An FFL, or Federal Firearms License, is issued by the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. There are several types of Federal Firearms Licenses, but a Dealer License is the most expensive and requires the most thorough background check. From start to finish, the process of getting a Dealer FFL takes from four to six weeks, depending on how many applicants are waiting to be screened. After you obtain your dealer license, you may buy firearms and sell firearms to other individuals as a business venture.
To get an FFL and start your business as a Federal Firearms Licensee, you must first fill out an ATF Form 7 – Application for Federal Firearms License. Then, visit your local police station, Sheriff’s office, or similar location and receive an officer’s assistance to complete the fingerprint card.
After the forms have been completed, return the application and fingerprint card to the ATF at the address listed on the bottom of the application form. Enclose the proper registration fee in the form of check, cash or money order.
After the ATF receives your application, a local ATF field agent will schedule an appointment with you to conduct a thorough interview and background check. You will be questioned as to your fitness to hold an FFL. You will also receive in-depth instruction on your duties and responsibilities as a licensee. The field agent must inspect your business facility and make a recommendation to the ATF as to whether your application should be approved or denied.
If you are approved to hold a Federal Firearms License and operate as a Federal Firearms Licensee, you will receive a copy of your FFL in the mail within a few weeks. Keep this document in a safe place, as you will need it every time you purchase or sell a firearm.
Once you start your firearms business, be sure to comply with federal record-keeping rules while operating as a Federal Firearms Licensee. You are required to maintain records on all firearms you sell and purchase, along with the name, age and address of your customers. In addition, importers and manufacturers of firearms are required to keep records of firearm serial numbers. FFL records must be kept for a minimum of five years, and are governed by Title 18 of the US Code, sections 922(b)(5) and 923(g)(1)(A).
Keep in mind that if you fail to comply with State or local regulations, such as zoning laws, or you have previously violated the Gun Control Act, your application will be denied. In addition, if you falsify any portion of the application, this will also result in a denial by ATF.
If you are interested in firearms and would like to make your passion become a career, an FFL is the best way to do that. Just be sure to stay within the boundaries of the law and operate with integrity.
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