Sound Suppressors in Michigan – Silencers Part II
Michigan – -(Ammoland.com)- – As was discussed last week in this column, silencers have been confirmed to be allowed in Michigan by a recent Attorney General's Opinion (http://www.michigan.gov/ag/)
This week, we discuss the practical issues involved in a lawful purchase of a silencer.
Both machine guns and silencers, as well as other weapons such as SBR (Short Barreled Rifles) and SBS (Short Barreled Shotguns), are regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA.) Silencers, like machine guns, are subject to a $200 transfer tax, and can only be legally purchased from a dealer licensed to sell them. Not all FFLs (Federal Firearms Licensees) are authorized to sell NFA-controlled items.
An individual who purchases a silencer must purchase only from an authorized dealer, often referred to as a Class III Dealer, and must fill out the appropriate ATF forms (Form 4) and two sets of fingerprint cards, provide passport photos of the prospective buyer, and collect the signature of a CLEO, or, Chief Law Enforcement officer attesting that the prospective purchaser does not possess a disqualifying criminal record and is not wanted, along with a check or money order for $200.00.
If the purchaser is a trust, corporation, or LLC, some of the above requirements are waived. However, the $200 must still be paid. It is strongly recommended that you consult with an attorney familiar with this process before proceeding with this course of action. Our office is developing a network of attorneys who can advise regarding which such entity is best for your particular needs and assist with creating it, and submitting the appropriate verification to the ATF.
Michigan Class III Dealer
So, the first step is to find a Michigan Class III dealer who either has the item you want in stock, or can order it for you. The second step is to decide whether you want to proceed as an individual, or create a trust or corporate entity, and then submit the required paperwork and fee to the ATF and get approval before completing the purchase. One of the advantages of using a trust or corporate entity is that if you pass away before transferring the item, it is possible to allow for successors who may legally possess it.
Moving forward, we can expect that more dealers will be offering silencers for sale after they acquire the appropriate authorization. Michigan shooters will be less likely to sustain permanent hearing loss and less likely to become involved in nuisance conflicts with neighbors. The future of shooting will be safer and more quiet than the past was.
Steve Dulan (www.StevenWDulan.com) is a member of the Board of Directors of the MCRGO and the MCRGO Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the MCRGO Foundation. He is an attorney in private practice in East Lansing and Adjunct Professor of firearms law at The Thomas M. Cooley Law School. as well as an Endowment Member of NRA.
The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Formed from just eight people in 1996, we now have thousands of members and numerous affiliated clubs across the state. We're growing larger and more effective every day.
Our mission statement is: “Promoting safe use and ownership of firearms through education, litigation, and legislation” Visit: www.mcrgo.org