No, you cannot legally buy, sell, or manufacture a suppressor in Texas without complying with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) tax stamp and documentation regulations. However, recent Texas laws have decriminalized some activities related to suppressor ownership.
Federal Law on Suppressor Ownership
Under federal law, suppressors are regulated as firearms by the National Firearms Act (NFA). To legally own a suppressor you must:
- Pay a $200 tax stamp fee per suppressor
- Submit fingerprints, passport photos, and an extensive application to the ATF
- Undergo an extensive background check process
- Obtain ATF approval after typically a 6-12 month wait period
It is a federal felony to own, manufacture, or sell a suppressor without complying with these regulations. The penalty is up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Recent Changes to Texas State Law
In spite of federal law, recent changes by the Texas state legislature have reduced penalties for suppressor ownership under state law:
- In 2015, Texas legalized suppressor ownership. While federal compliance is still required, there are no additional state restrictions or requirements.
- In 2021, Texas passed a law preventing local police from enforcing federal suppressor laws. So state and local police cannot arrest you for unlawful suppressor possession.
- In 2022, Texas decriminalized unlawful suppressor manufacturing. While still a federal crime, state penalties were removed as long as the suppressor stays within Texas state lines.
So in essence, you can legally possess a suppressor in Texas without federal ATF approval as long as you don’t leave the state or sell it. And you can also manufacture your own suppressor for personal use within Texas without facing state penalties. But both would still violate federal law.
Buying vs. Making Suppressors in Texas
You still cannot legally buy or sell a suppressor in Texas without complying with federal ATF tax stamp requirements. Licensed firearms dealers are required to follow all federal regulations. However, under the state law changes, a Texas resident can now manufacture their own suppressor without facing state penalties. This only applies to making it yourself rather than buying it. And the suppressor still cannot leave Texas state lines without federal approval. So in practice, anyone with metal working skills and know-how can legally make a suppressor for themselves in Texas. But they need to be careful not to sell it or take it across state lines, as those would still risk severe federal penalties.
People Also Ask
Can you buy a tax stamp before a suppressor?
No, you cannot purchase a tax stamp before buying or making a suppressor. The ATF tax stamp application requires details and serial numbers of the specific suppressor you intend to register.
Do you need a tax stamp for a suppressor in Texas?
Yes, a federal tax stamp is still required to legally own a suppressor in Texas. The recent Texas law changes only prevent state charges, but federal penalties still apply including up to 10 years in prison.
How to apply for a suppressor tax stamp in Texas?
To legally register a suppressor with the ATF in Texas, you must submit ATF Form 4 along with $200 payment, fingerprints, photos, and other required documents. Wait times frequently exceed 12 months for approval after filing.
Can I buy a tax stamp before I buy a suppressor?
No, the ATF tax stamp application requires the make, model, and serial number of the specific suppressor you intend to register, so you cannot apply before purchasing or making the suppressor.
How to get tax stamp for suppressor in Texas?
File ATF Form 4 application with $200 tax payment, fingerprints, passport photos, and other required documents. If approved after extensive background check and waiting period, the $200 tax stamp allows legal registration of your suppressor.
While Texas has recently reduced state penalties on suppressor ownership and manufacturing, all federal regulations and penalties still fully apply. So while you may avoid state charges for making your own suppressor and keeping it purely within Texas, federal law means you still cannot legally buy, sell, or travel across state lines without undergoing the ATF registration process. Tread carefully to avoid up to 10 years in federal prison.