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How to get an FFL in California

In the United States, each state has its own regulations in gun ownership. If you intend to trade in firearms in any state, you will need a Federal Firearms License or FFL. Dealers, importers, manufacturers, and pawnbrokers in the firearms business must obtain an FFL, no matter where they are operating from.
For many people, the process of obtaining such a business license is arduous and they see this as an excuse. However, we can vouchsafe that obtaining an FFL is more advantageous.

Reasons for getting an FFL


As stated earlier, you need an FFL to operate legally as a gun dealer. The market demand for guns is on the increase now. So, you may desire to cash in on the boom.
With the business license, you will get 24/7 direct access to manufacturers ordering online with wholesale pricing. This saves cost and increases your profit margin.
With an FFL, guns could be mailed to you directly without extra background checks.
You will also be able to travel to gun markets and shows with your license.

FFL application Fees:

The application for a Federal Firearms License is not free. The cost depends on how you want to use the license and it is renewable every 3 years.

Importers and manufacturers of firearms- $150
Dealers and pawnbrokers of firearms- $200
Importers, distributors, and manufacturers of destructive materials- $3,000
Makers and collectors of ammunitions- $30

Items Needed for Your Application

Application for Federal Firearms License Form 7
2 FD-258 (that is, Fingerprint Identification Card)
Certification of Eligibility
Two 2" by 2" Photographs

For those in California, here are the simple steps to follow in obtaining your FFL California without hitches:
Step 1:
Check if you meet the basic requirements for obtaining a FFL in California. Among other things:
You are at least 21 years old.
You are not an illegal immigrant.
You reside in California.
You have not broken Federal firearms laws.
You have not had any conviction for a crime that warranted imprisonment for over 1 year.
You are not mentally defective.

Research Federal laws and California local regulations on the possession or ownership of firearms. For example, you need to first apply for a Certificate of Eligibility to qualify as an ammunition vendor in California.
You can do this by applying on the CFARS. Before then, you need to submit your fingerprints to the California State Department of Justice.

Step 2:
From the ATF website, download the FFL application form and then proceed to fill out with necessary information. Do not make false statements.
Step 3:
Take your 2" x 2" passport photograph, write your full name at the back of your passport, and bring along a fingerprint card to the local law enforcement office. The Police Department will take your fingerprints using the standard FBI card to be included in your application.
Step 4:
Send the fee appropriate to your business as mentioned earlier. You can pay with a credit/debit card or by check.
Step 5:
Mail your completed application with photograph, fee, fingerprints to the nearest ATF office in California.
Step 6:
Deliver a copy to the office of the local Chief of Police in the town where your business will be domiciled.
Step 7:
Prepare for a physical inspection to see if your business meets ATF standards. Keep your records intact to ensure a smooth process. If the ATF officers see that you qualify for the FFL license, you will be issued with one in a couple of months.

NOTE: An ATF officer can also inspect you within your business hours even after the license has been issued.