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Old 03-04-2010, 11:26 PM   #11
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Default Getting an FFL

I just joined the site...

I have had an FFL for 30 years...out of my home. I replied to a man awhile back about getting an FFL and will repeat here what I told him:

Most importantly, you have to state "a desire to be in the business". Buying guns for yourself or friends is not a valid reason for a license. Renewals each 3 years require a certain volume of guns in your bound book. If you only expect 4-5 entries in 3 years, it is a waste of time; as the license will not be renewed.

Find the nearest ATF office....under Dept. of the Treasury. Ask for an application packet for an FFL.
If you are not near a large city, let me know and I will find you an address or phone number.

You must be "open to the public"; you cannot have a license just for gun shows or "by appointment only". You must set hours...of doing business and during which an inspection can be conducted. Saying "from 9AM-10AM on Sunday" might not work. I have had two audits in 30 years, and I was called a few days in advance...no surprises. Both were very thorough and very professional.

You cannot be denied because you are not a storefront business.

You will have to sumbit fingerprint cards. You will have to affirm that operating your business will not violate any city ordinances. You will have to provide a sketch of where guns are kept in your business. You will have to describe the security system used for your business. You will have to notify the local CLEO that you are applying for an FFL...no approval is needed, just notification. I have to do it every 3 years for renewal.

Cost is $200 for the first 3 years, then renewals are $90 for 3 years.

I would suggest that you be willing to keep good books. Some guys are lazy and don't log their transactions for months. I stay up to date; it can be very hard months later to remember a gun or a person.

Be willing to be honest. If you take a gun in trade, log it into your books as required. Don't sell it "under the table" so a friend can avoid "paper" on the gun.

Keep state sales tax in mind. Some guys ignore it; but the required federal log book could be summoned into court, and it could cost quite a bit of tax and penalty and interest if you've been in business 8-10 years and have ignored sales tax. I like to sleep well at night.

This may all sound oppressive; but it is really not. When a guy tells me, "It's not worth the hassle", it is a good indication he should not have the license...as he won't keep books and won't follow the letter of the law/regs.

I'd guess it would take 2-4 months from submission to getting the license. They operate like all bureaucrats and drag their feet. On most renewals, they are so slow that they have to provide a letter telling your wholesalers that the license renewal is pending.

Having a CHL/CCW makes no difference. I've had several Class 3 weapons, and the background checks done for those cannot be used for this...gotta do it again.

I'd be glad to answer any further questions or things I have overlooked. I don't "know it all", but have been at it long enough to have learned a lot along the way.

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Old 03-07-2010, 03:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ref441 View Post
I just joined the site...

I have had an FFL for 30 years...out of my home. I replied to a man awhile back about getting an FFL and will repeat here what I told him:

Most importantly, you have to state "a desire to be in the business". Buying guns for yourself or friends is not a valid reason for a license. Renewals each 3 years require a certain volume of guns in your bound book. If you only expect 4-5 entries in 3 years, it is a waste of time; as the license will not be renewed.

Find the nearest ATF office....under Dept. of the Treasury. Ask for an application packet for an FFL.
If you are not near a large city, let me know and I will find you an address or phone number. I got mine from Distribution Center Order Form

You must be "open to the public"; you cannot have a license just for gun shows or "by appointment only". You must set hours...of doing business and during which an inspection can be conducted. Saying "from 9AM-10AM on Sunday" might not work. I have had two audits in 30 years, and I was called a few days in advance...no surprises. Both were very thorough and very professional. You can have an online store only, you do not have to be "open to the public", but you do need to list your hours.

You cannot be denied because you are not a storefront business.

You will have to sumbit fingerprint cards. You will have to affirm that operating your business will not violate any city ordinances. You will have to provide a sketch of where guns are kept in your business. You will have to describe the security system used for your business. You will have to notify the local CLEO that you are applying for an FFL...no approval is needed, just notification. I have to do it every 3 years for renewal.The person that did my interview did not ask about storage sketches or an alarm. The only "security" item was that you had to sign a form that you will have gun locks available for sale to the public.

Cost is $200 for the first 3 years, then renewals are $90 for 3 years.

I would suggest that you be willing to keep good books. Some guys are lazy and don't log their transactions for months. I stay up to date; it can be very hard months later to remember a gun or a person.

Be willing to be honest. If you take a gun in trade, log it into your books as required. Don't sell it "under the table" so a friend can avoid "paper" on the gun.

Keep state sales tax in mind. Some guys ignore it; but the required federal log book could be summoned into court, and it could cost quite a bit of tax and penalty and interest if you've been in business 8-10 years and have ignored sales tax. I like to sleep well at night.

This may all sound oppressive; but it is really not. When a guy tells me, "It's not worth the hassle", it is a good indication he should not have the license...as he won't keep books and won't follow the letter of the law/regs.

I'd guess it would take 2-4 months from submission to getting the license. They operate like all bureaucrats and drag their feet. On most renewals, they are so slow that they have to provide a letter telling your wholesalers that the license renewal is pending.I read online that they have 60 days from the receipt of the "completed application", which gives them some wiggle room, but once my finger print cards were re-submitted, it only took a few weeks for the interview.

Having a CHL/CCW makes no difference. I've had several Class 3 weapons, and the background checks done for those cannot be used for this...gotta do it again.

I'd be glad to answer any further questions or things I have overlooked. I don't "know it all", but have been at it long enough to have learned a lot along the way.
Lots of useful information you posted. Too bad we must jump through all these hoops though. Do you have an online store or mainly do transfers?
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Old 03-07-2010, 08:53 PM   #13
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Over the past 18 months during the buying craze, I'd say 75% of my activity has been handling transfers for those people buying on-line and 25% normal purchases that I order for people from distributors/wholesalers. I buy for myself once in awhile and occasionally sell an item locally or on Auction Arms, Gunbroker, or GlockTalk. GT has been excellent with huge volume and no fee assessed to buy or sell. I used to sell at gun shows; but the only one in my area folded 3-4 years ago for lack of exhibitors and lack of customers.

It is interesting to note that the buying frenzy was caused by the new administration; yet the first time gun control was mentioned, 65 Dems in the House told Eric Holder to "forget it". I'm sure the anti-gun crowd is livid after waiting eight years for George Bush to leave, now they get nothing. Considering their past history of lies and half-truths, I find it rather humorous. Obama and Holder sure sold a bunch of guns and ammo.

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Old 03-16-2010, 04:17 AM   #14
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Self deleted. Sorry, I failed to read everything above.

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Old 03-16-2010, 04:21 AM   #15
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Nope. that is an Internet myth, you do NOT need a storefront of any type. You just need to demonstrate that you are going to be in business with all the right permits and zoning.

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Old 03-16-2010, 06:22 AM   #16
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Probably ref441 or some of the other FFL holders could chime in, but I don't believe field agents conduct the scheduled inspections and audits. If there is some reason to believe some type of crime is being committed they would be involved certainly, but compliance checks belong to another group of BATF employees.

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Old 03-16-2010, 12:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepcreep927 View Post
Probably ref441 or some of the other FFL holders could chime in, but I don't believe field agents conduct the scheduled inspections and audits. If there is some reason to believe some type of crime is being committed they would be involved certainly, but compliance checks belong to another group of BATF employees.
That is correct. Inspections are conducted by ATF inspectors. Think of it this way: Agents are responsible for the citizen infractions and inspectors are responsible for dealer infractions.
For example: if a dealer has a firearm missing out of their inventory, an inspector will look at it as a firearm transfer without the appropriate paperwork and hold the FFL responsible. However an agent will treat it as a firearm stolen from an FFL, and hold the citizen responsible.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:40 AM   #18
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Default FFL Interview

I am in the same time frame with you Mike. ATF charged my account on Feb 2, 2010 and today I heard from the field office. I have my interview next Tuesday morning. The investigator mentioned she had called my city for a zoning letter. Fortunately I had already secured a zoning certificate and business license and the planner was familiar with my request. She said we would be going over the laws and regulations. I will post what I learn after the meeting.

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Old 03-17-2010, 05:34 PM   #19
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I am on the road for two weeks and computer access is clumsy, at best. I see nothing above with which I would disagree.

I have had two inspections in 30 years, both by the same woman who was hired in 1968 when the GCA was passed. I have not had an inspection in 15 years, but try to stay prepared at all times. Both my inspections were cordial and professional.

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Old 03-21-2010, 04:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Unk View Post
I checked my visa account and the ATF was paid Feb 8, 2010. Just wondering now that the transaction has been completed do you know if it is 60 days from that time it was completed? I have my home alarm system in place and boy is it sweet. A wireless system with sensors and motion detectors. I feel even safer now. Is there a way to check on my status or do I just wait for the phone call?

Unk Welcome to the forum.. A little late coming from me but guess better late than never eh?

Anywho, Following your thread pretty close since I intend to do the same thing the closer I get to retirement (a couple more years).. I'll be very interested to see how you do and how it works for you. From what I have read so far, you're doing everything right.


ref441... Suppose having an 03 C&R for the past 10 years will not soften the BATF up for me will it? (pretty sure I know the answer to that one)...
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