Are you one of the many looking into how to serve their communities as Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders? As an FFL holder, you are allowed by federal law to handle the selling and distribution of firearms and ammo.
There are just a few requirements to follow to get your FFL to become a Missouri gun dealer. At Rocket FFL, we hope to make this process as easy as possible, so you can quickly and safely open your own gun shop!
This article covers:
FFL Cost in Missouri
How much does an FFL cost? An FFL in Missouri costs between $30-$200 for the first 3 years.
You will need to fill out an FFL application with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). There are several license types to choose from.
The license types vary in price based on the permissions each gives the Federal Firearms licensee. If you just want to have a private sale of a few handguns as a collector of curios or pawnbroker, that’s a different license requirement from gunsmithing, or becoming an importer of NFA items at your gun store.
There are different types of licenses for each activity, for which the application fees range in price.
FFL License Cost by Type
To handle NFA firearms (such as silencers/suppressors, short-barrel rifles, machine guns, destructive devices, armor piercing ammo, etc.), there are additional costs in the form of an SOT license registration.
Steps to Getting Your FFL
To become an FFL dealer in Missouri, 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
Before you do anything else, make sure you meet all federal and state law requirements for FFL holders. These are the same for every state and gun owner in America. We detail these requirements below.
Step 2: Choose Your FFL Type
Do your research and make sure that you apply for the appropriate type of FFL for your business. You will need to make sure you choose the right kind of license that allows you to lawfully operate your firearms business.
If you don’t have the right type of license, a routine visit from a law enforcement agency could be very costly, and you may not remain an FFL license holder.
Most businesses opt for either a Type 01 license (for sale of most firearms other than destructive devices and gunsmiths) or a Type 07 license (for manufacturing). A Type 07 license lets you both manufacture and sell most firearms other than destructive devices.
We put together this article, where we break down what type of FFL best suits your needs.
NFA firearms and accessories require you to have an SOT (Special Occupational Taxpayer) designation. Applications for SOT are only accepted after you’ve been assigned your FFL number.
These requirements of the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), later updated with Title II of the Gun Control Act, are applied to all license holders.
NFA items that require SOT:
- 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, armor-piercing ammunition, etc.)
- Any other weapons (pen guns, specific special handguns, etc.)
We took the time to describe below each FFL License type and which SOT Class you’ll need after getting your FFL to sell firearms covered under the NFA. We also cover all the specifics of SOT classes and the NFA in our Get Your FFL Course.
Step 3: Take an FFL Course
Based on my experience as a firearms attorney, I highly recommend you take an FFL course from a qualified instructor. Getting your FFL License can be complex, which is why I developed a course based on the decades of research and work as an attorney in the firearms industry.
My law specialization is in ATF compliance. I cover getting your FFL and everything you need to know to be ATF compliant and get your FFL, specifically in Missouri.
I want to help you to get your FFL without any hassle, and help you do it right the first time!
This is why I also recommend you get the FFL Course and SOT Course combo. For only $10 more, you learn how to accurately 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
After confirming that you meet all requirements (federal and state), you have verified the appropriate FFL type for your business, and have taken the Rocket FFL course, you are ready to “jump in” and apply for your FFL!
The FFL approval process begins once you’ve submitted your forms and payment to the ATF. The ATF starts by completing a NICS background check on all “responsible persons” for the business. As a sole proprietor, or a partner in the corporation who will influence the business’s practices and policies, you are considered a responsible person (RP).
Your application needs to have all information verified as correct and the background checks completed before the application is sent to a local ATF field office.
Once it arrives locally, an Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) will contact you to set up an in-person interview to ensure all information is still correct and that you are lawfully following all state and local requirements.
The entire process takes about 60 days, according to the ATF website. It could take longer depending on your area, which the ATF may require multiple forms and extra steps during the process.
However, the Rocket FFL course teaches you every detail and gives you access to every necessary form, which allows you to apply for your federal firearms license quickly.
Federal Requirements for an FFL
The federal requirements for getting an FFL are the same for every state in the United States of America.
The federal government requirements are:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be a US citizen or legal permanent resident
- Be 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 these requirements are satisfied, you can address Missouri state-specific requirements.
Missouri State Requirements for an FFL
Missouri state requirements for an FFL can be broken down into two categories:
- State licensing requirements
- Business registration requirements
Missouri State Licensing Requirements
Missouri doesn’t require duplicate licensure for FFL holders. This means that your FFL is all you need to legally buy and sell firearms in Missouri.
Missouri Business Registration Requirements
You do, however, need to register your business with the State of Missouri.
This is true, even if your business is registered in another state, which we cover in our Get Your FFL course. This is how you establish an official presence in Missouri.
To register your FFL business in Missouri, you should check out the steps to starting a company by the Missouri Secretary of State. The Missouri Department of Revenue provides an excellent resource for How To Register your Missouri Business.
Missouri Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
Local zoning requirements are usually one of the biggest problems when applying for an FFL. It’s extremely important that you 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. When a zoning department hears “FFL,” they may assume regular retail business and heavy foot traffic, but most home-based FFLs don’t have retail-level traffic and only have customers stop by on occasion.
The good news is that nearly all places in Missouri allow for non-intrusive retail sales in a residential zoned neighborhood. We cover this and more Missouri-specific information, including requirements for specific business hours, in our Get Your FFL course.
Missouri FFL Summary
Getting your Missouri FFL is rather straightforward with the guidance and expertise of those who know the ins and outs of FFL laws.
It’s important to meet the Federal and State requirements, choose the appropriate license type, take our online course, and fill in the proper forms in a timely and organized way. If you do these things, you’ll soon be on your way to being an owner of a Missouri FFL.
Unfortunately, without our course, you will have to invest a lot of hours into trying to get it right on your own the first time.
The beauty of my course is that it gives you the confidence to fill out your forms and get through the process with ease. Trust my experience — knowing your business is set up within all the confines of both federal and local laws will be a massive load off your mind as you begin this new adventure!
Let’s “pull the trigger” and get started!
FAQ for Missouri FFL Licensing
How much does it cost to get an FFL in Missouri?
An FFL in Missouri 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 Missouri?
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 Missouri require extra licensing for FFLs?
No, there are no additional licensing requirements for FFLs in Missouri.
Do I need to register a business for an FFL in Missouri?
Yes, if you are forming a business for your FFL, it must be registered in Missouri.
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 Missouri 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 Missouri: Need help finding out where to start with your new business? Check out this website from the Missouri Secretary of State showing you how to do just that!
Missouri House Bill no. 187: Firearms dealers in Missouri can use this house bill 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.