FFL Application-what to expect ?

79jake79jake Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
edited October 2003 in Ask the Experts
If I apply for a FFL (assume I qualify and my location does also)and assume I properly fill out the forms,what should I expect? Do they personally inspect the location? How long does it take to get the license usually? Thanks


  • mark christianmark christian Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 22,476 ******
    edited November -1
    The big stumbling block now a days seems to be zoning. Make sure that you have this and whatever local business licenses, sales tax permits and any state licenses taken care of first thing otherwise you'll be dead in the water. If you are already in a commercial property and currently running a business there then the questions will be far fewer. If you are talking about your using home you may be in for a struggle. After you apply you will receive a visit from an BATFE compliance insepector and he'll want to get an idea of exactly what you have in mind for your new gun business. We've received a post from a guy who lived WAY out in BFE and was denied because the inspector felt that no one in their right mind would drive two hours from the nearest town to purchase firearms sold out of the basement in his farm house. Tell all of us up front if you are really planning on running a gun business or do you simply want to purchase firearms for yourself and perhaps sell one or two to your buddies in order to justify your existence? Get your ducks in a row here and be prepared to describe in detail what your business plans are because what the inspector learns on his visit is going to pretty much decide your fate; If you appear serious things will probably turn out okay. I advise AGAINST even mentioning the word gun show, although internet sales are fine, but have a computer and digital camera on hand just in case push comes to shove! Good luck.

    Mark T. Christian
  • kingjoeykingjoey Member Posts: 8,636
    edited November -1
    Mark- Pretty much like getting a prostate exam without the friendly chit-chat?[;)]

    Love them Beavers

  • gunner8479gunner8479 Member Posts: 120 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yup, I've noticed that after 9/11 all of the so called FFL dealers that were selling out of their home suddenly stopped doing this activity. I've met a few and they've told me that BATF started breathing down their necks and changed policies.They said it wasn't worth all the trouble, headache, and hassle. I've noticed the home dealers (when they existed) really put a hurt on alot of the local firearm businesses. Sometimes it's best to forget about the prices you saw in the Shotgun News and pay a little more to support your local gunstore. Because without the support, they'll end up closing shop and when you need them most, they won't be around.

    I too would advise against an FFL unless you're planning on opening a dedicated storefront with regular hours that won't leave a bad taste in anyone's mouth.

  • 79jake79jake Member Posts: 11 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for the replies, but I guess I didn't give enough information about me. I already have a retail stoe in a commercial district and do intend to have a real "gun shop" as there are none in my area. I have a sales tax permit and have been in retail for 12 years.I have been selling on the internet and more and more am having trouble with the receiving dealer not willing to accept a gun unless it comes from a dealer. They are wrong and troublesome and I am tired of arguing with them.I am mostly interested in knowing how long to expect the process to take. Thanks so far. jerry
  • shootinfoolshootinfool Member Posts: 219 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Ya know what is going to kill the gun business? All you guys blowing smoke up these guys a$$es about getting an FFL. The ATF is being portrayed as the jack booted thugs and they are not. Getting an FFL is not as hard as it is made out to be. Other dealers just don't want the competition. I deal out of the house for 10% over cost. I make enough to make me happy. The ATF came and visited me before we got the final ok. This inspector is the one who basically make the yes or no decision. He was really nice. No one has been crawling down my neck. If you do a respectable business, they leave you alone. All I can say is go for the FFL, That way you don't have to buy from dealers with 50-60% markup!
  • gmayesgmayes Member Posts: 415 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have to agree with Shootinfool. I just recently got a FFL last year and also deal out of my house. There were no problems or stumbling blocks or hoops to jump threw or anything. I just filled out the application and sent it in. The Inspector called set up a time to come by and was here about 15 minutes.FFL was in my mailbox about 2-3 weeks later. The main problem people are having like Mark C. has pointed out is ZONING, You stated you already have a storefront so you should be ok. Hope this helps.

    G. Mayes/// Part Time FFL Dealer/No expert on guns by any means just a Gun Loving Nut
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