Not only are suppressors your fundamental right as an American citizen, but there are many benefits including, but not limited to, saving your hearing.

Since the ASA’s formation in 2011:

∗ 19 states have legalized suppressor hunting ∗

∗ 3 states have legalized suppressor ownership ∗

The Role of Suppressors

Suppressors, also known as silencers, are the hearing protection of the 21st century sportsman. Despite common misconceptions, suppressors are not silent. They are simply mufflers for firearms, which function by trapping the expanding gasses at the muzzle and allowing them to slowly cool.


Suppressors are regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934, which falls under the purview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). To legally purchase or possess a suppressor you must:

  1. Be at least 21 years of age to purchase a suppressor from a dealer.
  2. Be at least 18 years of age to purchase a suppressor from an individual on a Form 4 to Form 4 transfer (contingent on state laws).
  3. Be at least 18 years of age to possess a suppressor as a beneficiary of a trust or as a member of a corporation (contingent on state laws).
  4. Be a resident of the United States.
  5. Be legally eligible to purchase a firearm.
  6. Pass a BATFE background check with a typical process time of 8 to 10 months.
  7. Pay a one time $200 Transfer Tax.
  8. Reside in one of the 42 states that currently allows civilian ownership of suppressors.

Hearing Protection

Suppressors reduce the noise of a gunshot by an average of 20 – 35 dB, which is roughly the same as earplugs or earmuffs.

Safer Hunting

Exposure to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can, and often does, lead to permanent hearing damage.

Noise Complaints

Although it can still be heard, suppressed gunfire helps mitigate noise complaints from those who live near shooting ranges and hunting land.


Suppressors reduce recoil and help decrease muzzle flinch. These benefits lead to improved accuracy, better shot placement, and more humane hunts.

Buying a suppressor is much easier than most people think. A licensed dealer can help you complete the process. To find a dealer near you, visit our Dealer Locator.

Suppressors = Hearing Safety

An unsuppressed gunshot ranges from 140 – 185 dB

Exposure to a single shot can cause permanent hearing damage

The most serious threat to hearing comes from recreational hunting or target shooting 1

“Silenced” gunshots are still as loud as a jackhammer striking concrete 2

70–80% of hunters never wear hearing protection 2,3

“[Suppressors] should not be viewed as a threat to public safety,”
—ATF 5

“[The National Hearing Conservation Association] supports the use of firearm noise suppressors as a form of an engineering noise control to reduce hazardous noise exposures.” 6

Download Assets For Our Fight