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FFL Common Misconceptions


Have you finally decided on getting your FFL License after reading about all of the great advantages it involves? (What? You don’t know about the advantages of being a FFL holder? You’re in luck simply clicking and reading our The Benefits of a FFL blog post now!) Do you now have this vision in your head of you sitting quietly at your kitchen table, peacefully running your FFL activities when all of a sudden the ATF pops by, guns blazing, asking to inspect every single inch of your home! Are they telling you they’ve come to confiscate all items in your inventory stating that you haven’t been keeping your books in order, and they need to check up on every move you’ve ever made? You wouldn’t be the only one being afraid of the unknown. This is something hat gets many people worried. Thankfully, it’s very exaggerated and quite false.


First concern and misconception – “the ATF will be watching you like a hawk.” As far as we’ve experienced, if you don’t happen to get involved in some sort of criminal activity, which we all know you wouldn’t do, this scenario is definitely, not ever going to happen. First of all, the ATF can rune a single inspection per year per federal law in the absence of a warrant. In addition, according to the ATF’s website, there were over 87,000 FFLs in fiscal year 2015. Over 13,100 inspections were performed. What these numbers indicate, is that, basically less than 20% of FFL holders have been inspected in that year. If this trend would be up kept, you should count on being given an inspection roughly every five years. However, the realistic scenario, from what we’ve learned from other FFL holders who have been in this business 20+ years, they may have had in inspection from ATF once or twice in that 20+ year time period. Long story short- no need to panic. If you mind your conduct to be as the one of a good citizen who follows the rules, we can promise that there is nothing to worry about.  Another interesting aspect you should take into consideration is that pawnshops are usually inspected each year and most FFL dealers rarely ever are given a inspection.


Second concern and misconception– the paperwork that goes along with a FFL is quite puzzling, and you are prone to make mistakes which is turn will lead you to prison. We’ve said it over and over again, if you’re not doing it wrong intentionally, there is no problem at all. The one important book that goes alongside your record keeping for your FFL is actually quite easy. You can imagine it to be something quite similar to a checkbook register. The procedure as it is basically simple, what you do is this: whenever an item goes in or out of your inventory, you are supposed to write it down. It’s absolutely easy! You need to keep track of your sales, where you are sending and from where you are receiving your items. And, certainly, as a customer of, we’ll help you through any questions you might have while completing this process. So what happens if you happen to get inspected and they find any sort of error you might have done? The ATF’s whole point is to explain and teach you what to do so you don’t make the same mistake twice. They’ll explain to you what your mistake was, what exactly went wrong, and what to do in order to mend that mistake.  If you look at it from the right perspective, the only person who is holding information about who receives a firearm is the FFL holder (including the serial number of the firearm). It is mandatory that the ATF makes sure we keep good records in case they are in the middle of a criminal investigation regarding one of our past customers.


Third concern and misconception is related to your personal inventory and how it functions once you become a FFL license holder. In relation to this topic there are a couple of options available to you. The first one is simple to fulfil, meaning you can keep your personal collection (firearms you possess before become a FFL license holder) and your FFL inventory absolutely separate. After you become a FFL license holder and you wish to add an item to your personal collection, you must simply enter it into your books and then mark it out of your books and adding it to your personal inventory. The second is that you can tag all of your personal firearms with a sticker or label that says “Not For Sale”. In addition, you can keep a separate record of the firearms in your personal collection in a booklet you can obtain directly from the ATF that permits you to write down the make, model, serial number, and some other item specific information that clearly state which firearms are for your personal use.  Becoming a FFL license holder has no real impact over your personal firearm collection. The only effect it can have is in the situation you wish to sell a personal firearm. We strongly recommended you to transfer it through your FFL.


As you can see, becoming a FFL license holder is truly not as terrifying or overpowering, as it might seem at first. is more than pleased to assist you putting all of your doubts to rest. Join today!


More Resources on getting a federal firearms license.  Want to know how many people we’ve helped in your area already?  See customer map. 


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