Inside Silencer Central

posted on April 5, 2023

As an item regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA), firearm suppressors, or silencers, require ATF approval to own, and the process can be confusing, cumbersome and time-consuming. Brandon Maddox, a former pharmacist in South Dakota, found that to be the case in the early 2000s when he first tried to buy a suppressor. In 2005, he started Silencer Central to ease the suppressor-buying process, and today, the company is one of the most prominent suppressor dealers in the nation. Watch our "American Rifleman Television" feature segment above to learn more about suppressor-buying and Silencer Central.

"Typically, people go online or call us, either option works. Some people prefer to talk to someone live, just to understand the process, so that's definitely available. So, we have a whole call center, and people just start firing away questions," Maddox said. "Then we walk the customer through the process over the phone. We tell them, 'Hey, you know, we're going to create a free gun trust for you, specific to you and your state, and then we're going to transfer the silencer ownership from us, the dealer, to your trust, and then we're going to send it to our location in the state where you live, and we're going to mail it to your front door.'"

The ability for Silencer Central to ship suppressors straight to the doors of its customers is one of the innovations it has brought to the suppressor-buying process, and Maddox developed the system after drawing on his experiences in dealing with controlled substances in the pharmaceutical world.

"I think one thing people sort of fall apart on is they're like, 'How can you sell it to me? I'm in this state, really far from you,' because our headquarters in South Dakota," Maddox said. "We've got a 45,000 sq.-ft. building there where we house our inventory and we have all our staff. I think we're up to 142 employees currently, and we have licensed locations, we have an FFL in every state where silencers are legal, and we have W2 employees at every one of those locations. So after it's approved, we mail it to that location, and our location manager there generates all the paperwork and handles everything needed from a compliance standpoint to get it to that person's front door.

Today, Silencer Central not only facilitates suppressor-buying, the company has its own line of suppressors and also provides a range of other services, including barrel-threading and guidance on navigating NFA trusts.

"It's a confusing process, because it involves NFA, National Firearms Act, and the Gun Control Act," Maddox said. "But the beauty is, we've spent the last 16 years truly just immersing ourselves, and we've completely streamlined it. It's very turn-key."

To watch complete segments of past episodes of American Rifleman TV, go to For all-new episodes of ARTV, tune in Wednesday nights to Outdoor Channel 8:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. EST.


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