One summer morning, Sugston Anthony Brookes, grabbed a stranger outside Toronto’s busiest transportation hub.
Minutes before, Brookes had tried to kill his estranged wife.
Police received a call about a man beating a woman.
A police officer in the area spotted Brookes and followed him. The officer ordered Brookes to stop but he didn’t listen.
And now he had a hostage.
Her name was Nicole R., a 20-year-old university student.
Nicole had left the station and was on her way to work at the Royal Bank for the last day of her summer internship.
A police tactical team responded to the scene.
The hostage appeared calm and collected according to police.
She tried her best to make it easy for police to communicate with her captor.
But Brookes was getting more and more erratic and refused to speak with negotiators.
As the situation continued to intensify two snipers set up positions.
The scene commander believed the hostage was going to be harmed…
So, he gave the order for one of the snipers to neutralize the threat.
As soon as the shot was fired, Brookes dropped to the ground, releasing the hostage.
Less than an hour after the drama began, the hostage-taker was dead.
While I don’t know the exact weapon used by the sniper, chances are it had some sort of suppressor.
And when it comes to suppressors, obviously not everything you see in the movies is accurate.
Oftentimes, the words suppressor and silencer are used interchangeably.
The word silencer is more of a legal term and not a technical one.
Even with a suppressor, a gun isn’t completely silent.
A suppressor does reduce the sound of the weapon, but not 100%.
Yet, a lot of shooters desire to own a suppressor.
And there are many reasons to own one.
The most obvious being you can safely shoot your gun without damaging your hearing.
Another benefit is when hunting, your shots are less noisy to nearby game.
So, here’s the law about suppressors and how you can get one…
The National Firearms Act.
In 1934, the National Firearms Act was passed by Congress, which is still enforced today.
The goal of the Act was to control violence. And it included a law requiring a $200 tax stamp to sell or transfer a suppressor.
In 1934, $200 was a deterrent since it was a considerable amount of money. Today, not so much.
But before you rush out to buy a suppressor, check your state and local laws.
If you live in the eight states in which suppressors are illegal under state law, then you cannot own one.
These states are Hawaii, California, Illinois, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Licensed dealer for suppressors.
The next step is to find a licensed dealer.
They must be a Federal Firearms License holder who has also paid the Special Occupation Tax to become a Class 3 or Class 2 dealer.
A Class 3 dealer can sell and transfer items in the National Firearms Act.
And a Class 2 dealer can make, sell, and transfer NFA items.
Further, the dealer must be in your state of residence.
Once you find a dealer, you can choose a suppressor from their inventory.
Or find one online and arrange to have the item shipped to your dealer.
Then, you will need to fill out the paperwork…
And it may take between three to six months for your application to be approved.
Who should the suppressor be registered to?
There are three ways to register NFA items.
The first and easiest is to register the suppressor to yourself.
The problem is if you were ever to be declared unable to own firearms the suppressor would be confiscated.
Another option is to register the suppressor to a corporation, partnership, or LLC.
The advantage of this is that an authorized corporate officer can use the suppressor.
But, anytime you form one of these entities you are required to complete yearly paperwork.
The last entity is an NFA Trust.
The person who sets up the trust has the benefits of individual registration.
But, they can add co-trustees, and the co-trustee has the same benefits and access as the initial trustee.
Plus, the trustee can set up a beneficiary who can inherit the trust property.
The drawback to an NFA Trust is that you will need to pay an attorney to set it up.
Obtaining a suppressor does take a bit of work.
But most gun shops who sell them will walk you through the entire process if you want to add one of these to your arsenal.