The State of Maine allows Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders to sell, distribute, and manufacture firearms within its borders.
Gun dealers will find Maine a pleasant state to do business in, with an abundance of hunting, constitutional carry, and less restrictive gun laws than most states.
There are just a few requirements to get your FFL in Maine. At Rocket FFL, we hope to make this process as easy as possible, eliminating as much hassle as we can.
In this article, we will discuss:
- FFL Cost
- Federal Requirements for an FFL
- Maine State Requirements for an FFL
- Maine Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
- Steps to getting your FFL in Maine
- FAQs and additional resources
FFL Cost in Maine
How much does an FFL cost? An FFL in Maine costs between $30-$200 for the first 3 years (payable by credit card, cash, or check).
When you fill out an FFL application with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), you choose from several license types.
Whether the licensee casually sells a few concealed carry handguns, wants to assist hunters with firearm purchases (or hunting tips), or handles NFA firearms, each of these license types varies in price due to the different functions they allow the licensee to perform.
To deal in 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.
FFL License Cost by Type
Federal Requirements for an FFL
Federal requirements for getting an FFL are the same for every state.
To receive an FFL, the federal government insists that you:
- Are at least 21 years of age
- Are a US Citizen or legal permanent resident
- Are legally permitted to possess firearms and ammo (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 or background check
An IOI (Industry Operations Investigator) will conduct your interview and scrutinize the details of your application and chosen place of business.
Steps to Getting Your FFL
To get your FFL in Maine, you need to:
- Ensure you meet all 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
Double-check that you meet all Federal level requirements. These are the same for every state across America and can be pretty straightforward for any responsible person. Maine has no unnecessary, duplicate licensing to apply for on a state level.
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 an 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:
- 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.
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 Maine.
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. Just add the course combo at checkout.
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 start the process with a background check 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 your local ATF field office. You’ll then have an in-person interview with an industry operations investigator (IOI) to ensure 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. When you pass, the ATF field office supervisor will then submit the approved application to the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC), and your FFL in Maine will be complete.
According to the ATF website, getting an FFL 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 the Rocket FFL course, you’ll have every detail and access to all the necessary forms to quickly apply for your Federal Firearms License.
Maine State Requirements for an FFL
Maine state requirements for an FFL can be broken down into two categories:
- State licensing requirements
- Business registration requirements
Maine’s State Licensing Requirements
There are zero state-level requirements that are specific to FFL dealers. That’s good news!
Maine Business Registration Requirements
The ATF and the State of Maine require you to register a business (such as a Corporation or LLC) before beginning operations.
Your business can be registered in another state (we explain this in our course), but you’ll still need a physical presence in Maine.
To register your FFL business in Maine, check out the business answers guide from the Department of Economic & Community Development. They also provide an excellent resource for starting your Maine gun shop.
Maine Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
Though Maine is not as restrictive as many states, local zoning requirements can be one of the biggest hurdles when applying for an FFL. The location you select for your premises (often a home-based FFL collecting transfer fees) allows for this type of business.
Often, aspiring operators inquire about an FFL for a home-based firearms business and are told you can’t work in a residential district. But don’t give up! Misunderstandings often occur about the type of business activity held there in private sales.
When the department in charge of zoning hears “FFL,” they might picture heavy retail traffic (which is discouraged in residential locations). But most home-based FFLs don’t have full retail-level traffic and only have customers stop by part-time.
We cover this and other know-how, including requirements for specific business hours, in our Get Your FFL course.
Maine FFL Summary
Obviously, getting your Maine FFL is logical with the right guidance!
Ensuring you hit the Federal and State requirements, select the applicable license type, complete our online course, and submit the proper forms, you’ll be on your way to being the newest owner of a Maine FFL.
But I’ll warn you that it can be easy to sink a lot of hours into trying to get it right on your own without our course.
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 Maine FFL Licensing
How much does it cost to get an FFL in Maine?
An FFL in Maine 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 Maine?
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 Maine require extra licensing for FFLs?
No, there are no additional licensing requirements for FFLs in Maine.
Do I need to register a business for an FFL in Maine?
Yes, if you plan to run a business as an FFL, it must be registered in Maine.
Can I get an FFL to save money on guns?
No, gun owners should not get an FFL just to save money. One of the main requirements for getting your FFL is “business intent,” meaning you intend to operate a firearms-related business like a gun store.
Extra Resources For Getting a Maine 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 Maine: Need help finding out where to start with your new business? Check out this article from the Maine Department of State showing you how to do just that!
Maine Department of Public Safety: Firearms dealers in Maine can use this guide to properly handle firearms sales.
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.