Made famous by James Bond and other Hollywood assassins, silencers are devices that muffle or suppress the energy and sound emitted by assault rifles, bolt action rifles, machine guns, and pistols. Because of their association with and design for quietly killing people, silencers are heavily regulated by governments nationwide. If you are looking to buy one in Nebraska, familiarize yourself with the state and federal laws to ensure you do not accidentally commit any crimes.
Nebraska Firearm Suppressor Laws
In Nebraska, firearms are regulated by Chapter 28 Section 1201-1212 of the Nebraska State Codes, which delineate what types of firearms you can legally purchase and own in the state, and where you can legally carry them. Although there are detailed sections pertaining to age restrictions and the concealment of firearms, there is no mention of firearm “mufflers,” “suppressors” or “silencers” in the Nebraska State Code. For this reason, Nebraska--as with 35 other states in America--legally allows you to buy and own silencers as long as you are in compliance with federal regulations.
Nebraska Turns to Federal Laws
Federal regulation of firearm suppressors are governed by the National Firearms Act of 1934, which also regulates the sale and ownership of machine guns, short-barreled shotguns and pistol grip short-barreled weapons, which along with suppressors, are classified as “Title II” weapons. While the laws nearly make Title II weapons outright illegal, there are provisions that allow their ownership under the supervision of the ATF. For people seeking to own a firearm suppressor, the federal government requires that an owner be a citizen who is at least 21 years old and without a felony conviction, have a clean bill of mental health and be qualified to own a Title I firearm.
Obtaining a Silencer in Nebraska
Because the state of Nebraska has not legislated the use of firearm suppressors, most of the paperwork you will have to complete in order to obtain one will be through the ATF. The regulations stipulate that you must complete an ATF Form 4 and pay a federal transfer tax of $200. Filling out the ATF Form 4 is an intensive background check performed by the FBI, and the requirement that you contact your county sheriff and obtain her approval for the ownership of a Title II weapon. Contact your local Nebraska county sheriff well before you begin the Title II application (see Resources List).