Many individuals have purchased thread adapters to permit the use of an oil filter as a “solvent trap”. The problem is that this adapter can also be used and is often intended to be used to create a suppressor. The resellers on ebay who sold these adapters have all seemed to have disappeared and many of their customers are reporting being contacted by local ATF agents to collect the parts they purchased.
Recently we have had several clients contact us about purchasing these “solvent trap parts” and using them to make a Suppressor with a Form 1. Apparently there is someone marketing these parts including baffles as a solvent trap to be used for gun cleaning. It would not surprise me, if ATF shut down the ability of companies to sell parts as cleaning kits or solvent traps and then began targeting the customers of these parts in much the same way as the ATF continues to contact the customers of the companies who previously sold them eBay.
ATF has taken the position, in the past, that a part to a suppressor is a suppressor and under this theory, if you purchase these parts, the parts may in and of themselves be considered suppressors. Paying the tax stamp on a Form 1 does give you the permission to manufacture a suppressor, but not necessary to purchase a suppressor manufactured by someone else. We would caution clients who are considering manufacturing their own suppressors from parts that ATF considers a suppressor as the purchase of these parts may require an approved Form 4.
For those who state that no one has ever been convicted of charges related to a homemade suppressor, you might see this article. Lots of people are charged and convicted of illegal suppressors. Sometimes people get the concept of people rarely being convicted of the use of a legally owned suppressor with the common occurrence of people being charged and or convicted of possession or use of an illegal suppressor.
I know many will say it is perfectly legal to purchase these items. ATF has previously indicated that it is legal a company to sell “solvent traps” and parts to “solvent traps” and It is legal to use them as “solvent traps”. The problem is that most people who purchase them intend to use them as suppressors or parts to a suppressor and not as a solvent trap. Even those who do not intend to use them as suppressors, sometimes do. Looking at what has happened with other products in the last year we can see that ATF seems to be moving from intent to use, to classify a firearm. Whether this is reasonable or proper for them to do, it is probably not a fight you as an individual can afford. It is our opinion, that the cost of defending your position, regardless of the outcome, is not something that makes sense for the average individual. The ATF is not stupid, the fact that you are even reading this article would indicate to most that your intention or interest in purchasing these items is not to use them as a solvent trap.
If you purchased a suppressor (solvent trap adapter) off ebay or somewhere else, you may want to contact a criminal law attorney in your area to talk with you about how to properly deal with the parts without creating liability or reducing the risk of liability. Just because you haven’t been contacted yet, does not mean they will not contact you. Even this week, we have had reports of people being contacted by the ATF in regards to the purchase of these items.