Aspiring gun dealers in North Carolina must obtain a Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL) before doing business.
Unlike some other states, North Carolina does not have any further licensing requirements at the state level for gun dealers, but retailers must adhere to state laws that govern how guns are sold in addition to meeting all FFL licensing guidelines.
Apply for an FFL by obtaining Form 7 from The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the group responsible for issuing licenses. Obtain a form by calling 301-583-4696 or order online via the ATF Distribution Center Form on their website (see Resources section). Along with your application, which contains questions about your age, criminal background, how you plan to comply with state law and where you plan to do business, submit two 2-by-2 inch photographs, fingerprints and the appropriate licensing fee. Fingerprints must be made by a law enforcement agency. The licensing fee varies depending on the nature of your gun business and can be found on the application. Send the completed package to the address listed on the application.
Attend an interview with an ATF Industry Operations Investigator (IOI). After the ATF reviews your FFL application, they will arrange an interview for you with an IOI in the regional ATF office that serves North Carolina. During the interview, federal and North Carolina gun laws will be reviewed. You will also be questioned about the information provided in the application. Based on the interview, the IOI will recommend that the ATF approves or denies your FFL.
Understand North Carolina state gun law. Once your FFL license is approved, you are licensed to sell guns in North Carolina, but you must adhere to state law. Under the North Carolina General Statues, you may not sell a gun to anyone under the age of 18 or who does not hold a gun permit issued by the sheriff of the county in which they reside. All retail stores must post a sign reading “It Is Unlawful To Store Or Leave a Firearm That Can Be Discharged In A Manner That A Reasonable Person Should Know Is Accessible To a Minor” at the point of sale. Dealers are required to keep a record of each gun sale, including name and address of purchaser and the date of the sale. These records can be examined by ATF or local law enforcement at any time.
Start your gun dealing business. Once your license is approved and you are compliant with North Carolina state law, you are legally ready to begin selling guns privately or in a retail environment.
FFL licensing takes approximately 60 days.
You cannot download Form 7 or submit it online. Since you need an ATF fingerprint card to submit with the application, you must complete a paper copy.
- gun image by Goran Bogicevic from Fotolia.com