Across the nation, there is concern about accessibility to firearms, which has many people looking into becoming Federal Firearms License (FFL) holders in their community.
As an FFL dealer in Montana, cleared by the NICS, you are allowed by federal law to sell and distribute firearms and ammo as a gun dealer.
There are some state law requirements to getting your FFL in Montana to open your own gun store. At Rocket FFL, we hope to make this process as easy as possible, eliminating as much hassle as we can from the process so you can open your FFL gun shop or sell guns at a gun show quickly and safely.
This article will cover:
- FFL Cost
- Steps to getting your FFL in Montana
- Federal Requirements for an FFL
- Montana State Requirements for an FFL
- Montana Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
- FAQs and additional resources
FFL Cost in Montana
How much does an FFL cost? An FFL in Montana costs between $30-$200 for the first 3 years.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has an FFL application you will need to fill out after choosing which license type is best for your business.
The license types will vary in price depending on the functions allowed to the licensee. For example, there is a big difference between just selling a few handguns at a gun show (using a class 1 license) and handling NFA items with a class 3 license.
Due to federal gun laws, each function requires a different type of license for which the application fees range in price. In addition, if you are looking to transfer your FFL to Montana from another state, such as New York, there will also be additional fees you must pay.
FFL License Cost by Type
Specialized licenses such as one to handle NFA items like silencers/suppressors, short-barrel rifles, machine guns, or destructive devices, you must pay additional costs in the form of what is called an SOT license registration.
Steps to Getting Your FFL
To get your FFL in MOntana, you must:
- Ensure you meet all federal and state requirements for FFL
- Choose your FFL type
- Take an FFL course
- Submit your FFL application forms
Step 1: Ensure You Meet FFL Federal Requirements
Check that you first meet all Federal and Montana state requirements. There is no reason to go further in the process if you don’t qualify.
These requirements are the same across the United States of America for all potential licensees.
Step 2: Choose Your FFL Type
A common mistake is applying for the incorrect type of FFL. Make sure you apply for the appropriate type of FFL needed for your business. Choose the best type of FFL license for your business to lawfully operate your firearms business.
For example, the most common license is a Type 01 license (for most firearms dealers and gunsmiths) or a Type 07 license (for manufacturing). The difference between these two is that a Type 07 license allows both manufacturing and selling of firearms.
We did the work for you and broke down the different types of FFLs and why you might need one over another in this article.
If you plan to sell NFA items and ammo, you will need an SOT (Special Occupational Taxpayer) designation. Applying for your SOT can only be done after you have an FFL number.
Any selling of the following NFA items requires you to be an SOT:
- Full-auto machine guns
- Short-barreled rifles with a barrel shorter than 16″ or an overall length under 26″
- Short-barreled shotguns with a barrel shorter than 18″ or an overall length under 26″
- Destructive devices such as grenades, mines, bombs, etc.
- Any other weapons such as pen guns or specifically customized handguns
Below is a table we created to explain the different FFL License types and which SOT Class you’ll need after getting your FFL to sell guns covered under the NFA.
Check out our Get Your FFL Course, which explains all you need to know about the SOT classes and the NFA.
Step 3: Take an FFL Course
The logistics of getting your FFL License can be complex, which is why I recommend taking an FFL course from a qualified instructor.
As a firearms attorney with decades of experience, I know the ins and outs of the industry and how to attain your FFL with minimal issues. Therefore, my highly valuable course will not only cover getting your FFL, but it covers everything needed to specifically get your FFL in Montana.
My area of specialty is ATF compliance. I could allow people to make FFL application mistakes and then get rich fixing their FFL application mishaps, but I want to teach you how to do it right the first time!
If you have any interest in someday getting your SOT, I highly recommend that you get the FFL Course and SOT Course combo. For just $10 more, this course will teach you how to apply to lawfully buy and sell silencers and Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs) as well as standard firearms covered by just your standard FFL.
Step 4: Submit Your FFL Application Forms
You’re finally ready to “pull the trigger” and apply for your FFL! Make sure that you meet all requirements, have verified the appropriate FFL type for your business goals, and have taken my valuable Rocket FFL course.
Once you submit all the forms required by the ATF and have paid the fees required, they will start the approval process by completing a background check on all “responsible persons” named on your business license. Anyone who influences your business practices and policies is considered a responsible person (RP).
After the background checks are done, and the application paperwork is cleared, it will be sent to the local ATF office in Montana. There, an industry operations investigator (IOI) will call you to set up an in-person interview to make sure you are following all state and local requirements.
After you have your interview, you will either be approved or denied your FFL. Assuming you passed, the ATF field office supervisor will submit the approved FFL application to the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC), and they will issue you an FFL number.
60 days is the typical time it takes to receive your FFL number, according to the ATF website. Thankfully, Montana does not require multiple forms and extra steps during the FFL application process.
All the forms and steps needed for a smooth process are available in my Rocket FFL course. Every detail and all the necessary forms to quickly apply for your Federal Firearms License are available in one place!
Federal Requirements for an FFL
Getting your FFL is the same in every state on the Federal side of things.
Federal government requirements for an FFL:
- 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 the Federal requirements are satisfied, you can then move on to Montana-specific requirements.
Montana State Requirements for an FFL
Specific Montana state requirements for an FFL include:
- State licensing requirements
- Business registration requirements
Montana State Licensing Requirements
Montana does not have a redundant process to receive your state FFL. They only require you to get a regular business license.
With less restrictive zoning regulations due to the number of small towns and plentiful rural areas, getting a home-based FFL in Montana is relatively easy compared to other states.
Montana Business Registration Requirements
To register your business with the State of Montana, even if your business is registered in another state, make sure to check out the Business Services Page of the Secretary of State’s website.
We include information on why you need to register in Montana, even if your business is registered in another state, in our Get Your FFL course. The Montana Secretary of State’s website also has an excellent resource for answering all your business registering-related questions.
Montana Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements
Local zoning requirements are usually one of the biggest problems when applying for an FFL, but as we noted before, this is not as big of an issue in Montana.
It is still good to check that the location you use as a base of operations, even home-based FFLs, allows for a business to operate. Business restrictions in certain regions are frequently due to misunderstandings about the type of business activity held there.
Many assume regular retail business and heavy foot traffic will be an issue for zoning and home-based FFLs. Still, most of these businesses only have customers stop by occasionally, not every day like a traditional retail gun store.
We cover all you need to know to successfully have your home-based FFL zoned correctly, including the requirements for specific business hours, in our Get Your FFL course.
Montana FFL Summary
Your Montana FFL application is not tricky when you have the correct information and guidance. With the proper teaching and guidance to filling out the forms needed for your FFL, you’ll soon be on your way to being a Montana FFL!
Our course makes it easy to track and shave hours off the research needed to apply for your FFL the right way. It will give you confidence that you have started your business safely and within both Federal and local laws.
Let’s get you started!
FAQ for Montana FFL Licensing
How much does it cost to get an FFL in Montana?
An FFL in Montana 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 Montana?
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 Montana require extra licensing for FFLs?
No, there are no additional licensing requirements for FFLs in Montana. You must simply have a business license in addition to your FFL.
Do I need to register a business for an FFL in Montana?
Yes, any legitimate business doing business in Montana must be registered with the state of Montana.
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 Montana 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 Montana: Need help finding out where to start with your new business? Check out this start-up guide from the Montana Department of State, showing you how to do just that!
Montana Department of Law Enforcement Gun Control Laws and Firearm Sales: Firearms dealers in Montana 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.