressor Tax Stamp?
An individual will need a Suppressor Tax Stamp whether he buys it from an FFL dealer or he decides to make one himself. The suppressor tax stamp is exempted only when you are an FFL. Otherwise, for all “Class-3 Firearms”, the stamp is necessary to use them.
On the other hand, FFLs pay a certain amount of tax each year, which makes them SOT (Special Occupational Taxpayer). So, tax for the possession of each item is not necessary for them.
How to Get a Suppressor Tax Stamp?
There are two ways to obtain a Suppressor Tax Stamp. You will need a Suppressor Tax Stamp if you are a NON-FFL and you will also need it if you are making one yourself. You just need to fill out designated ATF forms for these.
There are two types of ATF forms to fill out if you are not an FFL and want a Suppressor Tax Stamp. They are ATF Form 1 and ATF Form 4.
ATF Form 1
This is a form you need to fill out if you want to make and register a Class-3 Firearm like the silencer. These forms are getting more popular each day as people have access to computer-based tools for machining and there are plenty of parts kits available. So, people can now more easily make firearms like short barrel rifles and silencers themselves.
At present, the quickest way to get an NFA item without being an FFL is the ATF Form 1. These forms just take a few weeks to process. However, there are some downsides to it too. Because hardly any home-made silencers are as effective as the ones sold commercially. Moreover, the legality of the various parts and kits is also questionable.
ATF Form 4
An ATF Form 4 is necessary when you are not an FFL and you are buying a Class-3 Firearm from an FFL dealer who is Class 3 or you are buying it from an individual. The ATF will return the filled-out form to the purchaser after processing the form and putting a tax stamp on it. Only then, the buyer will be able to carry the purchased firearm legally.
However, if you are an FFL, then regardless of your FFL class, you will need another form. That form is the ATF Form 3.
The wait time for a NON-FFL individual for a stamp on the ATF Form 4 is 10 months or more. The long wait time often encourages people to become an FFL themselves or to make a firearm themselves so that they can use the ATF Form 1.
Getting a suppressor tax is not that hard in any way unless you are entirely clueless. If you are, then follow the following steps to get it as easy as possible:
Check Your State Law and Buy a Suppressor
You need to check your state law if suppressors are legal to possess in the first place. If it’s legal, you need to pick a suppressor that goes with your gun at your arms dealer.
Remember that you need its serial number for registering, and you can’t bring it home till it’s registered to your name by the ATF’s NFA branch.
Create a Gun Trust
Keep in mind that there are 3 methods to register it for buying. They are:
It’s advised to register by creating a gun trust, and we also think it’s the best way to go! You need to fill up a legal document, which is required by the state, and the legal process can cost somewhere between $100 and $500.
But this will make it easier for you as you get to skip the photograph and fingerprint part of the process. And you can list people as trustees to allow them to use your suppressor too!
Filling Out the ATF Form 1 for Your Suppressor Tax Stamp
Now, you need to fill-up the form 4, form 5330.23, and ATF’s needed forms. You need to do them twice each. And you can fill the form online where you just need to fill it once, and the software makes copies automatically, or you can do it by hand.
If you have any confusion while filling up, you can look up instruction guides that are abundant on the internet. You should make sure that you get the gun store’s information, which is needed in form 4. So, it’s best to have the form 4 with you when you go to buy a suppressor.
You should know that you have to fill one form 5330.23 or “form 23” in short for each “responsible person”. This is for listing your trustees who can use the suppressor other than you.
Here you will need to provide photographs and fingerprints of each “responsible person”. There are some guidelines for this which are:
These need to be completed with the help of your regional law enforcement official. Here you also don’t need to provide this information on the copy for CLEO.
The ATF Form 5320.1 is actually what we know as the ATF Form 1. All ATF forms are different versions of the ATF 5320 Form. The ATF Form 1 is an application to request permission to ATF to make and register Class-3 Firearms such as Short Barrel Rifle, Short Barrel Shotguns, the Suppressor or the Silencer, etc.
The most important thing here to notice is, the ATF Form 1 is a permission request form for both making and using the Suppressor. Therefore, a Non-FFL does not legally hold the authority to even start making the suppressor before the ATF Form 1 is sent back to them with permission.
Below we are going to summarize the whole process of filling and filing the ATF Form 1 step by step
Filling out the ATF Form 1
You can either fill out the ATF Form 1’s paper version manually or you can use the ATF’s eForm System to eFile the form.
Firstly, you are going to need to put your application’s tax status to “Tax Paid”. After that, you need to specify which individual or what organization is filing for the permission request.
Then, you need to specify an actual address. The ATF may use this address to visit and check out the firearm that you’re making.
Afterward, the firearm details are needed to be filled out. You will describe what kind of firearms it would be. You have to be careful with the details and measurements so that you do not run into trouble later.
Next, there will be some other details like if you have notified your nearest law enforcement office and other small details. Fill them out cautiously and correctly.
Finally, you need to choose the method of payment for your tax stump and submit it to the ATF’s defined address. During your submission you also need to attach the following things:
- Two completed copies of the ATF Form 1
- Passport photo
- Fingerprints on FBI Form ID-258
- The extra info that is needed if you answer “Yes” to the ATF Form 1’s section 11.
Filling Out the ATF Form 4 for Your Suppressor Tax Stamp
The ATF Form 4 is officially defined as the form for the application for tax-paid registration and transfer of an already existing firearm. You cannot take possession of any Class-3 Firearms such as the suppressor unless you fill out the ATF Form 4 and get it back from the ATF with the text stamp. The ATF Form 4 takes longer to get approved than the ATF Form 1. Sometimes it takes even a year!
Filling Out the ATF Form 4
Like ATF Form 1, Form 4 can also be filled out using the eFile System of ATF or filling out the paper version of the form. There are multiple fields in the ATF Form 4 for you to fill out.
The type of transfer and Transferee’s name and address has to be clearly filled out. The transferor’s name and address are also required.
Next, you need to fill out the details of the firearm. Details such as Manufacturer, type of firearm, caliber, barrel length, overall length, model, serial number, etc are needed to be filled out.
Finally, the transferor’s FFL license and tax status details are needed to be filled. Then, choose the method of payment and send it to the ATF for them to send it back to you with the tax stamp. The documents that should also be attached with the form while sending are:
- Two passport photos.
- Extra information if you answer section 14 A-H.
- Two fingerprint cards on the FBI form id-258.
- If you are a gun trust, the documentation for your gun trust.
Review! Review! Review!
It’s time for you to review as you now have a gun trust, a suppressor, and your completed form 4, form 5330.23, and ATF’s needed forms.
You don’t want to get denied because of some silly mistake or some missing information. Here is a list for you to review easily:
Inform Your CLEO
You need to inform your Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) by sending the following forms:
- One copy of form 4 for CLEO
- One copy of form 5330.23or form 23 for CLEO
You need to keep in mind that each “responsible person” has to send their CLEO part of their form 5330.23 to the CLEO of their respective region. It’s ideal that you collect their forms and submit them yourself. In that way, you can be sure if everything is done correctly.
Submit Your Forms!
Now, you are completely prepared and ready to submit your forms and other required details. Here is a list of items that you need to submit to the ATF:
And it’s done! When you get the approval, you’ll be free to shoot without harming your ears and neighbors.
At first, getting a suppressor tax stamp can be a daunting experience. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Remember that it isn’t as hard as it seems, but it can be taxing, and on top of that, all the misinformation existing out there, which will make you confused, doesn’t help the situation.
Don’t need to worry, though, because if you learn how to get a suppressor tax stamp correctly, you can achieve your desired result easily. Remember to be patient through every step.
Here we are going to explain how to get a suppressor tax stamp the right way. Care to discover more about it and become an expert at this? Then keep scrolling and learn!
Learn to Get a Suppressor Tax Stamp in 6 Simple Steps
Get Your Suppressor Tax Stamp Now!
Does getting a suppressor tax stamp seem hard? Not at all – just follow the steps mentioned in this article, and you’re good to go.
Remember to be patient through every step. This could take a while to finish, but the result will be fantastic.
So, are you ready to get a suppressor tax stamp? Don’t waste more time and begin now!
#What is the waiting time for ATF Form 1?
The waiting time for the ATF Form 1 ranges from a few days to a few months. If you fill out the form via the ATF’s eFile system, then a few days are enough for your request to be processed. On the other hand, the filled-out paper version takes a month or two to get processed and approved.
#What is the waiting time for ATF Form 4?
The waiting time for the ATF Form 4 to be sent back with the tax stamp varies depending on the backlog of the ATF. Usually, there are 10-12 months waiting for your ATF Form 4.
To conclude, getting a suppressor tax stamp is not that a difficult task to pull off if you understand your needs and fill out the ATF Form of your need accordingly. If you are in a hurry to get a suppressor that is tax-stamped then ATF Form 1 is your way to go.
However, be careful of the fact that homemade suppressors in most cases are not of the quality that is available commercially in the market. As the suppressor is a very complex firearm to make, it is better to try out the ones commercially available. However, if you are in a hurry, then the processing time of the ATF Form 4 can be a huge issue as it may take up to a year to get tax stamped. In that case, it is better to get yourself an FFL so that you do not have to register individual weapons.