How to Obtain a Hybrid Suppressor: 3 Awesome Tips

Are you considering investing in a hybrid suppressor? You should first get caught up on ATF Rule 41F, as you’ll need to know what to expect when you submit your application for your National Firearms Act (NFA) item; in this case, a hybrid suppressor.

Any time you wish to legally transfer a hybrid suppressor to your name, whether as an individual or a trust, you’re going to need to follow the proper channels and fill out ATF Rule 41F. This is a background check that is run on all persons who wish to own a firearm or item listed under the National Firearms Act. 

If you are unfamiliar with the National Firearms Act, let’s briefly discuss its background and get you up to speed.

The National Firearms Act: A Brief History

Enacted on June 26 of 1934, the National Firearms Act is an Act of Congress that functions to limit the sale of specific firearms by adding taxes onto them (this would later include suppressors like your hybrid suppressor). This was done mostly due to the actions that took place during Prohibition. Namely, all of the crimes committed around this time.

Crime in America was bursting at the seams during Prohibition. Mobs were fast becoming severe threats to our society. These mobs were using serious firepower that became too difficult for police forces to combat. 

Serious action had to be taken in an attempt to limit the sales of these powerful firearms. As such, a tax was imposed not just on the sale of certain guns, but on the manufacturing and transporting, as well. This didn’t sit well with innocent people who felt they shouldn’t be punished for the actions of criminals.

With so much pushback, several modifications to the NFA have taken place over the years. In the government’s attempt to further the cause, the Federal Firearms Act (FFA) was enacted just 4 years after the NFA. This resulted in a law that stated that all gun manufacturers had to obtain a federal license for their firearms. 

Furthermore, it established the first time that felons couldn’t legally purchase a firearm. It also required sellers to keep records of all of their customers. The FFA was repealed in 1968 by the Gun Control Act (GCA), but much of it was simply carried over to the GCA.

Throughout the years that followed, items like your hybrid suppressor were added to the list of regulated weaponry. And as you will see below, there are much more than just silencers that made the list. 

To give you an idea of what the NFA regulated, take a minute to check out what’s included under this act. And since your hybrid suppressor is compatible with most of these entries, you’ll definitely want to take note.

NFA Items

The following items are the reason the National Firearms Act was created. They include:

  • Short barrel shotguns (SBS)
  • Any other weapon (AOW)
  • Suppressors (Silencers)
  • Short barrel rifles (SBR)
  • Destructive devices 
  • Machine guns

Short Barrel Shotguns (SBS)

A shotgun is a smooth-bore weapon with a stock that’s designed to fire a ballistics round. The barrel of shotguns must be at least 18 inches long. If the barrel is shorter than 18 inches, the weapon is considered a short-barrel shotgun.

Any Other Weapon (AOW)

AOWs are any kind of firearm that doesn’t fit within the parameters of the other categories. These include 12-gauge firearms that are less than 26 inches long.

You’ve likely seen novelty firearms at some point in your life. Whether it’s a lighter that doubles as a gun or a shotgun umbrella, AOWs can be a wide variety of unique, hard-to-categorize weapons.

Suppressors (Silencers)

Suppressors are indeed considered NFA items and that certainly includes a hybrid suppressor. Since your hybrid suppressor works with such a wide variety of weapons, you’ll need to make sure that you fill out the proper paperwork to get it approved.

Although it isn’t any different than filing for a traditional suppressor, you will need to be aware of ATF Rule 41F and what it entails. Take a moment to read over the remaining NFA entries and then we’ll talk about how to file your application for your hybrid suppressor.

Short Barrel Rifles (SBR)

SBRs are any rifle that has a barrel shorter than 16 inches in length. A rifle, by definition, is a firearm that projects a ballistic round through a barrel of a certain length. 

Destructive Devices

All destructive devices must be greater than .50 caliber. However, that doesn’t include most shotguns. What it does consist of are weapons that project mortars, poison gas, explosives, missiles, grenades, and other like ballistics.

Machine Guns

If a firearm is capable of delivering more than a single round with the pull of the trigger, it is defined as a machine gun. This includes weapons with burst-fire capabilities and any special devices that are designed to convert existing weaponry into fully automatic firearms.

1. Updates to ATF Rule 41F

With that out of the way, let’s quickly examine the recent changes to some of the verbiage found within ATF Rule 41F, which you’ll need to understand when acquiring a hybrid suppressor.

One of the new terms to appear on ATF Rule 41F is ‘Responsible Person.” The ATF defines a Responsible Person as:

“Federal explosives laws define a ‘responsible person’ as an individual who has the power to direct the management and policies of the applicant pertaining to explosive materials. Responsible persons generally include sole proprietors and explosives facility site managers. 

“In the case of a corporation, association, or similar organization, responsible persons generally include only those corporate directors/officers, and stockholders, who have the power to direct management and policies as they pertain to explosive materials.”

For example, a Responsible Person could be a corporate vice president of a company who has the duty of acquiring and approving explosives contracts with distributors.

A corporate individual who doesn’t handle issues related to explosives would not be considered a Responsible Person. 

Therefore, the duties of each key personnel individual within the corporation must be assessed to determine who shall be designated as a Responsible Person.

The following are a few examples of Responsible Persons:

  • Settlors/Grantors
  • Board members
  • Beneficiaries*
  • Members
  • Trustees
  • Partners
  • Owners
  • Officers

* This only applies if said beneficiary is one who can exercise the use of your firearms.

Furthermore, the definition within ATF Rule 41F treats a trust differently than whenever it is applied to a corporation or LLC. The ATF’s current trusts include updated verbiage using NFA Division guidance. 

Gun trusts, regardless of whether they have previously been approved for an NFA transfer that was signed before July 23, 2019, must have an amendment. This is done to avoid any possible kickback or delayed processing of an NFA application. 

Note: You only need a trust amendment if you currently have a pending NFA application or if you are filing a new application that uses an ATF trust that is dated before July 23, 2019. Previously approved applications will not be affected in any way.

2. Should You Get a Gun Trust for Your Hybrid Suppressor?

Firstly, a gun trust will ensure that your hybrid suppressor is legally cared for if something were to happen to you. Having a gun trust allows you to name certain individuals (trustees) to take ownership of your hybrid suppressor if you were to pass away or become incapacitated to where you can no longer care for your NFA items.

As a gun owner, chances are you are going to want to take advantage of a gun trust. This will allow you to share your hybrid suppressor with your chosen trustee(s). 

You will need a corresponding ATF tax stamp form accompanying the hybrid suppressor, but that Responsible Person will now have the legal right to possess and carry the hybrid suppressor named in the gun trust. 

If you prefer, you can name more than one trustee. This would allow multiple Responsible Persons to possess your hybrid suppressor. Furthermore, you can make changes to the length of time such a person can carry or possess said suppressor and limit their power to do so.

How ATF Rule 41F Works

It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean the trustee has the right to all of your firearms – only the suppressor that you say is OK for such a purpose. And you want to remember that this doesn’t include beneficiaries. 

So if you want to allow anyone to possess or carry your hybrid suppressor, you’re going to have to name them as a trustee and file ATF Rule 41F.

After which, a background check will be performed once the ATF has received all of the forms and information outlined above. With everything properly submitted, you can look forward to your application going through and getting approved without any delays.

It is important to understand your state and local laws before compiling a gun trust and filling out ATF Rule 41F. Some state laws supersede the federal mandates assigned by the ATF and ATF Rule 41F. 

Your state may prohibit ATF Rule 41F from being used, so always make sure that you double-check your local laws before advancing to these applications and requests. 

You may also want to consider limiting how many trustees are named in your trust. This will effectively limit the number of Responsible Persons so that your trust and ATF Rule 41F go through without a hitch.

You may need to think about appointing trustee-beneficiaries to ensure that some persons have limited use or for a limited amount of time. You can do your part to speed up ATF Rule 41F by removing any trustees whom you deem to be non-essential to your trust. At  GunTrust NFA, we include an amendment form to the trust that makes you the only trustee for this very reason, and you may shred that amendment form after you are done with it.

You can always add them back in after you received approval for your application and get your corresponding tax stamp from the ATF. If you wish to appoint a trustee to your trust or assign a beneficiary, you are going to need to file an ATF Rule 41F.

Because of this, it can make things a bit complicated in the application approval process. It’s best to get approval first and then make changes later to ensure fewer potential issues during the approval of ATF Rule 41F and other corresponding ATF forms.

In short, it’s always a good idea to invest in a gun trust to ensure the safe and legal process of another individual transferring or possessing your firearms. There are plenty of benefits to doing so. But perhaps most importantly is that you will have legal documentation showing that another individual has a right to your firearms. 

Simply put, there is no legal way to let someone else use your hybrid suppressor for any reason without an established gun trust.

As such, ATF Rule 41F is now an essential part of the application approval process and must be adhered to if you want to be sure that you are following the rules. 

Not only will it ensure the safety and legality of your hybrid suppressor, but it will also ensure the legal transition of your suppressor and other NFA items to your trustee.

3. Filling Out ATF Form Rule 41F

The changes that were made to ATF Rule 41F will affect you if:

  • You are applying as a trust or legal entity to create and register your hybrid suppressor on ATF Form 1.
  • You are receiving a hybrid suppressor in a trust’s name or other legal entity if you are the transferee on ATF Forms 4 or 5.

When filling out ATF Form Rule 41F, all Responsible Persons who are named in the trust or legal entity will have to undergo a background check.

All Responsible Persons will also need to attach a photograph and provide two fingerprint cards. These are needed to allow for the background check to commence. 

Without them, the background check won’t be able to be initiated by the ATF. This will result in your ATF Rule 41F being rejected and sent back to you. 

If the form is returned, you will be asked to provide the information that you failed to include. This will further delay the approval of your application. If you are looking to get the fastest response time possible and get your application approved, always make sure that you have included everything that the ATF has asked of you. 

The proper ATF Forms that correspond with Responsible Persons include ATF Form 5320.23 and FD-258. The former is the paperwork that includes the photo of the Responsible Person(s), while the latter is for the fingerprints of the Responsible Person(s).

If you need fingerprint cards, you can order them directly from the ATF Distribution Center. These come from their online Distribution Center Order Form and can be acquired by contacting them at either (703) 870-7526 or (703) 870-7528. Additionally, we include fingerprint cards with all new gun trusts at  GunTrust NFA.

It’s also important to mention that past verbiage in the ATF Rule 41F listed the Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) certification as just that: Chief Law Enforcement Officer (CLEO) certification.

However, the updated ATF Rule 41F lists it as CLEO notification. The individual who is the applicant of ATF Form 1, as well as the transferees on ATF Forms 4 and 5 will need to fill out a copy of the application and forward it to their local Chief Law Enforcement Officer. 

This is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer who resides in the same area as those listed above from ATF Forms 1, 4, and 5. Additionally, all Responsible Persons will need to forward a copy of the ATF Form 5320.23 to the same Chief Law Enforcement Officer. 

Recent Modifications

There were a few modifications to ATF Rule 41F that took place on July 13, 2016. These include an addition that states that all applicants who are going to create or transfer a hybrid suppressor will need to submit new ATF Forms 1, 4, and 5. 

Furthermore, ATF Form 5320.23 will need to be submitted by all Responsible Persons of a trust or legal entity. ATF Form 5320.23 is the fingerprint card form that must be submitted to allow the ATF to run background checks on all named Responsible Persons.

Also after this date, certification from the Chief Law Enforcement Officer is no longer a requirement. However, all applicants are required to send them a copy of the application that states they will be creating or transferring a hybrid suppressor in any capacity.

It’s also important to note that all applications that are postmarked after July 13, 2016, will be handled and processed in compliance with the new rules and regulations discussed in the updated ATF Rule 41F.

Wrapping Up

If you’re ready to proceed with your purchase of a hybrid suppressor, you should seriously consider putting it in a gun trust. To take advantage of the many benefits that come with a trust, visit GunTrust NFA to get started.

Not only will you save a great deal of time in doing so, but you will save a lot of money, as well. Our online application can be filled out in a matter of minutes, putting you one step closer to establishing your trust. Good luck acquiring your hybrid suppressor, and happy shooting!