Getting an FFL

This is a discussion on Getting an FFL within the FFL Dealer Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I had an FFL years ago and was thinking about starting up again and try my hand at mail order. Possible with all the new ...

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Thread: Getting an FFL

  1. #1
    Member Array AWMP's Avatar
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    Question Getting an FFL

    I had an FFL years ago and was thinking about starting up again and try my hand at mail order. Possible with all the new rules and regulations?

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  3. #2
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    I didnt think it was that big of a deal.

    Most of what you hear on the internet is hype.

    Of course,a lot depends on where you are located.
    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

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    I too have concidered reapplying for my FFL....Where would I start ?.........

  5. #4
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    Absolutely possible, I sent you guys a PM.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    One of the local Gun Stores the owner has started shooting at the range I frequent,when he got his FFL the ATF guy suggested that he deal to LEO's only,they also tried to get him to sell to a prohibited person,he asked for a signed letter authorising the transaction and they declined,so he told em to take a long walk on a short pier
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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    What are the pros and cons of becoming a FFL?

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    Pro's...

    getting guns at dealer prices
    getting gear at dealer prices
    getting parts at dealer prices

    Cons...
    paperwork
    paperwork
    more paperwork
    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
    http://bobbailey1959.wordpress.com/

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array HKinNY's Avatar
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    It does allow you to carry anywhere diffrent?

  10. #9
    tts
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    Quote Originally Posted by HKinNY View Post
    It does allow you to carry anywhere diffrent?
    Nope. Read this Wikipedia page for more information.

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    Senior Member Array zeppelin03's Avatar
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    Is this a costly venture? I wonder if the potential savings out way all the fees.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppelin03 View Post
    Is this a costly venture? I wonder if the potential savings out way all the fees.
    Here's the fees for WA:

    $200 for the FFL (plus renewal fees)
    $220 for a Business Entity + Licensing (Sole Proprietor, LLC, etc.)
    $10 for a State Gun Dealer's License
    $50 for a City Permit

  13. #12
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    Thinking of becoming an FFL?

    Here is a link to How to Become a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). This is a good overview of the process and includes some general Q&A’s. ATF Online - Firearms - How To - Become An FFL

    Your process will begin by obtaining ATF Form 7 – Application for License (FFL). This is one of the few forms that is not available online since it is a multi-part form. This form can be obtained from:

    Federal Firearms Licensing Center
    244 Needy Road
    Martinsburg, West Virginia 25405 USA
    Voice (866) 662-2750 (Toll Free)
    Fax (866) 257-2749 (Toll Free)
    • Don’t waste your time or money on any paid kits for information on how to become an FFL.
    • You can get all the information needed Free from www.atf.gov.
    • You can also call the ATF Firearms Licensing Center with questions. Voice (866) 662-2750 (Toll Free)
    • This forum is also a good source. Here you can get answers to specific questions you may have or informal answers to what is needed to operate a successful business.
    • It is not absolutely necessary for a person to own a firearms business, pawn shop or gunsmith business to personally be the FFL holder. It is only necessary for one responsible person involved with the business to be an FFL licensee.
    Last edited by SIGP250; November 7th, 2011 at 06:42 AM.
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  14. #13
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    Times change and technology continues to advance even when it comes to operating a firearms business. Mail order per se is for the most part an obsolete method of selling firearms. That method went years ago the same as the large Sears, Montgomery Ward and Spiegel catalogs we all enjoyed looking at. Distributors do often send catalogs, updates and flyer's to dealers but they all have dealer websites as well. Catalogs are very expensive to produce and mail. You will also need a huge inventory or your catalog is likely to be out of date before it is mailed.

    Today, most FFL dealers, with or without a brick an mortar store maintain some type of presence via the Internet. Many established brick and mortar stores may also have an on-line Internet store. This is a full time effort in addition to operating a store so may gun shops resort to bulk email newsletters and or flyer's that advertise special events, specials, rebates, etc. A mailing list requires a targeted database of qualified past and present customers that you will send to. Unwanted unsolicited emails to non relevant parties will be treated as spam and can actually hurt a business.

    Development of an Ecommerce website for any business is costly and time consuming. Firearms websites are a special category. Most website developers and programmers don't understand the firearms business. You will usually pay for their learning curve.

    If on the other hand you are very skilled in website development, computer programming (XML, ASP, ASP.net, PHP, etc.). and are knowledgeable of SQL or MySQL database, Graphic programming software such as Photo-shop Dreamweaver and Microsoft office, Word and Excel, you may have a chance. It also helps to be very familiar with Internet advertising; SEO, PCP, targeted ads, Google, Google Webmaster tools, etc.

    You will need a fast computer for development and local web server. A minimum of two monitor screens is recommended.

    Once you have a working website it will need a server to Host it. Firearms websites may have large databases. For speed, you will need a dedicated server or at least a private virtual server. This requires the services of a webmaster unless you pay for managed hosting and setup. Shared hosting is not advised. You will also need a quality email environment. Most shared hosting environments cannot provide reliable service. It is also advisable to purchase a toll free phone service with electronic fax capability. Being able to provide knowledgeable customer service is important. Most buyers purchasing expensive firearms will have questions and will want to speak to a real person before committing to a large purchase by Internet.

    In order to accept and process credit cards, you will also need a Merchant services Provider. There are only a few that will handle firearms processing. They say it is due to frequent callbacks. The real reason is anti-gun sentiment and political motivation.

    Even the best designed websites will not get business if they can't be found. there are literally billions of websites on the Internet. SEO and page rank take time to develop. Again, you can attempt to do this yourself of pay a service.

    Internet advertising is an extremely important aspect of Ecommerce and will usually be your largest expense.

    An Internet presence can easily require one or more full-time people to operate and maintain. Data and inventory changes often and needs to be kept current.
    If you understand, things are just as they are... If you do not understand, things are just as they are....
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  15. #14
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    Exellent post.

    I dont have an internet page yet. I doubt that I will mess with it until I retire and can devote more time to it.

    On the other hand, just word of mouth is keeping me very busy. I usually run a several month backlog. If you have a specific set of skills that no one around has, the demand for those services will be great.
    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
    Like custom guns and stuff? Check this out...
    http://bobbailey1959.wordpress.com/

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Exellent post.

    I dont have an internet page yet. I doubt that I will mess with it until I retire and can devote more time to it.

    On the other hand, just word of mouth is keeping me very busy. I usually run a several month backlog. If you have a specific set of skills that no one around has, the demand for those services will be great.
    Damn, Wrote you a lengthy reply but pressed the wrong key and it vanished.

    Anyhow. Your custom firearm business for now might only need a B2B (business to Business) type website. This type of website is mainly informational. It can show images of your builds, specifications, comentary or whatever you wish. It may or may not have a retail shopping cart at all. This type of website is relatively easy to build and can be hosted inexpensively.

    Another thing you can do right now, without any programming knowledge, is to set up a Facebook business account. It is free. You can post your profile and some pictures of your builds. Facebook and Social Networking has become another important means to market and advertise. With smart phones Facebook and Twitter are ever more important.
    If you understand, things are just as they are... If you do not understand, things are just as they are....
    - Zen Saying

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