Recently, we’ve had a number of clients who have attempted to purchase “solvent traps” from overseas. ATF has contended in federal warrants:
Solvent traps are intended to prevent solvent from dripping, spraying, or spattering when pushed out the muzzle end of a firearm barrel. The front end-cap of a solvent trap must be solid and have no hole that will allow a projectile to pass through (including “pilot” holes that can be widened to allow a projectile to pass-through or marks indicating the location to drill such a hole). Devices that have a hole in or indexing mark for a hole in the front endcap are classified as a “firearm silencer” under the National Firearms Act (NFA).
While the majority of our clients have merely had the items seized by Customs and Border Protection and a resultant notice of seizure/forfeiture, in some cases, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in concert with the local US Attorney’s Office has performed controlled deliveries, followed by execution of a federal search warrant, where the “solvent trap” has merely had ‘”indexing marks.”
Perhaps most importantly, even in the absence of “indexing marks,” nothing stops ATF from contending that any “solvent trap” is a silencer and bringing federal charges against the individual for purchasing a putative firearm silencer. While there are a number of legal arguments available to an individual in such a situation, the cost of defense is extremely high, especially when the possibility of a conviction and appeals are hanging over the individual’s head. Thus, it is our advice that individuals immediately STOP buying solvent traps, and if contacted by Customs and Border Protection or any law enforcement agency, that you invoke your 5th Amendment rights and immediately contact an attorney.
If you or someone you know has purchased a solvent trap or been charged in relation thhereto, contact FICG today to discuss your options.
Firearms Industry Consulting Group® (FICG®) is a registered trademark and division of Civil Rights Defense Firm, P.C., with rights and permissions granted to Prince Law Offices, P.C. to use in this article.