Suppressors, SBRs and the NFA: Are Changes Coming to Firearm Regulation?

Suppressors, SBRs and the NFA: Are Changes Coming to Firearm Regulation?

Suppressors, SBRs and the NFA: Are Changes Coming to Firearm Regulation?

Those of us with an interest in firearms and thus gun laws have been watching it build for a few years now. There are changes afoot for national firearms laws, affecting everything from the National Firearms Act to concealed carry reciprocity. Opinions and speculation abound, with even noted investing site The Motley Fool getting their two cents’ worth out there.

Here at USA Carry, we’ve written about the changing nature of the industry from a consumer perspective, and I think it’s time we took a look at how the laws and regulations around firearms may change over the next few years. So, in no particular order:

Suppressors are going to be increasing easier to get.

I think the writing’s on the wall with this one, given that we’ve seen legislative attempts to do so as far back as 2015; similar efforts continue in the current Congress. With the recent publication of a BATF white paper entitled “Opinions to Reduce or Modify Firearms Regulations”, we can see a mood of change within the regulatory agencies. To quote that publication:

“While DOJ and ATF have historically not supported removal of items from the NFA, the change in public acceptance of silencers arguably indicates that the reason for their inclusion in the NFA is archaic and historical reluctance to removing them from the NFA should be reevaluated.”

A rare example of a regulatory agency responding to the will of the people.

SBR and SBS regulations are already changing—and more is coming.

One of the more interesting moments at SHOT this year was the splash made by Mossberg’s Shockwave—a 14” barreled shotgun that somehow meets NFA regulations. They did this by cleverly creating a “pistol-grip only” weapon not designed to be fired from the shoulder. Coupled with a clarification of SBR law in a letter issued by the BATF in March 2017 regarding the use of “stabilizing braces” one could argue that the line between SBR/SBS and their non-NFA equivalents is blurring, and may soon disappear altogether in favor of a more permissive approach.

Further support of private sales.

For good or ill, President Obama implemented a number of restrictions on private sales of firearms during his final months in office. Our current president vowed at the time to remove those restrictions when elected. Right now, the energy seems in that direction and we shall have to see where it leads.

Nationwide CCW Reciprocity?

It’s been on the wind for a while now, in conjunction with the move toward constitutional carry in a growing number of states. For all of the talk, there hasn’t been a great deal of action. I suspect it will happen, but when and how is still up in the air.

As I’ve said before and will say again: we live in the proverbial “interesting times”. Keeping an eye on the news, maintaining our Second Amendment activism, and staying engaged with our legislators are our best means of protecting all of our rights. Stay sharp, stay focused, and stay safe out there.

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Michael Jenkins is a writer and editor based in Wilmington, North Carolina. He is a lifelong reader, gardener, shooter, and musician. You can reach him at
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