Suppressors, a.k.a. silencers, are legal in Washington State as long as they are legally registered and possessed in accordance with federal law. Washington law defines suppressors as any contrivance or device for suppressing the noise of any firearm.
When purchasing a suppressor, the federally licensed gun shop will run a background check directly with the federal government. The federal government requires a $200.00 tax stamp to be paid at the time of purchase. The application requires a passport photo and fingerprint card. Then, the application and fee are sent to the federal government. Your local chief law enforcement officer is notified of your intent to purchase the silencer.
The dealer will remove your silencer from display and store it until they receive a response from the federal government. In recent years, the wait has been at least 6-8 months. Once the dealer receives approval, you can pick up your silencer and a copy of the approved tax stamp.
Once you receive the tax stamp, you should make a copy and keep it with the silencer at all times. Federal law requires that you be able to provide proof that the suppressor was obtained and registered legally.
This is intended as a brief summary of the law, and should not be considered legal advice. If you have been denied purchase of a firearm or silencer and are interested in challenging the denial or restoring your rights, contact us for a consultation.