Silencers, are they legal and easy to get in Florida?


March 20, 2007, 08:01 PM
Saw a self defense show talking about silencers. I hate muzzle blast and thought having such a feature would be great, but don't know anything about them. I always thought they were illegal, or at the very least, required special permitting.

do any of you have guns with silencers? what do you use them for? i have a hunting lease and like to plink around, so quiet would be nice.

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March 20, 2007, 08:21 PM
They are legal in Florida as long as you have contacted the NFA, gotten the required tax stamp, and pre-approval from the ATF before purchasing them. You can NOT purchase any part of the silencer until you get approval from the ATF. If you do, you have committed a felony in Florida.

30 cal slob
March 20, 2007, 09:30 PM
1) locate an FFL in your state that (legally) sells suppressors. Pick a suppressor. Put a deposit on it or pay for it ... whatever the dealer requires.

2) the dealer will furnish you with TWO COPIES of ATF Form 4 to be signed by your Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO - see below). You will also be required to get TWO sets of fingerprints for FBI check. You will need to obtain TWO recent color passport photos.

3) Determine whether your Chief Law Enforcement Officer (i.e., your town Chief or County Sheriff or State Police) will sign off on your Form 4. If no relevent CLEO will sign, then... you are sheet outta luck UNLESS...

4) form a corporation in your state (yes, you need to hire a lawyer to do that). the corporation can purchase the NFA firearm without the need for a CLEO signature.

5) if #3 or #4 are not an issue, then take your completed signed ATF Form 4's, fingerprints, and passport photos back to your FFL + SOT. You will then probably fill out another ATFE "Certification of Compliance with 18 USC 922 (g)(5)(B) " and then cough up a check for the $200 transfer tax.

6) the dealer will mail this stuff to ATFE. It takes a first time applicant anywhere from 30-60 days to get the first transfer approved. Upon approval, your dealer will contact you to come pick up the thing. You'll fill out an ATFE Form 4473 ... just like you would any other gun.

Repeat steps 1-6 as extra liquidity becomes available. :neener:

March 20, 2007, 09:45 PM
In Florida, you don't need to hire a lawyer to create a corp. - just log onto and you can create one online in about 5 minutes. You also have the option of creating a trust - another simple operation with the help of Quicken Willmaker. IMHO, the corp./trust route is the way to go since you don't have to waste any time getting fingerprint cards, CLEO sign off's, etc. But let me warn you, silencers can / are addicting so make sure your bank account can handle it. :)

As for what I use mine forÖ Well, itís pretty darn nice to be able to shoot without any hearing protection.

Shawn Michael
March 22, 2007, 05:33 AM
thought they were always illegal. Learn something new each day. Always wondered how they work and if they become less effective with time

March 22, 2007, 06:09 AM
I wish we had that kind of freedom here in Illinois. I am planning on moving somwhere outside of this state after colllege. And Florida is looking better and better.

March 22, 2007, 01:44 PM
Actually you don't have to form a corp. In Florida you can form a Trust and it will accomplish the same thing. Got some friends in our ipsc club that do it that way and spoke with a dealer and he says yep, absolutely...much easier to form and maintain a trust than a corp.

Handsome Rob
January 27, 2010, 05:42 PM
Went on to Sunbiz, but have a question. Can the corp be an LLC, or must it be a "For Profit Corporation"

January 27, 2010, 07:31 PM
thought they were always illegal. Learn something new each day. Always wondered how they work and if they become less effective with time
They work through controlling the escaping gases through a series of baffles. Some types of designs do become less effective, since some of the old subgun suppressors used a polyurethane wipe which the bullet passed through. As those got wore out, the suppressor became louder. They were designed to have the wipes replaced after about 500 rounds.

Others use a wet design that is packed with grease, and with each shot some of the grease exits making it less effective. These are designed to be small and quiet for a few shots, and don't need the size of a dry design.

Most cans nowadays use more modern technology that doesn't get louder, as precision machining and improved baffle designs eliminated the need for wipes. These just need to be cleaned and will not wear out with normal usage.

January 27, 2010, 07:38 PM
Silencer and Suppressor General Info
General suppressor/silencer information provided by AWC Systems Technologies:
A sound suppressor is designed to be most effective with a given firearm and cartridge. The main purpose of a sound suppressor is to reduce the muzzle blast, which is the most significant portion of the noise. Muzzle blast is caused by high pressure gases suddenly escaping from the end of the barrel into the atmosphere as the bullet exits. Reducing the pressure results in less sound generated. Pressure is reduced by increasing the volume for gas expansion, reducing the gas temperature (cooling), delaying gas exit through trapping and turbulence, and by a combination of these technologies. How well a given suppressor works on a given weapon depends on how efficiently these goals are accomplished.

Types of Suppressors:
There are two basic types of suppressors. The most common, and oldest, historically, is the muzzle suppressor which is attached to the muzzle of a firearm. The other type of suppressor is the integral suppressor, which is built around the barrel of a firearm. When using an integral type suppressor the barrel is modified for velocity control.

With today's technology, muzzle suppressors are comparable to integral suppressor efficiency. The prime advantage to the integral type suppressor is velocity control of marginally supersonic projectiles, such as the .22 rimfire or conventional 9mm ammunition. The main advantage of the muzzle suppressor is that it can be moved from weapon to weapon and does not require dedicating the firearm to the suppressor. AWC builds both muzzle and integral suppressors.

Sound Measurements:
All sound level data gathered by our firm is accomplished utilizing the B & K Model 2209 sound level meter with the B & K Model 4135 1/4" pressure microphone. This is a system that is approved by the U.S. Military for measuring firearm noise. We do not publish dB data, nor do we apologize for this policy. We have been frequently deceived by this data. If experts can be deceived, users are likely to be deceived as well.

The problem with the decibel is that it expresses a pressure level of sound, and gives no insight as to the "quality" or frequency of the sound. Very often we have seen cases where the meter claimed that device A was more "quiet" than device B. However, observers unanimously agreed that device B sounded more quiet. We do consider data produced by our meter, but we are more interested in how the device sounds.

We strive to design our suppressors so that they cause the fired shot to sound "unlike" or "not characteristic" of firearm noise. We are aware of several units produced by other companies that do, according to the meter, produce less noise than our device of similar nature. However, when these devices are compared in real world live fire tests our devices are noticeably more pleasant to the human ear. Several well known silencer aficionados have observed these tests and agree with our attitude toward the decibel. They say our suppressors have the "sweet sound".

A good example of this "deception" is the comparison of sound between a .308 caliber rifle and a .300 WIN MAG rifle. The meter will tell us that both rifles produce the SAME decibel level of noise. Upon firing these rifles, however, we would all agree that the .300 WIN MAG sounds louder! What the decibel meter doesn't tell us is that although both rifles produce the same peak sound pressure level (SPL), the .300 WIN MAG holds its peak duration longer. In other words, remains at full sound value LONGER! The .308 goes to peak and falls off QUICKER!

Our experience has been that a few unscrupulous manufacturers have published false data in order to appear "competitive".

If further explanation is required we ask that you telephone our office. We will not engage in e-mail ping pong.

The bottom line is that we build the strongest, most compact, and highly effective units on planet Earth. We rely on our experience and intelligence for design selection. The sound meter's opinion is considered, but it doesn't get the final word on what we build.

Maintenance of Sound Suppressors:
All sound suppressors require some degree of maintenance if maximum efficiency is to be maintained. Those units which are sealed are built from 100% type 304 corrosion resistant stainless steel and are designed for maintenance and cleaning without disassembly. Suppressors designed to be disassembled for maintenance are supplied with necessary specialized tools. All suppressors manufactured by AWC come with detailed instructions providing complete operation and maintenance instructions.

Machine Guns-- Private & Corporate Ownership
It is a common misconception that machine guns cannot be owned by law-abiding citizens. This comes from the creation of a variety of confusing laws that have made purchasing a full-auto gun more difficult than purchasing a "normal" gun. But, if you can comply with the law, you may qualify to own a machine gun.

First a brief history: In May of 1986, certain laws went into effect that made it illegal for 'civilians' to own fully automatic firearms that were manufactured AFTER THAT DATE. Many fully automatic weapons manufactured, registered and tax paid BEFORE MAY, 1986, MAY BE OWNED BY AND SOLD TO INDIVIDUALS. The full-auto guns that may be owned by individuals are called 'transferable'. Some states DO NOT allow machine gun ownership at all, no matter when the gun was made, but many states do.

To purchase a transferable machine gun, you must meet certain requirements (generally the same as when you purchase another gun, but with additional scrutiny), fill out special paperwork (called a 'form 4'), and pay a $200, one-time, transfer tax. Every time a machine gun is transferred, the $200 tax must be paid-- usually by the purchaser. The steps to take to purchase a transferable machine gun are:

1. Find a dealer locally who can assist you in all phases of the transfer. This should go beyond helping you fill out the paperwork: they should help you locate the gun if it isn't in stock and allow you to shoot the gun while your paperwork is being processed by the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms). It will usually take 4-6 weeks for the dealer to get the gun from another dealer if they don't already have it in stock (due to BATF paperwork delays).
2. Get your fingerprints (either by a police dept. or by a qualified fingerprinter, two imprints are needed) and two passport sized pictures taken. These will be used to perform a comprehensive criminal background check on you.
3. Have your local dealer help you fill out an "Application for Tax Paid Transfer And Registration Of Firearm" for, known as a "form 4".
4. You must have the signature of the Chief Law Enforcement (CLEO) officer that has jurisdiction over the municipality in which you live on the form 4. This could be the City Chief or the County Sheriff, for example. This is usually not a problem-- in machine gun friendly states. The form 4, CLEO signature, 2 fingerprint cards, 2 pictures, and a $200 check (your one-time transfer tax) must all be mailed to the BATF and an approved tax stamp returned before you may take possession of the gun. This may take anywhere from 2 to 5 months.

Although it may seem complicated, we are happy to help you through every step in the process. We have transferable guns in stock, and if we don't have it, we can tap into a network of dealers in other states to find it for you. Let us help you get the full-auto gun that you've always wanted-- they are worth it! We are not lawyers, and do not represent ourselves to offer legal advice. We can point you in the direction of counsel upon request.

How about Suppressors or Short-Barreled Shotguns? Yes you probably can! (Most of the same restrictions apply).

January 27, 2010, 08:08 PM
I design and make silencers as a hobby. I own some personally and others on a trust I created using Quicken Willmaker. The advantage of a trust is that I do not have to obtain the local sheriff's signature or send in photos or finger prints. ATF approval is routine an takes about 4 months now. I have never heard of anyone being denied as long as they filled out the forms properly.

Here is a drawing of a silencer I made for an AR-15. The bore is about .3 inches to reduce the chance of baffles strikes that would damage the silencer and ruin accuracy. It was easy to make and works well. But it is not quiet. A small tube 1.5 inches wide and 7 inches long has no chance of making a rifle using a cartridge loaded with 26 grains of powder anything near quiet, but it does reduce noise enough to eliminate the need for hearing prortection if shot out in the open.

Check out and for forums, advice and dealer lists.


January 27, 2010, 08:20 PM
Most gun shops I've been in here in FL have a range for sale. No problems buying one if you do the paperwork.

January 27, 2010, 08:44 PM

there is some more info on obtaining a class 3 license in FL.

as for the trust idea, i thought it cost big bucks to set up a trust?

January 27, 2010, 08:52 PM
There is no such thing as a "class 3 license". It is a tax stamp.

January 27, 2010, 09:44 PM
there is some more info on obtaining a class 3 license in FL.

as for the trust idea, i thought it cost big bucks to set up a trust?

It costs nothing to set up a trust unless your state requires that it be registered for some reason and charges a fee. Mine cost nothing except the price of the software. The cheapest lawyer I could find wanted $600 though. A ripoff in my opinion.

Firearms can be classified as title 1 or 2. Title 2 weapons are silencers, machine guns, short barreled shotguns/rifles, DD's and AOW's. Title 1 weapons are everything else.

If an FFL wants to import, manufacture or deal in title 2 weapons, then they have to pay the special occupational tax (SOT), class 1 2 or 3 respectively. So when a person says class 3, they re actually referring to the type of SOT the licensee pays to the ATF.


January 27, 2010, 09:47 PM
That required tax stamp will cost you $200.

January 28, 2010, 09:58 AM
And incidentally its NOT legal to use hunting in Fla..

January 28, 2010, 03:40 PM
It takes a first time applicant anywhere from 30-60 days to get the first transfer approved.

Haven't done a transfer recently have you?:)

Most transfer are more in the 90-120 day range right now. My last one done over the summer of 2008 took 160 days. I have paperwork at ATF now and it is at 34 days. I don't expect to see it until April or May.

January 30, 2010, 12:49 AM
If you're around the Port Orange/Daytona Beach area I would seriously consider taking a stop by Florida Gun Exchange.

Was there today and they have a little display case full of holographic sight and a lot of silencers.

And no, I don't work for them or are affiliated with them. Just letting you know where you can get them.

January 31, 2010, 03:59 AM
I own 2 silencers. One is a 22lr (Tac-65) the other is a .223 (Gemtech Piranah). My car pistol is a TC G2 in .223 and it wears my Gemtech silencer. An 11.5 barrel in .223 is not fun without a silencer. But, it's a pleasure to shoot with one.


Allow shooting without hearing protection.
are the ultimate brake (recoil)
are the ultimate flash reducer.

February 2, 2010, 06:46 AM
I have been arrested for possession of concealed firearm without a permit (was underage) and armed trespassing here in florida. Adjudication withheld, so i kept my civil rights, not convicted. Would I fail the Check?

February 4, 2010, 06:57 PM
Who are the best dealers in Florida to buy from, and to help you through the process?

February 4, 2010, 07:50 PM
where are you in FL? it wouldn't be much help telling you one in Key West if you live in Fort Walton Beach. :)

February 5, 2010, 05:51 AM
Sorry, St Petersburg


February 5, 2010, 07:33 AM
Drew at Heavy Metal Armory in Bradenton


February 5, 2010, 07:39 AM
Haven't done a transfer recently have you?

He posted that 3 years ago. :)

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