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Do Suppressors Add To Your Bottom Line?

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Article first appeared on Ammoland.com

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U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- The retail landscape has changed over the years. It used to be that you had hunting shops, tactical shops, and general stores. Recently, retailers have used online advertising and sophisticated supply chain systems to offer a broader range of products to a more diverse customer base. As a result, over the last five years, suppressors have become one of the fastest-growing product segments in the firearm industry. Many of the large gun manufactures have taken notice of the consumer interest and are now making their own, including Sig Sauer and Ruger.

Suppressors Are Legal in Many States

Now more than 40 states permit the sales and ownership of firearms suppressors, and consumer interest continues to grow. Retailers should strongly consider adding suppressors to their product catalog if they have not already.

A top factor motivating suppressor buyers is the cool factor. It provides the shooter with a new challenge as they adjust to shooting suppressed. Owning a suppressor puts you in a very exclusive club. However, there are hurdles that consumers will need to overcome to get into the club. “The average wait time is six to nine months for the ATF to send approval,” reports Patrick Hayden, owner of Kentucky Gun Company in Bardstown, Kentucky. “Most people agree that there has to be an easier and quicker way for the ATF to approve these.” He also notes a public misconception—suppressors are not “James Bond” quiet.

How Do You Get Started?

The NFA (National Firearms Act) special product transfers for suppressors continues to require additional paperwork. As a dealer, you will need to obtain a Class III license to sell or transfer suppressors. The application form and the fee can be taken care of online.

Once your application is approved, consider using a separate logbook for your Forms 3 (dealer to dealer) and Forms 4 (final transfer to the customer.)

The strong interest in suppressors for recreational shooting, hunting, and self-defense purposes continues. It will be essential to understand the specific trends in your area, so you carry the products that are likely to sell well. In case you are also wondering, yes, you can suppress many models of semi-auto .22 rifles and pistols. These are very popular.

One way to get the suppressor conversation started with shoppers in your retail center is to have firearms displayed in key locations with suppressors installed. Also, consider offering threaded barrel packages.  Lastly, special suppression awareness days and promotions help to increase consumer interest.

Need Help?

There are several ways that you can expedite and simplify the process for you and your customers. If you don’t have a SOT, I recommend that you work with a consulting firm that specializes in guiding retailers through that process.

They can make sure you do not make any mistakes on the application. Any issues with your application could delay your approval.

Orchid Advisors has helped dozens of retailers obtain their SOT.

The second thing to consider is the implementation of a software package to help manage the forms and information. Silencer Shop has developed a kiosk which has been implemented in over 800 retailers. The Silencer Shop kiosk collects, manages, and handles many parts of the application process, including fingerprinting.


  • Shaun Phelan, Orchid Advisors
  • Mike Faw, Outdoor Writer
Advanced Armament Corp. Blackout Muzzle Brake 51-Tooth Suppressor Mount – 5/8×24
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About Shaun Phelan

Mr. Phelan is currently the Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Orchid LLC. Previous to Orchid, he held various leadership roles at Smith & Wesson, driving technology adoption and innovation in manufacturing, IT, and marketing. He is also a key contributor to the NSSF’s Marketing Research and Advisory Group.

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