I got an FFL. Now what?

Discussion in 'NFA/Class 3 & FFL Discussion' started by hydrashok, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

    I started the process in September of last year, and yesterday (28APR09), it finally came! I am not a federally licensed firearms dealer! Woo hoo!

    It was a lot of work getting it because I was (and still am) deployed! That's right, I'm sitting here in my room in Al Asad, Iraq as I type this! I owe a lot of thanks to my wife who did most of the leg work for me.

    Anyhow, I got the license and I'm ready to go!.... or am I? My general manager has worked for a dealer before, but he's never had an FFL. He told me I should get the license in a "packet" that had a "starter" A/D book, some 4473s, and info and instructions on setting up the NICS acct, phone numbers, and such...

    All I got was a license.

    I tried turning to Google for help, and there's a plethora of help available... for GETTING an FFL, but I can't find ANYTHING on what to do after you get it.

    ***** HELP!!!! *****


    -=Jerry A. Goodson=-
    Owner, Tri-State Tactical
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member Admin Moderator Lifetime Supporter

    OK- I'm not the best source on this- I'm an 03 collector, not an 01 Dealer- But you should get a packet by separate mail. There are things like the prevent handgun violence booklets that you need with handgun sales, 4473s, etc. Word is they have run OUT of 4473s due to demand.

    Your bound volume is just that- a book where you record acquistions and dispositions of firearms- in and out. If you take a gun in for repair, and it is not returned same day- in the book. Brownell's has a book you can buy, but look at keeping yor bound book on computer- ATF permits it now- but have a GOOD backup copy.

    There is also an ELECTRONIC 4473- you may want to consider- reduces paperwork errors on minor crap- like abreviating a place name, etc (Like KC, Missouri)

    DO make xerox copies of your license- you will want to send them to places you may buy from- like Midway, Numrich, etc. Most of them give a wholesale price to FFLs, even on stuff that does NEED a FFL.

    DO go to the ATF website, and you AND any staff view the online tutorials that are there for dealers- things like strawman sales, etc.

    Anyone else? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

    You might also go the the Public Gunsmithing forum at gunpartscorp.com- several good smiths post there, willing to offer advice.

  3. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    Can't help on the FFL but can offer the best of wishes to your new business!

    OBTW, keep your head down while down range and....

    Thanks [​IMG]
  4. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

    Congratulations!! You should get some sound advice from a dealer here! I wish you the best of luck in your business venture!!
  5. Speedsteel

    Speedsteel Guest


    "Do not" Sign your original license, make photo copies first and sign the photo copies.

    You must post your license, in your place of business, garage, kitchen, where ever you plan to conduct business.

    Pending what your going to do with it, you may want to get a City, business license and a Federal tax ID, TIN from your State of residence to apply for a Registered business name to open a bank account under your business Name.

    If you do not need a business banking account, and will not have employees, you will not need the Federal TIN.

    Probably a good idea to get the City license and notify local authorities-police if you are going to sell firearms from your residence or any place of business.

    Then you contact vendors that you want to buy from and send them signed copies of your FFL, eventually you will come up on the new FFL list and wholesale firearms distributers will send you catalogs.

    But they must have a signed copy of your license in hand before they can legally sell you firearms.

    If you do not recieve your ATF packet and 4473s , call your local ATF or 703-455-7801 , or Distribution Center Order Form

    Best luck
  6. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

    Yeah, I figured this one out on my own... I actually READ my FFL :)

    I found a LOT of distributors will accept scanned/emailed copies, so I scanned it, printed it, signed it, then scanned it again. I use the printed one to post.
    I had most of that stuff before I actually received the FFL. I can't get the bank acct yet, because I'm in Iraq, and they wouldn't accept my wife's power of attorney. I'm using a personal acct w/ my GM's name on it until I get back and can open a biz acct.

    So far, I've been most impressed with Sports South, Inc. They even sent me a FREE 1GB "bullet" thumb drive with free A/D software AND their own inventory software.

    Yeah... this is what I'm still waiting on... I'll give 'em a call. Thanks!
  7. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

    The ATF notifies state and local authorities. They also require proof of zoning. At my first location, it was in the county, so no big deal. In the city, I have to provide a copy of my city permit in the application.

    Big business or little business, you HAVE to play by the rules.
  8. karlsgunbunker

    karlsgunbunker New Member

    Sign up as a transfer dealer on :
    Gunbroker, Auction Arms, guns america.

    PM me and I will send you a list of dealers I use.
    Do you have a Brick and mortar shoop?

    If not some distributors will not work with you.

    I do transfers out of my Garage.

    Always glad to help another FFL get started.

    IGETEVEN New Member

    Ok, military buddy and brother, now that you have been given some advice about setting up shop with that FFL, I just want to know when you will start taking orders and selling those selected items discounted at your cost, plus a teeny tiny markup to your military buddies and brothers? Hint, hint. :D :D
  10. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

    Good gawd! You sound like one of my friends! (Jay Urish).

    Here's my business philosophy. I don't want to make a f*ckload of money by selling a few guns. I want to make a f*ckload of money by selling a F*CKLOAD of guns!

    I want *EVERY* gun I sell to be a "good deal".

    My business "slogan" is: We don't want customers. We want well-armed and well-trained clients.
  11. Angrypoonani

    Angrypoonani New Member

    I can offer no advice but I did want to comment on the fact that my brother was deployed to al asad some years ago. He told me stories of inaccurate mortar attacks on the base.
  12. TexasCHL

    TexasCHL New Member

    The only recommendation I will make to you is too keep good records. If your going to get spanked by the ATF, it's going to generally be for your record keeping.

    Also, try and develop a good working relationship with your ATF agent assigned to your area. I couldn't ask for a better agent, and he has always been more than helpful any time I have had a technical question regarding a transaction.
  13. mrm14

    mrm14 Well-Known Member

    Do you intend to operate out of your residence or do you plan to lease or buy a retail space?
  14. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

    Both. I have a retail space. Have the FFL filled out and will send it off tomorrow.

    I got my FFL for my residence. I'll be building a separate building soon, but for now, I have a front segregated room. It has an exterior door that goes into the rest of the house, and it's got a deadbolt lock. It also has an exterior door for the "entrance", so it can be completely locked from the rest of the house.

    I've got an office building "in town", but I don't have a range in town. That's why I'm going with two FFLs.
  15. mrm14

    mrm14 Well-Known Member

    So, in your retail space do you intend to stock more than firearms?

    Such things as hunting, camping, fishing, general sporting good store merchandise?

    The reason I ask is our family had been in retail hardware, auto parts, and sporting goods for many years. These businesses and a couple of others provided for our family for many years fairly well. (1947-2003)

    My brothers and I left the businesses in the 1970's and struck out on our own. We didn't go into retail. Instead, individually, we became engineers and contractors.

    I do know this, it is very hard these days, even during economic boom times for independent retailers to thrive. The large volume chain stores and even somewhat the internet has nearly squashed the little guy.

    IMHO, however, it can be done sucessfully and one can provide fairly well for their family with hard work and offering to their customers excellent service. For the small guy all he has left to entice a good base of return customers is not good but excellent service. You will have to advertise but the best advertisement is word of mouth. Good products, excellent service, and knowing and taking care of your cutomers well, usually wins out at the end of the day.

    The most sucessful long time around independent gun stores here are actually sporting good stores. They carry firearms, firearm related acessories, reloading componets, camping and hunting gear, and fishing gear. The one I actually go to the most has more fishing gear and equipment than anything else.(Yes, I fish alot also) However, they also have more selection and quanity of firearms and related acessories than any other store within 100 miles and their prices usually can't be beat for firearms and ammo. The place is about 6000 sq. ft. building and is always packed with customers any time of day you go there. This guy (the owner) says he has been in business since 1962 at this location and always been open 7 days a week and although it hasn't always been a good business overall through the years it has been better than worse. He also owns as of the last 6 years a quad runner (during summer) and snow mobile (during winter) dealership across town. He says that business sucks for his dealership now due to the economy and people just not wanting to or can't spend money, but that his sporting good store is carrying it. He feels the dealership business will come back in a couple of years and that he is poised to hold on till then.

    So theres one way to go at it - deversity- in merchandise and over time related diversification into other businesses.

    Another way to go at it is aiming (no pun intended) for a niche market.
    Got to go for now but will return later with another post.
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2009