A bit of background...35+ years as a tool and die maker. Owned my own business, a machine shop, for 10 of those years, and still own all the equipment, as well as tools. I've been working on firearms for friends and family for years, mainly milsurp and hunting rifles. For the past couple of years, I've been dabbling with handguns, cleaning up sloppy factory work, stoning burrs off, etc. My friends and family have been very happy with my work.
Now, word has gotten out that I can do this type of work...but I've turned it down because I don't hold an FFL and can't legally work on things for the general public...at least that's how I understand the law. Turning down the work is painful for me, since the money is needed now that I'm disabled...I have to use a walker or a cane. I can work, but nobody hires toolmakers in my condition. The demand for the services I can perform are high around here...many of those that used to do this work locally have retired, and box stores don't offer anything more than scope mounting. The stores that do have on premise gunsmiths are backed up with work...in some cases they are months out on delivery.
I'd like to open up a shop at my residence, working on other people's firearms...basically doing what I've been doing for years. I don't expect to get rich doing it, but since I already have nearly everything needed to be a general gunsmith, as well as a more than intermediary knowledge of what I'm doing, plus the internet to find out what I don't know, I figure I can supplement the household income.
What license do I need for this? 01 or 07? I already have an 03 license, so they already have most of my information.
I've read about getting a paper signed off by the local chief of law enforcement...which shouldn't be an issue for me, since he's a fishing buddy of mine.
I have a secure spot in a dry basement to store any firearms that need to stay here while I work on them. No windows in the room down there, and I can install a steel door with deadbolt if needed to please ATF.
I'm not interested in becoming a dealer, just a legally licensed smith to satisfy the demand.
Help me help myself, please...