According to the ATF, the number of gun silencers registered with the government has more than doubled since 2012. This was the same year silencers became legal for hunting in Texas.
Gun advocates want to change the “hitman” image of gun silencers.
“This is an OK thing for civilians to have, it’s actually beneficial to safety and it also makes the hunting and shooting more effective,” says firearms instructor Sean Healy. “It’s ear protection that fits on a gun instead of going on your head, so it protects people’s hearing and their health.”
Stores like Mac’s Gun Shop in Tyler sell suppressors ranging from $300 to $1,500.
Superior Pawn and Gun is opening a firearms store this month that will cater to the market.
“It’s going to be a very hot seller for us,” says Superior Pawn and Shop owner Austin Rohr. “You realize that it is a demand in the market and I personally have suppressors and once I’ve started shooting firearms suppressed, I don’t want to shoot anything else.”
Right now, to buy a silencer at a store like Mac’s Gun Shop, you’ll pay a $200 fee and submit fingerprints, a photo, US citizenship certification and approval from your local law enforcement.
But changes are on the way.
Healy says restrictions will increase in that the ATF will now perform background checks on the people in control of the NFA trust.
But he also says the rule for law enforcement approval will loosen.
“That CLEO signature requirement is going to be eliminated and just replaced with a CLEO notification requirement,” says Healy. “The local law enforcement is going to be notified but they don’t have the right to veto it.”
These rules go into effect July 13th, 2016.