WASHINGTON, D.C. -(Ammoland.com)- The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) stepped up its war against 80% Silencer Kits by requiring new information that the agency has never asked for in the past. Essentially moving the goal post on home-built Hearing Protection without proper approval.
AmmoLand News recently reported about the rejection of approximately 850 applications out of 3000 submitted by Americans that wanted to build their own suppressors. Those 850 rejected applications were sent to local field offices for further investigation because the ATF believed that the parts constituted an unregistered suppressor. The ATF argued the components would need a Form 4 before the builder to obtain them, and the customer would have to pay $200 to the federal government for a tax stamp.
Now the ATF is embarking on what many would consider a fishing expedition against the American gun owner. The Bureau sent out a mass email to all those that used the eForm platform to fill out the Form 1, asking for additional information.
Prior Form 1 applications were approved without this information.
The ATF asks the builders to submit pictures of the parts that they will use to make the silencers. They want high-resolution photos that are most likely to identify any markings to ensure the gun owner doesn’t have what the agency considers an “unregistered silencer”. For example, a freezer plug with a dimple that could be used as a drill guide could be regarded as a suppressor in the eyes of the federal government.
The ATF also wants to know the builder’s process to assemble or fabricate the homemade suppressor. The ATF seems to be looking for anything they can then point to as illegal. For example, putting two endcaps that were predrilled on the tube would be unlawful in the eyes of the law enforcement agency. That choice could earn the builder a visit from the ATF.
They also require all builders to supply the product, model, or kit name and the name of each device used in the building of the suppressors.
As we have seen in the past, the ATF has a problem with specific kits sold before the Form 1 is approved. This request for information could verify that the builder is using one of these kits.
Rat Out Your 80% Silencer Kit Supplier
The final new piece of information that the ATF is now asking the builder to supply is where they acquired the parts. They want the name of the store or website where the applicant purchased the pieces used to make the Form 1 suppressor. The ATF has been cracking down on parts from China purchased through sites like Wish and Aliexpress. The ATF has even confiscated fuel filters from buyers that were using them as intended by the manufacturer.
Some see these new requirements as the ATF implementing new rules in the middle of a rule change process without the agency going through the required rule-change procedure. Form 1 suppressors are mentioned in the upcoming unfinished frames and receiver rule that is expected to be finalized this summer. Many think that rule will end all Form 1 suppressors when unveiled.
The ATF has given applicants until March 25th, 2022, to respond with the requested information before their application is automatically denied and the tax stamp money refunded.
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.