Strong Interest in Suppressors Continued in 2017

Suppressors Interest 2017
Suppressors Interest 2017
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Fairfax, VA – -( The number of Form 4 applications received by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) in 2016 and 2017 seems to indicate a clear peak followed by a marked drop-off. Nearly three times as many applications were received in 2016 as in 2017.

Another indication of the Trump Slump or pre-Hillary Clinton panic buying?


About two years ago, BATFE issued Rule 41F Machine guns, Destructive Devices, and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity with Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm.

The ATF reports that the goal of this rule is “to ensure that the identification and background check requirements apply equally to individuals, trusts, and legal entities who apply to make or receive NFA firearms.” The rule became effective on July 13, 2016. Approximately two years’ worth of consumer purchases were compressed into the first six months of 2016 – pushing the total number of Form 4 NFA applications to 312,850 for the year. All but about 12% of these applications were submitted before Rule 41F came into effect. Since suppressors account for around 90% of the tax-paid transfer applications, one can reasonably assume that the majority of these applications were for suppressors.

Rule 41F put individual applications and trusts on equal footing. Previously, individual applications required approval from the local chief law enforcement officer – and, predictably, not all applications were given the same consideration. Rule 41F changed the landscape; legal entities and trusts went from 89% of transfer applications to 48%. Individual applications move much faster through the vetting process, if only because there are fewer background checks to conduct in relation to each application.

After the pre-rule rush, 2017 looked like a down year with “only” 110,377 Form 4 Applications received. This is actually in line with previous years before Rule 41F.

By the end of 2017, there were nearly 1.4 million suppressors registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record – the database of all suppressors not owned by the federal government. The number of suppressors manufactured between the announcement of Rule 41F and April 2017 outpaced the number of Form 4 Applications; supply simply outpaced demand. The rest of 2017 saw four times as many Form 4 applications as suppressors manufactured as the market forces rebalance and BATFE catches up on processing the backlog of applications.

One big number in a chart doesn’t always tell the story.

SilencerCo 22 Sparrow Suppressor
SilencerCo 22 Sparrow Suppressor

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit:

  • 5 thoughts on “Strong Interest in Suppressors Continued in 2017

    1. #1) Eliminate gun free kill zones every where, and at school locations include armed security at all entry points, roving security personnel. 7th grade on up, visual identification ID badges displayed, at all times, on students, faculty and security personnel.
      #2) Keep your hands off our God given rights to self protection, including our high capacity magazines, semi-auto handguns, semi-auto rifles, and semi-auto shotguns.
      #3) Pass concealed carry reciprocity, a licence issued in one state should be good in another.
      #4) Pass the hearing protection act, to get suppressors off the NFA books, these are safety equipment that saves your hearing, you can buy them off the shelf and walk out with them in Europa.
      #5) Pass legislation to get short barreled rifles and short barreled shotguns off the NFA books.
      #6) Strike down the unconstitutional 1986 Hughs amendment, freezing the NFA machengun roles, it violates our second amendment.

      While the few abusers of the 2nd amendment exist and their actions are pure evil, and hanus, lives loss are teriable, but punishing the law abiding for the acts of a few is not acceptable. There are hundreds of thousands of law abiding military personnel that have given their lives so the rest of us law abiding citizens can have all the freedoms listed in the constitution. To abolish or curtail any one of our constitutional rights is unacceptable and will not stand. These issues are tearing at our constitution foundation. We have sacrificed to much to let weak willed turncoat politicians abolish our rights. You don’t punish millions of law abiding people for the hanus acts of a few. Those kind of actions end up causing civil wars and the needless loss of lives. Stop punishing law abiding citizens. Laws only impact the law abiding, not criminals.

      You should instead, teach firearms safety to everyone, at every school, from the 5th grade on up. High schools should have school baised rifle computitions. Guns are tools, operating them safely shouldn’t be a misery or a source of anxiety/fear. An armed society is a polite society.

      If a person at 18 years old can’t be trusted with a firearm, then they shouldn’t have the responsibility to vote, drive, or do anything else. Obviously they are still children then, and should be treated accordingly, including not being charged in courts as an adult untill they turn 21, this includes legal procicutions and military service. Also then the age of concent would be raised to 21 as well. Maybe it would be better to stop messing around with people’s constitution rights. A simple change isn’t always so simple and has a tendency to have the unintended ripple effect in our pond.

      1. Steven: I’ve been a contributor here for quite a while. I’m pretty old and my resume, if that’s what you want to call it, includes former LEO, RKBA organizational director, firearms instructor, hunter of ever type game I could eat or, was a predator and threat, plus a lot of other “stuff”. I haven’t seen you comment before but you’ve summed it up succinctly and directly. Thanks.

        My list, sort of to antagonize Liberals and shorten things up, simply states: repeal the NFA & GCA ‘68, period. In short, repeal all gun laws, they serve no purpose.

    2. Ladies and Gentlemen, let’s revisit the Presidential campaign for a moment and remember the words of both then Candidate Trump and the NRA. Candidate Trump promised us there was no stronger supporter of the Second Amendment than he. He promised that he not only supported National Reciprocity but the Suppressor Bill and said “as soon as you send it to me I’ll sign it”. The NRA agreed. They both LIED to us.

      Now President Trump not only says Reciprocity is dead but he supports a National FOID (firearm owners identification card) Card and imprisonment for those who sell a gun without asking the buyer if they have one. He supports raising the age for purchase of long guns to 21. He supports unlimited access to your medical and mental health records even though you have committed no crime.

      Has the NRA immediately downgraded his “A” rating to an “F”? No, they have not. Why not? That is the question every person should be asking. More importantly, every gun owner should be standing up and saying ENOUGH, no more laws, no more Gun Free Zones. Gun Free Zones = Murder Zones. Stop the murder of our children and our families, stop Gun Free Zones! Make President Trump a one term President, we can do better.

    3. Without the hearing protection act who cares. No one wants to wait a year. Even if the keep the tax and just go with the instant check it would be a vast improvement.

    4. And the applications just sit there, for as long as a year (some longer) while NFA Branch and the FBI dither.
      The HPA & HUSH, and National Carry Reciprocity bills linger while McConnell, Ryan, and Trump dither and the Democrats obstruct, while considering further restrictions on guns, ammunition, accessories, etc.
      In a few weeks, they’ll start telling us that they’re going to get moving (or not) if we re-elect them to another term.
      They’ll get no more moneyor votes from me unless they end their vacillating.

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