Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Cutting the Data: Strong Interest in Suppressors Continued in 2017

Friday, March 2, 2018

Cutting the Data: Strong Interest in Suppressors Continued in 2017

The number of Form 4 applications received by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) in 2016 and 2017 seems to indicate a clear peak followed by a marked drop-off. Nearly three times as many applications were received in 2016 as in 2017. Another indication of the Trump Slump or pre-Hillary Clinton panic buying? 

Hardly.

About two years ago, BATFE issued Rule 41F Machine guns, Destructive Devices, and Certain Other Firearms; Background Checks for Responsible Persons of a Trust or Legal Entity with Respect to Making or Transferring a Firearm. 

The ATF reports that the goal of this rule is “to ensure that the identification and background check requirements apply equally to individuals, trusts, and legal entities who apply to make or receive NFA firearms.” The rule became effective on July 13, 2016. Approximately two years’ worth of consumer purchases were compressed into the first six months of 2016 – pushing the total number of Form 4 NFA applications to 312,850 for the year. All but about 12% of these applications were submitted before Rule 41F came into effect. Since suppressors account for around 90% of the tax-paid transfer applications, one can reasonably assume that the majority of these applications were for suppressors. 

Rule 41F put individual applications and trusts on equal footing. Previously, individual applications required approval from the local chief law enforcement officer – and, predictably, not all applications were given the same consideration. Rule 41F changed the landscape; legal entities and trusts went from 89% of transfer applications to 48%. Individual applications move much faster through the vetting process, if only because there are fewer background checks to conduct in relation to each application.

Since suppressors account for around 90% of the tax-paid transfer applications, one can reasonably assume that the majority of these applications were for suppressors. 

After the pre-rule rush, 2017 looked like a down year with “only” 110,377 Form 4 Applications received. This is actually in line with previous years before Rule 41F. By the end of 2017, there were nearly 1.4 million suppressors registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record – the database of all suppressors not owned by the federal government. The number of suppressors manufactured between the announcement of Rule 41F and April 2017 outpaced the number of Form 4 Applications; supply simply outpaced demand. The rest of 2017 saw four times as many Form 4 applications as suppressors manufactured as the market forces rebalance and BATFE catches up on processing the backlog of applications.

One big number in a chart doesn’t always tell the story.

TRENDING NOW
Gun Control May be Wasting Away, But Not Because of COVID

News  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Gun Control May be Wasting Away, But Not Because of COVID

A recent article on a gun control news site laments that the COVID-19 pandemic has thwarted ballot initiatives to expand gun bans and restrictions. Initiatives in Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio and Oregon have stalled, allegedly due to the ...

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

News  

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Anti-gun Politicians Seek to Tax Your Second Amendment Rights Into Oblivion

In 1819, Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court famously wrote:  “the power to tax involves the power to destroy ….”

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

Anti-Gun Organization Prepared to Launch National Group of Gun Owners Who Apparently Don’t Like Guns

News  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Anti-Gun Organization Prepared to Launch National Group of Gun Owners Who Apparently Don’t Like Guns

Yes, that title doesn’t make much sense, but neither does a group that promotes banning firearms starting a national organization called Gun Owners for Safety. Nonetheless, The Hill recently reported that the anti-gun group Giffords is doing just ...

Montana: Californian-funded Fake Hunting Group Lies About Steve Bullock’s Anti-gun Record

News  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Montana: Californian-funded Fake Hunting Group Lies About Steve Bullock’s Anti-gun Record

Montana gun owners have been subjected to an abundance of lies this election season. Leading the misinformation campaign is fake hunting group Montana Hunters & Anglers Leadership Fund. Bankrolled by a wealthy San Francisco Bay ...

Law Professors Make Case for Second Amendment Rights in Uncertain Times

News  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Law Professors Make Case for Second Amendment Rights in Uncertain Times

Americans have made clear that they value their Second Amendment rights, especially during uncertain times. Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic and then widespread civil unrest, Americans have bought firearms in record numbers. Through September, the FBI ...

Joe Biden Told Voters the Second Amendment DOES NOT Protect an Individual Right

News  

Monday, September 21, 2020

Joe Biden Told Voters the Second Amendment DOES NOT Protect an Individual Right

During a September 2019 “townhall” hosted by New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden made clear that he does not believe the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms and ...

Judge Barrett Picks Second Amendment Case as Her “Most Significant” Ruling

News  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Judge Barrett Picks Second Amendment Case as Her “Most Significant” Ruling

The confirmation hearings of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, are due to begin on October 12th before the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).

Please Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol

News  

Monday, October 12, 2020

Please Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol

As we reported last week, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) recently informed firearm manufacturer Q, LLC that, in ATF’s view, Q’s “Honey Badger” pistol with stabilizing brace is actually a short-barreled rifle and ...

Your Action Needed: Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol!

News  

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Your Action Needed: Urge the Department of Justice to Rein in ATF's Arbitrary Determination on "Honey Badger" Pistol!

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”) recently informed firearm manufacturer Q, LLC that, in ATF’s view, Q’s “Honey Badger” pistol with stabilizing brace is actually a short-barreled rifle and therefore subject to the National ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.