View Full Version : How do you get an FFL

Alex Johnson
March 18, 2002, 04:01 PM
Hi everybody, for the last few years I've toyed around with getting an FFL. I've even gone as far as requesting forms from the BATF for the purposes of applying. Unfortunately the form work I was sent didn't seem to have any application forms in it, it was just a bunch of government paper which did more to discourage getting an FFL than it did encouragement. What's the best way to go about this. I'm a gun collector and I'm also doing hobby level gunsmithing for myself. Thanks.

March 18, 2002, 07:53 PM
The only FFl that you might want would be a C&R. I had a FFL, gave it up around the time of Waco. Does the town you live in have a law against home based FFL? As an FFL holder ATF can show-up at your home during "business hours" and do any thing they want, you have given up your rights, they do not need a search warrant. I'm not sure, but what is the fee now, $300? If you think your going to save big money buying your guns you won't, there isn't much markup on guns. Forget about the FFL and support your local gunshop.

Alex Johnson
March 18, 2002, 10:20 PM
What does the Curio & Relic license allow you to do? I guess I just don't always like the hassle of finding an FFL dealer to ship to when I order a firearm. I'm not interested in becoming a gun dealer, if I did any ordering it would primarily be for myself, I guess the fee isn't that big a deal, as I recall it was a one time thing with a small fee to renew it every three years or something, I would have to check on that I guess. Thanks for the response.

George Stringer
March 19, 2002, 06:55 AM
Alex, anymore unless you intend to conduct business you aren't likely to get an FFL. The days of obtaining one to add to your personal collection are over. The C&R allows you to collect Curio and Relics. Milsurps, antiques etc. George

March 19, 2002, 07:05 AM
www.atf.treas.gov/firearms/curios/sec2.htm Has a list of all C&R firearms. I think you can get downloadable applications at the ATF website also. I'm pretty sure you can get dealers prices from Brownells, which will save you money on parts, but little or nothing on tools.

James K
March 21, 2002, 11:24 PM
Hi, Alex,

George has given you good advice. BATF considers the dealer FFL a business license (which it is) and will no longer issue them unless the applicant has a place of business and regular business hours. Part time is OK.

That means a true business in a business zoned area and in full compliance with state and local laws regarding regular business licenses, bookkeeping, taxes, and all the rest of the state and local red tape. Incorporation is a good idea. There are a few exceptions for basement dealers where there are no zoning laws, but they don't like to make the exceptions. Believe me, the FFL is the easy part.

The collector's FFL ("curio and relic license") is limited, but sounds better for your purposes. Note that you need to check local and state law about what you can do with it. In Maryland, the state does not recognize the collector's FFL at all, and any trades or sales within the state must comply with state law, even if dealing with another C&R license holder.


March 23, 2002, 01:10 AM
You can do your OWN gunsmithing without a license as much as you want... Just don't retain someone else's firearm overnight and I think you're OK... (While You Wait Gunsmithing??? Hmmmm)

I recently obtained the FFL 03. It's paperwork, background check and a $30 fee-- and the wait... the wait is tough... all the C&R jewels will gleam during the wait. Actually, my license was issued in about a month, but it got burned in a mail fire (the BATF told me) so I had to wait for it to be reissued...

You get a healthy "dealer discount" at Brownells and a lot of other places too- which alone is worth the sweat for the serious enthusiast...

Now, I'm on the hunt for a Pre-War Model 70 Winchester .375 H&H... And Mausers... OH And Springfields...

March 23, 2002, 04:09 AM

There really is "while you wait" gunsmithing. I have used it several times over the years. When one of my full auto guns needs work, it's easier to babysit the gun instead of doing all the paperwork and shipping to transfer the gun to the smith and then back to me.

Alex Johnson
March 23, 2002, 11:18 PM
I filled out the paperwork for the Curio & Relic license so I think I'll probably go that route. I don't suppose you can still get the reduced prices through Brownells with this license? Actually, most of the guns I'm interested in fall within the limits of the C&R list so I think it will suite me just fine. Thanks for all the info.


March 29, 2002, 06:00 PM

Once you get the C&R License, make lots of copies, because you have to send a Signed Original to any company that you deal with. Send one to Brownells and after they enter it into their system, you register online at www.brownells.com website and you will then see Retail and Dealer prices on the products. Normally, the tools are not discounted. Also, send a copy to www.MidwayUSA.com and you will get Dealer prices from them.

March 29, 2002, 11:56 PM
get the C&R license, I have a 07 manufacturer, what have built
in 2 licenses, a couole 1911s, some scoped Mausers, and a FEW
sells of new weapons from different wholesalers, you have to send a copy of your FFL to alot of wholesalers, best for C&R is
S.O.G and the Navy Arms or its military conterpart, very good weapons their.I think I paid $50 for my 07 FFL. but wish I had not:confused: