If you’re interested in buying or selling firearms, you may be wondering how to become an FFL holder. The Federal Firearms License is a legal document issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that allows individuals and businesses to manufacture, sell, or transfer firearms. In this article, we’ll cover the different types of FFLs, how to apply for one, and the costs, benefits, and drawbacks of being an FFL holder.
Types of FFLs
There are nine types of FFLs, ranging from dealers and manufacturers to importers and collectors. The most common types of FFLs are:
- Type 01 – Dealer in Firearms: Allows you to sell firearms to the public.
- Type 02 – Pawnbroker in Firearms: Allows you to lend money on firearms and sell them if not redeemed.
- Type 03 – Collector of Curios and Relics: Allows you to collect and trade firearms that are at least 50 years old and have historical significance.
- Type 07 – Manufacturer of Firearms: Allows you to manufacture firearms, ammunition, and ammunition components.
Applying for an FFL
To apply for an FFL, you need to complete ATF Form 7 and submit it to the ATF. The form asks for basic information about yourself, your business (if applicable), and your firearms-related activities. You’ll also need to provide fingerprints, photographs, and pay a fee. The application process typically takes 60 to 180 days, depending on the type of FFL and your location.
Costs of Becoming an FFL
The cost of becoming an FFL holder varies depending on the type of FFL and your location. The fee for a Type 01 FFL is $200 for the first three years, while the fee for a Type 03 FFL is $30 for three years. The cost of a Type 07 FFL is $150 for the first three years. You’ll also need to pay for the cost of your fingerprints and photographs, which can range from $20 to $100.
Benefits of Being an FFL
Being an FFL holder comes with several benefits, including the ability to buy firearms wholesale, the ability to sell firearms to the public, and the ability to participate in gun shows. Additionally, you can make a profit by charging transfer fees for firearm transfers.
Pitfalls of Being an FFL
However, being an FFL holder also has its drawbacks. For example, you’re required to keep detailed records of your firearms-related activities and may be subject to inspections by the ATF. Additionally, you may be held liable if a firearm you sold is used in a crime or causes injury or death.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is having an FFL worth it?
It depends on your goals and circumstances. If you plan to buy and sell firearms or manufacture them as a business, becoming an FFL holder can be beneficial. However, if you’re only interested in buying a few firearms for personal use, it may not be worth the time and cost.
Can you make money as an FFL?
Yes, you can make money as an FFL holder by charging transfer fees and selling firearms. However, the profitability of being an FFL holder depends on various factors, such as the size and location of your business, competition in your area, and the types of firearms you deal with.
How hard is it to get an FFL?
The process of getting an FFL is not necessarily difficult, but it does require time, effort, and attention to detail. The ATF will review your application and conduct a background check before issuing your FFL. Additionally, some types of FFLs, such as manufacturers, may require additional licenses or permits.
How long does it take to get an FFL after the interview?
The time it takes to receive your FFL after the interview varies depending on the type of FFL and your location. In general, it can take anywhere from 60 to 180 days.
Which FFL is the easiest to get?
The easiest type of FFL to get is likely a Type 03 Collector of Curios and Relics FFL, as it has fewer regulatory requirements than other FFL types.
What is the best FFL to get?
The best FFL to get depends on your goals and circumstances. If you plan to sell firearms, a Type 01 or Type 02 FFL may be best. If you plan to manufacture firearms, a Type 07 FFL may be more appropriate.
Can an FFL holder buy firearms for themselves?
Yes, an FFL holder can buy firearms for themselves, but only for personal use, not for resale.
Is owning a gun shop profitable?
Owning a gun shop can be profitable, but it depends on various factors, such as the size and location of your business, competition in your area, and the types of firearms you deal with.
Can you make money as a gunsmith?
Yes, you can make money as a gunsmith by repairing and customizing firearms for customers.
How much is the FFL transfer fee?
FFL transfer fee’s varies depending on the dealer or seller. It can range from $15 to $75 per firearm transfer.
How long are FFLs good for?
Most FFLs are valid for three years, after which you’ll need to renew your license.
How often do FFL holders get audited?
FFL holders are subject to periodic inspections by the ATF, but the frequency of audits varies depending on the type of FFL and the volume of firearms-related activity. Most FFL holders can expect to be audited at least once every three years.
Becoming an FFL holder requires filling out the ATF Form 7, paying the required fee, and undergoing a background check. The process can take anywhere from 60 to 180 days. Once you obtain your FFL, you can buy and sell firearms, participate in gun shows, and charge transfer fees. However, being an FFL holder also comes with regulatory requirements and potential liability that you need to be aware of. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider the costs, benefits, and drawbacks of becoming an FFL holder before applying for one.
If you’re interested in becoming an FFL holder, we recommend doing further research and consulting with an attorney or other professional to ensure that you fully understand the process and your responsibilities as an FFL holder. Good luck on your journey to becoming an FFL holder!