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Are silencers or suppressors illegal under Virginia law?

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2022 | Weapons

In a movie or television show, when someone uses a silencer on their firearm, the resulting discharge of the weapon will be so quiet that people in the next apartment over can’t hear anything. The depiction of such technology in the media and the use of the term “silencer” to refer to noise-suppression accessories have made some people believe that they were inherently dangerous. 

However, the truth about noise-suppression accessories or suppressors is that they simply reduce the volume of the sounds caused by the firearm’s discharge. They do not eliminate the noise. Suppressors help protect the hearing of those who frequently utilize firearms from damage due to loud noises. 

Are suppressors legal accessories in Virginia? 

State law permits you to own noise suppression accessories

In Virginia, as in much of the rest of the country, those who can legally possess firearms can also legally possess noise-suppression accessories. Provided that they comply with state law regarding the firearm and all federal regulations, suppressors are legal to possess and sell in Virginia. Lawmakers did try to pass a law prohibiting such accessories, but it failed to pass the Senate. 

Although state law does not prevent you from owning a suppressor, there are still federal laws with which you will need to comply. You need to have the appropriate permits at the federal level to legally purchase or possess a suppressor. Those who don’t follow these steps, possibly because they purchase their firearm or accessories from a friend rather than a licensed retailer, are at risk of prosecution. 

Ensuring that you comply with federal and state firearm regulations will make protecting yourself and your family less of a legal risk.


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