Do you really need an FFL?
If you’re a gun enthusiast and planning to engage in the firearms business, one of the top requirements you’ll need is to get an FFL (Federal Firearms License).
FFL is a license issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that enables individuals at a company to engage in business pertaining to the manufacture, importation, and interstate/intrastate sales of firearms and ammunition. Possession of an FFL has been a legal requirement within the United States since the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968.
There are 9 types of Federal Firearms Licenses:
Type 01 FFL – Dealer in Firearms / Gunsmithing (firearms repair)
Type 02 FFL – Pawnbroker
Type 03 FFL – Collector of Curios and Relics
Type 06 FFL – Manufacturer of Ammunition for Firearms
Type 07 FFL – Manufacturer of Firearms & Ammunition
Type 08 FFL – Importer of Firearms/Ammunition
Type 09 FFL – Dealer in Destructive Devices
Type 10 FFL – Manufacturer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices, or Armor Piercing Ammunition
Type 11 FFL – Importer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices, or Armor Piercing Ammunition
Now, you may feel hesitant, wondering if you really need an FFL. We’ve listed a number of reasons why an FFL is beneficial for you, apart from being able to legally engage in the firearms business.
- Low cost and overhead to start. No safe or alarm system is required.
- Access to manufacturer direct and wholesaler pricing; ordering online 24/7.
- Part time, hobby income.
- Many part-time niche adventures possible with gunsmithing, dura coating, internet transfers, hydro-graphics, class 3 silencer sales, auction sales, internet sales, etc.
- Market demand is at all-time record high.
- Help friends get good prices on hard to find firearms.
- No background checks or hassles to get firearms mailed to you directly.
- You can also work gunshows to gain exposure.
- All activities with this new adventure are often tax deductible; reduce your taxes.
- Often state gun control laws do not apply to FFL holders. No waiting periods, background checks; able to often purchase items prohibited to non-FFL.
These are a few of the benefits you get to enjoy when you have an FFL. Does it sound too good to be true? Now, you may ask what are the possible downsides of getting an FFL? Are there any?
Of course, getting a home based FFL has its fair share of cons:
- Security – You need to only invite those you know and trust.
- Paperwork needs to be kept for 20 years and kept well-organized.
- Renewal is $90 every 3 years.
- ATF does make FFL list public.
- To make the largest profits, eventually you will need to focus on a niche market or grow volume.
- Inventory can sometimes be hard to find quickly with demand being so high.
- Shipping to home address can be tricky with a day job. ATF allows offsite storage and alternate mailing addresses, which helps.
- ATF can inspect your records every 12 months. Industry average for a non-pawnshop home based FFL dealer is once every 30 years.
Going over this list of Cons, I’m sure it doesn’t sound as bad as you think of and if you just get proper advice from the experts and authorities, I’m sure you’ll figure some workarounds to deal with these cons and in no time you’ll just forget about them and enjoy the benefits of having an FFL.