Two state level pro-suppressor laws went into effect Wednesday in Arizona and Minnesota following approval by the state legislatures and governors.
Signed into law March 29 by Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, House Bill 2728 grants hunters in Arizona the right to use legally owned suppressors while hunting game animals. With the passage of the law, Arizona became the third state in 2012 to legalize suppressor use while hunting. Similar measures also were passed in Texas and Oklahoma.
On April 18, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed HF 1816 into law, allowing Federal Firearms Licensees with a Special Occupational Tax in Minnesota to possess suppressors to sell to the government, military, and other FFL/SOTs. Championed by Minnesota based JP Enterprises, with direct support from Rep. Peggy Scott, and Rep. Mike Benson, the new law takes Minnesota one step closer to the ranks of the 39 states that currently allow civilian ownership of suppressors.
Contrary to popular belief, suppressors, also referred to as silencers, do not render gunshots inaudible. However, they often reduce the report of a firearm to hearing safe levels, helping to protect the shooter and those nearby from permanent hearing damage.
In order for a civilian to purchase a suppressor, they must live in one of the 39 states that allow civilian ownership. All applicants must submit two Form 4s to the ATF for each suppressor purchased. A Form 4, or Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm, includes a stringent background check that is conducted by the FBI.
In addition, applicants must submit a $200 non-refundable transfer tax, duplicate copies of passport photos and fingerprints, and receive a sign off from a chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) in their jurisdiction. From start to finish, this transfer process takes anywhere from 30 days to one year to complete.