As a gun dealer in the state of Indiana, you can serve your community in a way that few others can. Having a Federal Firearms License (FFL) allows you to legally buy and sell firearms, ammo, and other NFA items.
It is because of this privilege that people across the nation want to open their very own gun store. And that’s what we’re here to help with. We will guide you through this process, making it as easy as possible so that you can become Indiana’s newest FFL dealer!
In this article, we will discuss:
FFL Cost in Indiana
How much does an FFL cost? An FFL in Indiana costs between $30-$200 for the first 3 years, plus the $60 state fee for your State Handgun Dealer License. Your Handgun Dealer License must be renewed every 6 years.
When you fill out an FFL application with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), you choose from several license types.
Each of these license types varies in price due to the different functions they allow the licensee to perform. This includes whether you’re trying to sell a few handguns, incorporate gunsmithing, or handle NFA items, for example.
Each of these activities requires a different type of license, for which the application fees range in price.
FFL License Cost by Type
To handle NFA items (such as silencers, short-barrel rifles, machine guns, destructive devices, etc.), you must pay additional costs in the form of an SOT license registration.
Steps to Getting Your FFL
To get your FFL in Indiana, you need to:
- Ensure you meet the federal and state requirements for an FFL
- Choose your FFL type
- Take an FFL course
- 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 below).
Step 2: Choose Your FFL Type
Second, make sure you 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 lawfully operate your firearms business.
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 both 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 an SOT (Special Occupational Taxpayer). You’ll apply as a SOT after being assigned your FFL number.
You’ll need to be an SOT if you plan to sell these NFA items:
- 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 the specifics of SOT classes and the NFA in our Get Your FFL Course.
Step 3: Take an FFL Course
Next, take an FFL course from a qualified instructor.
The logistics of getting your FFL License can be complex. That’s why I developed it based on decades of research and 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 to get your FFL in Indiana.
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 thought it would be better for my fellow firearms industry entrepreneurs to instead 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.
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!
The application process is pretty straightforward, but can take a little time to complete.
Once you submit all the forms required by the ATF, they will start the process by completing a background check through the NICS on all “responsible persons” for the business. A responsible person (RP) is either the sole proprietor, a partner in the corporation, or will influence its practices and policies.
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 ATF.gov, 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.
This may require multiple forms and extra steps depending on your location. However, if you took our RocketFFL course, you’ll have all the appropriate know-how, as well as access to every form you might need during the process!
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
- Can legally 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)
- Haven’t violated the Gun Control Act (GCA) or related regulations
- Make no false statements/claims on your FFL application
Once you satisfy all of these requirements, you can then move on to the state-specific requirements.
Keep in mind that these are the basic requirements for getting your FFL. When you’re operating your gun shop, the ATF may periodically perform a compliance inspection to ensure you’re keeping up with the ongoing requirements of your license.
Indiana State Requirements for an FFL
Indiana state requirements for an FFL can be broken down into two categories:
- State licensing requirements
- Business registration requirements
Indiana State Licensing Requirements
In addition to applying for an FFL, Indiana also requires you to have a State Handgun Dealers License (SHDL) to be a gun dealer, importer, or manage firearms transfer fees.
When you apply for this license, you will have to pay a $60 application fee, visit your county sheriff to be fingerprinted, and fill out an additional background check form.
There are 14 requirements to pass this state licensing application. The majority of these requirements are that you have not been convicted of a number of crimes involving law enforcement, drugs, alcohol, or weapons. The final 3 items on this list are to verify that you are mentally stable and have no recent mental health commitments.
As long as there are no mistakes on your application when your photos and fingerprint cards have been reviewed, the application process should only take about 60 days to be approved.
State Handgun Dealers Licenses in Indiana are valid for 6 years from the date of approval.
For more information about the Indiana Handgun Dealers License (as well as the link to begin the application), visit the Indiana State Police website here.
Indiana Business Registration Requirements
Like in any other state, you’ll need to register your business with the State of Indiana.
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 Indiana.
To register your FFL business in Indiana, check out this helpful guide from the Indiana Department of Revenue with info on registering, an FAQ page, and more.
Indiana 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 business restrictions in certain regions are frequently due to a misunderstanding about the business activity that will be conducted.
When a zoning department hears “FFL,” they may associate regular retail business and heavy foot traffic (which isn’t permitted 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.
Indiana FFL Summary
As you can see, Indiana makes it pretty easy to get your FFL and your Handgun Dealer License. Once you get these two things, you’ll be ready to open your very own gun shop!
After you meet the Federal and State requirements, choose the appropriate license type, take our online course, and fill in the proper forms for both the FFL application and the Handgun Dealer License application, you’ll be on your way to being the newest owner of an Indiana FFL.
But I’ll warn you — without our course, you’ll sink a lot of hours into getting it right on your own.
With our course, you can fill out your forms and get through the process with confidence. And 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 Indiana FFL Licensing
How much does it cost to get an FFL in Indiana?
An FFL in Indiana costs anywhere from $30 to $200 for 3 years, plus a $60 state fee for your SHDL (which must be renewed every 6 years). For a full breakdown of the cost of an FFL, check here.
Do I need an FFL in Indiana?
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 Indiana require extra licensing for FFLs?
Yes. To be a legal gun store, you will need an FFL and an Indiana Handgun Dealer License. You can apply for the license here.
Do I need to register a business for an FFL in Indiana?
Yes, if you are forming a business for your FFL, it must be registered in Indiana.
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.
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 Indiana: Need help finding out where to start with your new business? Check out this article from the Indiana Department of State showing you how to do just that!
Indiana Handgun Dealer’s License: In addition to having your FFL, you will also need to apply for this license through the state Police Department. Fortunately, this application process is relatively simple and should only take about 60 days to be approved.
FFL Types: Use this guide to make sure that you choose the right type of Federal Firearms License for what you want to do.
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.