Texas Removes Ban on Gun Mufflers, Silencers, Suppressors

Mute-Silencer
Texas Removes Ban on Gun Mufflers, Silencers, Suppressors

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- On 15 June, 2021, Governor Greg Abbott signed Texas HB 957 into law. The new law removes the Texas prohibition on firearm suppressors, commonly known as silencers or gun mufflers. From the bill:

“Firearm suppressor” means any device designed, made, or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm.

From the legislative history, it appears silencers, suppressors or gun mufflers were first banned in Texas in 1973. Although they were banned in Texas law, there was an affirmative defense from prosecution if the gun mufflers were legally possessed under federal law, as shown in this AmmoLand article from 2014.

As you can see, lawful registration in accordance with the National Firearms Act is a “defense to prosecution”.  In Texas, any “defense to prosecution” has to be disproven by the state beyond a reasonable doubt. If reasonable doubt is established that the item in question is properly registered, the state requires that the defendant be acquitted.

Texas changed the affirmative defense to clear law with the passage of HB 1819 in 2017.  It removed the sweeping prohibition of silencers from Texas law, but granted sovereignty over silencer regulation to the federal government.  The federal government requires a payment of a $200 tax and numerous regulatory requirements to possess such items. From the federal statutes:

The terms “firearm silencer” and “firearm muffler” mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.

Silencers will no longer be banned under Texas law when HB 957 goes into effect on 1 September, 2021.

HB 957 enacts strong anti-commandeering language.

Texas state resources shall not be 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 NFA silencer law, they are subject to losing any grant funds from the State of Texas for the following fiscal year. From HB 957:

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).

Once the law goes into effect, people in Texas will have to work at being prosecuted for the possession of a suppressor without an NFA tax stamp.

How would anyone know if the suppressor is possessed with a tax stamp or not, unless the possessor is in the habit of bragging about not having a tax stamp, or if they broadcast their possession of an unregulated suppressor on social media?

Both such situations have occurred.

There may be prosecutions for illegal importations of suppressors. There have been a couple of those in the last two years, in the entire USA.

Texas is the largest market for NFA items in the USA.  There were 401,861 silencers registered with the ATF in Texas as of April, 2020.  In 2011, there were 36,204.

This correspondent found only one Texas prosecution for an illegal silencer in Texas, in the last 5 years. It was Rick Montevealvo in Houston, in 2019. There were multiple other charges and warrants.  Montevealvo had  no criminal record, but had a considerable record of mental issues.

The Texas reform of silencer law is part of the broad movement to reform or repeal the National Firearms Act.

Arkansas repealed its ban on silencers in 2019.  Texas law goes further, with the strong anti-commandeering provision.

From this correspondent’s review of state firearms laws, as collected by the ATF, 22 states do not have a state prohibition on the possession of silencers.

There is more. HB 957 sets up a test case of the extraordinary powers which have been given to the federal government by the Supreme Court, under the current bizarre interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause.

Those implications will be discussed in a future article.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

Dean Weingarten

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Gomezaddams51
Gomezaddams51
3 months ago

The states need to take back the power they have allowed the Federal Government to steal since the 1800’s. Originally the Federal government was actually very weak and all the power belonged to the states. Somewhere things went to hell. States take back the power.

Arizona
Arizona
3 months ago
Reply to  Gomezaddams51

States and We the People. You are correct. Originally, Congress and the federal gov had very little power, and what the Constitution says is all powers not specifically delegated to the fed remain with the states, or the people. Then Congress kept assuming power, creating Departments not authorized by the Constitution and passing laws Repugnant to the Constitution.

Josh
Josh
3 months ago

I have heard it said that it still needs to pass federal approval. However, look at marijuana laws. Many states have legalized marijuana even though it is a federal law. And is this really any different? If TX legalizes purchasing and owning Texas made suppressors, wouldn’t that basically be the same thing? Legal to own and use in Texas, but not really anywhere else. Technically, couldn’t the Fed go to any state who has legalized marijuana and arrest someone? Yes I think so. But I don’t think that is happening.

Finnky
Finnky
3 months ago
Reply to  Josh

Federal drug laws are enforced even in states which do not support those laws. Enforcement is rare, but it does occur.

Cruel and unusually, capricious even?

Do we expect better under gun laws? Fed won’t turn a blind eye and FFLs won’t risk their license.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

I did not find anywhere in this law indicating that you must be an FFL to either manufacture, sell or purchase a, “Made In Texas” suppressor.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago

Governor Abbott, Ken Paxton, Steven McCraw, and Steve Westbrook should lead by example. They should all go out and buy a Texas-made suppressor without going through the federal process and hold a press conference to show reporters their new purchases. They should make statements defying the federal government and declare what they have done is perfectly legal because of Texas law.

Last edited 3 months ago by JSNMGC
Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
3 months ago

This, and the 2A “Sanctuary State” thing, and Constitutional Carry are a good start; but it has taken way too much political pressure on Abbott and Patrick to achieve these concessions. We need high ranking leadership, at the State level, who take a serious, personal no compromise approach to defending our constitutionsl liberties. While laws are being repealed, as a stop-gap, very loudly tell all the Feds, No! No more! Not here! And back it up with Texas LEOs and National Guard protecting Texas citizens from Federal harrassment.

Finnky
Finnky
3 months ago

Using Texas LEO or National Guard to actively resist federal authority would be open rebellion. Do you think for even a moment that any politician would go that far. Fed would probably start with seizure of all state bank accounts (investment accounts, etc) as well as personal accounts of individuals known to be investment involved including all high ranking state officials. They could legally employ the military to suppress the insurrection and I don’t doubt they would.

Politicians are simply not going to put their wealth on the line, much less their freedom.
out our legal obligations.

Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

open rebellion”? Just the opposite really.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago

Two questions, Dean: 1) Is there a provision in the law that states that if a Texas enforcer arrests someone (who is using a suppressor for which he did not go through the federal process) at a gun range and the Texas enforcer informs federal enforcers about the violation of federal law, then that enforcer will: Lose his Texas law enforcer job; Lose his enforcer pension and other benefits; Be prohibited from obtaining any job working for any Texas government agency; and Be subject to personal lawsuits for intentionally violating Texas law while being employed as an enforcer and therefore… Read more »

Finnky
Finnky
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

We both know this change in the law is almost entirely symbolic.

Nice, but won’t change much.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

Most of these types of bills are symbolic, but the 2nd Amendment Preservation Act, as originially written, in Wyoming actually had me teeth. It was a great opportunity for enforcers to show they really were “pro 2nd Amendment,” however, they all got together and shot it down. When someone in Wyoming says their sheriff is “pro 2nd Amendment” I just laugh. The danger of the Texas bill is that some guy who believes his sheriff is pro 2nd Amendment and believes Texas law says it’s ok to buy a Texas suppressor without going through the federal process is going to… Read more »

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Who said anything about BUYING a suppressor in Texas? This is about MADE IN TEXAS Suppressors…

State Legislature Exempts Texas-Made Suppressors From …https://thetexan.news

May 25, 2021 — 87th LegislatureFederalGunsState Legislature Exempts TexasMade Suppressors From Federal Gun Laws … To skirt the commerce clause of the …

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

Where will they be purchased in order to comply with the Texas law (but still not the federal law)?

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

TX Silencer Outrider – Silencer Shophttps://www.silencershop.com › tsc-outrider As with the Texas Silencer Hunter, we have to start off by admitting a little bias towards a silencer manufacturer from such a fine place as the … Apr 28, 2018 ·  Rating: 4.9 · ‎18 reviews People also ask What suppressors are made in Texas? Torrent Suppressors – THE NEW AGE OF SILENCE IS HEREhttps://torrentsuppressors.com state of the art reliable suppressors systems. Purposely over-engineered suppressors built in Texas. FIND YOUR MODEL … Waymore Silencers Houston Texas Best NFA Class 3 …https://waymoresilencers.com DEAD AIR NOMAD 30 · CGS HYPERION – Chaos Gear Supply · GunWerks 8IGHT · SIG SAUER MODX-9 · RADICAL FIREARMS SINTER TI 762… Read more »

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

From the bill: 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. The entire idea is that it remains in the state to be protected by the interstate commerce clause. “Correspondents,” including the Isaiah Mitchell (the author of the ariticle USMC0351Grunt linked to) and Dean Weingarten really should clearly state what this law does and what it doesn’t do. Also, it seems the law is completely meaningless unless the law is… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by JSNMGC
Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Good, then it would flush out the mindless Just Following Orders types. Anyone who wouldn’t sign that has no business being a cop and taking the Constitutional oath. Don’t sign, don’t work.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  Russn8r

I agree.

The same applies for 2nd Amendment Preservation Acts and 2nd Amendment Sanctuary Acts – see “full-meal-deal of 2nd Amendment Sanctuary” discussion below.

If enforcers are not held personally accountable, nothing will change.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

THAT action will come when WE, THE PEOPLE get up off our apathetic asses and each take personal responsibility for stepping up to the plate for freedom and liberty. Until then just keep whining and crying on open forums on the Internet. A free man does not ask for permission.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

Well you just go right out there and show them. Go find the nearst USMC veteran in his 20s or 30s who is now an enforcer and show him your suppressor you bought without going through the federal process.

Get off your apathetic ass and do it – quit talking about it.

You can enthrall the enforcers by recounting your glory days in the USMC while you’re cuffed in the back seat.

Don’t worry, though you can just hire a high school teacher to defend you. Should turn out just fine.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Ever heard of the saying, “Freedom ISN’T FREE?” YOU, Joe Citizen, must fight, each and every day, tooth and nail for YOUR freedom and liberty, REGARDLESS of what the founding documents state, or remain on your knees, like a little bitch!

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Let those that dare show up on the VERY rural properties of Texans and find out just how well their attitudes and vests hold up against Texas freedom and liberty?

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

Why do you put question marks after statements?

Get downtown with your suppressor and show those USMC veterans who are now enforcers what a real man you are. Don’t hide out in the boonies like an old bitch.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

The federal agents, State DPS, County Sheriff and Deputies as well as the City LEOs all know who I am. Some even come out to my property and review guns that I have made and if they have time we shoot together. So, what is your issue?

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

Do you really want to know?

Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

Who said anything? The Texas legislature. The new law also provides for buying & selling suppressors made in Texas.

Sec 2.053 MARKETING. A suppressor manufactured & sold in Texas must have Made in Texas clearly stamped on it.

Last edited 3 months ago by Russn8r
USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  Russn8r

….and? You don’t know how to stamp, “Made In Texas” on a piece of metal? I’m sure there is a YouTube video out there on this process? ANYBODY that OWNS a suppressor KNOW that the ONLY THING “REGISTERED” by the federal government is the metal tube or sleeve that the guts of the suppressor is slid into. The ONLY ITEM with a registration / serial number on it, that thin piece of metal tube. DUH?

Last edited 3 months ago by USMC0351Grunt
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

It’s been explained to you three times and you still don’t understand the law.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

You may want to check the time-stamp on your comments as to when you “think” your message(s) came through and when the others of us actually read them… To date I haven’t seen anything dictating that anyones answers top or is forced to abide by your timeframe for responding, IF in fact there is anything actually there to read?

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

You may want to go back and read the comments from the people who tried to explain things to you.

Was there a question in that mess you wrote? Is so, please rephrase.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

….and? You don’t know how to stamp, “Made In Texas” on a piece of metal? I’m sure there is a YouTube video out there on this process? ANYBODY that OWNS a suppressor KNOWS that the ONLY THING “REGISTERED” by the federal government is the metal tube or sleeve that the guts of the suppressor is slid into. The ONLY ITEM with a registration / serial number on it, that thin piece of metal tube. DUH? So, throughout all these years, it has been WE, The People that have sat back on our lazy complacent asses and ALLOWED some idiot in… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

Don’t deflect. You claimed the law has zip to do with sales. I showed it provides for sales.

Last edited 3 months ago by Russn8r
Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Yep. The original 2A Preservation Act was Anthony Bouchard’s bill. He was forced to vote against his own bill after RINOs and authority-worshiping “Republican” sissies gutted it down to symbolic kabuki to appease “law enforcement’s” phony concerns. I donated to him to oppose Cheney in the primary. Sadly, he’s been pretty heavily smeared, so Trump, who never learns, will probably endorse yet another phony conservative.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Did you watch the senate judiciary committee meeting on that bill? What a cluster. Our heros joined Moms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety to defeat it even after Bouchard promised to amend the bill to not hold enforcers personally liable for cooperating with federal enforcers contrary to the law.

Last edited 3 months ago by JSNMGC
USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

If you are implying Waco, 1) Abbott was not at the helm of the Governorship and 2) That was the McLennan County Sheriff’s call to ALLOW Janet Reno to dictate what was to occur in HIS county.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

I am implying Waco – obvious, even if you don’t click the link. Of course Abbot was not the governor – what difference does that make? The county sherrif was the one who notified the BATFE about the suspicious deliveries. It’s not “HIS” county. He’s just a government employee who works for the taxpayers of that county. If you believe it was the sheriff’s call and the governor could not have done anything, why do you mention that Abott was not governor at that time? If the USMC veteran had not shot a kid’s lab at Ruby Ridge, I don’t… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

Texas clearly needs to preempt local A-HOLES.

Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

I’ve had a question below since yesterday that was only approved this morning. And still not answered.

Last edited 3 months ago by Russn8r
Jaffo
Jaffo
3 months ago

Dean, Did you read the whole bill, just gloss over it, or intentionally omit one of the most important sections Sec. 2.054 ?

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.

Last edited 3 months ago by Jaffo
Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  Jaffo

Yep. Other clauses are interesting in conjunction with 2.054. Could be a landmark case — if Trump’s 3 new cowardly derelict “Federalist” Society “Justices” (aka RINOs) don’t invoke “standing” or other bogus excuses as they did to dismiss the Texas et al. case that objected to other states stealing the presidential election and installing the Biden Junta. Paraphrased from legislative summary: Sec 2.051 MEANING OF MANUFACTURED IN THIS STATE (a) A firearm suppressor is manufactured in Texas if manufactured in Texas from basic materials without any part imported from another state other than a generic and insignificant part. (b) A… Read more »

Miserable Wretch
Miserable Wretch
3 months ago

We need something like this in Indiana.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago

Indiana needs to step-up and push for the full-meal-deal of 2nd Amendment Sanctuary.

Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

Every “R” state that whines about Calizuela Dems & other “liberals” moving in needs to man up, get off their a$$es & pass every conservative law that Cali Dems & gvt-union scum find obnoxious, like abolishing “gun free” zones & establishing school vouchers. “Don’t like it, don’t move here. Or leave.”

States should revoke the unqualified “right” of “private” firms that are open to the public to destroy public safety by declaring “private” “gun free” zones. A “private” café has has no more right to make us defenseless than it does to serve rancid grease, insect parts & rodent excrement.

Last edited 3 months ago by Russn8r
Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  Russn8r

I wonder which mindless phony conservative sissy downvoted this?

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Hard to say, but you are right. If a business is, “open to the public”, it can’t also claim to be private.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

I’m not aware of any state that has “full-meal-deal of 2nd Amendment Sanctuary.”

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

You will see by the amount of federal agents that attempt to skirt state law. If this was such a non-issue, then… https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2021/04/09/six-actions-biden-took-guns-show-limits-what-he-can-do/

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

The Texas Sanctuary declaration has no teeth in it – when Texas enforcers violate the act they will not lose their jobs, their pensions, or their houses.

Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago

What’s with the ridiculous “moderation”?

Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago

“HB1819…removed the sweeping prohibition of silencers from Texas law, but granted sovereignty over silencer regulation to the federal govt…”

“Silencers will no longer be banned…when HB 957 goes into effect on 9-1-21…HB 957 enacts strong anti-commandeering language…state resources shall not be allowed to enforce the federal NFA with respect to silencers, suppressors, or gun mufflers.”

So, does HB957 end federal sovereignty over Texas silencer regulation???

Last edited 3 months ago by Russn8r
Orion
Orion
3 months ago
Reply to  Russn8r

when made, assembled and stays within the borders of texas….. yes.

Russn8r
Russn8r
3 months ago
Reply to  Orion

I know, had to answer my own question by reading the legislative summary.

You can bet it will only end federal sovereignty over Texas silencer regulation IF Trump’s 3 dishonorable “Federalist” faux-conservative cowards don’t shirk like they did for Biden’s coup d’etat. BIG IF.

Also only if additional fixes are implemented and enforced such JSNMGC and I suggested. Essentially:

If you want to continue in “law enforcement”, then resist tyrannical federales and their unconstitutional laws, decrees & orders. Otherwise hand in your badge & gun and resign in disgrace or be fired.

Last edited 3 months ago by Russn8r
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  Orion

According to Texas, not according to the BATFE. Someone is going to get jammed-up on this, especially with all the incomplete reporting going on.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Then let it be me because I will always follow law and not back down. SEE: ROMEO G., vs. City of Albuquerque (1994) 5 cops thought they were “right” when they stepped outside of serving and protecting and began to fabricate their own way of thinking rather than following the law.

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

WTF are you talking about? I HAVE BEEN and REMAIN IN “THE MIDDLE OF IT” for more than the past 3 decades! I don’t see your name on ANY lawsuits of any substance that have lent aid and assist to citizens other than yourself, let alone even THOSE cases? All my cases set precedence and aid others along the way. I have cases pending as we speak that go far beyond my own personal preferences in the 2nd Amendment arena. WTF have YOU gotten off your ass and done?

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

It’s hysterical when you bellow. You didn’t even understand the Texas suppressor law and then when it was pointed out to you, you started your barking, rather than just saying “oh.” Get off your apathetic ass and do something. Are you going to take your made-in-Texas suppressor to California and walk up to an enforcer (who used to get a paycheck as a Marine) and tell him all about how you didn’t go through the federal process? By the way, these millions of veterans you keep talking about – when are they going to prevent the other veterans (who are… Read more »

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Who said anything about taking the suppressor out of the state of Texas? And for any logical reason WHY would anyone take it to California? Those deadbeats are destroying their own liberty and the cowards, rather than standing and correcting the many problems in that misguided hell hole are moving to Texas for our Tax structure, FREEDOM and LIBERTY! As far as, “when are they going to prevent the other veterans (who are with the BATFE, U.S. Marshals Service, FBI, and countless others who are with state, county, and town agencies) from enforcing unconstitutional laws?” I already have been for… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
3 months ago
Reply to  USMC0351Grunt

THAT was only ONE of my many cases. How many cases have you been involved in on your own dime and WON?