Getting a FFL

This is a discussion on Getting a FFL within the FFL Dealer Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I am thinking of getting a FFL. I would be working out of my home and mostly to save on shipping. Do you really need ...

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  1. #1
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    Getting a FFL

    I am thinking of getting a FFL. I would be working out of my home and mostly to save on shipping. Do you really need to get one of these $49.95 FFL kits that walk you through the steps, or just call the ATF and get forms sent. Thanks

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  3. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    NO, you can do all of this yourself. You just have to READ and RE-READ everything and understand it. I WAS TOLD that if you turn in your application and there is missing or incorrect information, you are automatically denied and can not re-apply. As to whether this is the truth or not, I do not know. I suppose you could buy the "kit" but get the current paperwork from the BATFE. There have been some reports of these kits containing old forms. One thing forsure is that you will be visited by an agent prior to application approvial or denial.

    Frankly I am considering this. I am no longer able to do the type of work I have been doing for the last 35 years and I need to find some suplemental income. Don't expect to make mountains of money in this venture. Especially if you have big dealers near you. If however you live in a fairly small town with few dealers you can make a little cash. Incidentaly, one of the questions on the application is 'Do You Indend To Proffit From The Sale of Firearms?" THIS HAS to be answered as YES or your application is imediately rejected.

    Good luck! I hope things work out for you.
    Diddle
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    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    Good luck, The BATFE has been pretty difficult as of late with FFL's that do not have a physical store front i.e working from home....

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    Do you really need to get one of these $49.95 FFL kits that walk you through the steps, or just call the ATF and get forms sent.
    No.You don't even need to call the ATF. Just go to ATF FORMS and request that they send you the application, as well as 2 fingerprint cards. They will send them to you for free.

    I WAS TOLD that if you turn in your application and there is missing or incorrect information, you are automatically denied and can not re-apply.
    You were told wrong. If there is a question on your application, they will mail it back to you with a from explaining what they need. You do what it says, you send it back.

    Good luck, The BATFE has been pretty difficult as of late with FFL's that do not have a physical store front i.e working from home....
    Negative. I work from my home, I had no issues. The ATF will check the zoning laws and the local laws to make sure that you are in compliance. They will want to see any required paperwork, like business permits, tax certificates, Articles of Incorporations or LLC's or however you want to do it. They want to make sure that you are in it for business and not a hobby to order guns for your friends at dealer prices. You will need a EIN number.

    If you meet those requirements, you should have no problems getting an FFL.

    Most of what you hear on the Internet is hype. In every dealing I have had with the ATF, I have found them to be nothing but helpful. The IOI's ( Industry Operations Inspectors) aren't the Jackbooted Thugs that everyone thinks is the ATF, that is the Field Operations bunch that gives the rest a bad name.

    When you get the FFL, you will receive a packet from the ATF that includes all sorts of stuff. One of them is the FFL Regulations Guide. Heed that, and it will keep you on the legal side of things and also serve to disprove most of what you hear on the Internet about this or that.
    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

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    New Member Array CaptainBob's Avatar
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    I agree with everything that HotGuns said. I just got my home-based FFL (Type 01) at he end of September and I did make a mistake on the paperwork (sent the local Police Chief copy to Batf and vice-versa). It added about a month to the process but it went through after I switched copies with my local chief. You definitely have to say you are in business to make a profit. I was prepared for the BATF agent's interview by having my State business license and Sales Tax license already and displayed on the wall. You also have to have a means of safe & secure storage of inventory separate from your personal firearms (not sure why it has to be separate but that's what she said) and I did have a separate safe (which was inspected by her).
    Definitely DO NOT get one of those rip-off "kits." The BATF kit (free) has everything you need.
    It was actually harder to get approval from my town's zoning commission for a firearms-related business than the BATF part.
    One neighbor objected but I still did get approval after 45 minutes of grilling by the commission who thought I was planning on making machine guns for the mob :) I explained that I had already been doing gunsmithing work in my basement and building guns for the past 8 years and all I wan't to do was sell some of them for a profit.
    Anyway, I say go for it and enjoy a home-based business doing something you love. Just don't expect to make a fortune. I did mine so I could get the mortgage paid off sooner and retire from a full-time job working for someone else.
    PS: I HARDEST part of the WHOLE process was getting set up and approved to accept credit cards (many processing companies do give automatic denials as soon as they learn you are selling guns) but you don't have to accept CCs if you prefer not to. GOOD LUCK!

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    Distinguished Member Array Diddle's Avatar
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    Good success story and, hotGuns, Thank you for the correction.

    I still plan to persue this but it will be a while. getting approvial for a home business should not be an issue for me since I have ran a refrigeration and mechanical service operation from my home for the last 30 years. Myy operation would be one-on-oneand by appointment only. This gives the buyer a chance to discuss issues and ask questions. Unlike a conventional gun store where customers stand in line and wait their turn.

    Hope all goes well!
    Diddle
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    Senior Member Array The Old Anglo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    No.You don't even need to call the ATF. Just go to ATF FORMS and request that they send you the application, as well as 2 fingerprint cards. They will send them to you for free.



    You were told wrong. If there is a question on your application, they will mail it back to you with a from explaining what they need. You do what it says, you send it back.



    Negative. I work from my home, I had no issues. The ATF will check the zoning laws and the local laws to make sure that you are in compliance. They will want to see any required paperwork, like business permits, tax certificates, Articles of Incorporations or LLC's or however you want to do it. They want to make sure that you are in it for business and not a hobby to order guns for your friends at dealer prices. You will need a EIN number.

    If you meet those requirements, you should have no problems getting an FFL.

    Most of what you hear on the Internet is hype. In every dealing I have had with the ATF, I have found them to be nothing but helpful. The IOI's ( Industry Operations Inspectors) aren't the Jackbooted Thugs that everyone thinks is the ATF, that is the Field Operations bunch that gives the rest a bad name.

    When you get the FFL, you will receive a packet from the ATF that includes all sorts of stuff. One of them is the FFL Regulations Guide. Heed that, and it will keep you on the legal side of things and also serve to disprove most of what you hear on the Internet about this or that.
    Excellent Advice...Thanks!.

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    Member Array Bulldog39's Avatar
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    It took me about 3 months to get my home-based FFL 07. The longest part was working out a time for the on-site meeting with the AFT, I work during the day and listed Saturday 7pm-9pm as my hours, all other days by appointment only. I was dreading the visit, as I had heard it would be bad. The AFT agent was very professional and nice. I had a few questions on serializing and he call the main office and got the answer.
    Semper Fi

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    Thank you for this thread! I have been thinking about selling from home for a while but have been told time and time again not to waste my time. That it essentially is a losing venture.

    Here's a quick from the hip question to you guys already set up. And I realize it's hard to answer because there are a million ways to succeed or fail...but would it be reasonable to want/expect to clear a meager profit of $400-$500 a week/$2000 a month/$24-$25k a year?

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    That is entirely dependent on a multitude of various things.

    The biggest is the market of where you are located.

    I specialize in certain things that very few people in the state are doing, so the income has exceeded my wildest expectations, but I realize that I am in a "niche", so I have no real competition.

    There are lots of FFL's in this area, an most of them make no where near what you want to. Some of the bigger gunshops blow that away, but they have lots of money tied up in inventory.

    Like anything else, the rewards will be directly proportional to the effort that you put into it.
    The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it...- George Orwell

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    Hey guys, I'm new here, I am also a home-based FFL dealer. Took about 3 months, no issues with paperwork. I have separate safes for personal and business stuff. The county planning commission(zoning board) was the most difficult, tok an additional 6 weeks. I cannot have walk-up customers nor can I do transfers in my home. I can do internet sales, gun shows. For local sales, I take the firearm to a local brick & morter gun store and do the transfers in person. I do my best to cut a deal on transfer fees, but have not had much success in that department.
    Be sure your A&D log is accurate!! One of the biggest boosts to my business was attending the SHOT Show in Las Vegas. Found seeral new distributors, face to face with factory reps and sales people, and attended several of the NSSF.org seminars which were very helpful. I also suggest buying as much inventory as you can afford at once so shipping charges don't eat heavily into your profits. Some distributors give free shipping over $600 which sounds like a lot but it's not. If you join the NSSF, Fedex gives you a discount on shipping plus free supplies delivered. I now use Fedex instead of USPS for shipping.
    Subzero423 and T_from_Fla like this.

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    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    If you're transferring firearms to face-to-face customers that are not on your licensed premises, you are violating the law. You cannot go to another FFL's premises and do the transfers there. They must be done on YOUR licensed premises on YOUR FFL.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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    New Member Array NikonMan's Avatar
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    I believe you misread my statement. I take the firearm to a brick and mortar store, transferring to the STORE. The store then transfers to the new owner. No violations at all.

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    New Member Array CaptainBob's Avatar
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    Home-based FFL

    A couple of notes on thoughts brought about by other posts...
    One suggestion was to buy a lot of inventory at once to save shipping. I tried that and got stuck with a lot of guns I can't sell because I'm within 10 miles of Ohio's biggest (in gun sales) and cheapest pricing gun dealer and EVERYONE knows it. Example: I wanted to buy a couple of Ruger 10-22's for stock and my Distributor sold them to me for $189 each (plus shipping). This Dealer sells the same gun RETAIL for $187. How can I compete with that?
    The trick to surviving is doing/selling something DIFFERENT. Find what works, do it and look for the next thing (I stock and sell AR-15 Lowers and do OK since the big Dealer doesn't. I sell parts kits to go with the Lowers and off er build advice (and that's sure not available from the big Dealer). I've got a couple of other ideas I'm going to try.
    No way I could live on this income but it is slowly building (word of mouth really helps).
    I'm gonna dump the inventory at cost (maybe lower) just to get my working capital back. On this subject, some Distributors discriminate against home-based business by charging more and/or NOT offering free shipping on large orders. (Shouldn't make any difference if I order over $3000 in stock or a 'brick & mortar" store does but it does).
    it's fun to be in the "gun business" doing what I like but the paperwork is a real pain in the butt. If anyone asks about becoming an FFL I say, "You'll never know what it's like unless you try."

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    New Member Array jasnake65's Avatar
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    What number do you call for the finger print cards? Been looking into this myself

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