ffl question

ffl question

This is a discussion on ffl question within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey all, I don't know if this is the right place to post this but here goes. I'm thinking of becoming an ffl. Basically its ...

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Thread: ffl question

  1. #1
    Member Array APBT's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Hartford, CT

    ffl question

    Hey all,
    I don't know if this is the right place to post this but here goes.

    I'm thinking of becoming an ffl. Basically its for myself and a few friends to start; but I'm hoping to open a small shop in the next few years. How hard is it to do this? Does anyone know how I would go about doing this? Any responses would be appreciated.


    P.s. I'm in CT. Don't know if that matters but there it is.

  2. #2
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    South West PA
    I recall we have had a thread on this before but have no URL. You should get some useful input as I seem to remember we have some current or past FFL's.

    There are I think several aspects which might make early stages tricky - but I am not knowledgeable enough to outline them. I have had the impression it is not always the plain sailing some guys expect.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."

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  3. #3
    Lew is offline
    Member Array Lew's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
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    Go to the BATF's website. You will find lots of good info there. I was thinking of doing the same thing in a few years. The thing that struck me the most was that they will only give you a license if you intend to try to make money. Doing it for yourself and friends is not a valid reason in their eyes to get a license.
    There are 2 types of people, victims and the prepared. I choose to be prepared....

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  5. #4
    New Member Array dpart77's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    South West
    I believe you need to have a place of business and posted operating hours. I don't think the ATF will give ffl's for home/personal use anymore. I just read an article about how the number of ffl's is way down due to new regs and an over zealous ATF making it a pain in the arse to keep it.

    Check into it though and let us know

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Can't answer the FFL questions that were asked. Things have changed. My FFL was obtained pre-clinton. Then it was easy. clinton changed or enforced alot of the rules and regs.

    Before opening a shop/store front,check on the expenses of insurance. Especially liability.

    Also the different manufacturers have different rules for selling their firearms. Back in my day,HK was impossible to deal with. Several wholesalers wanted buisness cards,picture of the store front,buisness license,copy of insurance,etc.,etc.

    Have heard rumor that BATFE.......WILL show up at your door. They have the manpower and the time after the latest threats on our society.

    Would suggest that you check into the FFL thing very thoroughly before subjecting yourself to the microscope. -----------

  7. #6
    Member Array Sh00ter's Avatar
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    Jul 2006


    I can offer a little help as I have an FFL. I am an avid Sporting Clays shooter & Instructor. I'm also a dealer for Perazzi USA & sell other brands of shotguns & handguns as well.

    There is a question on the application that asks if you intend to make money. If I recall correctly, it basically states that if the answer is no, don't bother to send the application.

    You'll also have to put the hours you're open on the application as well as be available for the ATF to check your records, inventory, etc,.

    Something else you may not have considered is that many of the wholesalers require a tax permit from your state before they will open an account. That's another hassle altogether. In addition to that, there's really not that much markup on guns unless you get into the more expensive ones. You would have to buy quite a few handguns to save a lot of money over what you would pay a local store. Even with an FFL there are some brands you can't get unless you're a direct dealer with that company. Kimber is one example. Beretta was & still may be set up that way.

    You'll also need a permit from your local government to do business. I think you have to get that to submit with the application.

    Those are a few things you might consider before going to the trouble of filling out a rather lengthy application for an FFL.

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  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
    Forgot the tax thing. Like Sh00ter sez,I had to get a tax stamp/number from my state(Maine). I had to charge the customers the (IIRC) 5% and turn around and pay this to the state,w/appropriate paperwork,every quarter.-------

  9. #8
    1943 - 2009
    Array Captain Crunch's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Here's the previous thread on this subject:


    I will repeat what I said in the previous thread. Unless you intend to make your living selling firearms, that is, "engage in the business", do not get an FFL. An FFL is not for the casual hobbyist.

    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


  10. #9
    Member Array scmed's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Another thing to remember is that some states (like here in SC) require you to apply for a seperate handgun permit and insurance after you get your FFL to be able to transfer handguns. I think the permit is $500 and has to be paid every 2 years. My friend recently opened carolinatacticalsupply.com and went through the process. I know he had multiple inspections, tons of paperwork, and had to build a "store". If you are still thinking about doing it e-mail him and he would be glad to give you more specifics.

  11. #10
    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    I had an FFL, got rid of it once I realized the complete consequences. Now, this was 20+ years ago, so the rules may have changed, but back then you were required to maintain records--and make those records available to the BATF upon request--on ALL firearms located at your place of business. That meant that, if your home was your place of business, then you essentially could not own any "personal" firearms. Guns you owned before you got the FFL, guns you bought only for yourself, guns you were given, didn't matter... They ALL had to be reflected in your business records, and those records had to be handed over to the BATF on request.

    Combine that with the local licensing and insurance requirements and I concluded that there was no point in having an FFL unless you were serious about making a business of it.

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