Getting your FFL license is easier than you think.
In less than a couple of hours of work, four easy steps, and less than $200, you could become a legal weapons dealer or firearm manufacturer in the United States.
Getting a Federal Firearms License (FFL) is a good move. Depending on the FFL license type you get, you can make firearms (yes, even full-auto machine guns and silencers), you can import firearms, and you can be an FFL dealer selling weapons as well.
With the right steps, you can even sell them internationally. Yes, you can become an international arms dealer!
The best part is, with only two firearms sales, you could easily make back your money and never have to pay marked-up prices from gun stores or FFL dealer transfer fees. Instead, you’ll be able to buy directly from distributors and have the firearms shipped directly to you – this can save you hundreds of dollars per gun.
Even better, you can now be the FFL Dealer collecting transfer fees and charging a markup on your FFL firearms sales.
You know you want an FFL, but you’re not sure how to get one. Good news! Follow these four steps and you’ll be up and running in no time.
Step 1 – Ensure You Meet FFL Requirements
If you can possess a firearm and are at least 21 years old, then you can get an FFL. The requirements for getting an FFL are that easy.
The ATF, and possibly your state, have minimum requirements that you and your business (if applicable) must meet before you’ll get your license to be a licensed firearms dealer or manufacturer.
There are certain classes of people who can’t possess firearms or ammunition, and therefore can’t get an FFL. These people are considered “prohibited persons” by the ATF and they include anyone who:
- is a felon
- has been convicted of any crime punishable by more than a year in prison (whether or not they were ever sentenced to or served a day in prison)
- is under indictment for any crime punishable by more than a year in prison
- is a fugitive
- is an unlawful user of any controlled substance
- has been adjudicated as a mental defective
- has been committed to a mental institution
- is an illegal alien
- has a dishonorable discharge from the military
- has renounced their U.S. citizenship
- is the subject of a restraining order restraining the person from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or the child of an intimate partner, or
- who has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence
- There’s a few nuances that you might need to be aware of if you think that any of these apply to you – especially the “convicted of any crime punishable by more than a year,” “unlawful user of a controlled substance,” and “restraining order” provisions. If you’d like to learn more about these prohibited person categories, see Prohibited Persons / Firearm Possession.
There are also some location requirements that may vary depending on your state of residence.
Yes, you can get a home based FFL under federal law but your state may have special rules that prohibit it. For example, if you’re living in an apartment building in New York city, you probably aren’t going to get an FFL.
As long as your local zoning approves of you having a firearms license at the address you choose, then the ATF will give you an FFL! There are a few tricks to getting your FFL at your home – I share all of these and more in the Get Your FFL Guide.
Step 2 – Choose Your FFL License Type
The type of FFL you get depends on what you intend to do with it.
If you want to deal in firearms and/or be a gunsmith, then you’ll only need a Type 1 FFL.
If you want to manufacture firearms, then you’ll need a Type 7 FFL. It’s important to note that a Type 7 Federal Firearms License also lets you be a firearms dealer – therefore, if you want to manufacture and sell firearms, a Type 7 FFL covers both!
The Type 1 FFL is, by far, the most popular followed by the Type 7 FFL. Here’s a breakdown of the number of each type of FFL from the ATF for 2016:
For a breakdown of what each type of federal firearm license allows, see this chart:
Note the columns which help you to determine what each type of FFL will allow and which Class of SOT may be required – “AP” means ‘Armor Piercing Ammunition’ and “DD” means ‘Destructive Device’
If you’d like to learn more about each FFL license type and what each allows, you should sign up for the free trial of the Get Your FFL guide – the lesson on FFL types is included for free!
Step 3 – Take An Online FFL License Course
The actual process of getting your FFL License can be difficult. However, thanks to online FFL certification courses, it’s never been easier.
However, it’s incredibly important that you take the right one.
When choosing an FFL License course, you should look to make sure that you are getting:
- legal advice from an actual firearms attorney that has the appropriate certifications,
- guidance from a true industry insider/professional who knows the ins-and-outs of both the firearms industry and the ATF,
- professional course software that helps you track your progress,
- automatically notifications of any updates in the law, and
- available follow-on training and certifications for both you and your employees
There are currently only a few Online FFL License Courses. To figure out which one is the best for you, here is a comparison chart breaking down us vs them:
|Created and Taught by Firearms Attorney||X||✓|
|Hours of Video in Lessons||X||✓|
|Free Compliance Tools||✓||✓|
|One-on-One Legal Counsel Available||X||✓|
|Follow-on Advanced Training Available||X||✓|
|Discounts on Software and Services||✓||✓|
|Automatic Notifications on Changes in Laws||X||✓|
|Employee-Level Training Available||X||✓|
|Donates Portion of Profits to Military Charities||X||✓|
Step 4 – Apply for Federal Firearm License
Upon ensuring you meet the requirements for an FFL, have chosen the right type of FFL, and taken your course, you’re finally ready to apply for your Federal Firearm License.
Now, the steps to this can be very difficult and 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 in order to get your own Federal Firearms License hassle free.
Getting Your FFL
So, there you have it. In four simple steps, you can become a licensed firearm manufacturer, dealer, and/or international arms exporter or importer.
I’m looking forward to having you in our industry,