Leak Shows ATF Likely Prepping for Crack Down On Solvent Traps, aka Metal Tubes

Solvent Traps 80% Silencer Parts
Solvent Traps 80% Silencer Parts

MARTINSBURG, WV-(Ammoland.com)- Over the past year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has been cracking down on solvent traps, and now a new leak provided to AmmoLand News by Gun Owners of America (GOA) shows that the ATF might be preparing more crackdowns on the popular items.

A solvent trap is designed to catch solvent from a firearm when the gun is being cleaned. The solvent trap attaches to the front of the gun by using a threaded barrel. The solvent collects at the bottom of the tube of the trap. Solvent traps have been popular amongst firearms enthusiasts that with possession of proper Licenses can convert the traps into fully functioning suppressors by drilling out internal plugs and the closed tubing end.

Owning a solvent trap is currently legal. Converting a solvent trap to a suppressor is also permitted if the builder engraves the tube, files an ATF form one, pays $200 to the ATF to receive a tax stamp.

“Solvent Traps” or “Fuel Filter Kits” are not regulated by the Gun Control Act (GCA) or the National Firearms Act (NFA), because and let us be honest here, we are talking about metal tubing. But that might be changing with the new rules expected this month. Certain senior members of the ATF leadership see solvent traps as a loophole to get around NFA restrictions on hearing protection devices, aka firearms silencers.

Solvent traps have been in the crosshairs for the past year. Multiple companies have been raided or visited by the ATF for selling solvent traps. Most of those companies that the ATF has visited were using Chinese imported parts, or end caps had dimples that guided the user on where to accurately drill out the holes in the correct locations.

Hawk Innovated Tech was one company that the ATF raided. Special Agents served a search warrant at Wayne Hawkins’ home, where he was selling solvent traps. The ATF seized all Hawkins’ inventory and claimed he was selling suppressors. The law enforcement agency also took $300,000 through civil forfeiture!?

Hawkins’ denies that he was selling silencers and claims that the items were just solvent traps, and according to the ATF, they do not regulate the item. The ATF did not file charges against Hawkins but kept the products and the cash. The Georgia man has now filed a lawsuit against the ATF.

Lawsuit challenges ATF’s seizure of Georgia business
Lawsuit challenges ATF’s seizure of Georgia business

The leak from insiders at ATF shows that field offices will no longer be allowed to answer questions about solvent traps. Deputy Assistant Director (IO) Megan A. Bennett emailed all field offices and informed them that any questions must be answered by the Firearms Industry Programs Branch (FIPB). Some believe that this change is to prepare for the transformation of the rule surrounding solvent traps. Insiders say the new rule will make the hollow tube itself to be a suppressor, which would outlaw solvent traps if put into place.

AmmoLand News contacted Ms. Bennett to get a comment on the change of procedures. She referred AmmoLand News to the ATF’s Public Affairs Division. Acting Division Chief of Public Affairs, Erik Longnecker, stated to AmmoLand News that the ATF does not regulate Solvent traps. Mr. Longnecker didn’t respond to AmmoLand’s request to explain why the policy of answering questions about solvent traps has changed.

The ATF is expected to unveil the new rule by the end of the month. Solvent traps are in the crosshairs, and the industry will take a hit. AmmoLand News will follow up once the rule is public.

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.

John Crump

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So we have yet another confirmation from ATF that they do not regulate solvent traps. In order for them to do so, Congress would need to pass a law granting them that authority. An agency cannot create legislation/law to make solvent traps illegal, nor grant itself authority over them. All gun laws are unconstitutional infringements.


time to catch them in the act and dissarm and arrest them for attempted grand theft. states rights baby


‘Civil Forfeiture’ is simply legalized theft. ALWAYS distrust laws that have benign or friendly sounding titles. They are like those counties with “Peoples Republic” or “Democratic” in their name, deceptive.


Asset forfeiture laws are an infringement on rights protected by the fourth amendment. The laws allowing asset forfeiture are supported by law enforcement – the same group that supports infringments on rights protected by the 2nd and 5th amendments. When you criticize them, you will see they would like to infringe on rights protected by the 1st amendment as well.

As always, “not all law enforcement” (although the ones who don’t support these infringements don’t speak up much in a meaningful way – and they do have a tendency to “follow orders” and back the ones who do infringe).


they are crime under color of law. must have same prosecutors as the comifornia theft rings protecting them


Some of the cases I’ve read about are outrageous. I’ve seen some enforcers state online that no law-abiding person ever needs to carry $10,000 and they “can just tell” if someone is a criminal.

Sadly, Wyoming’s asset forfeiture laws are even worse than those of Texas:


Allowing law enforcement agencies to keep the assets they seize adds fuel to the fire.

Efforts to improve Wyoming laws have been stymied by law enforcement and legislators who were previously in law enforcement.


Few things are more dangerous than bored BATF agents and administrators with too much time on their hands.


this is why there should be fewer federal employees, across the board in all agencies.

Roland T. Gunner

Defund all the SOB’s, and keep them defunded.


United State’s Constitution Article.1. Section 8. States the powers of Congress. Such as To declare War, grant letters of Margie and reprisal, and to make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
So, I guess the ATF like all the other “Freebooters and Pirates” just ignore and wipe their collective Asses with!


All tax stamps are extorsion!!!


Also unconstitutional, since they are selling a right you already own.

Boris Badenov

Hmmmm, I wonder what the proper volume on would would be for a 300BLK using very wet sub-sonics?


If it was an over the counter purchase like anything else this problem would not exist. Put the 200.00 in the sale of it and be done already.


Ha! You can be robbed of $200 if you like. It is an illegal tax.

Roland T. Gunner

I am so sick of, and disgusted with, the ATF.

Big George

I heard that #4 rubber bands are next.