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Are solvent trap suppressors legal in 2022

by stlurkerKevin on December 10, 2022

It is legal to purchase and own a Solvent trap, even without a Form 1, because it is a tool that works for firearm cleaning. The Solvent Trap collects the fluid flowing from the muzzle when the firearm is cleaned, making the cleaning process easier and more environmentally friendly. So the Solvent trap is classified as a "firearm accessory" by the ATF. In other words, it is not a controlled substance under any federal firearms law.


Why solvent trap is illegal

Solvent traps are designed to collect cleaning fluids, while suppressors are designed to collect the gases and sounds produced during firing to achieve a decibel reduction. That leads to solvent trap and suppressor construction being very similar. But the biggest difference is that the center of the solvent trap does not have a hole through the entire kit. In this case, it is a perfectly legal product. As you know, the suppressor is an ATF regulated item. And this part of the people did not apply to the ATF form 1, not engraved with a serial number. So this led to many things happening. These things also lead to another part of people who think the solvent trap is not legal.


Do I need an FFL or paperwork to buy a solvent trap?

No, because it is legal for individuals to use solvent trap. No one is forced to require an FFL or endorsement on a solvent trap because the cleaning tool is not illegal or regulated. The only exception is if the solvent trap has parts that ATF believes are intended to make it function differently.


Do I need an FFL or endorsement to convert a solvent trap to a suppressor?

Yes. As long as you apply to ATF for Form 1 before making the required changes, you can change the solvent trap to your suppressor as long as it passes. The ATF Form 1 submission process includes a $200 stamp and a Form 1 submission. Because a Suppressor is a controlled substance, it is also an NFA (National Firearms Act) item. Anyone doing so is required by federal law to register and submit to a background check before making the change.

Why is a solvent trap change request for a form 1 and not a form 4?

First, the average time to approve a form 1 application is three to five weeks, while the fastest approval time for a form 4 is three to four months. Form 1 saves a lot of time, which is especially important for hobbyists who can't wait to use it. Second, when you buy a suppressor, you have to leave it at the dealer for a few months until the federal government approves your paperwork, and you can't start using it until it's approved, but it's much faster if you DIY it yourself. Third, the solvent trap sells for a much better price than the suppressor, and the quality is no less than the suppressor. Another point to mention is that the difference between the solvent trap and the suppressor is very small, so using the solvent trap to change to a suppressor is the best choice for many people.