How to Get FFL in Texas

How to Get an FFL in Texas [2021] TX FFL Guide


If you’re thinking about getting a Federal Firearms License (FFL) in Texas so that you can be a gun manufacturer or firearms dealer (even from your home) in the lone-star state, then you’re in the right place.

texas ffl

Most of the requirements for getting your FFL License are federal rules and regs, however, each state also has its own requirements for getting an FFL.

Thankfully, Texas is gun friendly…. but, there are still some things to watch out for. As we’ll explore more later, local zoning laws can be tricky and can cause a problem for getting your FFL (especially if you don’t know the right way to navigate them).

Let’s take a quick overview of the basic federal requirements and then dig into everything that is required to get your FFL in Texas.

In this “Getting Your FFL in Texas Guide” we’ll cover:

  • FFL License Cost in Texas
  • Steps to getting an FFL
  • Texas Class 3 License
  • Federal FFL License Requirements
  • Texas State Requirements for Getting an FFL
  • Local (city/town/county) FFL License Requirements
  • Texas FFL Summary

FFL License Cost in Texas

An FFL in Texas costs between $30 and $200 for the first three years.

The price for an FFL in Texas varies depending on which FFL Type you choose.

If you get a Type 01 FFL, the most popular license type, to buy and sell guns as a firearm dealer and/or be a gunsmith, it will cost $200 for the first three years and then only $90 for every three-year license renewal thereafter.

If you’d like to make guns for sale, you’ll want the second most common type of federal firearms license, a Type 07 manufacturers FFL. The Type 07 FFL costs $150 for the first three years and also for every three-year renewal.

As you can see, it’s cheaper for the first three years to get a Type 07 FFL for manufacturing firearms (which also allows you to sell them) but the Type 01 FFL for dealers and gunsmiths is less expensive in the long run.

There are some other costs to be considered to getting a TX FFL, if you’d like to learn more, checkout our breakdown of all the FFL costs.

FFL LicenseApplicationRenewalYears
Type 01$200$903
Type 02$200$903
Type 03$30$303
Type 06$30$303
Type 07$150$1503
Type 08$150$1503
Type 09$3,000$3,0003
Type 10$3,000$3,0003
Type 11$3,000$3,0003

Steps to Getting an FFL in Texas

To get your FFL in Texas, you only need to follow a few steps:

  • Step 1: Ensure you meet the requirements
  • Step 2: Choose the right type of FFL for you
  • Step 3: Take an FFL course
  • Step 4: Apply for you FFL License

Step 1 – Meet FFL Requirements

Before you start the FFL application process, you MUST make sure that you meet the federal FFL requirements (included below).

There are also some location requirements, like Texas state requirements and zoning rules, that you’ll also have to meet (included below) for all FFLs.

If you’re looking into getting a home-based FFL, there are a few tricks – I share all of these and more in the Get Your FFL Guide.

Step 2 – Choose the right type of FFL

The type of FFL that is right for you depends on what you want to do with it.

If you want to be a firearm dealer 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. To learn more, check out FFL Types.

In the table below, we show you what each FFL License type is for. You’ll see some information about “Class” this refers to the Class of SOT (for NFA Firearms). If you’re not sure what this is, don’t worry, we cover all of this in our Get Your FFL Guide. Also, you can check out our SOT License Guide.

FFL License Types

FFL License TypeFFL License PurposeSOT Class
Type 01 FFLDealer/Gunsmith of Firearms3
Type 02 FFLPawnbroker/Dealer of Firearms3
Type 03 FFLCollector of Firearmsn/a
Type 06 FFLManufacturer of Ammunitionn/a
Type 07 FFLManufacturer/Dealer of Firearms and Ammunition2
Type 08 FFLImporter/Dealer of Firearms1
Type 09 FFL Dealer of Destructive Devices3
Type 10 FFLManufacturer/Dealer of Destructive Devices2
Type 11 FFLImporter/Dealer of Destructive Devices1

Step 3 – Take an Online FFL Course

The actual process of getting your FFL License can be difficult.

Sure, you can do it on your own (I have). But, if you want to make sure that you set it up the right way and don’t run into any troubles later, please consider taking out FFL License course.

Yes, this step is telling you about a course we sell. But, encouraging you to learn more isn’t just a sales pitch. I am a firearms attorney that specializes in ATF compliance and I’d make much more money letting people get their FFL the wrong way and then charge them my hourly rate later to fix it. I don’t want that. You don’t want that.

Step 4 – Apply for Your FFL License in Texas

After you’ve made sure that you meet the requirements for an FFL, you selected the right type of FFL for your needs, 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.

How to Get a Texas Class 3 License

Getting a class 3 license in Texas starts with getting your FFL.

After you have your FFL, you can then register to become a Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) to start working with NFA firearms.

Technically, there’s really no such thing as a “Class 3 License.” Instead, “Class 3” is the class of SOT that an FFL needs to be in order to sell NFA Firearms like suppressors (silencers), Short Barreled Rifles (SBRs), Short Barreled Shotguns (SBS), Full-Auto Machine Guns, and “Any Other Weapons” (AOWs).

There are also other Classes of SOT for FFLs who make those NFA firearms and for those who import them.

We walk you through the whole process in our Class 3 License Guide.

Also, you can learn more about becoming an SOT in our SOT License Guide.

Federal FFL License Requirements

Even though you’re looking to get your FFL while living in Texas, the first requirements to look at are the federal FFL License requirements.

Thankfully, the federal FFL Requirements aren’t that burdensome.

In over-simplified terms, if you are at least 21 years old, lawfully able to possess firearms and ammunition, and have a location and business-intent, then you qualify for an FFL.

FFL License Requirements:

  • Be a U.S. Citizen
  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be legally allowed to possess firearms and ammunition
  • Have a location for conducting FFL activities (home-based FFLs are the most popular FFLs in the country)
  • Ensure that your business activity at that location meets zoning requirements
  • NOT have violated the Gun Control Act (GCA) or its regulations
  • NOT lied on your FFL application

[18 U.S.C. 923(d)(1); 27 CFR 478.47(b)]

If you’d like to learn more, check out our article on FFL Requirements.

Once you meet the federal FFL Requirements, it’s time to move on the Texas FFL Requirements and then apply for your FFL.

Texas State Requirements for Getting an FFL

Texas state FFL requirements

State requirements for an FFL can be broken down into two categories:

  1. State licensing requirements, and
  2. Business registration requirements

Some states require extra licensing or registration for FFLs and all states require business registration.

Texas FFL Licensing Requirements

Good news! Texas has no special licensing requirement for FFLs.

This means that your FFL is all you’ll need to be engaged in the business of firearms in Texas.

If you move your FFL to another state, however, you may have state-level registration requirements in your new state.

Texas Business Registration Requirements

Just as with any other state, you’ll need to register your business with the State of Texas.

If you register your business in another state (we suggest this in our Get Your FFL course), you’ll still need to have an official presence in Texas.

To register your FFL business in Texas, you should check out the steps to starting a TX business by the Texas Department of Economic Development which cover registering with the Texas Secretary of State and the Texas Business Permit Office (if necessary).

Texas Local (City/Town) FFL Requirements

Local zoning issues can be one of the biggest hang-ups for people applying for their FFL.

Getting around zoning issues is not that hard once you know a few tricks.

But, you MUST ensure that the location you have chosen (most often a home-based FFL) allows for a business.

Unfortunately, too many people are told that they can’t have an FFL in a residential area and they give up. Very often, the restrictions on business in certain areas are due to a misunderstanding about business activity.

For example. zoning departments hear “FFL” and they assume heavy foot traffic and retail activities, But, most home-based FFLs are only occasionally having a customer stop by and aren’t going to be having retail-level traffic.

We cover this and more, including business hour requirements, in our Get Your FFL course.

Texas FFL Summary

Getting your FFL in Texas is one of the easiest states to got your license.

There are no extra state requirements for getting an FFL License and the local zoning requirements are the same as any other state.

Of course, having Texas being so gun-friendly doesn’t hurt.

If you’re ready, get started with your Texas FFL today.

Texas Federal Firearm License FAQs

Q: Does Texas require extra licensing for FFLs?
A: No, there are not extra licensing requirements for FFLs in Texas

Q: Do I need to register a business for an FFL in Texas?
A: Yes, if you are forming a business for your FFL, then it must be registered in Texas.

Q: How much does an FFL cost in Texas?
A: An FFL in Texas costs anywhere from $30 to $200 for 3 years. For a full breakdown on the cost of an FFL, check out How Much Does an FFL Cost?.

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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5 thoughts on “How to Get an FFL in Texas [2021] TX FFL Guide

Comments
  1. Chuck Herrington

    My brother -in- law and I are thinking about opening a business. He is the money and the owner. Unfortunately he has a felony from his young adulthood. My question is, can I apply for the FFL or does him being the owner kind of dampen that?

    1. Ryan

      Him being the owner absolutely dampens that. As a felon, he is not allowed to be in possession of firearms nor ammunition.

      If you want to get an FFL, you’ll need to do it as your own business without his money or control.

      There is one way to try to make it work, but it is legally complicated and expensive.

      1. Chuck Herrington

        That is what I was afraid of. Thank You for your quick reply.

  2. Joe McDonald

    I already have an existing business, Inc., registered in Texas – have EIN number. This business was setup for non FFL related. I would think theres no reason that I can not use the business for FFL related work, it that correct???

    1. Ryan

      Correct.

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