We are often asked about the legality of suppressors, particularly in the state of Maryland.
If you're new to the suppressor game or are considering purchasing one, we'd like to banish a couple myths and show you how you can #fightthenoise.
Myth 1: Suppressors are for assassins.
We all know that Hollywood loves to embellish everything. Crazy cool explosions, punches that sound like the fist is actually a sack of potatoes, cars exploding as a single 9mm round punctures the wall of a tire, etc. According to Hollywood, suppressors, er..."silencers", are these sleek cylindrical tubes that allow a meek and mild "pew" to escape the barrel of an assassin's pistol as he ends the contract on a high profile target.
While it would be cool, suppressors do as they're named: suppress, not silence, the sound. When the hammer strikes the primer of a bullet, the ensuing explosion of the powder thrusts the bullet through and out of the barrel. As you can imagine, the immense pressure from this tiny, contained explosion follows the bullet as it escapes at speeds faster than sound. That high decibel "crack" is why we wear ear protection.
A suppressor captures those fast moving gasses as they escape the barrel. This provides a contained area where some of these gasses can dispel some of their energy and pressure. The gasses decrease in pressure and velocity.
Slower gasses = not breaking the sound barrier = no "crack"
This results in (usually) no more than a 50 decibel reduction in sound. Definitely not silent, but the shot won't damage your ears. As much as we love seeing cool gear in action movies, suppressors aren't for assassins. They're for anyone who wants to protect their precious auditory sense.
Myth 2: Suppressors are impossible or very difficult to purchase.
Worry not, friends. Suppressors are not impossible, nor difficult to purchase. You can enjoy ear-safe shooting on your pistols and rifles. We'll help you through the process.
In Maryland, if you can legally purchase a firearm you can legally purchase a suppressor. It is processed like any other NFA regulated item.
Once you have selected your suppressor, the next requirements are:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Legally be able to purchase a firearm
- ATF Form 4 paperwork
- Have 2 photos to passport spec
- Pay the $200 tax stamp
Next, we send all of this to the BATFE. After much waiting, the paperwork is returned, affixed with the long awaited tax stamp. Then you are free to take your suppressor home.
We hope to see more people taking advantage of this simple, but incredible piece of technology. It makes shooting more enjoyable and much more safe by taking the sound from ear-damaging to ear-safe.
At the range, we have a rather large selection of suppressors in stock and on our rental inventory. Stop in and give them a try. We guarantee you'll love it.
Pew in peace and quiet,