What is the process for getting a FFL?

Discussion in 'NFA Firearms & Related Items' started by hogger129, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    I guess I don't really know where to put this. This seems the most appropriate. I am wondering how does one go about getting a Federal Firearms License? I mostly want one so that I can buy firearms directly from the manufacturer without having to pay a transfer fee, etc, etc.
  2. pinecone70

    pinecone70 Active Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Minnesota Gal!
    I think you have to prove you have a storefront, an actual business.

  3. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    true.... gone are the days you could be a "kitchen dealer"
  4. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    I am an old ex ffl holder and i can tell you this. It aint worth it. Not if your just looking to supply yourself. You are not going to save a thing. To be successful you need to buy volume from a dealer that will cut you a deal. It is hard to get into. The cost of the license if i am not mistaken now is over 200 bucks. Then you need to have your local license to resell usually 50 bucks. Set up your sales tax account and get books to keep your records. If you do sell to the public then you will have to follow all those rules for selling. If by chance you become a big dealer then the atf will want you shut you down by pinning you with a straw sale. I have seen it happen to many times down here. You are not going to save 300 bucks a year. Go out and brown nose your local gun shops for what you want, make your best deal and be happy. There is not a whole lot of mark up in this business. I tried to be a true gun shop. I had commercial property and tax account. After a couple of years i ran from it. Your not going to compete with wallyworld.
  5. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    tell you what hogger. what are you looking for? maybe i can point you to the right direction to find a supplier for it. then you take the advertized price to a dealer and see what he wants to bring it in. if you do this you gotta be sure of what you want.
  6. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    Not totally sure what I want. I mean I was looking at a Walther PPK/S they had at Gander Mountain, and seriously, Gander Mountain is overpriced.

    I like the dealer in Sun Prairie. I don't think he carries Walther. He carries quite a few Springfields, Glocks, and Smith & Wessons and from time to time usually has some nice used guns.

    I was also looking at an H&K USP Compact, but I don't know if it's worth paying nearly $800.

    That's just why I wonder if maybe it would be less expensive in the long haul to get an FFL so I can just have them sent right to me. But if you say it isn't worth it, then it isn't worth it. And as pinecone said, you have to prove you have a legit business having to do with selling guns.

    Do most dealers charge a lot for a transfer fee? I've heard some will usually charge $20. Some more.

    Just kind of curious about it.

    It's just that sometimes I wish I had a larger selection of guns rather than what's at Gander Mountain or the Sun Prairie shop.

    Like some things, Gander Mountain has that the Sun Prairie guy doesn't - such as AR15 rifles, Kimbers, H&K pistols. Sometimes Sun Prairie doesn't have Sig Sauers either.

    And sometimes Sun Prairie has things GM doesn't. Like AK rifles (SP guy has a large selection of them), lots of combat shotguns, used rifles (he has a couple SKS's), some Mausers, a few Remingtons. He has like one or two Colt 1911s. He had a Series 80 Gold Cup awhile back I almost bought. He has Springfield's better 1911s like the Loaded and TRP - which GM doesn't. He's got CZ's - which GM doesn't.

    I just wish the SP guy could transfer me a gun I wanted but at a lower price than GM sells it at. It seems like ALL of their guns are overpriced. SP guy also has mostly used guns. Not many of them are brand spankin new. And his guns are usually kept in better shape. When I bought my Loaded 1911, I even told him that I preferred his shop because it looks like he takes care of his guns better than GM and his are a better price too.

    I would also say SP guy also has more pistols and rifles out in his store than GM does. GM has like four cases with handguns. But half of them are just .22 target pistols. The new ones are just GI 1911s, they have a Citadel, a couple Kimbers and the rest in one cabinet are all used police issue stuff. They had a S&W Model 36 .38 Special I was eyeing up. They have a couple 92FS's. They had a P226 Sig Sauer. There was a S&W 5906 (the stainless full size 9mm auto).

    The Deerfield Pistol Range also has some used stuff too. But they have all old police issue stuff. Like AR15s. They had an MP5 at one time I saw in their back room. I bet that costs a pretty penny. They have lots of Taurus, Glock, S&W, Beretta.

    I mean I never really have just asked any of these dealers if they could transfer me a pistol I ordered. I guess it wouldn't hurt to try. But I'm just afraid they'd tack on a huge fee. When I got my Springfield, I bought a couple boxes of ammo from the dealer I bought it at too, which I think made him kind of happy.
  7. pinecone70

    pinecone70 Active Member

    Jul 30, 2008
    Minnesota Gal!
    My local dealers (not chain stores, especially Gander Mtn.) will order whatever brand or model for me. Have you asked if they would do that? I have found what I wanted at Gander and then ordered from one of the dealers with no trouble.

    Around here the FFL fees are $20, but some dealers have higher prices, some lower. They can set prices at their own discretion. If the fee is too high, people go elsewhere.
  8. Shopnut

    Shopnut Former Guest

    Jun 13, 2010
    Pac NW
    You can still operate out from your house. I know a guy in WA that operates out of his house, he only charges a $20 fee to import. The ATF does not have a problem as he has a sturdy safe to keep the inventory in. Things have changed since 1994 when Clinton was elected. The FFL fee is $200/3 years, $90 to renew.

    Here is some good info; http://www.fega.com/members/batf.html . Just order the ATF form 7 from the ATF and fill it out. The ATF inspects before the application is approved and the license issued. From what I have heard, the compliance guys are usually helpful; they are not the enforcement thugs that make the news from time to time. One thing the BATFE frowns on is people who get a license soley for amassing a personal collection. You must be a real dealer and sell at least a few guns.
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  9. cycloneman

    cycloneman Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2008
    Without holding an ffl the suppliers like Zanders are not going to give you the time of day. Thats the bad thing.

    Now for ar type rifles and such you can simply look in shotgun news. Find something you like and have dealer order it for you. There is also a site you can hit that might help. Do a search for atlantic firearms. Check out what they have.
  10. 6x6pinz

    6x6pinz New Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Mesa, Az
    I looked long and hard at getting an FFL. After doing my research I determined it would be cheaper for me to just join the local range as a life member. This gave me free FFL transfers and the ability to buy a couple of firearms a year at dealer cost. I have also found a small gun shop that cuts me a pretty good deal on items that Davidsons carries. Davidsons also offers a lifetime warranty aside from the factory warranty.
    Basically for the 20 or so transfers a year I do it was just not worth the headache to get the FFL.

    There is a lot of misinformation out there about getting an FFL. The best advice is to talk to the local LEO and the ATF directly about your particular situation. Here at least you can still have an FFL if the city gives you a variance to run a firearm business out of your residence, this is not the case everywhere. In some areas the city not the ATF requires business property for a business. The ATF wants to see you as a "for profit" organization.
  11. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2006
    If it is legal to run a business from your home, you can get an FFL.
    It's not worth it, just to buy for yourself, though.
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