federal firearms license application Archives

Types of Federal Firearms Licenses

The processing of the ffl license application is administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Assuming you meet the ffl requirements, the application is filed on ATF Form 7. There are presently eleven types of federal firearms licence available for issue. Licenses are valid for three years, and are non-transferable.

Federal Firearms Licence Types

Type

Usage

Type 1 Title 1 dealer or gunsmith other than destructive devices. Can also deal in Title II NFA firearms with class 3 tax stamp.
Type 2 Title 1 dealer doing business as a pawnbroker
Type 3 Licensed collector of Curio & Relic (C&R) firearms
Type 6 Licensed manufacturer of ammunition and reloading components other than Armor Piercing ammunition
Type 7 Title 1 manufacturer of firearms, who can also act as dealer, other than Destructive Devices, ammunition and ammunition components other than Armor Piercing ammunition. Can also manufacturer & deal in Title II NFA firearms with class 2 tax stamp.
Type 8 Importer of Title 1 firearms and ammunition. Can also import Title II NFA firearms with class 1 tax stamp.
Type 9 Dealer in Title 1 firearms including NFA destructive devices, Requires payment as an SOT Class 1 (can act as an NFA Dealer) and registration with the US Dept. of State as a Broker under ITAR/D-TRADE. To deal/broker any DD with an explosives content (i.e. Flash-Bangs), requires an additional FFL; Dealer of High Explosives
Type 10 Manufacturer of Title 1 firearms, ammunition and ammunition components, manufacturer of NFA Destructive Devices, ammunition for Destructive Devices and Armor Piercing ammunition (can act as a dealer). Requires payment as an SOT Class 2 (can act as an NFA Dealer) and registration with the US Dept. of State as a Manufacturer under ITAR/D-TRADE. To manufacture any DD with an explosives content (i.e. Flash-Bangs), requires an additional FFL; Type 20 Manufacturer of High Explosives.
Type 11 Importer of Title 1 firearms, ammunition and NFA Destructive Devices, ammunition for Destructive Devices and Armor Piercing ammunition. Requires payment as an SOT Class 1 and registration with the US Dept. of State as a Broker under ITAR/D-TRADE. To import any DD with an explosives content (i.e. Flash-Bangs), requires an additional FFL; Importer of High Explosives.

Obviously, for those interested in how to get their FFL license for personal use, the only types that apply are Type 1, 2, & 3. Luckily, the ffl requirements for those types are less onerous than the others.

The third type, type 3, is a special type of FFL available to collectors of curio or relic (C&R) firearms. C&R firearms are defined as those "which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons." There is a special application process for C&R firearms.

To be recognized by ATF as a C&R firearm, a firearm must fall into at least one of the following three categories:

  1. Firearms which were manufactured more than 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;

  2. Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and

  3. Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector's items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.

Once again, I know that sounds complicated but, trust me, it's really not that difficult, especially if you have someone that can walk you through the process and make sure you meet the ffl requirements. Luckily, there are several inexpensive kits on the market that provide simple, step-by-step instructions to guide you through the Federal Firearms License Application and even provide guidance on the type of license you need. I've shown a picture of the Federal Firearms Application kit that we like the best in the Recommended Resource box on the upper right of this site, and have provided a link HERE as well. Please feel free to check them out.


Good Luck!



Benefits of an FFL

So why in the heck would I want an FFL License anyway? There are three primary benefits to completing your federal firearms license application, and I've listed each one separately.

Benefit 1 - You Can Legally Buy Firearms at Wholesale Prices

This is the reason most people pursue getting their FFL, including me.  If you buy more than 1 gun a year, getting your gun dealer license can save you lots of money.  Just consider that the typical wholesale discount is around 30%, meaning that handguns that have a retail cost of around $500, can be purchased wholesale for about $350.  If you're interested in a kit to help walk you through the federal firearms license application process, the one we recommend includes everything you need to know to setup accounts with the top firearms wholesalers.

Benefit 2 - You Can Start a Business Selling Firearms

Some get their federal firearm license to start a business as a gun dealer.  This by no means has to be a full-time business.  I know some guys that routinely use their gun dealer license to buy firearms at wholesale prices and mark them up slightly (still below retail) to sell to their friends.  Since these deals are typically special orders, there is little or no money up front and you can make a nice profit.  There is no limit on the number of guns you can buy and sell and having your FFL allows you to get firearms through the mail as well with no hassle.

Benefit 3 - You Can Legally Collect "Curio & Relic" Firearms

Curio and Relic firearms are antique weapons that are not available to the general public.  This requires a Type 3 FFL license. If you don't know what a Type 3 FFL License is, don't worry, it's explained HERE.

As we've said bfore, there are several kits on the web that will walk you through the entire process of submitting your Federal Firearms License application and make sure you get it done quickly and correctly.  The kit we like the best can be found HERE.  I can honestly say we've never had a complaint from anyone we've referred to them, so please do yourself a favor and check them out.


Good Luck!



How to Apply for an FFL

The processing of the Federal Firearms License application is handled by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATF).  The application process involves filling out their application form, ensuring that you meet all of the federal requirements, and ensuring that there are no special state requirements or restrictions that could impact your application.

There is really no set time for how long it will take to have your federal firearms license application license approved.  Our experience has been that the earliest it will get approved is 6 weeks, but it could take 8-12 weeks or longer.  One thing is certain though, in that dealing with the federal government, they are known for kicking out any ffl license application that isn't completed exactly as required.

This is where having the guidance of someone who has been through the process of how to get ffl can be very helpful.  If you know someone who has been through the ffl application process, you would be very wise to give them a call.

Alternatively, there are several places on the internet that provide you with a kit including simple, step-by-step instructions detailing how to get an ffl as well as one-on-one help if you need it.  The one I like the best is shown in the Recommended Resource box at the top right of this site. I've also provided a link to hit HERE.

Good Luck!



Cost of an FFL

Unfortunately, getting your gun dealer license isn’t free, but the price isn’t going to break you either.

The Fee for a Type 1 federal gun license is $200.00, which covers you for the first 3 years. Renewal of your license is $90.00 for each additional 3 years after that.

Even though $200 isn’t typically going to break your bank account, it’s not exactly chump-change either.  However, you have to understand that your atf federal firearms license will allow you to buy firearms at wholesale prices as well.  The typical discount from retail is around 30%, so for handguns with a  retail price of $500 or so, the average savings is going to be about $150.  That being said, if you buy one or two firearms every three years, having your gun dealer license will pay for itself.  Some of us purchase 1 or 2 every year, so it’s a no-brainer.

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of a federal gun license, just click HERE.

One word of caution, however.  Although getting your gun dealer license can allow you to purcase firearms at wholesale prices and save a bunch of money, there are also penalties to be had if you don’t follow the rules correctly.  Luckily, there are several kits on the web that will walk you through the process and give you the tools to keep yourself legit.  Some even include software for free that makes the entire process super-simple.  The kit we like the best can be found HERE.  I can honestly say we’ve never had a complaint from anyone we’ve referred there, so please do yourself a favor and check them out.


Good Luck!



FFL Requirements

The Gun Control Act (18 U.S.C. sec. 923(d)) empowers the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms the ability to regulate businesses engaging in firearms sales and service and sets out the federal firearms license requirements.  Holding an FFL to engage in certain such activities has been a legal requirement within the United States of America since the enactment of the Gun Control Act in 1968.  Before moving too far into the process, you should know that not everyone is eligible to obtain a federal gun license.  In short, the ATF will typically approve an application if the applicant meets the following ffl requirements:

  • Is 21 years or more of age;

  • Is not prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition;

  • Has not willfully violated the GCA (Gun Control Act) or its regulations;

  • Has not willfully failed to disclose material information or willfully made false statements concerning material facts in connection with his application;

  • Has premises (which in many cases can be your home) for conducting business or collecting for C&R; and the applicant certifies that:

    1. The business to be conducted under the license is not prohibited by State or local law in the place where the licensed premise is located;

    2. Within 30 days after the application is approved the business will comply with the requirements of State and local law applicable to the conduct of the business;

    3. The business will not be conducted under the license until the ffl requirements of State and local law applicable to the business have been met; and,

    4. The applicant has sent or delivered a form to the chief law enforcement officer where the premises are located notifying the officer that the applicant intends to apply and meets the federal firearms license requirements.

    5. Secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place in which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees.

FFL holders are also required to keep a registry of firearms sales in an ATF-approved Bound Book, or a computerized equivalent using ATF-approved software. They must also maintain file copies of "Firearms Transaction Record" documents, for a period of not less than 20 years after the date of sale or disposition. When retiring or otherwise relinquishing a license, these records are sent to the BATFE's Out-of-Business Records Center. The ATF is allowed to inspect, as well as request a copy of the forms from the dealer during the course of a criminal investigation. In addition, the sale of two or more handguns to a person in a five business day period must be reported to ATF.

A lot of that was copied verbatim from the text of the Gun Control Act and sounds like a lot of legalese (which it is!) but luckily for us it's really not that complicated if you have someone that can just guide you through the process.  Luckily, there are several inexpensive kits on the market that provide simple, step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process.  Some even provide you the software you need to make sure your record-keeping is done correctly.  Based on my experience, I like this Federal Firearms Application kit the best.  It has everything you need to be successful - feel free to check it out.


Good Luck!