Yesterday I met with an American living near Paris and our conversation changed to one about firearms. He showed me one of his which was basically a customized .22LR and sticking on the end of it was a can. I was shocked that he could have a suppressor in France, much less a firearm at all. He indicated everyone had silencers in France and it was no big deal. He was moving back to the US and indicated he planned to ship the suppressors back at which point I explained they are highly regulated in the US and are NFA items. I suggested he sell them in France and then obtain new ones via the proper forms when he moves back home.

Since some readers may not know all the hoops required for a suppressor I’ll describe it quickly. You pick out the one you want and purchase it. It sits at the dealer and you send in paperwork to the ATF for approval with $200 for a tax stamp. Four to six months latter you get approval and can pick up the suppressor. Now that you own it, you can shoot it and can supervise others shooting with it, but it cannot leave your possession. So if you wanted to sell it the buyer would have to jump through the same hoops you did basically so they can own a lump of metal with some baffles inside. A suppressor has no capabilities to injure anyone or anything until attached to a firearm. All it does is lower the decibel level of the gunshot. It also does not make it silent. Where it really shines is hunting since most hunters are not wearing ear protection in order to hear their surroundings. When they do shoot the firearm they risk hearing loss.

We should make suppressors easy to purchase. Just regulate the same as a firearm so everyone can sleep at night with a warm fuzzy and transfer via the same legal means. In reality a suppressor should simply be an accessory you add to the firearm and should not be regulated in any manner. It should be the same as changing grips or adding a new scope to a rifle. I should not need to ask the Federal Government for permission and approval, why you ask, because France!