There are several reasons silencers are expensive. First and foremost, they are a highly regulated product. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has strict regulations that must be met before a manufacturer can sell a silencer. These regulations include:
Each manufacturer must produce the paperwork required by the ATF to prove that their products meet the requirements of 922(r). This paperwork is expensive and time consuming.
The ATF requires that each silencer be serialized with a unique serial number so they can track them if needed. This process is also very expensive as it involves machining the entire silencer from raw metal stock using computer controlled milling machines or lathes.
When purchasing an NFA item like a silencer you must have your local Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) sign off on your background check because you are buying an item with multiple intended purposes (e.g., hearing protection as well as reducing sound signature). This process can take months if not years depending on how busy your local police department is with other applications such as concealed carry permits and other types of gun purchases.
Last modified: November 1, 2022