Michigan has no specific laws governing the issuance of an FFL (Federal Firearms License). If you wish to sell firearms in the state as an individual, you will have to abide by normal business tax regulations. Federal Firearms Licenses are issued and regulated by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE). The BATFE has an FFL application process that must be followed carefully.
Use the Michigan State Police website to search your criminal history records. If you have ever been convicted of a crime that is punishable by being imprisoned for more than one year, you cannot obtain a FFL. Usage of any controlled substance, not having valid U.S. citizenship, having been dishonorably discharged from the military, or having been deemed mentally unstable all disqualify a person from getting a FFL. Furthermore, if a restraining order has been issued against you, or if you have violated any federal firearms law in the past, you will not be issued an FFL.
Read More: How to Complete an FFL Renewal Application
Apply for a Michigan Sales Tax and Business Tax License. You must have a physical location within Michigan to conduct firearms transactions. This can be a retail store or your home, as long as the home is open for customers to be assisted in the transaction. You must also make sure you are complying with any local laws pertaining to selling firearms, including county or city ordinances.
Contact the BATFE distribution center to have a FFL application packet sent to you by U.S. mail. For security and legal reasons the application, know as Form 7 – Application for Federal Firearms License, is not available for download on the BATFE website.
Prepare the additional required support materials, including ID cards and photographs. Contact your local law enforcement agency and arrange to have two fingerprint ID cards made to include with your application. You will also need to have two, 2 inch by 2 inch photographs taken of yourself and enclosed with your request for an FFL.
Complete the application when it arrives and mail it back with your fingerprint ID cards and photographs. You will find a specific return address listed on your FFL application. Make sure to include a check, money order or credit card payment to cover the application fee.
Wait to be contacted by the bureau for an in-person interview. During the meeting all federal, state and local requirements will be discussed with you and your application information will be verified. The BATFE agent will then submit a report and make a recommendation to accept or deny your application.
Once your FFL application fee is processed, a complete electronic background check will be performed on you. It is very important to make sure all information on your application is true to the best of your knowledge; you may be penalized for supplying false information.
You must be at least 21 years of age to obtain a FFL. By law, if you are approved for a FFL, it must be issued to you approximately 60 days from when the BATFE receives all your required application material.
Theresa Custodio is a Michigan-certified nurseryman with over 10 years experience. She has spent over five years working for the State of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality writing permits and violation notices, which are published for public record. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University with a major in biology and a minor in conservation and resource use.