ATF Cracking Down on Homemade Suppressors, Asking for Self-Incriminating Photos

(Photo: ASA)

Homemade firearms aren’t the only constitutionally protected items under fire from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). In recent weeks, the ATF has launched an all-out attack on homemade suppressors as well.

On February 28, the ATF made waves when it denied 847 Form 1 applications to make suppressors. According to the American Suppressor Association (ASA), the agency did so because officials believed applicants were using solvent trap kits to construct their suppressors.

Then, on March 3, the ATF notified every applicant with a pending Form 1 suppressor application that they would be required to provide pictures and descriptions of all parts and components used to make the suppressor or their application would be rejected.

SEE ALSO: ATF Admits It Has Nearly 1 Billion Gun Records, GOP Lawmakers Ask, ‘How Is This Not a Registry?’

“Despite previously approving thousands of Form 1 applications for individuals and legal entities that have used these kits in recent years, it seems ATF has now decided to change course without any public explanation or justification,” the ASA explained. “What is clear is that ATF has unilaterally decided that the National Firearms Act (NFA) applies to these kits, and therefore any applicant applying to make a suppressor using one might be guilty of a crime.” 

Screenshots of this March 3 missive rocketed around the pro-2A world as suppressor hobbyists worried that they would be forced to submit self-incriminating photos or risk losing their application along with the $200 tax stamp.

Solvent traps are common gun cleaning devices used to capture cleaning solvent. They’re screwed onto the end of a barrel, but they do not have a hole bored through the center or a serial number, and many are not designed to withstand bullet passthrough.

But their shape and design have naturally prompted solvent trap owners to convert them into suppressors. Building a homemade suppressor is legal provided the builder submitted the proper paperwork to the ATF. Those Form 1s can be submitted online (along with the $200 tax stamp), and an approved Form 1 allows the applicant to permanently convert a solvent trap into a suppressor.

SEE ALSO: Get a Suppressor in as little as 30 days with the NEW ATF eForm System – Step-by-Step

It looks like the ATF may be trying to change that without going through the proper rulemaking process. The agency is in the final stages of releasing a new rule that would ban so-called 80 percent receivers, but they have proposed no such rule banning products that could be readily converted into a suppressor.

“This type of behind-closed-door rulemaking has to stop,” the ASA writes. “It’s time to insist that ATF stop treating the upstanding citizens it regulates like criminals. It’s time for ATF rulemaking to occur in the open. And it’s time to remove suppressors from the NFA so that law-abiding Americans can protect their hearing while exercising their Second Amendment rights without tax or fear of government retribution.”

The American Suppressor Association encourages all concerned Americans to contact their elected officials to voice opposition to these actions by the ATF. You can do so HERE.  

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over six years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Tyler. Got a hot tip? Send him an email at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 30 comments… add one }
  • Nunya Business March 14, 2022, 2:33 pm

    ALL of these UNCONSTITUTIONAL and INFRINGING HUMAN WANNABE CONTROL LAWS do NOT MEAN SHIT, THESE FAKE HUMAN WANNABE CONTROL LAWS ONLY EFFECT the BRAIN DEAD HUMAN GIVEN government JOB TITLED WORSHIPING ANUS SUCKING KOOL-AID LAPPING HUMAN CONTROLLED OWNED SHEEPLE SLAVE COWARDS. WE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT OWNED BY “ANY HUMAN”, PERIOD. ALL HUMAN WANNABE CONTROL LAWS DO NOT MEAN A FING THING. The ONLY TRUE LAWS are the 10 COMMANDMENTS, PERIOD.

  • Nunya Business March 14, 2022, 2:33 pm

    It DOES NOT MATTER what ANY of these BRAIN DEAD HUMAN GIVEN government JOB TITLED WORSHIPING ANUS SUCKING KOOL-AID LAPPING HUMAN CONTROLLED OWNED SHEEPLE SLAVE COWARDS or THEIR SATANIC NAZI WANNABE POWER HAPPY CONTROL FREAK HUMAN GIVEN government JOB TITLED TERRORIST TYRANT CRIMINAL MASTERS SAY OR DO, PERIOD. WE THE PEOPLE ARE “NOT OWNED” by “ANY HUMAN”, PERIOD. OUR GOD GIVEN NATURAL BORN FREEDOM and RIGHTS are NOT UP FOR NOR WILL EVER BE UP FOR DEBATE, PERIOD. If you CHOOSE to BEND OVER FOR YOUR MASTERS/OPPRESSORS, THAT IS YOUR CHOICE and ONLY YOUR CHOICE. ACT LIKE HUMAN CONTROLLED OWNED SHEEPLE SLAVE COWARDS, “YOU” WILL BE TREATED LIKE HUMAN CONTROLLED OWNED SHEEPLE SLAVE COWARDS.

  • Nunya Business March 14, 2022, 2:31 pm

    “If the State converts a right (liberty) into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right (liberty) with impunity.”
    –Shuttlesworth v. City of Birmingham, Alabama, 373 U.S. 262 (1969)

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” SUPPOSEDLY JOHN STUART MILL

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” SUPPOSEDLY JOHN STUART MILL

    It is TIME for “GOOD MEN” to “”””QUIT”””” DOING “””””NOTHING””””””.

    To all WHO LOVE and WANT TRUE FREEDOM, YOU HAVE TO FIGHT for FREEDOM, YOU do NOT BEND OVER for FREEDOM.

  • Ej harbet March 13, 2022, 3:17 pm

    Add the aft and nfa34/gca68 to the dust bin of history along with the dead tyrants who created it. May they burn in hell.
    And while we’re at it let’s go Brandon and take putin with you.

  • Bill Baker March 11, 2022, 6:44 pm

    This administration is really beginning to sound Adolf Hitlerish. What is the problem with protecting our hearing while shooting. If you’ve ever been around when being used, you’d quickly realize that they work nothing like the movies. Biden’s cry babies should do some research.
    This is another way to generate money that they can waist.
    What Texas would rat out someone anyway. We aren’t made that.
    The only way a suppressor can hurt you is if you take it off and throw it at someone.

  • Mike Colorado March 11, 2022, 2:26 pm

    Straight up entrapment! Everyone knows you cannot have any of those components in possession before you get your tax stamp. The ATF needs to be disbanded, they are not a true LE agency anymore.

  • Scotty Gunn March 11, 2022, 1:18 pm

    So, since you don’t like them, they should be able to ban them?
    So much for all gun owners sticking together. You don’t get that there is no appeasing them, and they really don’t care about crime.

  • James March 11, 2022, 1:02 pm

    I don’t agree with the ATF’s ruling in the matter of Solvent traps at all, or forced reset triggers. But I am amazed it has taken them so long to try to fix or stop the legal end around the industry came up with to be able to sell basically full auto firearms and very simply constructed suppressors. I am sure that most if not almost all the solvent kits sold ended up with the “drain” holes drilled and no form 1 ever filed. Just my two cents. We usually bring this type of scrutiny on ourselves. And as someone stated Paul Ryan was a pussy for not bringing the Hearing Protection Act up when he had the votes.

  • David A Welsh March 11, 2022, 10:57 am

    ATF–in search for meaning, for relevancy, for passing constitutional muster.

  • skipNclair March 11, 2022, 10:54 am

    This and all other problems created by the illegal agency the ATF could be solved with one move, and that is to do away with this unconstitutional and illegal agency.

  • Clint W. March 11, 2022, 9:30 am

    Scratching my head on remembering this bit of info, but didn’t the ATF also make illegal the little threaded adapter that fits on a barrel, where the other side accepts an oil filter as a suppressor? My favorite though, is the fellow with the Ebay ad showing an AR size solid block of aluminum and calling it a lower receiver kit. I’ll bet that, even though it is just a chunk of unmachined metal, the ATF would argue that it needs a 4473 because he labeled it a lower kit.

  • Mauser6863 March 11, 2022, 9:19 am

    So what’s next, send in a picture of the firearm you wish to SBR, then the BATFE says you’re in “Constructive Possession” of a “Part” to illegally manufacture a SBR.

    The entire “Constructive Possession” is just made-up non-sense. Either you have assembled an illegal item without being in possession of a government issued tax stamp or you have not. That’s why SOT holders are exempt from Constructive Possession”, as its 100% unworkable and ridiculous.

    Just like their other administrative rulings, “Pistols can only be designed to be shot with one hand” Guess they haven’t been to the range lately? Therefore, vertical grips on a pistol turn it into a “Any Other Weapon”, requiring a Tax Stamp.

    Time to shut down this BATFE Clown Show, fire all the performers and sent the tent to a landfill.

  • Nicholas March 11, 2022, 8:32 am

    Understand this, actions by the ATF are “A Case Of Treason”. The actions of that agency, and others were deemed as treasonous from almost the very beginning of this Nation.
    You will not see or hear this analysis from pro-2nd groups or their attorney’s. There is no money in winning this fight.

  • Jumbo Browntown March 11, 2022, 8:25 am

    So we’re supposed to send on pictures of something that shouldn’t exist before the stamp is approved…. hmm. Kinda sounds like entrapment. N for the fudds saying “why do you need this? I haven’t seen one.” Well just because you don’t need it doesn’t mean others shouldn’tbe allowed. Some people also don’t wear eye protection. Some people have property within earshot of public facilities or neighbors and want to shoot more than “1 round”. Much of Europe REQUIRES the use of suppressors when hunting. I would imagine some of the un-hunting public would rest easier during rifle season not hearing loud blasts (partly why Sunday hunting is banned in some states). I’ve met very few people that didn’t see the use or want their own after actually seeing and using one. Is it a movie? No…. but misperception like that is the reason they are so heavily regulated in the first place. Taking a 300wm to a non-ear-shattering level is pretty damn nice though. Hey they even work well on your fuddly 30-30 and 30-06 ;).

  • George March 11, 2022, 6:53 am

    WE THE PEOPLE ARE WASTING OUR SECOND AMENDMENT!
    WHAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING NOW WITH THIS ILLEGAL DEEP STATE GOVERNMENT TYRANNY IS EXACTLY WHY OUR FOUNDERS CREATED AND RATIFIED THE SECOND AMENDMENT!

    SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!!!

    • MRK March 11, 2022, 7:42 am

      CORRECT 100%. I am not sure why someone really wants/needs a suppressor, they are NOT silent like they are in the movies, they are just a little quieter if you are worth your salt you will only need one bullet and the threat is then over.

      • Jimbo Browntown March 11, 2022, 8:36 am

        Some people like to shoot more than 1 round and to keep their hearing and situational awareness. The movie bs is why they are so regulated here. Much of Europe requires them for hunting. Have a range or hunting spot within earshot of other people? Might be nice. Ever shot a 300wm unsuppressed then suppressed (without ear pro)? Difference is astounding. I have tinnitus from the past and would like to prevent it from getting worse. So, yes, they do have a purpose and pretty much everyone that has heard or used them in real life wants to have one (for each gun 😉).

      • A. Brent Harshbarger March 11, 2022, 8:50 am

        A suppressor is nice if you target shoot a lot because it helps protect your ear drums. It makes my 300 Win mag quiet enough to not require muffs or hearing protection. I’ve not used it hunting yet because walking 8-10 miles an extra 12 ozs and the additional length in the brush and trees would be a hassle. I’m thinking it would be great for an antelope hunt this fall though. Not spooking the antelope as bad would be a big benefit.

      • W4D March 11, 2022, 9:24 am

        MRK, you’re about as dumb as a box of s:;!t. If you’re implying or believe for one second that the 2a has anything to do with hunting you can just relinquish any center fire weapons you own right now and go back to a musket. Tell me exactly how you would expect to become proficient with a firearm by firing one shot? For that matter, hearing damage can be sustained with a muzzleloader or one shot from any firearm so you’re comment is completely ignorant and unfounded. Remove yourself until educated!

      • Scotty Gunn March 11, 2022, 1:21 pm

        You are an idiot, and don’t know what you are talking about.
        Case in point, all special ops use suppressors

      • uncle freddy March 11, 2022, 2:05 pm

        Obviously you’ve never been in combat or trained for such. your 1 or 2 shots will give your position away. ‘Silencer’ is a misnomer. 1 bullet for an invasion by multiple attackers huh? what then? In case you missed ALL of the ‘summer of love’ those dogs roam in packs. The NFA & ALL gun laws are BS fed to the sheep for compliance & disarming purposes only. This isn’t about ‘hunting & sports’!

      • shortround91 March 14, 2022, 9:00 am

        Really MRK does it matter first off second have you actually been around many suppressors? No there not the movies quite however they DO SUPPRESS the sound depending on caliber good luck hearing it 30 feet away.

    • Nicholas March 11, 2022, 8:27 am

      Government “officials” operate under the principle that 90% of the people will do nothing to protect their rights, their families, or their communities.
      I realize this is like spitting into the wind, but the purpose of the 2nd amendment according to those who wrote it, debated it, and then ratified it, was to maintain the constitutional Militia. Militia as it “appears from the debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States, and the writings of approved commentators. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. “A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.” And further, that ordinarily, when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.”
      Militia is a lawful authority, with recognized constitutional power, stated clearly in the Constitution. However, you can’t find 10 people or their attorney’s that know and understand this critical aspect of protecting all our rights and freedom.
      Militia is mandatory service for all able-bodied men. So, that is what has caused, in great part, all the misinformation related to that body. There are few that actually want to protect the liberty that was bequeath to us. In that, Militia withered into a completely disparaged and misunderstood lawful entity. Face facts, most men will not accept enrollment, and periodic training into something that might inconvenience them in any-way-shape-or-form.

      • uncle freddy March 11, 2022, 2:10 pm

        A1, Well said! This is where we, now, would fail in any opposition to tyranny. EVERYONE always leaves this part of 2A out, only thing you hear is ‘shall not be infringed’, is said. We are to have NO standing army in peace time. WE are the army; we are the protectors. But like everything 2day, it’s NOT my job is the lazy attitude & flavor of the day.

  • Dr Motown March 11, 2022, 6:28 am

    This could’ve been solved years ago, but Paul RINO Ryan refused to let the Hearing Protection Act leave committee when we had the best chance of passing it….SMH

  • Ger March 11, 2022, 5:08 am

    Forgive my ignorance, but I keep seeing how this is an “assault” on those so-called “lube traps” (and 45+ years into owning firearms. I’ve never needed or even seen one in person.) But nowhere in the ATF bulletin do I see them mentioned. What am I missing, or am I right that folks are just assuming that’s what they mean?

    • Kenneth S Ragan March 11, 2022, 9:00 am

      It is left out of the story….the ATF has decided that all solvent traps from a company called Diversified Machine are silencers…even though they are not. The only people that got denied are all purchasers of these solvent traps. The ATF is saying that we cant approve your silencer since we have to back our claim that this is already an illegal silencer.

  • Jim March 9, 2022, 6:05 pm

    So now, which seems to be becoming more frequent, it’s not in one’s best interest to be a law abiding citizen. This truly is becoming the New Normal, in Deep State run America. Criminals running the streets, without a worry in the world. Illegal gun, robbery, murder, no problem, you won’t see a day in jail. But fill out the paperwork, go through a background check, and your life could be ruined. Tell us again how crime doesn’t pay?

  • Jacob Stauffer March 7, 2022, 10:26 pm

    Unelected bureaucrats are the bane of the republic. They stay in place as elected officials come and go and start thinking they run the show. I ran into this attitude at an aircraft maintenance facility I delt with.

    • Jimbo Browntown March 11, 2022, 8:40 am

      The nature of having Unelected Beaurocrats is unconstitutional in and of itself…. gotta love the hypocrisy of an unconstitutional position telling “we the people” what is/is not constitutional.

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