Midland gun store owner clarifies Texas suppressor law confusion

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:04 PM CDT
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - In a little more than a month, Governor Greg Abbott’s new gun suppressor law will go into effect.

The governor touted the new legislation, saying that if a Texas gun owner picks up a suppressor and keeps it in the state, they won’t need to worry about federal regulations.

If you think you can walk into a gun store come September and pick up a suppressor like groceries, think again.

The owner of SK Arms in Midland said the law is little more than political theater.

“It looks great on paper,” SK Arms Owner Kane Kolisek said. “It’s used to bolster up his second amendment constituents saying he’s fighting for the second amendment, but it’s not doing anything.”

Part of the law states that, “A firearm suppressor that is manufactured in this state and remains in this state is not subject to federal law or federal regulation.”

One could read that and assume they don’t need to bother with registering a suppressor - that would be wrong.

“You 100% can still get in trouble federally,” Kolisek said. “Like the cannabis thing. On the federal level it’s still illegal, but the states have determined that it’s not as obviously the federal government hasn’t stepped in but they could.”

Kolisek said he’s getting questions about this all the time, and it’s no wonder given how the law is phrased.

So how are you supposed to buy a suppressor in Texas that won’t land you behind bars in federal jail? The same as always.

You’ll need to file form four with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and pay a $200 fee. Then you’ll have to wait about eight months for the application to be cleared.

“Unfortunately, Texas’ new legislation is not going to make that easier from a legitimate store,” Kolisek said.

Kolisek said a good gun store will make sure customers understand the new law’s impact, or lack thereof.

However, he worries that Texans making their own suppressors at home may not have a grip on all the rules, and find themselves behind bars because of an honest mistake.

If you are caught with an unregulated item, it could cost you ten years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

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