There are currently 9 different types of FFL licenses:
Depending on the type of firearm business activity you’d like to conduct, you’ll need a particular “type” of FFL license.
Types of FFL:
Type 01 – Firearm Dealer/Gunsmith
Type 02 – Pawnbroker
Type 03 – Collector
Type 06 – Manufacture of Ammunition
Type 07 – Manufacturer of Firearms
Type 08 – Importer of Firearms
Type 09 – Dealer of “Destructive Devices”
Type 10 – Manufacturer of “Destructive Devices”
Type 11 – Importer of “Destructive Devices”
The three main categories of business activity allowed by FFLs are dealing (selling) guns, making (manufacturing) guns, and importing guns into the country.
Dealers need FFL license types 01, 02, or 09
Manufacturers need FFL license types 06, 07, or 10
Importers need FFL license types 08 or 11
Here’s a table with a summary of each FFL License type, along with its purpose and what SOT class is required.
FFL License Types
FFL License Type
FFL License Purpose
Type 01 FFL
Dealer/Gunsmith of Firearms
Type 02 FFL
Pawnbroker/Dealer of Firearms
Type 03 FFL
Collector of Firearms
Type 06 FFL
Manufacturer of Ammunition
Type 07 FFL
Manufacturer/Dealer of Firearms and Ammunition
Type 08 FFL
Importer/Dealer of Firearms
Type 09 FFL
Dealer of Destructive Devices
Type 10 FFL
Manufacturer/Dealer of Destructive Devices
Type 11 FFL
Importer/Dealer of Destructive Devices
Categories of FFL License Types
Each FFL license type can be broken down into four basic categories:
Collector FFL – This category can not “engage in the business of firearms.” As the name suggests, it is for collecting firearms only.
Dealer FFL – These FFLs may purchase and sell guns as a business, and they may also operate as gunsmiths.
Manufacturer FFL – There are two types of these FFLs: manufacturers of firearms and ammunition and manufacturers of ammunition only. Firearm and ammunition manufacturers may, of course, manufacture firearms and ammunition and also act a dealer. Ammunition manufacturers may only manufacture ammunition and may NOT act as a firearm manufacturer nor dealer.
Importer FFL – These FFLs may import firearms and/or ammunition and also act as a dealer.
Here’s a break-down of the types of activities that can be conducted depending on the FFL license type.
Note that the Type 3 FFL and Type 6 FFL do not allow any business activity with firearms. This is because the Type 3 is for collecting only and the Type 6 is for manufacturing ammunition only.
Firearm Activity by FFL License Type
Type 1 FFL
Type 2 FFL
Type 3 FFL
Type 6 FFL
Type 7 FFL
Type 8 FFL
Type 9 FFL
Type 10 FFL
Type 11 FFL
You can tell which type of FFL someone has once you know what each part of an FFL number means.
The FFL can either be in a person’s name as a sole proprietor or a company name as a firearms business. We break all of this down for you in our course. In either case, you will be considered the Responsible Person on the license.
The cost for each license varies from $30 up to $3,000, for the both the initial FFL application fee and the 3-year renewal fee. For a breakdown of these costs, see our article, How Much Does an FFL Cost?
An FFL holder must also become a Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) in order to deal, manufacture, or import NFA /Title II firearms. These firearms include specially regulated items like Silencers, Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs), and full-auto machine guns.
Different classes of SOTs may engage in different activities.
Class 1 SOT – These SOTs may Import and deal NFA / Title II firearms
Class 2 SOT – These SOTs may manufacture and deal NFA / Title II firearms
Class 3 SOT – These SOTs may deal NFA / Title II firearms
Let’s breakdown each license type for FFLs to explore what the most common firearms licenses cover.
Type 1 FFL
As mentioned above, the Type 01 Dealer and Gunsmith FFL is the most common type of federal firearm license for business-use in the country.
The Type 1 dealer’s federal firearms license allows for the buying and selling of firearms as a business (being a gun dealer). This license type also allows for gunsmithing activities.
This is all you need if you want to work with Title I firearms (standard firearms). With this FFL you are considered a title I dealer. If you want to deal with an nfa weapon, then you’ll also need to become an SOT so that you don’t need a tax stamp for every nfa item. However, your customers will still need to purchase the NFA weapon on an ATF Form 4 and get their tax stamp.
If you don’t know where to start, and especially if you don’t have a desire to manufacture guns, this is likely the FFL type for you. If you’d like to learn more, check out our FFL Course.
This is a popular license for firearm enthusiasts that want to become gun dealers – even for a home-based FFL, online stores, at gun shows, or even for some side-money conducting transfers.
The ultimate guide to getting your Federal Firearms License
Type 2 FFL
The Type 02 firearms license is effectively the same as the Type 01 FFL, but it also allows pawnbroker activities.
Only get this type of license if you are specifically interested in pawning firearms.
Type 3 FFL
A type 03 ffl is for collectors of curio and relic firearms. It is NOT for engaging in business with firearms.
Type 03 FFL holders may not receive modern firearms. They can only receive a curio and relic firearm for their collection. Licensees of a Type 3 FFL are considered to be a licensed collector only and not licensed dealers or manufacturers.
This license type allows the making of ammunition with the intent to sell. It does not allow any business activity with firearms.
Type 7 FFL
The Type 7 FFL allows the making of firearms with the intent to sell. It also allows the holder to sell other firearms and manufacture ammunition.
This is the second most common type of FFL because a Type 7 FFL allows a licensee to make guns as well as buy/sell firearms.
Many people are worried about getting a Type 7 FFL because they think that they have to register with ITAR and pay a big fee. The ITAR rules have changed, and this only applies to a licensed manufacturer who intends to make at least one NFA firearm. (note, if you want to make a destructive device or armor piercing ammunition, a Type 7 FFL won’t work for you).
Another nice benefit to a Type 7 FFL is that when you make an NFA firearm (like a silencer or suppressor, a machine gun, a short barreled rifle or SBR, etc.) you only need to submit an NFA form after you made the NFA item (no pre-approval or waiting period). Within 24 hours of making the NFA Firearm, a type 7 FFL simply submits an ATF form 2 (an NFA form) as a notice to the ATF. Of course, to Make NFA Firearms (also sometimes called Title II NFA firearms because the National Firearms Act is “title II” of our federal gun control laws), you would also need to become a special occupational taxpayer (SOT).
However, to make “standard” guns like a rifle, handgun (pistol or revolver), or shotgun, only the type 07 FFL is needed. These types of guns are sometimes called title I firearms because the Gun Control Act (GCA) is sometimes called Title I of our federal gun laws.
The Type 7 FFL also allows the manufacturing of ammunition.
NOTE: Antique firearms are not technically “firearms” under federal arms regulation. Therefore, a type 7 FFL is not required by the BATF to make an antique firearm.
Type 10 FFL
The Type 10 FFL is very similar to the Type 07 FFL in that it is a manufacturer’s license.
However, unlike the Type 7, the Type 10 FFL allows for the manufacturing of destructive devices and armor piercing ammunition. It is an FFL requirement to have an intent to make these two special classes of items.
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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