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Can someone please explain to me the silencer laws in Wa St

Discussion in 'NFA Weapon Discussion' started by ClassicImport, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. ClassicImport

    ClassicImport Vancouver, Wa New Member

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    I am trying to research and understand the silencer laws in Wa State but I am having a hard time getting a straight answer,

    Is there a form I fill out with ATF? Is there something more specific I need to do or be registered with? Where can I get a silencer? Can I get one for any of my guns or is it more specific?

    Thanks for all the help :)
     
  2. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    What is the NFA and what is an NFA item?

    The NFA stands for National Firearms Act of 1934, National Firearms Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    There are 6 different types of NFA items:

    Machine gun, AKA Full Auto or FA for short
    Short Barreled Rifles, SBR rifles with a barrel(s) less then 16”
    Short Barreled Shotguns, SBS shotguns with barrel(s) less then 18”
    Suppressors, AKA Silencers
    Destructive Devices, DD things like grenades, bombs, bores over 0.50”
    Any Other Weapon, AOW this is any firearm that does not fit above. Most common are pen guns and pistol shaped shotguns (smooth bore pistol)


    Are NFA items legal?

    By Federal law NFA items are legal but require proper registration and tax. You will need to check your state laws to find out if the NFA item you want is legal in your state. Some states will allow some items but not others. Here is a link to the state laws from the ATF website: http://www.atf.gov/firearms/statelaws/

    In the rest of this post when I talk about legal definition they are based on FEDERAL law, which may not reflect your state law.


    How can you get an NFA item?

    If you want an NFA item you have 2 choices. You can either buy one or make one.

    Most popular way to get an NFA item is to buy one. The normal procedure for buying a NFA item is to find a local NFA dealer that can help you since in most cases you will have to have them transfer the item anyhow. If you are buying a used NFA item IN state no dealer is required but you will still have to fill out all the paperwork and pay the transfer tax.

    Once you have the item you want picked out and a dealer that will transfer it for you (if needed) you pay for your item. If it is an item the dealer has in stock you fill out a Form 4 (transfer of NFA item for private users). You can either do the Form 4 as a person or as an entity being a LLC or a Trust. If you fill it out as a person you will need to also get 2 sets of finger prints, 2 passport photos, and a signature from the head LEO where you live. If you use a LLC or Trust you and the dealer just need to sign. On
    ce the Form 4 is filled out you mail it along with payment for the tax to the ATF. Wait time for the Form 4 varies but in recent times it is normally between 30 and 90 days. Once the approved Form 4 comes back you can pick up your item.

    If you are buying an item from out of state or having your dealer order item the procedure is basically the same other then the wait is going to be longer. If the item is not in stock it will need to be transferred from the current owner to the NFA dealer. This usually takes 1-4 weeks.

    If you choose to build your own NFA item it is similar to doing a transfer but happens a bit different. To build a NFA item you fill out a Form 1 (making NFA item) with the description of the item you want to build. The rest of the Form 1 is filled out in the same manner and mailed just like the Form 4. You do not need a dealer involved to do a Form 1. You cannot build your item until the Form 1 comes back approved. Wait time is the same as for a Form 4.


    How much is the tax?

    For all making or transfer of NFA items the tax is $200 per item. If you do 5 items even if at the same time it is $200 per item. The only exception for this is on the transfer of AOW, which is $5. Making an AOW is still $200.


    How much and how hard is the paperwork?

    If you have a CCW in your state or at least can pass that background check you can get an NFA item.

    As for paperwork there is very little. Have you filled out a 4473 when buying a gun from a dealer? Well this is no harder. In most cases the dealer will have it filled out and all you have to do is sign. If you have to fill it out then there are electronic forms that you fill out on line and print as a PDF file. It takes about 5 minutes.


    Special note about Machine guns.

    While it is still legal to build NFA items it is illegal to build new machine guns for non-government/export use.

    The 1986 FOPA (Firearms Owners Protection Act) that went into effect May 19, 1986 ban the making of new Machine guns for public sales: THE FIREARMS OWNERS' PROTECTION ACT: A HISTORICAL AND LEGAL PERSPECTIVE

    There are 3 different kinds of machine guns:

    Transferable. These guns were made AND registered prior to May 19,1986. These are the guns on the open market and are legal for sale and use by anyone. Since there are a limited number of these guns, estimated at just under 200,000, they command a premium price. For price it is not out of line for these guns to command 10-20 times the amount of the semi auto version.

    Pre Dealer Samples. These are guns that can only be owned by dealers. These guns were also cut off in May of 1986. When a dealer gives up his SOT license (NFA Dealer) he can still legally keep these guns. Prices of these are about 75% of what transferable guns cost.

    Post Dealer Samples. These are guns made after May of 1986. Dealers only can only get these guns if they have a letter from a qualified buyer stating they want to buy or demo the gun. Cost is about the same as the semi auto version.

    When it comes to Machine guns there are also 2 types. Ones that uses registered receivers and ones that use registered parts.

    With registered receivers (RR) what you have is pretty much what you get. Some guns are more flexible then others. With a RR FAL, what you have is an FAL and that is it. If you have a RR M-16 you are stuck with an AR lower but you can swap uppers and have many calibers.

    Some have registered parts like the bolt or a sear. Some of the more common “sear guns” are the HK’s like the 91, 93, 94, ect. You can use your registered sear in any gun that it will fit in legally. So you could go out and buy a new one (or as new as you can get) and put your sear in it and fire FA, then pull it out and have a legal rifle again. Or if you buddy has a nice HK 94 that you wanted to try in FA you can legally drop your sear in it and have fun for the afternoon.


    Is it an AOW or an SBS?

    This is one of the biggest confusions about shotguns. What it is labeled will depend on how it was made. If it has EVER had a stock on it the gun has to be a SBS. If the gun has NEVER had a stock it would be an AOW, but could be made an SBS by adding a stock. Can an AOW and SBS look the same? Yes they can, but not always, so the only way to tell on some guns is to look at the NFA paperwork for the gun and see what it is labeled.

    Most of the popular “pistol” sized/shaped shotguns are AOW’s made from guns like the Mossberg’s or the Remington’s that come with pistol grips and not stocks on them. But again since a “pistol” sized/shaped shotgun CAN be made from a shotgun that has a stock on it the label would NOT be AOW if it EVER had a stock, it would have to be a SBS.

    Is one better then the other? If you want a “short” shotgun with a stock you have to have SBS. Some states do not allow all classes you may be legal to own an AOW vs SBS or the other way around. There is also only a $5 transfer on AOW vs $200 for the others.
     
  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Here is WA law on silencers,

    RCW 9.41.250: Dangerous weapons ? Penalty ? Exemption for law enforcement officers.

    RCW 9.41.250
    Dangerous weapons — Penalty — Exemption for law enforcement officers.

    (1) Every person who:

    (a) Manufactures, sells, or disposes of or possesses any instrument or weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or spring blade knife, or any knife the blade of which is automatically released by a spring mechanism or other mechanical device, or any knife having a blade which opens, or falls, or is ejected into position by the force of gravity, or by an outward, downward, or centrifugal thrust or movement;

    (b) Furtively carries with intent to conceal any dagger, dirk, pistol, or other dangerous weapon; or

    (c) Uses any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm,

    is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.

    (2) Subsection (1)(a) of this section does not apply to:

    (a) The possession of a spring blade knife by a law enforcement officer while the officer:

    (i) Is on official duty; or

    (ii) Is transporting the knife to or from the place where the knife is stored when the officer is not on official duty; or

    (b) The storage of a spring blade knife by a law enforcement officer.


    So basically you can legally own them in WA but not use them. Most people use them in WA. The law is poorly written and unless you are doing something else wrong it is unlikely you will get in trouble. No one in legal possession has gotten in trouble for using them in WA, but it is still illegal.



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  4. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    ClassicImport,

    If you want to use silencers in WA legally, please contact me. I am trying to amend RCW 9.41.250(c). Bill 1016 will make an exception for those silencers registered with the feds. Thanks

    Ranb
     
  5. ClassicImport

    ClassicImport Vancouver, Wa New Member

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    Thank you all for the help. Very insightful. Have a Merry Christmas
     
  6. acrankin

    acrankin Belfair New Member

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    I am looking for either a copy of a trust or a lawyer in the Kitsap area that is familiar with them. I found one on another post but was not able to pull it up on my computer. If someone gives me one online is it just as simple as inserting my info, suppressor information and getting it noterized and turning it in with all appropriate BATF paper work and the $200 or is there more to it.
     
  7. silentslammer

    silentslammer east oregun Member

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    Its much easier to move to Idaho, Montana or Oregon than try and get a silencer in Warshington. A trust is pretty much the only chance and the ATF is becoming more and more strict on them. Theres very little chance your county Sheriff will sign off as most probably think silencers are for only them and the military.
     
  8. Bhowe

    Bhowe Seattle Member

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    What I did was went to the Office supply / software / costco store and got a copy of Quiken Willmaker Plus, then sat down on the computer and created a Revokable Living Trust, printed, had it notorized, got a money order for $200 payable to BATFE, bring all that with you to your local gun shop that sells silencers and they will handle the rest. You pay for the silencer (plus your $200 stamp), wait like 3-6 months and the shop will call you to let you know you can come get it. Then you can own it legally, but cannot shoot it in Washington state. You can however cross state lines with it and shoot it in lets say Idaho. You really shouldn't even have it with you when you shoot in WA, I had mine taken by local Sheriffs, but later it was given back.

    Also, you can complete most of the form 4 online from sites like subguns.net. You will need the FFL holder you are purchasing the silencer from to sign it and fill out the serial number and such on the form.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011
  9. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Where is there ANY fact in that? Just how many silencer transfers have you done in WA?

    How does changing states make it easier to to get a FEDERAL form approved?

    Well if you can get a silencer faster then the 5 weeks it took from the date I sent off my Form 4 till it came back approved for my .30 cal can please let me know how.

    I live in WA, have several silencers and no trouble getting them. You might want to let the WA C3 dealers know how hard it is to transfer silencers in WA since they sure seem to have no problem getting them sold and transfered :confused:



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  10. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Would you care to share that story with us? I have not heard of that happening before. Since I assume you were not using it what LAW did they use to take it from you? Did you get a receipt or "ticket" with all the info on it for your item? How did you get it back? Did you get an apology for a wrongfully taken item?

    I shoot in state and many times with LEO's. All they ever want to know is when it is their turn.
     
  11. sigman

    sigman Olympia, Wa Member

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    There was a big thread about it for awhile. It must be farther back than I had time to search for it. BHowe is the poster of said thread though.
     
  12. waltermitty

    waltermitty seattle Active Member

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    easy to find. so here it is.....
     
  13. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Sorry found it, but spent the last hour reading 17 pages :bluelaugh:

    Happy he got them back, but still pissed about the outcome. Why are LEO's NOT held responsible for their actions and why does it take 3 month to find out something that is not illegal, well not illegal?

    Yes I have many friends that are LEO.
     
  14. Ranb

    Ranb Belfair, WA Active Member

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    I do not believe anything you just wrote. I am being blunt, but that is the best policy. :) I designed and built 12 silencers so far, individually owned and on various trusts. Never had a problem with the ATF. Approval seems to be practically a rubber stamp for anyone who can own a gun and lives in one of the 37 states that allow them.

    Most sheriffs will sign. If they hesitate, then explain that you could just use a trust which does not require a signature. The sheriff can decide if he wants to know who owns silencers in his jurisdiction or if he wants to remain ignorant.

    Any WA cops who think silencers are only for them and the military are idiots as WA law bans their use by everyone in the state.

    Ranb