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Posted: 4/2/2006 1:20:26 PM EDT
I am thinking about applying for an FFL. I would like to perhaps build uppers and maybe complete custom rifles, do transfers for guys, install accessories, etc...

This whole thing started when some guys from my unit asked me to build rifles for them. I told them I think I need a license to do that.

The last thing I want to do is run afoul of the law. What is the process, how do you get into it, and is it worth doing. I don't have a storefront, in fact I am renting a townhouse right now but home ownership is on the horizon, as is a pole barn/workshop. If I got the paperwork in process now it might be done by the time I move. I was an assistant armorer in Iraq and am going for that MOS as a secondary in the near future also. One other guy would be working with me who is a gunsmith already.

Any info would be appreciated.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 1:33:00 PM EDT
Go for it. Call ATF and request the application form. They are usually decent about answering questions. You might want to tell them you are going to be doing mostly gunsmith work. The class of license is the same but a gunsmith does not have to have set business hours. This may also help you with your landlord and the local zoning people. You will have to certify to ATF that you are in compliance with all state and local regs.. This is tough in some areas. "Gunsmith" will sound better than "dealer". A gunsmith with FFL can still sell guns.

I have held an FFL for 20+ years. I'm currently in a semi-rural area. Things have been OK so far.

BTW, if you can find a way to make any money in the gun business, I'd like to hear about it. I've met a lot of interesting people and handled some cool stuff but I'm glad I have a regular job to pay the bills.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 1:53:34 PM EDT
diesel,

Yup, no plans to quit the day job (National Guard Recruiting) this would be strictly a side job at best, fun hobby at least!

Link Posted: 4/2/2006 2:22:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JackBurton:
diesel,

Yup, no plans to quit the day job (National Guard Recruiting) this would be strictly a side job at best, fun hobby at least!




Been thinking the same, and got the app some time ago but never followed up. Keep us posted!
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 8:53:18 PM EDT
I will
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 9:14:09 PM EDT
I have just begun the process after many years of wishing/wanting to do it. It is a hobby which I would enjoy making money at. What more can you ask for a job you love. This is not to say I love my current job, but there is a lot to be said about being your own boss.

I have learned you will have to show ATF you can conduct such a business at your establishment. The establishment can be a house or commercial building. This is done by going to your zoning administrator. I live in a rural residential area. At this point the permit was shown to the zoning board. I am under the impression that they will be satisfied after the administrator calls the 8 shops (within 1 hour drive) that I povided showing a gunsmit/shop is reasonably run from a residence. You may also have some local and state permits that need to be filled.

Next I will complete the ATF paperwork. The will do their thing and soon I will be on my way. I have already established my LLC and federal/state tax numbers.

Remember ATF will only approve you for an FFL for business, not a hobby. Good luck.

Mike
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 9:20:50 PM EDT
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 9:23:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JackBurton:
I am thinking about applying for an FFL. I would like to perhaps build uppers and maybe complete custom rifles, do transfers for guys, install accessories, etc...

This whole thing started when some guys from my unit asked me to build rifles for them. I told them I think I need a license to do that.

The last thing I want to do is run afoul of the law. What is the process, how do you get into it, and is it worth doing. I don't have a storefront, in fact I am renting a townhouse right now but home ownership is on the horizon, as is a pole barn/workshop. If I got the paperwork in process now it might be done by the time I move. I was an assistant armorer in Iraq and am going for that MOS as a secondary in the near future also. One other guy would be working with me who is a gunsmith already.

Any info would be appreciated.



To build rifles "for sale" I "think" you need to be a manufacturer. I'm not sure an 01 FFL will be enough.

If you are a renter you need the signed permission of the landlord to run a firearms business, most won't do it.

If you are gonna try a "home based" FFL you will discover the single largest obstacle is "code and zoning." While many places will allow you wife to sell Avon out of the house almost everyplace today (except for very rural or unincorprated areas) have specific rules that prevent the code and zoning of a firearms business of any kind from a residence.

In some areas, Plantation FL for example, you cannot get code and zoning for ANY firearm business even if you have a storefront in the business district.

Before you waste your time, go down to the local courthouse and see if you can get code and zoning approval for a home based firearm business. ATF will NOT approve a FFL if you can't.

You will also need to get an occupation license for a firearms business at the same address, or a letter stating that no licensing requirement is necessary from your city.

If you can get those 2 things you are about 99% home free.
Link Posted: 4/2/2006 9:25:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By JackBurton:
diesel,

Yup, no plans to quit the day job (National Guard Recruiting) this would be strictly a side job at best, fun hobby at least!




The correct answer is "engaged in business for PROFIT" or ATF will DENY your FFL.

And indication that it will be any kind of "Hobby FFL" will be grounds for denying your application.

Again, the phrase to remember at all times is "engaged in business for PROFIT."
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 3:35:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 3:38:01 PM EDT by JackBurton]

Originally Posted By SteyrAUG:

Originally Posted By JackBurton:
diesel,

Yup, no plans to quit the day job (National Guard Recruiting) this would be strictly a side job at best, fun hobby at least!




The correct answer is "engaged in business for PROFIT" or ATF will DENY your FFL.

And indication that it will be any kind of "Hobby FFL" will be grounds for denying your application.

Again, the phrase to remember at all times is "engaged in business for PROFIT."



Roger, got that. It would certainly be a 'FOR PROFIT" venture. Probably not enough to eek out a living on, which is what I meant by that, but I certainly would be doing it to sell guns and gun related services as a home business.
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