A Federal Firearms License (FFL) allows you to operate in the business of selling firearms and firearms accessories. This includes handguns, long guns, ammo, and other NFA items (such as suppressors, short-barrel rifles, machine guns, etc.).
Fortunately, many states make this goal reasonably simple to achieve, including Minnesota! In Minnesota, once you ensure that you meet all Federal requirements for FFL holders, you’re already on your way to becoming an FFL dealer.
From there, your business will need to procure a Minnesota Permit to Purchase/Transfer a Handgun (after you get your FFL) and renew it each year.
Here at Rocket FFL, we are dedicated to ensuring you can do this with as much peace of mind as possible.
In this article, we will discuss:
FFL Cost in Minnesota
How much does an FFL cost? An FFL in Minnesota 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.
Depending on what you are trying to do with your business, the license price can vary. Selling a few handguns as a gun dealer, handling FFL transfers, incorporating gunsmithing, or selling NFA items are all different functions that require different license types.
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 Minnesota, 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 Federal and State FFL Requirements
First, you need to make sure that you follow all Federal and state requirements. The Federal requirements are the same for every state in America.
The only variances you will find are state-level gun laws (which we discuss later in this article).
Step 2: Choose Your FFL Type
As we stated earlier, you will need to make sure you choose the appropriate FFL license type that will allow you to lawfully operate your business.
This is of the highest importance because if you try to do something your business isn’t licensed for (gunsmithing, for example), trouble could come knocking.
More often than not, you will 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 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, and arguably most importantly, we suggest you take an FFL course from a qualified instructor.
Depending on what state you’re in, getting your FFL License can be highly complex. That’s why I developed ours here at RocketFFL based on decades of research and work as an attorney in the firearms industry. My goal is to help you get your FFL hassle-free.
The below course will cover everything you need to know about getting your FFL in Minnesota!
As a firearms attorney, I could easily make a ton of money by letting people apply for their FFL, mess up, and then come to me to help them fix it (allowing me to charge my hourly rate).
But, I would much rather help my fellow firearms enthusiasts apply for their FFL correctly the first time, saving them both time and money.
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 click the add-on 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!
After you submit your forms and all application fees to the ATF, they will start the process by completing a background check through the NICS system 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. From there, an Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) will interview you to make sure all information is still correct and that you follow all state and local requirements.
The IOI will then 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). You will be the next Minnesota FFL holder!
According to ATF.gov, this takes about 60 days from when a completed application is received. Additional steps and forms are required for residents of some states, but not Minnesotans.
If you took the RocketFFL course, you’d 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.
Minnesota State Requirements for an FFL
Minnesota state requirements for an FFL can be broken down into two categories:
- State licensing requirements
- Business registration requirements
Minnesota State Licensing Requirements
Once you successfully obtain your FFL, you will need to apply for a Minnesota Permit to Purchase/Transfer a Handgun. Under Minnesota law, if you possess a permit to carry, you do not need to apply for a permit. However, as a business, you will need to apply for this separately.
All you will need to do is fill out the application and submit it to your local law enforcement agency. From there, they will complete a series of background checks and inform you of the application status within the first week of receiving the application.
Once the license is issued, it is valid for one year and will need to be renewed annually.
Minnesota Business Registration Requirements
As it is with any type of business, you will need to register it at the state level. You can do this with the Minnesota Secretary of State 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 Minnesota.
Minnesota Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
Surprisingly, it is usually on a local level that most people run into the most trouble setting up their FFL business. This is where you make sure that you are legally allowed to operate your business in the location you have chosen.
At this level, people inquire about an FFL for a home-based firearms business and are told they can’t operate in a residential area. But don’t give up yet! Business restrictions in certain regions are frequently due to a misunderstanding about the type of business activity held there.
When a zoning department hears “FFL,” they may assume regular retail business and heavy foot traffic (not 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.
Minnesota FFL Summary
As you can see, getting your Minnesota FFL is pretty simple!
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 Minnesota FFL.
But I’ll warn you — even though Minnesota is one of the more accessible states to get an FFL in, you can still expect to sink a lot of time and energy into trying to do it on your own.
With our course, you can fill out your forms and get through the process with confidence and 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 Minnesota FFL Licensing
How much does it cost to get an FFL in Minnesota?
An FFL in Minnesota 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 Minnesota?
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 Minnesota require extra licensing for FFLs?
Yes. If you plan to sell firearms as a business, you will need to apply for a Minnesota Permit to Purchase/Transfer Handguns.
Do I need to register a business for an FFL in Minnesota?
Yes, if you are forming a business for your FFL, it must be registered in Minnesota.
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 Minnesota 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.
Registering a Business in Minnesota: Once you’re ready to officially form your new business, you can register it here with the Minnesota Secretary of State!
Minnesota Permit to Purchase/Transfer A Handgun: This is the actual application that will need to be filled out in order to legally purchase or transfer handguns in Minnesota.
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.