SilencerCo's CEO Joshua Waldron addresses the company's gun trust, a 50-state legal, NFA-valid entity available for less than your average used gun.
By now you've heard of SilencerCo. They're the suppressor company out of Utah, producing viral-ready YouTube videos and winning SHOT Show awards for their creative, unique products and marketing techniques.
As a unifying rally cry, SilencerCo has coined "Fight The Noise," meant to not only hint at their obvious product purposes, but also imply a defense against the uneducated and anti-Second Amendment mentality. Give #FightTheNoise a search on Twitter and you'll get the idea.
SilencerCo's CEO Joshua Waldron spoke with us about the debut of EasyTrust, the company's 50-state legal, properly-prepared gun trust that's evolving the method people are using to buy tightly controlled firearm accessories.
Why a Gun Trust?
First, some explanation. SilencerCo sells items regulated under the National Firearms Act (NFA). It's perfectly legal to own them, and their innovation is undeniable. They preserve hearing, allow you to maintain complete auditory situational awareness and even improve accuracy (when you aren't anticipating the report, you're more prone to shoot straight and steady).
For those unfamiliar, purchasing NFA items, and suppressors in particular, involves certain requirements. "Red tape," as Waldron described it. You can do so as an individual, which involves finger prints, photo IDs and Chief Law Enforcement Officer signatures. Or you can do it as an entity, such as a gun trust or a business (think LLC or a corporation).
One of the trickiest parts of the individual route is the signature, which doesn't come easily. Some officers simply won't sign the paperwork.
"The reason that they won't varies, but I would say the majority of them don't because they have ideologies not aligned with the Second Amendment crowd," Waldron said.
Therein lies the problem, and SilencerCo set out to solve it.
"By No Means a Loophole"
Through EasyTrust, Waldron says some steps can be bypassed. He stressed that a trust is "by no means a loophole," and though critics will refer to it as one, circumventing those signatures and finger print requirements merely speeds up the still perfectly-legal process.
The steps involved in ratification will differ depending on what state you're in, but SilencerCo has addressed that too. They'll send detailed instructions to follow, based on the local laws that affect you.
The other big advantage of a gun trust is the fact that trustees and beneficiaries can be added in case of death. This is hugely important when you consider the current laws.
"There's been a lot of cases where people buy individually, and they die, and their wife or children then have to deal with the rigmarole that is involved with the ATF seizing their guns," Waldron said, "and they're probably never going to get those back."
It goes deeper. The laws can be interpreted to assume no one can be in possession of these NSA items except for the people who own them, individually or through a trust. This means you can leave a suppressor out on your kitchen table, head off to work, and return home to find your wife in handcuffs, arrested for committing a federal offense. Ten years in prison. Little to no argument.
If she's a trustee on your trust, then she can obviously be in possession.
In Line with Advocacy and Education
SilencerCo realized they had a bigger reach than your average regional attorney, and since they were already occupied with advocacy and education, it seemed like the next logical step in their efforts.
"We don't want there to be that much more bull crap in the way of buying an item that's already got a lot of bull crap in the way," Waldron said. "This is another way to fight the noise."
He wanted to stress that SilencerCo isn't trying to give legal advice, or trump the professional counsel people could get from knowledgeable attorneys. Still, the process is simplified with EasyTrust, and it helps open people's eyes to what's possible when they may not know any better.
"I don't think that any one of us that buys a suppressor thinks the NFA is a necessary thing. I think that everybody would agree that it's egregious, there's too much red tape involved," Waldron pointed out. Since suppression is the fastest-growing segment of the firearms industry, SilencerCo can be optimistic about where they're headed. But the market aversion that the red tape-filled process creates goes against that. "We are in a society of instant gratification," he said, "and if you have $1,000 burning a hole in your pocket, and you don't own a suppressor, and you don't know anything about owning a suppressor, that's not going to be the thing you're going to want to choose to do with it."
SilencerCo, according to Waldron, is working to develop "anything that enhances the shooting experience." Electro-optics, suppressor-optimized ammunition, and more new product launches are on the horizon, as well as an increased push for social and online engagement through the #FightTheNoise campaign.
Waldron emphasized the idea of using good, unique content to reach more and more potential customers and partners, as the company continues aiming at being an educational power in the suppressor realm. There's also the matter of suppressor use legislation, which SilencerCo supports wholeheartedly.
In addition, the company devotes a good portion of their effort towards data analysis and focus marketing, which Waldron said are "things that the rest of the tech world does, but really are a new thing to the gun community, and we're kind of pioneering that within our industry."
That term, pioneering, is certainly an accurate assessment of what SilencerCo is doing. As significant as it is, EasyTrust seems like it's just the tip of the iceberg.