New Texas Suppressor Law Explained – Silencer Central (2022)

New laws, whether enacted on the local, state, or federal levels, can often be confusing. Adding to this confusion is the fact that many people try to boil legislation down to easy-to-digest snippets. Unfortunately, doing this often leaves out critical pieces of information that are necessary to the complete understanding of laws.

To help with this, we’re going to explain the new suppressor law in Texas that you have no doubt heard of by now.

We encourage you to read this whole article for a full picture of what’s going on, but if you’d prefer to skip around, here’s what we’re covering:

Table of Contents

  • Laying the Groundwork
  • State Resources for Federal Enforcement
  • Buying Texas-made Suppressors
  • Producing Texas-made Suppressors
  • Staying Safe and Legal

Laying the Groundwork

On June 17, 2021, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed seven Second Amendment-related pieces of legislation into law.

“Politicians from the federal level to the local level have threatened to take guns from law-abiding citizens – but we will not let that happen in Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “Texas will always be the leader in defending the Second Amendment, which is why we built a barrier around gun rights this session. These seven laws will protect the rights of law-abiding citizens and ensure that Texas remains a bastion of freedom. Thank you to the Texas Legislature for getting these bills to my desk.”

(Video) New Law in Texas Deregulates Firearm Suppressors - Fight for Gun Rights!

Unique among them was House Bill 957, which repealed the criminal offense of possessing, manufacturing, transporting, or repairing a firearm silencer. It also ensures that any firearm suppressor manufactured in Texas, and that remains in Texas, will not be subject to federal law or federal regulation. That second sentence is what we’re really interested in here.

On the surface, this may seem to some as a way for the state government to thumb their nose at the federal government and avoid any pesky legal issues that can arise from suppressor ownership. In reality, the new law is more nuanced than that, and understanding what it does and does not do is extremely important to understand.

The Reality of HB 957

HB 957 simply removes the threat of state-level prosecution for unregistered suppressor manufacturing, sales, and/or possession. It does not provide any level of immunity from federal-level prosecution.

In this regard, it is very similar to state marijuana laws. While it may be legal under state law, it can still be prosecuted under federal law. In fact, it was this precedent that spurred the introduction of the bill by Representative Tom Oliverson in the first place. “You just sort of saw crickets from the federal government on the [marijuana] issue,” he said.

Need for a Test Case

The biggest thing this new law does is set the attorney general in Texas up for a test case. It will need to be carefully crafted in order to properly navigate all of the necessary legal channels. This will take a good deal of time to plan and execute, but it is absolutely necessary to do in the long run.

State Resources for Federal Enforcement

HB 957 prevents Texas state resources from being allowed to enforce the federal National Firearms Act with respect to silencers, suppressors, or gun mufflers. If any Texas official aids in the enforcement of the NFA in regards to suppressors, they are subject to losing any grant funds from the state for the following fiscal year.

From HB 957:

(Video) Constitutional carry and silencers: What you need to know about new Texas gun laws

Sec. 2.103. STATE GRANT FUNDS. (a) An entity described by Section 2.101 may not receive state grant funds if the entity adopts a rule, order, ordinance, or policy under which the entity enforces a federal law described by Section 2.102(a) or, by consistent action, allows the enforcement of a federal law described by Section 2.102(a).

(b) State grant funds for the entity shall be denied for the fiscal year following the year in which a final judicial determination in an action brought under this subchapter is made that the entity has violated Section 2.102(a).

Essentially, the new law incentivizes state-level law enforcement to disregard compliance with the NFA if they want to keep their funding intact. This means that the likelihood of Texas residents being pursued by Texas law enforcement for NFA violations is now slim to none, but it doesn’t mean that people are immune to NFA violations on a federal level.

While Texas may not be giving credence to the NFA, the federal government’s stance has not changed.

State and local law enforcement in Texas may turn a blind eye to unregistered suppressors, the ATF will not be doing the same. This means that even though it may be legal for a Texas resident to possess an unregistered “Made in Texas” suppressor under Texas law, the ATF can still prosecute the resident under federal law.

Challenging the Commerce Clause

The new Texas law is taking direct aim at the Constitution’s commerce clause and how it is to be interpreted.

From HB 957:

(Video) Torrent Suppressors 30M 8" (Made In Texas)

Sec. 2.052. NOT SUBJECT TO FEDERAL REGULATION. (a) A firearm suppressor that is manufactured in this state and remains in this state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration, under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce.

(b) A basic material from which a firearm suppressor is manufactured in this state, including unmachined steel, is not a firearm suppressor and is not subject to federal regulation under the authority of the United States Congress to regulate interstate commerce as if it actually were a firearm suppressor.

Sec. 2.053. MARKETING OF FIREARM SUPPRESSOR. A firearm suppressor manufactured and sold in this state must have the words “Made in Texas” clearly stamped on it.

Sec. 2.054. ATTORNEY GENERAL. On written notification to the attorney general by a United States citizen who resides in this state of the citizen’s intent to manufacture a firearm suppressor to which Section 2.052 applies, the attorney general shall seek a declaratory judgment from a federal district court in this state that Section 2.052 is consistent with the United States Constitution.

Essentially, Texas is now saying that Texas-sourced raw materials needed to build a suppressor are not subject to federal regulation under interstate commerce because nothing is leaving the state. Therefore, completed suppressors made from Texas-sourced materials are not subject to the commerce clause.

Buying Texas-made Suppressors

In theory, the new Texas law would allow residents to purchase Texas-made suppressors without going through the long and arduous process that involves NFA paperwork and the $200 tax stamp.

In practice, however, the new Texas law does little – if anything – when it comes to purchasing suppressors. Under federal law, suppressors can only be sold by specially licensed FFLs with the appropriate SOT. These dealers must comply with all federal laws (including registration) if they want to keep their licenses and stay out of jail themselves.

(Video) ATF Tax Stamp Process For My Suppressor 2022 with Silencer Shop Kiosk

So really, there’s no way to legally buy one of these Texas-made suppressors from a dealer unless the dealer wants to put their livelihood on the line.

Producing Texas-made Suppressors

This essentially leaves only one way to take advantage of the new Texas law, and that is for Texas residents to build their own suppressors, which would traditionally be governed by a Form 1 instead of a Form 4.

Unfortunately, however, the ATF and federal law still require DIY suppressors to be registered and taxed with a Form 1, regardless of what state they are made in.

Staying Safe and Legal

If all of this seems kind of confusing and worrisome while at the same time offering a glimmer of hope, that’s because it is indeed all of those things.

Silencer Central is here to help you navigate the silencer-buying process in a way that is both easy and legal on state and federal levels. We have been selling silencers all day, every day for more than 15 years in every state where silencers are legal.

Get in touch with us and we’d be happy to answer any and all suppressor-related questions you may have. Once that’s squared away, we’d be happy to help you start your own journey toward suppressor ownership.

Learn More

(Video) How to Buy a Suppressor with eForm 4 from Silencer Central 2022

FAQs

What is the new law on Texas suppressors? ›

Texas House Bill 957, passed in 2021, expressly exempts from federal regulation firearm suppressors that are made in, and remain in Texas. Federal law regulates firearm suppressors, making it illegal to own a firearm suppressor for personal use without paying a tax.

How long does it take to get a suppressor from silencer Central? ›

Right now, expect any form 4 application to take between about 250-370 days to process and an e-filed Form 1 to take about a month. Some Form 1 users have reported even faster turnaround times of just a couple weeks, but that is the exception rather than the rule.

Are suppressors legal in Texas without a permit? ›

Austin, TX, January 26, 2022 — The Texas legislature passed a bill last year meant to exempt Texas-made firearm suppressors from federal law. Nonetheless, the process for buying a suppressor in Texas remains the same, and suppressor manufacturers are doubtful that change will come anytime soon.

Are suppressors being removed from NFA? ›

This bill removes silencers from the definition of firearms for purposes of the National Firearms Act. It also treats persons acquiring or possessing a firearm silencer as meeting any registration and licensing requirements of such Act.

Can you hunt with a suppressor in Texas? ›

It is legal to harvest game animals with suppressors in Texas.

Did HB 957 pass Texas? ›

The passage of Texas House Bill 957 (HB957), with an effective date of September 1, 2021, has generated questions from industry members as to how this state law may affect them while engaged in a firearms business activity.

How long does it take to get a silencer in 2022? ›

Per the ATF, the timeline was an expected 90 days, and some customers have been approved much sooner. We've seen applications submitted on Jan 17, 2022 approved on February 11, 2022, which is less 30 days and we've even seen a 6 day approval,” said Dave Matheny, Silencer Shop CEO.

Can you buy multiple suppressors with one tax stamp? ›

Yes, you will need to have a tax stamp for each silencer that you want to purchase / own. Each NFA firearm

NFA firearm
National Firearms Act. Long title. An Act to provide for the taxation of manufacturers, importers, and dealers in certain firearms and machine guns, to tax the sale or other disposal of such weapons, and to restrict importation and regulate interstate transportation thereof. Acronyms (colloquial) NFA.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › National_Firearms_Act
that you own as an individual or with your gun trust, corporation or other legal entity will require a tax stamp.

Who owns Silencer Central? ›

Brandon Maddox, CEO and owner of Silencer Central, is recognized as a national thought leader on Class 3 firearms. What began as Maddox's home-based Federal Firearms License (FFL) evolved into a Class 3 Dealership and has grown into the nationwide brand it is today.

How long is the wait for a suppressor tax stamp? ›

After submitting a Form 4 you have to wait for approval from the ATF at which point they will send back a Tax Stamp, and you can pick up your suppressor. The approval process wait time varies, but currently it takes approximately 6-9 months.

How much does a suppressor change point of impact? ›

With some combinations, you may see as much as a 10- to 12-inch difference in impact at 100 yards between suppressed and unsuppressed rifles. The act of passing through a suppressor can change a bullet's POI as well. You will often see slight changes in velocity when you add a suppressor and take it off.

Why are suppressors so regulated? ›

Silencers pose a unique risk to public safety and warrant heightened regulation: Silencers are designed to reduce the sound produced when a gun is fired by providing an area for gases to expand and cool before exiting the gun and being released into the air.

Can you form 1 a suppressor? ›

Form 1 Suppressor

A suppressor is one of the hardest NFA Firearms

NFA Firearms
National Firearms Act. Long title. An Act to provide for the taxation of manufacturers, importers, and dealers in certain firearms and machine guns, to tax the sale or other disposal of such weapons, and to restrict importation and regulate interstate transportation thereof. Acronyms (colloquial) NFA.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › National_Firearms_Act
to make at home with a Form 1. This is because some level of machining is typically involved. There are companies that sell kits, sometimes called “solvent traps,” that are intended to allow people to make their own Form 1 suppressor.

Can you carry a pistol while bow hunting in Texas? ›

Can I carry a handgun while bow hunting? No, Concealed weapons, in accordance with Concealed Handgun laws of Texas, are used for personal protection, not hunting. If you are archery hunting – you are still hunting.

Can a felon hunt in Texas? ›

State Law. Under Texas state law, if you have been convicted of a felony, you cannot possess a firearm in your residence until five years has gone by from the date your sentence was completed. In other words, you can possess a firearm in your home five years after you finished your prison or parole sentence.

Can you carry a silenced pistol in Texas? ›

Are Silencers Legal in Texas? You bet they are! Most states allow silencer ownership and use in hunting. In Texas, you can use your silencer for target shooting, home defense, hunting, or any other legal use.

Are 3D printed suppressors legal in Texas? ›

As long as you follow all local, state, and federal laws, then yes, 3D printed suppressors are legal. Whether you buy a suppressor from a dealer on a Form 4 or make one yourself on a Form 1, suppressors are all NFA

NFA
National Firearms Act. Long title. An Act to provide for the taxation of manufacturers, importers, and dealers in certain firearms and machine guns, to tax the sale or other disposal of such weapons, and to restrict importation and regulate interstate transportation thereof. Acronyms (colloquial) NFA.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › National_Firearms_Act
-regulated items – including ones made with 3D printers.

What does HB 957 mean? ›

H.B. 957 amends the Penal Code to remove a firearm silencer from among the prohibited weapons whose intentional or knowing possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale constitutes an offense.

Are suppressors NFA items in Texas? ›

Suppressors Are Designated As A Class 3 Firearms In Texas

Silencers and suppressors are designated as Class 3 Firearms by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. They are regulated items under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Why are NFA wait times so long? ›

Because of the bureaucracy that leads to long delays in acquiring NFA

NFA
National Firearms Act. Long title. An Act to provide for the taxation of manufacturers, importers, and dealers in certain firearms and machine guns, to tax the sale or other disposal of such weapons, and to restrict importation and regulate interstate transportation thereof. Acronyms (colloquial) NFA.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › National_Firearms_Act
items, many people don't bother with the process. Even so, current processing times for a paper Form 4 averaged eight months.

Can I check my NFA status? ›

How to check the status of your submission: To get the status of your transfer from the ATF, call the NFA Branch directly at: (304) 616-4500. You will need to provide your name (or the name of your trust or corporation), the serial number of the suppressor, and the name of the transferor.

How will I know when my form 4 is approved? ›

Simply call the NFA

NFA
National Firearms Act. Long title. An Act to provide for the taxation of manufacturers, importers, and dealers in certain firearms and machine guns, to tax the sale or other disposal of such weapons, and to restrict importation and regulate interstate transportation thereof. Acronyms (colloquial) NFA.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › National_Firearms_Act
Branch and ask to “check the status of your Form 4. NOTE: This process has changed and does change occasionally. The NFA Branch has instituted a phone menu system now where you will need to follow the prompts to check the status of an NFA transfer to be connected to the right person.

Do suppressors wear out? ›

Long term sustained fire will wear out a suppressor, sometimes in just a manner of seconds or minutes. No suppressor is built for long term sustained volumes of fire – the laws of physics prohibit it!

Can you swap suppressors between guns? ›

You can use your silencer on any firearm that you own. You can also use your silencer on other calibers firearms that are different than your silencer. The listed caliber on your approved tax stamp is the largest caliber that you can use your silencer for. Smaller calibers that can accept the silencer can be used.

Do you have to wait everytime you buy a suppressor? ›

Am I "grandfathered" in after I purchase my first suppressor? No, when you purchase your next suppressor you will still need to complete the ATF application process, pay the $200 tax stamp and wait for approval.

How many employees does Silencer Central have? ›

Silencer Central has grown to 165 employees, including 41 based in the field who are back to attending shows. “We're looking at acquisitions. It's moving pretty quick,” Maddox said.

Does silencer Central offer military discount? ›

Short for Service Proven Equipment, the SPEQ program offers a substantial discount on SilencerCo products to current and retired military, law enforcement, and first responders.

What ammo do you use for a silencer? ›

In a pistol, the 9mm round works well with a silencer because the bullet leaves the barrel so fast it doesn't have time to reach a supersonic velocity. Remember silencers only stop sound at the firearm, not down range.

Can I buy a suppressor in Texas without a stamp? ›

In essence, it allows suppressors made in Texas to be sold without registration with the ATF. That is, as long as the suppressor's parts are made in Texas and the suppressors stay within the state's borders.

What states can you buy a suppressor without a tax stamp? ›

The following states allow private ownership of silencers: AL, AR, AK, AZ, CO, CT, FL, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, ND, NE, NV, NH, NM, NC, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT*, WA, WI, WV and WY. *The use of suppressors for hunting goes into effect July 1st, 2020.

What does HB 957 mean? ›

H.B. 957 amends the Penal Code to remove a firearm silencer from among the prohibited weapons whose intentional or knowing possession, manufacture, transport, repair, or sale constitutes an offense.

How long is the wait for a suppressor tax stamp? ›

After submitting a Form 4 you have to wait for approval from the ATF at which point they will send back a Tax Stamp, and you can pick up your suppressor. The approval process wait time varies, but currently it takes approximately 6-9 months.

How long will a suppressor last? ›

Most can be swapped between calibers. A high-quality suppressor can increase the accuracy of your rifle. Most modern suppressors are simple to maintain. Properly built, a suppressor will last you two lifetimes.

Do you need a tax stamp for integrally suppressed? ›

Generally, integral suppressors do not lend themselves to sharing between guns, and each integrally suppressed firearm requires its own $200 stamp.

Do you have to pay a suppressor tax stamp every year? ›

Yes, you will need to have a tax stamp for each silencer that you want to purchase / own. Each NFA firearm

NFA firearm
National Firearms Act. Long title. An Act to provide for the taxation of manufacturers, importers, and dealers in certain firearms and machine guns, to tax the sale or other disposal of such weapons, and to restrict importation and regulate interstate transportation thereof. Acronyms (colloquial) NFA.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › National_Firearms_Act
that you own as an individual or with your gun trust, corporation or other legal entity will require a tax stamp.

Why would the ATF come to your home? ›

Reason 1: Firearm Tracing

The first and most common reason we see the ATF attempting to question a person, seemingly at random, is firearm tracing. When you buy a firearm from an FFL and it later leaves your inventory, there may not be a record.

What is the closest thing to a suppressor? ›

Suppressor Alternatives
  • Quiet . 22 Rimfire Alternatives. ...
  • Quiet . 22 Handguns. ...
  • Quiet Centerfire Loads. Although far from dead-quiet, some handgun calibers are much less noisy in bare rifle barrels. ...
  • Quiet Shotgun Solutions. I've written about how to reduce shotgun recoil. ...
  • Chamber Adapters. ...
  • Airguns as Alternatives. ...
  • Crossbows.
29 Apr 2020

Are homemade silencers illegal? ›

Building a suppressor at home is, in theory, perfectly legal. Federal law requires that anyone who does so still register the device, and submit to a background check before construction.

Are 3D printed suppressors legal in Texas? ›

As long as you follow all local, state, and federal laws, then yes, 3D printed suppressors are legal. Whether you buy a suppressor from a dealer on a Form 4 or make one yourself on a Form 1, suppressors are all NFA

NFA
National Firearms Act. Long title. An Act to provide for the taxation of manufacturers, importers, and dealers in certain firearms and machine guns, to tax the sale or other disposal of such weapons, and to restrict importation and regulate interstate transportation thereof. Acronyms (colloquial) NFA.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › National_Firearms_Act
-regulated items – including ones made with 3D printers.

What is a solvent trap? ›

A genuine solvent trap is an item that attaches to the barrel of a firearm, and used to catch and trap gun cleaning solvent during the cleaning process.

Are solvent traps legal in Texas? ›

Yes. The ATF has classified solvent traps as “firearm accessories.” That means it is not a controlled item under any federal gun law.

Can I check my NFA status? ›

How to check the status of your submission: To get the status of your transfer from the ATF, call the NFA Branch directly at: (304) 616-4500. You will need to provide your name (or the name of your trust or corporation), the serial number of the suppressor, and the name of the transferor.

What is the difference between a silencer and a suppressor? ›

A suppressor does reduce some of the sound though. Nothing completely silences a gun, so technically silencer is an incorrect term, but it is used by the majority of the public. The simple answer is both words can be used interchangeably - meaning the terms Silencer and Suppressor refer to the exact same thing.

Why are NFA wait times so long? ›

Because of the bureaucracy that leads to long delays in acquiring NFA

NFA
National Firearms Act. Long title. An Act to provide for the taxation of manufacturers, importers, and dealers in certain firearms and machine guns, to tax the sale or other disposal of such weapons, and to restrict importation and regulate interstate transportation thereof. Acronyms (colloquial) NFA.
https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › National_Firearms_Act
items, many people don't bother with the process. Even so, current processing times for a paper Form 4 averaged eight months.

Videos

1. TEXAS SUPPRESSOR FREEDOM BILL, WHAT PARTS ARE LEGAL?
(NOT SO SLIM JIM)
2. Texas Sues ATF Over Suppressor Regulations!
(Guns & Gadgets)
3. How to buy a Silencer in 2021, trusts, myths and more
(13C Gun Reviews)
4. NFA Made Easy | Silencer Shop Kiosk
(Iraqveteran8888)
5. How To Buy A Silencer - Suppressor Buying Guide With Ready Gunner
(Ready Gunner Reviews)
6. DID I GET SCAMMED By The SILENCER SHOP?
(cromag27)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Last Updated: 09/20/2022

Views: 5926

Rating: 5 / 5 (60 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-03-23

Address: 74183 Thomas Course, Port Micheal, OK 55446-1529

Phone: +13408645881558

Job: Global Representative

Hobby: Sailing, Vehicle restoration, Rowing, Ghost hunting, Scrapbooking, Rugby, Board sports

Introduction: My name is Geoffrey Lueilwitz, I am a zealous, encouraging, sparkling, enchanting, graceful, faithful, nice person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.