At 09:26 PM 10/6/99 -0400, Michael Lorrey wrote:
>Actually, no you cannot always purchase or make your own silencers.
>While the ATF does not regard airguns as firearms, so the National
>Firearms Act does not apply to silencers that are only useful with
>airguns (I don't know how you could make them only useful for airguns
>and not useful for firearms using the same caliber), but several States
>DO regard airguns as firearms. Massachusetts is one, and silencers are
>quite illegal (despite the overbearing presence of noise ordinances)
>there, actually they might be more difficult to get, since theoretically
>you can get a real silencer by going through the Class III Restricted
>Weapons Tax Form 4 process with the ATF, but since the ATF doesn't
>recognise airguns as firearms, they would not accept a Form 4 on a
>silencer for an airgun as a device that requires such a transfer process
>and fee (The transfer tax is $200.00). Funny how government is.
I hate to digress, but...
The ATF does not consider a "silencer" to be a silencer if and only if it is structurally incapable of suppressing a firearm. Since any non-deflagrating gas weapon is not a "firearm", it can legally be suppressed *if* the suppressor is too flimsy to operate at normal firearm pressures, which in practice means the suppressor is fabricated from plastic. Even in states where airguns are treated as firearms, airgun suppressors are typically still legal as long as they are not the NFA kind.
I've seen "silenced" paintball guns used, and I can say that they are *extremely* effective. The only noise you hear is the projectile whizzing through the air and the faint wheezing of the piston cycling. Much, much quieter than most suppressed firearms.