How to Get an SBR & Suppressor at the Same Time

by Gus Stephens

The short barreled rifle permit and the suppressor permit are firearms permits required by federal law. The SBR permit is required to alter any rifle so that has a barrel less than 16 inches long or an overall length of less than 26 inches. The suppressor permit -- often called a silencer permit -- is required to purchase or possess any device designed to muffle the sound of a firearm. Application for the SBR permit requires ATF Form 1 along with a $200 tax payment to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The suppressor permit requires ATF Form 4 along with a $200 tax payment to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Applications for both permits may be submitted simultaneously. However, Form 1 and Form 4 must be submitted to different ATF divisions.

SBR Permit

1. Check local and state ordinances first to make sure the laws permit shortening the barrel of a rifle.

2. Obtain two copies of ATF Form 1, "Application To Make And Register A Firearm," from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco And Firearms website or by mailing a request. Complete both forms.

3. Obtain two copies of ATF Form 5330.20, "Certificate Of Compliance," to verify U.S. citizenship from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco And Firearms website or by mailing a request. Complete the forms.

4. Obtain two 2-by-2-inch passport photos. Attach one to each copy of ATF Form 1.

5. Consult with your local chief law enforcement official to obtain the required signature of approval on your Form 1. An acceptable CLEO may be a local police chief, county sheriff or district attorney. The signature of approval is strictly the prerogative of the local CLEO and obtaining the required signature is not assured.

6. Get yourself fingerprinted by a law enforcement agency and have two sets of FBI Form FD-258 fingerprint cards issued. A good time to do this is when you are visiting the CLEO to get the signature on Form 1.

7. Send both copies of Form 1 signed by the CLEO with passport photos attached, both ATF Forms 5330.20, both FD-258 fingerprint cards and a check for $200 payable to the ATF to the address shown on Form 1.

Suppressor Permit

1. Check local and state ordinances first to make sure these laws permit purchasing and possessing a firearms suppressor.

2. Choose the suppressor you wish to purchase and locate a Federal Class 3 firearms dealer to buy it from. Consult the manufacturer of the suppressor for suggested Class 3 dealers.

3. Pay in full for the suppressor at the Federal Class 3 firearms dealer.

4. Obtain two copies of ATF Form 4, "Application for Tax Paid Transfer and Registration of Firearm," from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms website or by mailing a request. Complete both forms.

5. Obtain two copies of ATF Form 5330.20, "Certificate of Compliance," to verify U.S. citizenship from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco And Firearms website or by mailing a request. Complete the forms.

6. Obtain two 2-by-2-inch passport photos. Attach one to each copy of ATF Form 4.

7. Consult with your local chief law enforcement official to obtain the required signature of approval on your Form 4. An acceptable CLEO may be a local police chief, county sheriff or district attorney. The signature of approval is strictly the prerogative of the local CLEO and obtaining the required signature is not assured.

8. Get yourself fingerprinted by a law enforcement agency and have two sets of FBI Form FD-258 fingerprint cards issued. A good time to do this is when you are visiting the CLEO to get the signature on Form 4.

9. Send both copies of Form 4 signed by the CLEO with passport photos attached, both ATF Forms 5330.20, both FD-258 fingerprint cards and a check for $200 payable to the ATF to the address shown on Form 4.

About the Author

Gus Stephens has written about aviation, automotive and home technology for 15 years. His articles have appeared in major print outlets such as "Popular Mechanics" and "Invention & Technology." Along the way, Gus earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications. If it flies, drives or just sits on your desk and blinks, he's probably fixed it.