ATF Clarifies Classification of ‘Solvent Traps’ as Firearm Silencers

2nd Amendment – R2KBA Industry News This Week
Solvent Trap
ATF offers new guidance on Solvent Traps.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has recently made a significant clarification regarding devices commonly marketed as “solvent traps.”

In a new development, the ATF categorizes certain solvent traps as “firearm silencers,” aligning them with definitions in the Gun Control Act (GCA) and the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Solvent traps, typically attached to firearm barrels to collect excess cleaning solvent, do not have a classification as “solvent traps” under federal statutes or regulations.

However, the ATF’s recent examination has led to the classification of numerous such devices as “firearm silencers.”

The classification does not rely on the labels manufacturers or retailers use but on the statutory interpretation by Congress.

SEE ALSO: Republican Senators Go After ATF for “Secret Internal Guidance” on Solvent Traps, Triggers

According to the ATF, some solvent traps possess design features and characteristics that align with the purpose of reducing the report of a portable firearm, thus fitting the definition of a firearm silencer.

Specifically, features like holes or indications for holes that allow projectile passage, baffles, spacers, expansion chambers, and dampening materials contribute to this classification.

These features, while increasing the effectiveness of firearm silencers, offer no advantage in collecting or filtering cleaning solvent.

The ATF’s stance challenges the claims of many companies that have argued such items, not being complete, do not qualify as firearm silencers under Federal law.

SEE ALSO: ATF Encroaching on ‘Solvent Traps’ and DIY Suppressor Components

The ATF emphasizes that it regulates any component of a ‘firearm silencer’ as such, regardless of its functionality.

Federal courts have upheld this perspective, actively ruling that authorities may classify a device as a silencer even if it currently lacks operability.

This stance reflects Congress’s intention to regulate devices designed for use as silencers, not just those in a fully assembled state.

Furthermore, the ATF advises current possessors of devices now identified as silencers to contact them for guidance on legal divestment options

The ATF’s clarification serves as a critical update for Federal Firearms Licensees and the general public on the legal status and regulation of these devices.

Read the full letter below:

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  • Rouge1 November 24, 2023, 11:05 am

    They should call all steel, plastic and wood firearms and clear this whole thing up. Trying to exercise constitutional rights in this banana republic police state can get you a prison sentence if not a death sentence.

  • Mark November 24, 2023, 8:11 am

    Claw hammers are assault weapons just ask a guy in California……..

  • Ran November 23, 2023, 6:40 am

    Don’t forget plastic bottles

  • Kane November 22, 2023, 11:34 am

    First the ATF should clarify, with compelling data, why a “silencer” are being regulated in the first place.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment November 21, 2023, 3:09 pm

    soon oranges, bath towels, and car mufflers will be nfa items……

    • William S November 24, 2023, 10:43 am

      We won with braces tho so it already started!

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