How to Become an FFL Dealer

By Jackie Whalen
You need an FFL license to sell firearms.

a gun image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com

A Federal Firearms License, or FFL, allows a person to engage in the interstate sale of firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is responsible for investigating all prospective FFL licensees. The Gun Control Act mandates that the ATF approve or deny all FFL applications within 60 days of the application being received by their office. You must be at least 21 years old and be in compliance with all gun laws in order to receive an FFL license.

Call the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Distribution Center to get an application and fingerprint cards. Their number is 301-583-4696. You will need an Application for FFL License and a Certification of Compliance form. In addition, you need to have two FD-258 fingerprint cards sent to you. You can also order these items on line. The link to the online order form is under Resources.

Fill out your Application for FFL License and Certification of Compliance form when you receive them in the mail.

Have your fingerprints taken at your local police station. Some police agencies may charge a fee for this service.

Get two 2x2-inch photos taken of yourself.

Mail your application, compliance form, fingerprint cards, photos, and application fee to the P.O.Box listed on the application. The application fee will be printed on your application form.

Interview with Industry Operations Investigator. After processing your application and conducting a background check on you, the ATF will send your application to a field office in your area. They will schedule an interview for you with the investigator. The investigator will make a report on his findings and recommend the issuance or denial of your license. The ATF field office supervisor will also issue a report to the Federal Firearms Licensing Center. If your background check is favorable, and you are in compliance with all state and federal firearms rules and regulations, you will be issued an FFL License. This whole process takes approximately two months to complete.

About the Author

Based in Buffalo, N.Y., Jackie Whalen has been writing since 2007. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is currently a third-year law student.

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