how to get your ffl in delaware

How to Get Your FFL in Delaware: An ATF Attorney’s Guide


As the firearm community continues to grow throughout the nation, more and more people want to become FFL dealers. These Federal Firearms License holders are legally allowed to sell and purchase firearms in their community.

To open a gun store in Delaware, you not only have to apply for an FFL, but you also have to apply for a Delaware Deadly Weapons Dealer License.

It is important to note that you must apply for and receive an FFL before applying for a Deadly Weapons Dealer License. But more on this later…

In this article, we will discuss:

  • FFL Cost
  • Steps to getting your FFL in Delaware
  • Federal Requirements for an FFL
  • Delaware State Requirements for an FFL
  • Delaware Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
  • FAQs and additional resources

​Delaware FFL Cost

How much does an FFL cost? An FFL in Delaware (and any other state) costs between $30-$200 for the first 3 years.

When you fill out an FFL application with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), you choose from several license types.

The different license types vary in price due to the various functions they allow you to perform. This includes whether you are trying to sell a few handguns, incorporate gunsmithing, or handle NFA items, for example.

FFL License Cost by Type

FFL LicenseApplicationRenewalYears
Type 01$200$903
Type 02$200$903
Type 03$30$303
Type 06$30$303
Type 07$150$1503
Type 08$150$1503
Type 09$3,000$3,0003
Type 10$3,000$3,0003
Type 11$3,000$3,0003

To handle NFA items (such as silencers, short-barrel rifles, machine guns, destructive devices, etc.), you must pay additional costs in the form of a SOT license registration.

Steps to Getting Your FFL

To get your FFL in Delaware, you need to:

  1. Ensure you meet the federal and state requirements for an FFL
  2. Choose your FFL type
  3. Take an FFL course
  4. Submit your FFL application forms

Step 1: Ensure You Meet FFL Federal Requirements

First, you need to make sure that you meet all Federal and state requirements. These are the same for every state in America (more details on those requirements below).

Step 2: Choose Your FFL Type

Second, you will need to apply for the appropriate type of FFL. Depending on what you are trying to do with your business, you will need to make sure you choose the type of license that will allow you to operate lawfully.

More often than not, you will probably need either a Type 01 license (for most firearms dealers and gunsmiths) or a Type 07 license (for manufacturing). A Type 07 license lets you manufacture and sell firearms.

To determine what type of FFL best suits your needs, read this article, where we break it down.

Some types of firearms and accessories require you to be a SOT (Special Occupational Taxpayer). You’ll apply as a SOT after being assigned your FFL number. These requirements are from the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), later updated with Title II of the Gun Control Act.

You’ll need to be a SOT if you plan to sell these NFA items:

  • Silencers
  • Full-auto machine guns
  • Short-barreled rifles (rifles with a barrel shorter than 16″ or an overall length under 26″)
  • Short-barreled shotguns (shotguns with a barrel shorter than 18″ or an overall length under 26″)
  • Destructive devices (grenades, mines, bombs, etc.)
  • Any other weapons (pen guns, specific special handguns, etc.)

The table below describes each FFL License type and which SOT Class you’ll need to apply for after getting your FFL to sell firearms covered under the NFA.

We cover all of the specifics of SOT classes and the NFA in our Get Your FFL Course.

FFL License Types

FFL License TypeFFL License PurposeSOT Class
Type 01 FFLDealer/Gunsmith of Firearms3
Type 02 FFLPawnbroker/Dealer of Firearms3
Type 03 FFLCollector of Firearmsn/a
Type 06 FFLManufacturer of Ammunitionn/a
Type 07 FFLManufacturer/Dealer of Firearms and Ammunition2
Type 08 FFLImporter/Dealer of Firearms1
Type 09 FFL Dealer of Destructive Devices3
Type 10 FFLManufacturer/Dealer of Destructive Devices2
Type 11 FFLImporter/Dealer of Destructive Devices1

Step 3: Take an FFL Course

Next, take an FFL course from a qualified instructor like me! The logistics of getting your FFL can be complex. That’s why I developed our course at Rocket FFL based on decades of research and my work as an attorney in the firearms industry to help you get your FFL hassle-free.

The below course will not only cover getting your FFL, but it also covers everything you need to know that is state-specific to Delaware.

I’m a firearms attorney that specializes in ATF compliance. I could get rich by letting people improperly apply for their FFL and charge my hourly rate to fix it for them later.

But I decided it would be better for my fellow firearms industry enthusiasts to learn how to do it right the first time.

I highly recommend that you get the FFL Course and SOT Course combo. For an extra $10, learn how to apply to buy and sell silencers and Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs) in addition to standard firearms covered by just your FFL.

Just select the box at the end of checkout to add the SOT Course to your cart.

Step 4: Submit Your FFL Application Forms

Finally, once you’ve made sure you meet all requirements (federal and state), verified the appropriate FFL type for your business, and taken the Rocket FFL course, you are ready to “pull the trigger” and apply for your FFL!

Once you submit all the forms required by the ATF, they will start the process by completing a background check on all “responsible persons” for the business. A responsible person (RP) is someone who is either the sole proprietor, is a partner in the corporation, or will have influence over the practices and policies of the business.

Once all application paperwork is verified as correct, and all background checks are complete, the application is sent to a local ATF field office. An industry operations investigator (IOI) will set up an in-person interview with you to make sure all information is still correct and that you are following all state and local requirements.

After the interview, the IOI will make a recommendation to either approve or deny your FFL application. Assuming you passed, the ATF field office supervisor will then submit the approved application to the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC), and you will be the next owner of an FFL!

According to the ATF website, the entire process takes about 60 days from when a completed application was first received. However, depending on the state you are setting up in, the ATF may require multiple forms and extra steps during the process.

But if you took the Rocket FFL course, you’ll have every detail and access to all the necessary forms to quickly apply for your Federal Firearms License.

Federal Requirements for an FFL

The federal requirements for getting an FFL are the same for every state.

To get an FFL, the federal government requires that you:

  • Are at least 21 years of age
  • Are a US Citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Are legally permitted to possess firearms and ammunition (no felony convictions, have not been a psychological patient or controlled substance user, etc.)
  • Have a predetermined location for conducting FFL activities (this includes home-based FFLs)
  • Have never violated the Gun Control Act (GCA) or related regulations
  • Do not make any false statements/claims on your FFL application

Once you satisfy all of these requirements, you can then move on to the state-specific requirements.

Delaware State Requirements for an FFL

Delaware state requirements for an FFL can be broken down into two categories:

  1. State licensing requirements
  2. Business registration requirements

Delaware State Licensing Requirements

In most states, all you need to operate as a firearms dealer is an FFL. However, Delaware also requires you to apply for a Deadly Weapons Dealer License.

Under Delaware Code 24 Del. C. §901, any business that sells the following items must apply for a Deadly Weapons Dealer License:

  • Pistol or Revolver
  • Stiletto Knives
  • Brass or Steel Knuckles
  • Any other deadly weapon explicitly made for the defense of one’s person

If you do decide to sell any of these items, you can apply for the license on the DELPROS website. At this point, you will then provide a copy of your FFL to the State of Delaware and any other information they may require during the application process.

The DELPROS website states what information is needed for the process to go smoothly.

Some of this additional information includes:

Once you are licensed with your FFL and Deadly Weapons Dealer License, you will need to make sure that you keep an up-to-date log on all weapons sales, employee information, and annual background checks on all employees.

Delaware Business Registration Requirements

To apply for an FFL and Deadly Weapons Dealer License, you must register your business with the state of Delaware. The Delaware Division of Corporations has a helpful guide on how to do just this here.

Even if your business is registered in another state (we suggest this in our Get Your FFL course), you’ll still need to have an official presence in Delaware.

Delaware Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements

Local zoning requirements are usually one of the biggest problems when applying for an FFL. Most importantly, you must ensure the location you use as a base of operations (often a home-based FFL) allows for a business.

It’s common to inquire about an FFL for a home-based firearms business and be told you can’t operate in a residential area. But don’t give up right away! A misunderstanding about the type of business activity held at a home-based gun shop often causes confusion.

When a zoning department hears “FFL,” they may assume regular retail business and heavy foot traffic (which isn’t allowed in residential locations). But most home-based FFLs don’t have retail-level traffic and only have customers stop by on occasion.

We cover this and more, including requirements for specific business hours, in our Get Your FFL course.

Delaware FFL Summary

As you can see, even with the additional state requirements, becoming a licensed gun dealer and getting your FFL in Delaware is pretty straightforward!

As long as you meet the Federal and State requirements, choose the appropriate license type, take our online course, and fill in the proper forms, you’ll be on your way to being the newest owner of a Delaware FFL.

But I’ll warn you — without our course, you can expect to sink a lot of hours into trying to get it right on your own.

With our course, you can, with confidence, fill out your forms and get through the process with ease. Trust me — knowing that you are running your business safely and within all the confines of both federal and local laws will be a massive load off your mind.

So, if you’re ready, let’s get started!

FAQ for Delaware FFL Licensing

How much does it cost to get an FFL in Delaware?

An FFL in Delaware costs anywhere from $30 to $200 for 3 years. For a full breakdown of the cost of an FFL, check here.

Do I need an FFL in Delaware?

Yes! If you plan to sell, transfer, manufacture, or do anything else for profit involving firearms, you are legally required to have an active FFL.

Does Delaware require extra licensing for FFLs?

Yes, to sell firearms in the state of Delaware, you are also required to have a Deadly Weapons Dealer License. Learn more about it here.

Do I need to register a business for an FFL in Delaware?

Yes, if you are forming a business for your FFL, it must be registered in Delaware.

Can I get an FFL to save money on guns?

No, you should not get an FFL just to save money on guns. One of the main requirements for getting your FFL is “business intent,” meaning you intend to operate a firearms-related business.

However, you may wait to start your business until after you get your FFL number.

Extra Resources For Getting a Delaware FFL

US Code § 923: Code § 923 covers federal regulations for the import, manufacture, and dealing of firearms and ammunition. This is the federal law that requires those operating firearms businesses to get an FFL.

US CFR § 478.47 – Issuance of license.: This code explains how a Federal Firearms License is issued, including who must assign the license number. It requires the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to qualify applicants based on a predetermined list of requirements and to issue Federal Firearms Licenses.

If a correctly submitted FFL application has been submitted on ATF Form 7, the Chief of the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (a department at the ATF) must issue the license and assign a serial number to the licensee.

Gun Control Act (GCA): The GCA of 1968 establishes stricter laws on the firearms industry than were already present in the NFA. New regulations regarding firearms offenses, firearms/ammunition sales to “prohibited persons,” and federal jurisdiction for “destructive devices” (bombs, grenades, mines, etc.) were created with the GCA.

Starting a Business in Delaware: Need help figuring out how to register your new business? Check out this article from the Delaware Division of Corporations showing you exactly how to do just that!

How to Apply for a Deadly Weapons Dealer License: This page from the Delaware.gov website gives you all the information you need to know regarding the application process for a Deadly Weapons Dealer License.

DELPROS: The Delaware Professional Regulation Online Services website is where you will go to apply for your Delaware Deadly Weapons Dealer License.

24 Del. C. §901: This section of Delaware law details who is required to have a Deadly Weapons Dealer License, lists the application fee, and provides other information regarding record keeping.

Deadly Weapons Dealer License – Information About Ownership: As one of the required forms for the Deadly Weapons Dealer License process, you will need to have this ready once you begin the application process. This form needs to be completed by each owner, director, officer, or partner in the business.

FFL Types: Use this guide to make sure that you choose the right type of Federal Firearms License to do what your business is intended for.Home-Based FFL: Don’t want to pay for a storefront but wish to operate as an FFL holder from your home? We explain how to do it from start to finish.

Ryan Cleckner is a former special operations sniper and current attorney specializing in firearms law/ATF compliance and is a firearms industry executive (former govt. relations manager for NSSF, Vice President of Remington Outdoor Company, and a SAAMI voting board member).

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