As an NFA connoisseur, I’ve endured the process of applying for suppressors, SBRs, and SBSs many times over the years. Now that I’m a licensed firearm manufacturer, my process for receiving or making NFA items is simpler and faster, but I haven’t forgotten how Silencer Shop changed the game and created the easiest way to buy a silencer.
Upon moving to Texas four years ago (and living within about 15 minutes of Silencer Shop HQ, no less), I encountered their Silencer Shop Kiosk for the first time and experienced what it meant to buy and register a suppressor in one central location, all quick-and-easy like.
But you don’t have to live here in Texas. With over 1,000 Kiosk-equipped dealers around the country, chances are you can do the same. Use Silencer Shop’s Dealer Finder (and click the “has kiosk” button to filter for that) to find dealers near you.
Most unfortunately, the Kiosk is not a suppressor vending machine (would that it were so simple). While it doesn’t dispense silencers, it does collect all of the required information and scans your fingerprints so you never have to worry about FD-258 cards again.
If you’ve ever had to visit city hall, a police station, or a random strip mall in order to pay money to have fingerprint cards done, you’ll know how big a convenience this is to do it right there at the Kiosk, digitally (in both senses), and at no charge.
Here’s a neat bonus feature: if you registered your suppressor on a trust and want to add responsible parties or trustees later, a Kiosk near those parties can handle it. As long as they live in a state where silencers are legal, they can visit their closest Silencer Shop Kiosk to enter their info for addition to your trust.
You and your trustees only have to visit a Kiosk once. Well, unless you lose a digit in a tragic boating accident and need to update your fingerprints for some reason. Otherwise, should your address change or you get shorter due to old age, etc., you can simply log in to your Silencer Shop account online and make those changes remotely.
For first-timers, here’s what the silencer-buying process actually looks like:
• Choose a suppressor
• Passport-style photo
• Buy suppressor
• Buy tax stamp
• Fill out Form 4
• Ship to the ATF
Silencer Shop, with the information gathered on the Kiosk, takes care of the Form 4 and sending the completed package to the ATF. Their compliance team even manually reviews every F4 to ensure accuracy.
Heck, their folks are extremely helpful and knowledgeable with the first step of the process, too, should you need some assistance choosing the right can. Needless to say we’d suggest consulting TTAG reviews, too!
The whole Silencer Shop Kiosk Form 4 process — the first time you use it to do your fingerprints and everything else — takes about 15 minutes.
But wait, there’s more!
Much like those horrible potato chips, nobody can buy just one. Silencer Shop, in their quest to be the one central stop for all of your silencer needs, makes it even easier when you buy your second, fifth . . . tenth suppressor.
Now that you’ve used the Kiosk to get your info into Silencer Shop’s secure system, well, it’s already in their system. Next time all you need to do is buy a suppressor and tax stamp — maybe update your passport photo — all of which you can do from home.
Those passport style photos expire annually, but don’t fret. Not only does Silencer Shop send you an email reminder when it’s time for a fresh photo, but their app allows you to snap a selfie at home and upload it directly into your account.
All of this is a major convenience, obviously, by untethering you from business hours or even having to get dressed and, gasp, leave the house. This is silencer ownership simplified.
Unfortunately, being a repeat buyer doesn’t grandfather you into approval and cut down on the wait time. But it’s nice to have the Silencer Shop team there to verify and properly submit all of your paperwork, which avoids hiccups that cost more time.
Buying a silencer can seem a bit daunting, but it’s actually is a pretty simple process. Especially when you can complete everything that’s needed in one central location. Once all of your information is in Silencer Shop’s system, the process is even faster and easier from there.
At this point, the wait for approval is the most difficult part. Which means the best time to buy a silencer was nine months ago. But the second best time is today.