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Old July 1, 2009, 03:05 PM   #1
specoperator
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Getting an FFL...

So I just ordered my paperwork from the ATF to get my FFL and I was wondering if anyone else had recently gone through this process. I'm trying to open up a gun store when I get home from Iraq (cuz dammit I earned that right no matter if we live in a country slowly turning socialist) and I've already told my local sheriff ( Crime Bill of 1994) and scoped out a brick and mortar store. However, I've heard the ATF can be a pain in the ass with these applications. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?
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Old July 1, 2009, 03:19 PM   #2
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Get your zoning figured out and then your local business and tax licenses. That's about it. Pretty easy, ATF was nothing less than completely professional during and after my process.
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Old July 1, 2009, 03:21 PM   #3
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I have an LLC it was fairly easy i just used legal zoom. Good luck with the business and good job in Iraq!
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Old July 1, 2009, 03:23 PM   #4
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I recommend a lawyer setup your business structure. Talk to an accountant first before you make a decision on what structure. Also look into limits of officers on your state charter. In MI, corporations can't be owned by a single individual but LLCs can and are treated as a corporation.
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Old July 4, 2009, 07:09 AM   #5
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Thank you.........

for your service in Iraq!
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Old July 4, 2009, 10:19 AM   #6
dk148
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Setup your business first, then submitt your application in your business's name. The ATF will check all local laws to make sure that you can run a firearms business out of your location. Yes you will need a location to put on the application. My county did not issue me a business license or home occupancy permit (I am planning on having a shop attached to my house), until after I received my FFL. The ATF gives you 30 days to get all local licenses after they issue your license.

Also as soon as your business is setup get FEIN # from the Feds, this will make a lot of other things much easier to do. You can get setup with your department of sales tax, and your county before you are actually setup to do business. Both my county and the state understood that I could not conduct business until I had my FFL. Just try and get everything in regards to license's and doing business rolling before your FFL arrives.

As far as the ATF is concerned, the agent that came to see me was very cool, and very helpful. Take notes and listen to what they are telling you, also make a list of quetions you want to ask for the meeting and make sure you ask them. My meeting was about 4 hours long.

Good luck.
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Old July 4, 2009, 10:30 AM   #7
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One inconvenience for me when I opened a stand alone gunshop was that the ATF required I have the building secured prior to issuance of license for the purpose of inspection. This meant I had to lease a spot, initiate utilities, secure insurance before I even knew I would be approved. With deposits and first months I was well invested for at least 2 months before I could even think of making any money. It was as though the cards were purposely stacked against the small dealer.
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Old July 4, 2009, 10:42 AM   #8
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The ATF required no such thing from me.
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Old July 4, 2009, 12:11 PM   #9
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Microgunner: One inconvenience for me when I opened a stand alone gunshop was that the ATF required I have the building secured prior to issuance of license for the purpose of inspection. This meant I had to lease a spot, initiate utilities, secure insurance before I even knew I would be approved. With deposits and first months I was well invested for at least 2 months before I could even think of making any money. It was as though the cards were purposely stacked against the small dealer.
Get your home as the original "licensed premises" first. Then amend the license as stated below.

I doubt ATF will issue you an FFL for property you do not own or have under lease. There is no ATF requirement to have utilities or insurance at ANY licensed premises. You could have one of these as your licensed premises in the back yard http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...egoryID=524467


Quote:
ATF FAQ's:

(C11) May a licensee change the location of the licensed business or activity?

To change your location, you must file an application for an amended license, ATF Form 5300.38, not less than 30 days prior to the move. You must obtain the amended license before commencing business at the new location. The application for an amended license includes a certification of compliance with State and local laws and notification of local law enforcement officials.

[27 CFR 478.52]
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Old July 4, 2009, 02:07 PM   #10
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The ATF required no such thing from me.
They even required photos of the site.
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Old July 4, 2009, 02:18 PM   #11
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Get your home as the original "licensed premises" first. Then amend the license as stated below.

I doubt ATF will issue you an FFL for property you do not own or have under lease. There is no ATF requirement to have utilities or insurance at ANY licensed premises. You could have one of these as your licensed premises in the back yard http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...egoryID=524467
ATF would not, under any circumstance, issue a FFL to a home address. They required a commercial address prior to license issue. The utilities and insurance were a requirement of the lease. Had to get them nonetheless to get the location to get a license. And when my wife got frustrated with the runaround and told them so, we were told it was going to take another month for the inspection (spite). I was forced to beg to complete the process. This occurred during the Clinton administration, when the ATF was instructed to inflict as much hassle as possible on FFL applicants.
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Old July 4, 2009, 02:45 PM   #12
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ATF would not, under any circumstance, issue a FFL to a home address. They required a commercial address prior to license issue. The utilities and insurance were a requirement of the lease. Had to get them nonetheless to get the location to get a license. And when my wife got frustrated with the runaround and told them so, we were told it was going to take another month for the inspection (spite). I was forced to beg to complete the process. This occurred during the Clinton administration, when the ATF was instructed to inflict as much hassle as possible on FFL applicants.
It isn't that way now. As long as your local laws do not prohibt you running the business out of your house you are good to go. I got my FFL two months ago and I am running it out of my house. ATF came to the house and look at everything, and there was no problem.
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Old July 4, 2009, 02:55 PM   #13
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It isn't that way now. As long as your local laws do not prohibt you running the business out of your house you are good to go. I got my FFL two months ago and I am running it out of my house. ATF came to the house and look at everything, and there was no problem.
Thank God things have returned to sanity. When Clinton was in power the ATF ran 2/3's of America's FFL holders out of business, mostly kitchen table dealers.
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Old July 4, 2009, 03:59 PM   #14
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ATF would not, under any circumstance, issue a FFL to a home address. They required a commercial address prior to license issue.
Bull ****. There is and never was a federal requirement for a commercial address for an FFL. I'd like to see that in statutes. The ATF must issue a license if you comply with all laws.

The Clinton era you are referring to is when a copy of the application needed to be sent to the CLEO is the jurisdiction where that business was to be located. If it would violate any zoning laws, it was not issued. That is nothing new, but a number of municipalities changed zoning to exclude firearms businesses from a zoned residential lot.

I'd really like to see directly where the statute issuing the FFL stated a commercial address was a federal requirement. Two of my uncles obtained FFLs during Clinton's administration and both were zoned residential and were run from their home address.
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Old July 4, 2009, 04:16 PM   #15
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Bull ****.
How nice. (translation: eat me). I know what I was told and what I went through. Whether it was official ATF policy or our local office's zeal, it made no difference. It was a very unpleasant experience. BTW, I'm still an FFL holder and go through twice annual inspections. Every inspector tells us a different way to keep records. One hand doesn't know what the other is doing with these people. Regulations seem to mean little to them, they'll make them up as they go along.


http://gunowners.org/op9509.htm

Quote:
BATF Harasses Home Businessmen
Quote:
One thing the BATF is doing is to persecute the FFL holder who has not obtained a retail store and other licenses.
Quote:
Under President Clinton, the BATF has taken it upon itself to become the national enforcer of local zoning laws, state sales tax laws and state and local licensing laws. This is flatly unconstitutional. The federal government has no Constitutional authority to enforce local ordinances. (new laNGUAGE HERE)In fact Article 1, Section 8 prohibits the federal government from usurping powers that belong to the states.
So, I'm going to assume residential dealerships were/are illegal in my jurisdiction. The ATF didn't offer an explanation. Just bullied.
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Old July 4, 2009, 04:30 PM   #16
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Yeah, and legally the ATF can't inspect the same FFL more than once per year per license they hold. ATF policy is trumped by federal law. Know the law. Keep the ATF where they need to be.
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Old July 4, 2009, 05:10 PM   #17
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Yeah, and legally the ATF can't inspect the same FFL more than once per year per license they hold. ATF policy is trumped by federal law. Know the law. Keep the ATF where they need to be.
All I can think is you're a lot braver with your livelihood than me. When you're talking about people who can shut you down on a whim and bankrupt you while you fight it out you tend not to poke the bear. If I were a hobby dealer I might. BTW, it's one unannounced inspection per year. They can conduct many announced inspections. Get your facts straight.
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Old July 4, 2009, 05:10 PM   #18
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Blaming "the Clinton era" for ATF compliance issues is misguided. I've heard for the last ten years of the "no kitchen table FFL's" rule- it is a complete LIE. I used to believe it based on the number of pre Clinton FFL's compared to the present. I did a little research and discovered that the "no kitchen table FFL's" is a MYTH. Not only is my kitchen not big enough to have a table, I lease my townhome which is my licensed premises. My ATF Industry Operations Investigator had absolutely no problem with me operating a business from a rental property.

Very few (less than 1%) of FFL's have had their license revoked or not renewed due to noncompliance with ATF regs. NOT 2/3rds. The vast majority of FFL's that were not renewed (during the Clinton era) were due to noncompliance with local or state laws- not federal law or ATF whims.

During the Clinton era the ATF began to require dealers to comply with STATE, COUNTY & LOCAL laws regarding a lawful business in that location. Many FFL's were not actually "in the business", they had an FFL for personal use and made little or no effort to operate a business as their application required. Additionally, many FFL's were issued to dealers who were not in compliance with state, county and local laws. Many never applied for state tax certificates or were in an area that prohibits "home" businesses. NONE of that is the fault of ATF- it's the fault of the state, city or county you live in.

Being ignorant of the law is our own fault. If an ATF agent/investigator tells me I need a new doormat- he better F#$%%^ show me the applicable law. If I accept his opinion I'm the idiot.

I have fewer problems with ATF than my own brethren dealers- not a week goes by that I don't have some guy SWEAR that an emailed FFL copy isn't allowed by law.
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Old July 4, 2009, 05:32 PM   #19
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Very few (less than 1%) of FFL's have had their license revoked or not renewed due to noncompliance with ATF regs. NOT 2/3rds.

http://www.vpc.org/studies/dealers07.pdf


Not revoked, frightened into voluntary surrender. Hey I get along fine with the ATF inspectors...now. But way back then there was a whole different attitude.The US did in fact lose 2/3's of it's FFL dealers during the Clinton administration via intimidation. Primarily consisting of kitchen table dealers.
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Old July 4, 2009, 05:40 PM   #20
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The US did in fact lose 2/3's of it's FFL dealers during the Clinton administration via intimidation. Primarily consisting of kitchen table dealers.
Yes mostly due to zoning laws. They were not revoked but upon renewal they needed to comply with state, county, and local laws. Many looked into zoning and found they were not properly zoned so they did not renew their license because they were unwilling or unable to comply with the zoning regulations set forth by the local law. That isn't the ATF's fault, it's the FFL's fault for not complying with the local laws. The ATF form has always asked if they applicant is complying with local laws but they never checked before. Now that they do, they're the bad guys.
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Old July 4, 2009, 05:53 PM   #21
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Whatever the tact, the intent was to remove as many FFL's from the roles as possible and the ATF was (willingly) used as the implement. This massive decline began with the Clinton administration.

Quote:
Now that they do, they're the bad guys.
They were the "bad guys" during the Clinton era. Not so much now. I find them helpful, although inconsistent, now.
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Old July 4, 2009, 06:08 PM   #22
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We are not debating that. I think we are all in agreement. The method they chose was to enforce existing laws. That's what they do is enforce laws. We can't pick and choose which ones to enforce or not. Perhaps if we change the laws to benefit us, they have less to enforce.
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Old July 4, 2009, 06:25 PM   #23
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We are not debating that. I think we are all in agreement. The method they chose was to enforce existing laws. That's what they do is enforce laws. We can't pick and choose which ones to enforce or not. Perhaps if we change the laws to benefit us, they have less to enforce.
Let me ask you. How many Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware, accounting, etc. home businesses have you heard of being run out of business by a massive Federal Bureau brought in to enforce local zoning codes?
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Old July 4, 2009, 06:35 PM   #24
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When I opened mine they came and checked the building out.
It wasn't even the building that I ended up renting, I think they just wanted a face to face before saying yes. He made me sign some papperwork in the parking lot also. We didn't even go into the building.
I didn’t use a lawyer for anything either.
Set up an LLC with the County and got my county permit and insurance and off I went.
Good luck.
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Old July 4, 2009, 10:59 PM   #25
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Let me ask you. How many Mary Kay, Avon, Tupperware, accounting, etc. home businesses have you heard of being run out of business by a massive Federal Bureau brought in to enforce local zoning codes?
Not many of those you mentioned. Most of those do not have customers coming to the premises, which is the purpose behind zoning for certain businesses. Book keepers, accountants, lawyers, most other businesses wehre clients routinely visit the premises or in which employees are present cannot be run from your home. This is quite common. However, the ATF doesn't enforce local zoning codes, they issue the license when you have complied with all the laws regarding a business like the GCA has stated since 1968 when it passed. The ATF doesn't enforce local zoning laws. If you don't comply with them, you won't get the license. It's not the same thing.
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