Contrary to what many believe, the Federal Firearms License (FFL) is NOT a license or legal permit to buy firearms or use them, but instead is a license that allows you conduct business of selling them. Though the procedure is very simple, what is important is the fulfillment of criteria to be eligible for obtaining a license and following the application process properly.
The first and foremost thing is that you need to be aware of the conditions for eligibility. Make sure you comply with each of them to avoid any infringement and trigger any kind of investigation from their side regarding the same.
- You have completed 21 years of age.
- You are a U.S. citizen.
- You have not renounced your citizenship ever.
- You are a resident of the state where you wish to conduct your business and want to obtain your license.
- If you are from the military background, you should have honorable discharge from your service.
- You have not been found guilty in any crime.
- You have not broken laws related to the Federal Firearms License such as the Gun Control Act (GCA) anytime before.
- You have not been imprisoned for more than a year.
- You don't have any restraining order from the court.
- You are not taking any treatment for mental illness; nor have you taken it in the past.
- You must not be addicted to controlled substances* and if you possess them, ensure that the possession is legal.
- You have not withheld documents or facts that are relevant to obtaining a Federal Firearms License, willfully.
- You have an appropriate place to conduct the business.
(Note: Controlled substances' refers to any drug whose trading and possession are controlled by the government, including scheduled or prescribed drugs.)
Once you fit into the aforementioned requirements, you can proceed with the FFL dealers application. The process starts with filling up the appropriate form, i.e., the ATF Form 7 (seven). ATF stands for alcohol, tobacco, firearms. Getting the right application form is the main thing. Please note that the Federal Firearms License application is not available online. So you are just left with two options, (i) either call on 703-455-7801 and ask for the form or (ii) directly approach the distribution center and ask for it.
Once you get hold of the form, all you need to do is fill it. Be sure to not withhold any information that is asked. Carefully fill in the details in the appropriate spaces and recheck if you have put the fingerprints or not. The final step is to send the form to the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) regional office, P.O. Box 2994, Atlanta, GA 30301. Contact number: 404-417-2750.
Now you just have to wait for the BATFE to get back to you with confirmation or denial of issuing the Federal Firearms License. The entire process takes about 60 days on an average.