Arizona Silencer Laws

I’ve noticed a large increase in the number of visitors to my snarky Silencers are also Illegal post that I made way back in 2008.

In the hopes of clarifying Arizona law as it relates to suppressors with less snark than that previous post, I direct readers to the Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3101 which state, in part:

A. In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

[snip]

8. “Prohibited weapon”:

(a) Includes the following:

(i) An item that is a bomb, grenade, rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces or mine and that is explosive, incendiary or poison gas.

(ii) A device that is designed, made or adapted to muffle the report of a firearm.

(iii) A firearm that is capable of shooting more than one shot automatically, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.

(iv) A rifle with a barrel length of less than sixteen inches, or shotgun with a barrel length of less than eighteen inches, or any firearm that is made from a rifle or shotgun and that, as modified, has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches.

(v) An instrument, including a nunchaku, that consists of two or more sticks, clubs, bars or rods to be used as handles, connected by a rope, cord, wire or chain, in the design of a weapon used in connection with the practice of a system of self-defense.

(vi) A breakable container that contains a flammable liquid with a flash point of one hundred fifty degrees Fahrenheit or less and that has a wick or similar device capable of being ignited.

(vii) A chemical or combination of chemicals, compounds or materials, including dry ice, that is possessed or manufactured for the purpose of generating a gas to cause a mechanical failure, rupture or bursting or an explosion or detonation of the chemical or combination of chemicals, compounds or materials.

(viii) An improvised explosive device.

(ix) Any combination of parts or materials that is designed and intended for use in making or converting a device into an item set forth in item (i), (vi) or (viii) of this subdivision.

(b) Does not include:

(i) Any fireworks that are imported, distributed or used in compliance with state laws or local ordinances.

(ii) Any propellant, propellant actuated devices or propellant actuated industrial tools that are manufactured, imported or distributed for their intended purposes.

(iii) A device that is commercially manufactured primarily for the purpose of illumination.

B. The items set forth in subsection A, paragraph 8, subdivision (a), items (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) of this section do not include any firearms or devices that are registered in the national firearms registry and transfer records of the United States treasury department or any firearm that has been classified as a curio or relic by the United States treasury department.

Emphasis mine.

In short, so long as one complies with the National Firearms Act of 1934 (the NFA) and other relevant Federal laws NFA items, including suppressors, are not restricted or otherwise regulated by the state of Arizona. Simple.

If one doesn’t comply with the NFA and other relevant Federal law relating to NFA weapons, then one is in violation of both Federal law and state law and in for a world of hurt. The ATF does not like it when people break the NFA, and penalties can include a felony conviction, 10 years in jail, and a $250,000 fine. Not fun.

When I got my suppressor a few years ago, my ATF Form 4 was processed and approved in about a month. Fees (not including the purchase price of the suppressor itself) were about $250 — the $200 NFA tax, about $10 for fingerprints, and the remainder as a tip to my dealer (who walked me through the process in detail, answered my numerous questions, and made sure I didn’t screw up). All in all, not bad.

7 thoughts on “Arizona Silencer Laws

  1. Silencers, Shit! Most people don’t know you can take a sturdy baby nipple, cut a “X” on the hole and duct tape it to your weapon. Try it!!!

  2. Arizona Rifleman,

    You know when you make threads like this they stay on the internet and comfuse people. Your news is old and needs updated.

    This is old news don’t listen to it. Arizona has passed the AFFA “Arizona Freedom Firearms Act” and it is now legal “In Arizona” to purchase a suppressor “Can, silencer” now.

    • David,

      How, exactly, does my information need updating?

      That’s nice that Arizona has passed the AFFA. Federal law still trumps state law, and one still needs to comply with the Federal National Firearms Act when it comes to buying, owning, or selling NFA-regulated items like suppressors.

      It’s a nice gesture for Arizona to have passed that law, but the NFA still applies.

  3. Hi AZ Rifleman,

    Federal law doesn’t trump constitutional law. I say that because some of the “laws” that live are illegal. It’s just like federal taxes. Most people don’t know that federal tax is not mandated but is voluntary compliance. But if you don’t pay it you get nailed with tax evasion. Some have used tax avoidance lately to get away with not paying taxes but the IRS is making new laws for that now to. The book keeps on getting bigger and bigger kind of like the book of Morman’s LOL. Sorry if I offended you…

    I follow the law. The BATF was recently caught in a smuggling operation that cost the lives of two good US agents. The BATF is as about as legit as the “federal” reserve.

    The bottom line is I follow the law. I follow the US constitution and AZ state law. In our constitution it says if you read carefully that every state can legally control the sales and distribution of their own firearms, munition’s and any attatchments. Several states are sewing the US for taxing these items when the state is suppose to be controlling these sales and managements.

    Take care,

    David

    • Regardless of what one thinks the law is, the courts have consistently ruled that the NFA applies to items like suppressors. While one might disagree with the law and think that it iss unconstitutional, that doesn’t stop the courts from finding you guilty of violating it.

      Complying with the NFA is a minimal burden. A $200 tax sure beats a $250,000 fine and 10 years in jail, not to mention the “convicted felon” thing.

      I’m not even going to get into the tax argument.

  4. Thought I would add this for people to have for their viewing collection.

    DO NOT try to build a suppressor on your own. It will work!

    David

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