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Old November 25, 2012, 11:55 PM   #1
CS86
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Obtaining an FFL

I wasn't quite sure where to post this, but had a few questions on FFLs. I guess I'm a bit new to understading who can obtain the license. I tried doing a search but couldn't come up with a thread to answer my question.

So i guess I'm wondering if it's common for an individual person to get a FFL or if this is a license strictly for business's that move firearms on a regular basis. There are many places online that require this license before purchasing a gun online. Can anyone get one or what does it take to obtain one?
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Old November 26, 2012, 12:04 AM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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You can not get an FFL just to enhance your own collection. You CAN use it to enhance your own collection but that can not be the sole purpose. You must intend to conduct business. Whether that business is 1 transfer a day or 1 per year, the ATF couldn't care less. They also couldn't care less if you have a store or do business at your kitchen table, so long as you meet the requirements of zoning and state licenses, etc.
Buying a firearm online requires that you have it shipped to an FFL in your state. That means a gun dealer, your local gun shop. The local guy will charge you a fee for transferring the gun to you. Anywhere from $15-$75 roughly, usually closer to $25.
They have done it many times. Go talk to them, they can help you.
If you're actually interested in becoming a dealer, go here:
http://www.atf.gov/firearms/how-to/become-an-ffl.html
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Old November 26, 2012, 12:23 AM   #3
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Getting transfers through you own FFL license is way easier than you would think- if I received an FFL license, I have about five people that would be lining up to have firearms sent to me...
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Old November 27, 2012, 11:40 AM   #4
Hal
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Quote:
So i guess I'm wondering if it's common for an individual person to get a FFL or if this is a license strictly for business's that move firearms on a regular basis. There are many places online that require this license before purchasing a gun online. Can anyone get one or what does it take to obtain one?
Here's something you might want to have a look at:

http://www.mail-archive.com/firearms.../msg00833.html

What you're proposing is the "kitchen table" dealer that the BATFE pretty much eliminated between 1993 - 2007.
In '93 there were 250,000 FFL's. By 2007, that mumber had dropped to 50,000.
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
So i guess I'm wondering if it's common for an individual person to get a FFL or if this is a license strictly for business's that move firearms on a regular basis.
The latter. An FFL holder must be in the business of dealing in firearms for profit.

If you're ordering a gun online, simply have it sent to a local dealer, and they'll transfer it to you from there.
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:09 PM   #6
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal
What you're proposing is the "kitchen table" dealer that the BATFE pretty much eliminated between 1993 - 2007.
In '93 there were 250,000 FFL's. By 2007, that mumber had dropped to 50,000.
The only thing the ATF eliminated was FFL holders who's purposes were to support their personal collections.

The ATF does not and never did care if your business was "kitchen table" or "Bud's Gun Shop".

They care that your business IS a business.
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:17 PM   #7
Hal
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The only thing the ATF eliminated was FFL holders who's purposes were to support their personal collections.
as "kitchen table" dealers.....
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:26 PM   #8
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It really doesn't save you a whole lot of money on firearms transfers.

The license is $200, IIRC. Then you have your local occupational license.

So you have that fixed cost of about $100 a year. It saved me the $25 transfer at the pawn shop, so that sounds like 4 guns a year and you made your money back.

But then you have sales tax. It was great when I bought a $100 gun online, because the transaction cost me $7. But when I bought a $500 gun, it cost me $35, which meant I lost money having it shipped to the house. We have 7% sales tax, so any gun over $357 was cheaper to transfer at the dealer.

On the other hand, a lot of dealers don't like accepting transfers from private parties. I would usually do well on gunbroker auctions from private parties, because a lot of people won't bid on them. And most distributors will sell to you wholesale, which is a plus. Of course, on most new guns it's only going to save you about 10%.

IMO, it's much better to have a friend with a FFL, than to have a FLL. It's like having a friend with a boat. All the joys of having a boat, but without the hassle and expense of maintaining it.
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:33 PM   #9
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I wonder about those that are transfer dealers only. Ones that never sell new guns themselves. If I was to ever get an FFL, I would put myself in that category. For example the normal FFL fee paid at a gun store around here is $35. I could see someone only doing transfers and charging $20. If that person knew enough persons that buy one or two guns a year on the auction sites, and used them as their FFL, would the ATF consider that to be business? The profit would only be a few hundred dollars a year, but it would eventually be profit after the cost of the FFL is recouped.

Is that the type of FFL that the ATF does not want around?
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:40 PM   #10
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The profit would only be a few hundred dollars a year, but it would eventually be profit after the cost of the FFL is recouped.
However, you're not taking into account getting zoning approval (I'm assuming your property is currently zoned residential), ensuring proper storage, record keeping, and the joyful experience of compliance audits.
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal
as "kitchen table" dealers.....

The only context I've ever seen for that term is home based dealers. I've never seen it used to refer to someone whose only purpose for their FFL was to further their own collection.

If you're using it in the latter context, you're correct. If the former, the ATF has never done any such thing.
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:47 PM   #12
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When you live out in the middle of nowhere on a ranch where there is no zoning that is not an issue. The other stuff would apply and those headaches will most likely cause me to never apply for an FFL. I was just curious as to how many FFL holders only deal in transfers. Of course in a few years, the way things are going, they won't let people buy guns anyway
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twobit
The other stuff would apply
What "other stuff"?
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Old November 27, 2012, 12:54 PM   #14
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this other stuff as posted by TomServo

(ensuring proper storage, record keeping, and the joyful experience of compliance audits. )
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:01 PM   #15
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Oh, that.

Tom Servo is just trying to keep competition down by scaring potential new FFLs. (Just kidding)

Really though, it's not all that big of a deal. You need proper storage (literally a locking gun cabinet is compliant) and a notebook which contains the gun info, names, addresses and what-not of purchasers. The compliance check is scary and all I suppose but if you keep your records straight and guns locked-up appropriately, it's really not a big deal.

Some of the people I've known that do it, well, if they can do it, I could train a chimpanzee to do it.
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:34 PM   #16
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It just occurred to me that if 100,000,000 million people own guns and each of them applied for and recieved an FFL for $200, the U.S. Treasury would see a windfall of $20 Billion.

We should all get FFLs! Gun owners doing their part to help with the budget crisis!
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Old November 27, 2012, 01:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
The only context I've ever seen for that term is home based dealers. I've never seen it used to refer to someone whose only purpose for their FFL was to further their own collection.

If you're using it in the latter context
Bingo...
That's the only context I've ever seen "kitchen table" dealers used in.

Usually in a derogatory manner also.

.
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Old November 27, 2012, 02:18 PM   #18
huntinaz
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What you're proposing is the "kitchen table" dealer that the BATFE pretty much eliminated between 1993 - 2007.
In '93 there were 250,000 FFL's. By 2007, that mumber had dropped to 50,000.
Well they didn't eliminate all of them. I know of several, and one I'm very familiar with. He's done numerous transfers for me, and guess where I fill out the paperwork?

You guessed it; his kitchen table. Always a pleasure I might add.
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Old November 27, 2012, 03:02 PM   #19
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However, you're not taking into account getting zoning approval (I'm assuming your property is currently zoned residential), ensuring proper storage, record keeping, and the joyful experience of compliance audits.
I didn't have much of a problem with that.

Zoning? I live on a 60'x140' lot in the middle of suburbia. There are landscapers, construction companies, janitors, etc., licensed to do business from their homes. So why not someone who sells a few guns, mostly over the internet?

I was never audited. But even if you're not... You're keeping a list of the guns you have and the people to whom you sold them. I'd say that anybody who could balance a checkbook could do it. But it doesn't even require you to understand math.
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Old November 27, 2012, 04:12 PM   #20
Hal
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Well they didn't eliminate all of them.
Asked/answered and point out above.
The "kitchen table" dealer the BATFE wanted to eliminate was the guy that sold a token gun or two a year, then used his FFL to accumulate guns for his own private use.

Legit busniness people that operate for profit and/or convienience don't fall into that catagory.

I don't want to read too much into anything, but, the OP said, " So i guess I'm wondering if it's common for an individual person to get a FFL or if this is a license strictly for business's that move firearms on a regular basis. There are many places online that require this license before purchasing a gun online. Can anyone get one or what does it take to obtain one? "

That leads me to think he's looking at guns for himself, but, would like to be able to deal direct with the sellers as a FFL holder.

"Kitchen table" is just the expression used to describe that type of action - just as "brick and morter" was/is a term to describe a store - whether it's made of brick and morter or glass and stone or wood.
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Old November 27, 2012, 04:32 PM   #21
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A person could make a nice amount of money on the side,,,

A person could make a nice amount of money on the side,,,
Just by doing transfers from on-line dealers,,,
And shipping of guns to warranty centers.

The Evil Pawn Shop Guy will ship a gun through the USPS,,,
And charges me a heck of a lot less than UPS or Fed-Ex priority.

You would have to be in a large enough city to get a practical customer base,,,
And then promote-advertise the heck out of your service,,,
But it could generate a nice side income.

I've considered doing this when I retire,,,
It really depends on where I live then.

Aarond

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Old November 27, 2012, 04:43 PM   #22
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A whole separate consideration is whether or not suppliers will provide to you if you sell from a home based business. We're an 07/02 FFL, and most of our business is NFA items with suppressors being the majority of our sales. We operate from a shop and not a home, but we do not have a retail store front. As a result many suppliers including one large local supplier will not sell to us for resale, and we're limited then to what we can order from those who will supply us directly.

Point is that BATFE aside, we're limited by how other businesses are willing to work with a non-retail store based business as well. So we'd have to invest into a better retail front to access those suppliers, which would mean for us relocating to an area which would actually facilitate better retail sales, which would mean in turn we'd have to raise our costs considerably to make ends meet and maintain our same profit margin. So for us right now NFA sales are a better bet and transfer sales are little more than a way to build our customer base.
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Old November 27, 2012, 04:55 PM   #23
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That leads me to think he's looking at guns for himself, but, would like to be able to deal direct with the sellers as a FFL holder.

"Kitchen table" is just the expression used to describe that type of action - just as "brick and morter" was/is a term to describe a store - whether it's made of brick and morter or glass and stone or wood.
Gotcha. I thought you concurred above with Pfleuger that "kitchen table" was to describe a home based business... which is how I've heard the term used.

I see now you were concurring with the latter definition.
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Old November 27, 2012, 05:08 PM   #24
Brian Pfleuger
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Originally Posted by aarondhgraham
But it could generate a nice side income.
If you charges $25/transfer, I suspect you'd be looking at 100 transfers a year just to cover advertising expenses and that's if you do CHEAP advertising, like a 2" square ad in your local "Penny Saver" type paper.

There's a good chance that your home owners policy wouldn't cover your business inventory. That's another 25-50 transfers a year, at least.

You need 3 a year just to cover the FFL fees for the first 6 years. ($200 first 3, $90 second 3).

I suspect you'd be looking at at least $2-300 in fees just to form your business, that's if you hunt down all the requirements yourself. That's 10-15 transfers to cover those costs and many (if not most) states will have annual expenses to renew licenses.

You're looking at 175 transfers a year, for the first couple years at least, just to cover expenses. You might be able to cut back your advertising after that and reduce costs.
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Old November 27, 2012, 05:24 PM   #25
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Another question. When I buy a gun from my dealer, or go to him to pick up a internet purchased gun, he calls in my info on the phone, talks to a human at the other end, and gets an instant check on me to see if I can get the gun.

Does the dealer pay for that service or is it free? This is Texas. No waiting period if you pass the instant check.
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