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Old February 4, 2014, 12:14 PM   #1
aarmel732
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Location: Illinois
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New FFL, City Laws Confusing

Greetings, and I would like to thank all of you for helping me. I am looking to start what could be called a "kitchen table" FFL. I am interested in buying and selling online, and doing transfers for people for just a little extra income on the side. The start up costs would be low, but I have some questions about the local zoning and business ordinances in my city. Here is the first:

' 5.44.040 PERMIT REQUIRED FOR CONCEALABLE WEAPONS; APPLICATION; CONTENTS;
INELIGIBLE APPLICANTS.
(A) No sale of any revolver, pistol, derringer, or other hand gun which can be concealed on the
person shall be made by any licensee under this chapter to any purchaser unless he shall first exhibit to the
licensee a permit for the purchase thereof, issued by the Chief of Police of the city.
1For state laws relating to the sale and possession of deadly weapons, see ILCS Ch. 720, Act 5, ' 24-1 et
seq., 1974 supp.; for state laws relating to the acquisition, possession and transfer of firearms, see ILCS Ch.
430, Act 65, ' 1


So does this mean that I cannot sell or transfer any handgun within city limits? Almost all handguns would be considered to be concealable and this would effectively eliminate 75% of potential sales.

My second Question:
' 5.44.050 REGISTRATION OF SALES; REPORTS; CONTENTS.
(A) Every licensee under this chapter shall keep a register in which shall be recorded each sale,
delivery or repair of any of the items governed by this chapter. The register shall further set forth the
name of the purchaser, his address, a complete description of the article sold, including:
(1) Factory serial number;
(2) Bore or caliber; and
(3) In case of concealable weapons, the number of the permit required by this chapter.
(B) The licensee shall, at the commencement of each business day, report to the Chief of Police of the
city all such items sold on the previous business day, together with the information required by this
section.

(>78 Code, ' 5.44.050) (Ord. 267, passed - -70)

I am concerned about my customers privacy with this clause. Is this a normal thing for an FFL to have to disclose?

Again, Thank you all for your help. I am just trying to follow a passion and make a little money on the side since my state takes too much to live comfortably anymore. The business plan will include mostly shipping traffic, UPS, etc which will all be picked up by me. The house also already has an alarm and secure storage in a safe room. There will be no ammunition available, and almost zero traffic (or the rare transfer only).
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Old February 4, 2014, 12:34 PM   #2
kilimanjaro
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Go ahead and get your license, the country needs more of them.

Your first question, is yes, the ordinance bars sales of concealable handguns to any person who does not show you a permit to purchase.

Second question, is yes, the information required is similar to the ATF 4473 form, essentially the same thing. You could probably put the purchase permit number on the 4473 and then use the 4473 to fulfill the local and ATF record requirements.

Your customer's privacy went out the window in 1968, don't worry about it now. Tough titty for the little kitty.

Myself, I would make sure to call the Chief every morning at 8:00 am to report that I had no sales the day before. When he tells you to stop doing that, tell him you read the law as requiring a daily report, and could he get that in writing from the City Attorney?

Maybe they'll repeal the daily reporting requirement.
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Old February 4, 2014, 12:36 PM   #3
aarmel732
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What would be considered a concealable handgun? Wouldn't that be ANY handgun?
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Old February 4, 2014, 12:49 PM   #4
Brian Pfleuger
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What city are you in?

The ordinance prohibits transferring a handgun to any person who DOESN'T HAVE (show you) A PERMIT. In some states/cities, you can't OWN a handgun without a permit so all that would be saying is that you can't transfer a handgun to someone who's not allowed to own one.

The odds are very high that the best answer would come a from a lawyer who is well versed in the particulars of the city/state laws and the second best answers will come from the office responsible for issuing the state/city licensing (if applicable) for your business. The most random answers are likely to come from the strangers on the internet.
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Old February 4, 2014, 01:08 PM   #5
aarmel732
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I am in Crest Hill, Illinois. We already have a FOID card to participate in ownership in this state. The FOID however is issued by the state police. This seems like a whole new permit customers would have to receive. Which leads me into even more questions since I own a few and do not, nor have I ever, had any permits.
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Old February 4, 2014, 01:17 PM   #6
BarryLee
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It seems the best course of action is to meet with an attorney and not only discuss these issues, but also other issues related to opening a business in your area. While this will cost you more short term it might save you in the long run. Good Luck…
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Old February 4, 2014, 01:27 PM   #7
Tom Servo
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Frank's correct. You would be very well served by an attorney. Also, you'll need to make sure your premises is zoned for business, and that said zoning has no additional restrictions on firearms.
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Old February 4, 2014, 02:01 PM   #8
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo
...you'll need to make sure your premises is zoned for business, and that said zoning has no additional restrictions on firearms.
On this topic... if this operation will be based in your home, and it's located in an area that's zoned Single Family Residential or something like that, all is not necessarily lost.

Many municipalities have figured out that some people will operate small cottage businesses out of their homes regardless of what the Zoning Code says, and that trying to stop them not only isn't effective, it also cheats the city out of sales tax revenue by encouraging these folks to operate "off the books". Consequently, many cities have regulations that allow a small "accessory" business to operate out of a home, albeit with some understandable caveats to mitigate potential public nuisances- restrictions on operating hours, prohibitions on dedicated off-street parking and brightly-lit signage, that sort of thing.

I recommend talking to your local planning department before you jump to conclusions.

Of course, even if certain types of small home-based businesses are allowed, whether you can sell firearms from one is still a valid question.
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Last edited by carguychris; February 4, 2014 at 02:02 PM. Reason: minor reword...
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Old February 4, 2014, 04:27 PM   #9
Snyper
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Quote:
I am looking to start what could be called a "kitchen table" FFL.
I suspect the costs and regulation hurdles won't be worth the small amount of money you'll make.

You can't make much on internet sales due to too much competition with those who can buy for much less, and doing business from your home will soon become tiresome, as well as being a security risk when word gets around you keep "lots" of gune there, (whether it's true or not)
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Old February 5, 2014, 08:09 AM   #10
Don P
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Quote:
Frank's correct. You would be very well served by an attorney. Also, you'll need to make sure your premises is zoned for business, and that said zoning has no additional restrictions on firearms.
Great advise. My local zoning laws do NOT permit me to have foot traffic and deliveries to the house in doing business here. So no FFL for me as I wanted to do as the OP.
You can bet your last dollar the the BATFE will check with your local government to see if you are allowed to have the business at your home as part of the process.
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Old February 5, 2014, 10:26 AM   #11
wayneinFL
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Quote:
On this topic... if this operation will be based in your home, and it's located in an area that's zoned Single Family Residential or something like that, all is not necessarily lost.
True. The ATF wanted to see an occupational license from the county. I'm zoned residential and the tax collector's office gave me a hard time. They wouldn't issue a occ. license without a FFL. The ATF actually gave them a call and straightened it out for me.

Quote:
You can't make much on internet sales due to too much competition with those who can buy for much less, and doing business from your home will soon become tiresome, as well as being a security risk when word gets around you keep "lots" of gune there, (whether it's true or not)
I had no idea how expensive new guns were wholesale. And it's hard to make money selling used guns, because you don't have people coming to you with used guns, as you would in a store. If you're buying everything at the same price you see on the Internet, and selling everything at the same price you see on the Internet, obviously, it's difficult to make money.

Guns shows can be a good way of getting a few contacts. But at $70 a table, you're probably not going to make much, since you're competing with high volume dealers.

I keep saying I'm going to get my FFL again... If I do, it'll be for primarily for transfers. The local shop is $40 a transfer.
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Old February 5, 2014, 08:27 PM   #12
kilimanjaro
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Aarmel, you ask what is a concealable handgun? You're right, it could be just about all of them. I suppose a stocked Mauser Broomhandle isn't, but the advice above to consult with an attorney is prudent, and something you should do. Get his opinion in writing, and pay him/her for it, just a capital cost of doing business.

I do business with a local FFL in the next town, he operates out of his home, specifically the basement. The city council wanted him to put special security in until he showed them a car couldn't crash through the underground basement. He did put a substantial homemade steel door in at the bottom of the stairwell entrance, that worked and all is well.

Don't be afraid of it, and don't be deterred. Just realize the 'kitchen table' FFL is gone and is not coming back. You will probably need to have secure storage, alarms, insurance, and such things, as well as records requirements. That's just the way it is, and it's not going to change.

My buddy FFL makes a few bucks buying selling guns, and maybe $3000 a year on transfers, just a couple a week. He's gone when he's gone, and open when he's open, folks learn pretty quick he's not a storefront. He attends the local shows and makes a few bucks there.
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Old February 5, 2014, 08:40 PM   #13
Armed_Chicagoan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aarmel72
I am in Crest Hill, Illinois. We already have a FOID card to participate in ownership in this state. The FOID however is issued by the state police. This seems like a whole new permit customers would have to receive. Which leads me into even more questions since I own a few and do not, nor have I ever, had any permits.
Illinois law preempts local laws for all things handguns. Sounds like the municipal law you are citing is obsolete/invalid/preempted.

(430 ILCS 65/13.1) (from Ch. 38, par. 83-13.1)
Sec. 13.1.

Quote:
Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Section, the regulation, licensing, possession, and registration of handguns and ammunition for a handgun, and the transportation of any firearm and ammunition by a holder of a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card issued by the Department of State Police under this Act are exclusive powers and functions of this State. Any ordinance or regulation, or portion of that ordinance or regulation, enacted on or before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly that purports to impose regulations or restrictions on a holder of a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card issued by the Department of State Police under this Act in a manner that is inconsistent with this Act, on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 98th General Assembly, shall be invalid in its application to a holder of a valid Firearm Owner's Identification Card issued by the Department of State Police under this Act.
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Old February 6, 2014, 03:47 PM   #14
aarmel732
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You guys are a wealth of information. I love this website! I will be seeking advise from the attorney, and I already contacted my local alderman to see if he has any input. I already have a pretty decent security setup in the house, and a special room in the basement for storage, and for conducting business and recordkeeping.
I know there certainly is not a lot of money in something like this, it is just something to fill up some time doing something I enjoy and maybe make a few bucks to cover my ever increasing costs of living in Illinois (since my salary sure isn't rising).
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Old February 7, 2014, 09:20 AM   #15
Rifleman1776
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Quote:
I had no idea how expensive new guns were wholesale.
Most people do not understand that. Selling only a single gun does not a business day make. Margins are small. And small dealers cannot buy in enough volume to get discounts.
The profit comes in selling accessories (slings, scopes, cases, ammo, etc.) when the gun is sold.
Wise trading can also add to the profit picture. That is often the make or break factor dealers. Not everyone is a smart trader. DAMHIK
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Old February 7, 2014, 10:30 AM   #16
carguychris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rifleman1776
Selling only a single gun does not a business day make. Margins are small. And small dealers cannot buy in enough volume to get discounts...
The profit comes in selling accessories... Wise trading can also add to the profit picture.
FWIW from what low-volume dealers have told me, selling new guns is often like selling new cars at a dealership. There's so much competition that the margins are often very small to near-zero. Where the dealers really make money is (a) selling add-ons and (b) taking trade-ins, and then selling those at substantial markups.
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