Why to Get a Federal Firearms Dealer License


In order to kick off a sporting goods business, pawn shop or any retail store which sells guns, you should first and foremost obtain a federal firearms dealer license, called an FFL. People who manufacture firearms or import guns, as well as those who manufacture ammunition, should also obtain an FFL. The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the government agency issues this license. Before opening a firearms dealer business, all local and state requirements should be met along with following ATF procedures.

Obtain an Application

Visit the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives site and start the procedure of getting a federal firearms dealer license. You can download the FFL application and print with all four copies of the form needed. You will be requested to offer basic information like your name, the name of the company, your contact details, and employer’s Social Security number or identification number. You should also mention whether the business is incorporated, a partnership or individually owned.

Explain Business & Pay Fee

The second stage of the federal firearms license application is specifying the kind of activity your business will involve in with the FFL. Each kind of Firearms Company needs a different fee. For example, gun shop owner or a pawnbroker should pay $200 for the FFL as of October 2012. Firearms producers would pay $150, while an ammunition producer would submit a $30 fee. Importers of ammunition and firearms also pay $150 for a license. The maximum fees are paid by importers, manufacturers and dealers of destructive ammunition and devices, like arms that penetrate armor. The fee in any of these items is $3,000. You can pay FFL fees with a credit card, check or money order. You will have to provide details on your criminal history, previous ownership if the business was bought, citizenship, and hours of operation.

Certification and Application Submission

When the FFL application is finished, attach a 2 x 2 photo of yourself in the correct box. Have your area chief law enforcement officer, like the sheriff or police chief, attest the application by approving and signing it as valid. Get the Certification of Compliance form on the ATF website printed, after that have somebody who knows you fill the form, confirming your nationality. Have your regional law enforcement organization get your thumbprints after referring to a sample on the ATF site, after that put together that fingerprint card together with your FFL fee and application, and the Certification of Compliance nationality form. Mail the application file to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, P.O. BOX No. 409567, Atlanta, Georgia 30384-9567. Preserve the applicant copy for your records and submit the copy specified to the law enforcement officer verifying the application.

Approval Procedure

An ATF manager will phone to set up a meeting in person to confirm the information on your application. Assume a 60-day waiting period from the time the ATF gets your license before a decision will be made to disapprove or approve your federal firearms dealer license, allowing sufficient time for a detailed background check. If the correct fee has not been deposited, or wrong information has been provided, you will have to make rectifications, after that the 60-day period will start again.