FFL Software

After you’ve taken our Get Your FFL course and you’re up and running with your FFL, depending on your FFL type you’re going to want to start either making firearms or buying them at dealer pricing and having them shipped straight to your door – even at your home .

But…. you’re going to have to do one more thing first: you’re going to need to have your Acquisition and Disposition Book (also called a “Bound Book”) set up and running.

What is a Bound Book?

A “Bound Book,” or an Acquisition and Disposition Book (A&D Book) is a record kept by all FFLs as required by the ATF – it is a log of all of the firearms you’ve made or received (Acquired) and all of the firearms you’ve sold, transferred, or destroyed (Disposed).

An A&D Book is called a “Bound Book” because it used to literally be a bound paper book the had all of the acquisition information on the left page and across the same line on the right page it had all of the disposition information.

FFL Software vs Paper

There is no reason to be using a paper bound book anymore.

It used to make sense for small FFLs to use a paper bound book to save money because the electronic solutions available used to all cost money. And, although there are many benefits to electronic solutions for FFL software, even the best systems were a bit clunky and confusing to use.

Paper is simple and it doesn’t cost much money to purchase the book.

However, FFL Software is a better solution for an FFL Bound Book because it is easier to search for and find information, it is easier to conduct internal audits, it can help you with inventory management, and having backups and the ability to access your bound book on multiple devices is really handy.

There were plenty of electronic bound book options out there: FastBound,  FFL Boss, Gun Store Master, Epicor FFL Compliance Manager, Easy Bound Book, and I would recommend to students one of the biggest FFL Software providers because it was the best solution available but it still had issues. 

You’ve got to be careful – you need to make sure that whatever software you use as an FFL holder, you need to make sure that it follows every ATF regulation.

So, I decided to make my own software for FFLs: FFLSafe.

I made it the simplest, cleanest, most compliant solution, and I give it away for free because it shouldn’t cost you money to stay out of trouble with the ATF.

Best FFL Software

If you’ve already realized that the best way to protect your federal firearms license is to use ffl software for your ATF Compliance, then your next issue is determine which electronic A&D is the right one for you.

Although I’m partial to the ffl software I created, I can’t possibly tell you which compliance software is perfect for you as a federal firearms licensee.

However, I can give you some general guidance to help you make the right decision.

First, look at the software company’s website. This may seem too simple but think about it this way: is it simple and clear or is it cluttered and complicated? There’s a good chance that their software will be similar. 

On that point, do they show you exactly what their software looks like and how it works? If not, there might be a reason they don’t want you to see it.

Next, look to who made the software and ensure that they actually understand firearms laws, ATF regulations, and every ATF ruling, and that they understand the firearms industry.

If you trust me as a firearms attorney to understand all of these things, then you should check out the firearms compliance software I made from scratch: FFLSafe.

FFL Software Requirements

When it comes to record keeping as an FFL dealer or firearms manufacturer, you must make sure your record keeping is on-point. 

Your software must meet all of the bound book requirements such as recording all of the acquisition information about the firearm itself and from where the firearm came.

The acquisition information includes the source contact info. For FFLs, this is their name and FFL number. For individuals, this includes their full name and current residential address. In both cases, the date of acquisition must also be recorded (this includes if you made the firearm as a manufacturer). 

It also includes information about the firearm which includes the Manufacturer (Make), Model, Serial Number, Firearm Type, and Caliber.

If the firearm is still in your inventory, the disposition information stay empty. However, once it is disposed, the disposition information must include where the firearm went and when (whether an FFL or a non-FFL customer).

For electronic bound books, there are also extra requirements like backups every 24 hours, audit logs, and the ability to search for firearms by certain details. To learn more about all of the requirements for keeping a bound book, check out federal firearms laws, ATF regulations and rulings like ATF Ruling 2016-1.

Or, if you’d rather just be up and running with a simple and complaint system for free, go set up your account with FFL Safe now

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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