While Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Democrat surrogates in the establishment media push more gun control, including a ban on suppressors, it is important to note that every conceivable gun control is already in place for suppressors.
To begin with, an individual cannot walk into a gun store or sporting goods retailer and walk out that same day with a suppressor. This is because suppressors are regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934. This brings special scrutiny to bear on those who wish to purchase items that fall under NFA auspices.
A person wanting a suppressor must find an individual with the federal credentials to sell them, then go into that individual’s store to fill out background check documentation. Federal agents will then use that information to perform a criminal check on the would-be buyer.
Also, at the time the background check documentation is submitted, the would-be buyer must pay for the suppressor, provide fingerprints, photographs, and $200 for a federal tax on NFA-regulated items. (That is $200 on top of the cost of the suppressor.)
The documentation, photos, fingerprints, and money are sent to the NFA Branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). At this point, the FBI is brought in to perform a background check on the buyer, and thereafter the suppressor is registered with the federal government, under the buyer’s name.
A federal tax stamp, the result of the aforementioned $200, is issued linking the buyer to that specific suppressor and that stamp is sent back to the place of purchase so it can be handed to the buyer, along with the suppressor.
Once the retailer has the tax stamp in hand they call the buyer to come pick up the suppressor, at which point the buyer must undergo another FBI background check–an National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)–before being allowed to take possession of the device.
This whole process takes seven to nine months, start to finish.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.