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Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:28 pm
by dufferDave
Hi, yes I am a new guy here, but I promise I have scanned through many pages of old posts (until I went cross-eyed) looking for answers already posted.....

My question: If any device that muffles or reduces the sound of a firearm is considered a silencer/suppressor, if I shoot from inside my garage (still aiming at my backyard targets) to reduce noise in my neighborhood, does that make my garage turn into an NFA-registerable item? Or do these rules only apply to something that mechanically attaches directly to a gun?

Side note: I think I could build a much more comfortable, air-conditioned space inside the garage that would be far better than using my shooting bench outside in the yard, when it gets hot around here again. Also, I can pretty easily maintain a safe awareness of my backyard (and frontyard, and house, and driveway) using my existing security/surveillance monitors. I have a couple acres, and I am not having any problems there, with safe "range" operations, just wondering if I would cross some line in the sand by moving into the garage.

Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:52 pm
by doubloon
No, unless the garage can be attached to the muzzle with a possible portability requirement.

The matter of portability is a grey area for me. From previous conversations

I have been led to believe if I created a box capable of suppressing the sound of a firearm and was able to use it without attaching it to the muzzle then it would not be considered a silencer. Something like a five gallon drum mounted on a tripod.

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 1:53 pm
by FarmDadCO
The garage is not attached to the firearm , thus would not be a silencer ( yet anyway lol ).

Edited to add ..

For Gawds sake don"t write any letters asking BATFE though

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 2:00 pm
by dufferDave
FarmDadCO wrote:For Gawds sake don"t write any letters asking BATFE though
made me laugh

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2014 4:08 pm
by 700PSS
:lol:

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:48 pm
by HK45
What about putting a pillow over the end of the barrel, and shooting through the pillow? :?

That works in the movies. :mrgreen:

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 3:59 pm
by a_canadian
Feathers. Everywhere.

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:16 pm
by 700PSS
How about a potato? :lol:
Image
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=103106

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 1:06 am
by dufferDave
Wouldn't that be what they call a "potato gun"? (No need to tell me, I know it isn't.)

(Some of you guys could be a little more helpful. Hope you are having fun.)

As to my original question, I could not imagine any way that my garage would qualify as a silencer, but I thought I should ask anyway. I mean, it's pretty dangerous to try to use basic logic in connection with understanding federal law.

I am now considering getting a replacement door for the garage and making a small cutout to shoot thru (take the real entry door off the hinges, replace with a cheapo door). That way, I could keep even more of the air conditioning inside my "shooting room." And no, the wife does not know that I am turning the garage into a man-cave.

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:08 am
by FarmDadCO
And no, the wife does not know that I am turning the garage into a man-cave.
I see an immediate entire house redecorate in your future then ... Just saying that most wives wont let something like this go unchallenged and its a fight you just can't win LOL .

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 12:44 pm
by srs
Install a cat door in the garage entry door (at bench height of course). The better cat doors have internal and/or external locking flaps to seal out bad weather, these can be removed as needed for shooting.

Alternatively: Cut a hole in the entry door at the appropriate height and finish it out neatly. Mount some aluminum channel on the door to accept a thin plywood panel to cover the hole when not in use, cover both sides if needed for weather. Paint the panels and channel to match the door (this _MAY_ help with the wife acceptance factor).

Good luck in your quest.

-Steve

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:14 pm
by 700PSS
Beware of firing in an enclosed environment. There are significant health risks from inhaling vaporized lead, mercury, etc. That’s why indoor ranges have ventilation systems that move everything downrange from the shooting position and there are (supposed to be) EPA standards that are followed.

Was that "helpful" enough? :wink:

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:54 pm
by telero
Here's my take on it. Firstly, the legal definition is weird:

18 U.S.C., § 921(A)(24)
"The term “Firearm Silencer” or “Firearm Muffler” means any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm"

They way it appears to read is that anything, whether or not it attaches to the portable firearm, would be a silencer. So a potato, pillow, or garage could be a silencer. But if you apply logic to the definition the garage should not be considered a silencer. The garage isn't portable, and even if the firearm is portable, the firearm wouldn't be silenced if it is no longer in the garage. Therefore, the firearm isn't portable when being silenced by the garage, and the garage isn't a silencer.

Other things like a 5 gallon drum that isn't attached to the firearm...I could see it being argued that if the drum is also portable, it could be considered a silencer. If it was attached to supports that were cemented to the ground, not portable. If attached to a tripod that was portable...maybe a silencer...

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:48 pm
by dufferDave
Very good point
700PSS wrote:Beware of firing in an enclosed environment.
I have been in several indoor ranges, and I understand what you are talking about and agree completely. Between the garage being as drafty as it is, and a notional idea for a tube to put the barrel through (with a fan adding a little pressure to the room and blowing out the tube), I am hoping to remain safe. Although, the wife already frequently questions my mental capacity, long before I start sniffing any lead fumes....

Thanks for the pointer, and please do continue helping

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:02 pm
by dufferDave
And right here is the whole issue:
telero wrote: But if you apply logic to the definition....
Thanks for the reference to the US code, that verbage is one of the things I had been reading---and re-reading----and re-re-reading.

IMHO, all of us non-USgovt-lawyer-bureaucrat-types don't stand a chance of interpreting these codes the same way they do. Logic (at least the rational thought patterns the rest of us follow) seems to stop at their front door. I would rather just leave my shooting bench outside on the patio than get into some convoluted situation complete with fines and prison. A special "indoor" shooting room seems to me to get pretty close to what some idiot goon would call a silencer, thus my original qstn where I was hoping to find some sort of definition or precedent. Anybody else done something similar before?

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:13 pm
by srs
I can't imagine any rational person, much less twelve, agreeing that a rifle was quieter simply because it was fired inside a room! Quite the opposite I would think.

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 11:24 pm
by doubloon
srs wrote:I can't imagine any rational person, much less twelve, agreeing that a rifle was quieter simply because it was fired inside a room! Quite the opposite I would think.
The rifle itself is neither more or less quiet whether inside the room or not, not even by a single dB.

However many rational people are snipers who bet their lives on the fact that a rifle fired inside a room is perceived to be more quiet to anyone standing outside the room.

Re: Under NFA rules, is a garage considered a "silencer"?

Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:53 am
by telero
doubloon wrote: The rifle itself is neither more or less quiet whether inside the room or not, not even by a single dB.
"any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report."

If the intent is to fire within a room/structure to diminish the report relative to those outside of the room/structure, it might meet the definition of a silencer. But as mentioned before, if the room is not portable, technically the firearm is not portable while being silenced, so not a silencer. If a room/structure was considered a silencer, a lot of gun ranges and clubs would be in a lot of trouble. Many ranges have noise abatement devices, such as shooting bays with 3 walls, or shooting tubes such as the 5 gallon drums mentioned previously.