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Posted: 12/7/2001 3:22:49 PM EST
Ok, here's the deal. I'm trying to decide on a way to go about starting a gun a gun related home business on the side. The way I figure it, I can't lose. If I show a profit, great! If not, I can right any expenses off on taxes. So I've got a few questions for you guys.

First of all, from what I understand you have to have some kind of store front or such to hold an FFL. If I had a "showroom" and "office" in my house would that suffice? How about some kind of rented storage space? And what about hours? What kind of hours do you have to keep?

For you accountants, could I write off my FFL for a "home based business" even if I had to rent out some kind of place for a "storefront".

Now I've been arrested for a felony firearms violation before (Brandishing a Firearm), but the charges were dropped. Hell, I didn't even have to go to court since the case was so flimsy. Will this hamper my efforts?

How much does an FFL run these days?

Anyway, sorry for so many questions all at once, but I've got a bunch of them.

I'd love to try to make a little extra cash at something I enjoy, or at the very least have a good tax write off. Anybody got any ideas, suggestions?
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 3:27:45 PM EST
from what i have read on this site.... there's no way you'll get an FFL for a home business. i think that you must have a storefront location in an appropriately ZONED area.
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 4:35:12 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 4:47:17 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/7/2001 5:01:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By Troy:
Basically, your property has to be either unzoned (generally out BFD in unincorporated areas) or zoned for commercial use. A storage rental won't cut it. There also can't be any state or local regs that would prevent you from opening such a business (for example, some places won't allow a gun shop within 1000 feet of a school or church).

You also have to have posted hours of operation. ATF used to allow "by appointment", but lately they've been denying people unless they state their open hours. BATF can come in and perform inspections during your open hours.

You have to be actively in business to sell people guns. If you aren't selling enough, BATF won't renew your license.

Anyway, depending on your situation, it may be possible, and some people do it, but there are certainly risks and restrictions involved.

-Troy





Well I do live out in the sticks, so I guess that helps. Are there a limited amount of hours you have to be open a week? Can you work 40 hours a week at another job and still do it on the side and it be considered "actively" in the business of selling firearms?

One of the things that worried me the most would be listing my home address publicly (i.e. phone book or such), is there a way of getting around that such as a p.o.box?

Anyway, thanks for the help so far.
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 10:48:15 AM EST
Beware of zoning laws. The ATF was closing down many "kitchen table" dealers, alledging they were not in compliance with state (zoning) laws.
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 4:04:33 PM EST
I know SEVERAL FFLs who have their gun business at home, BUT IN A SEPARATE BUILDING: 1) small shed and 2) top of 3 car garage. But, your chief of police (at least in MA) will have to approve.
As long as you are actually trying to make money (not a hobby), you can deduct ALL your legitimate expenses. Running ads, printing up business cards, and actually making a profit are proof that it is a real business.
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 4:12:48 PM EST
Link Posted: 12/9/2001 7:40:47 PM EST
I would definitely check out the BATF for the specific regulations. I believe I read somewhere that you do have to have hours of operation that are reasonably accessable(5-9PM on Mondays for example, won't cut it).

As Green Furniture aluded to, this business will probably not fall under the "Hobby Loss" statutes of the IRS. You will need to make money at some point. Also, if you don't make money, the ATF may not deem you to be a legitimate business, and not renew your license when the time comes.
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