The first step in obtaining a firearms license is to decide what type of federal firearms license you’ll need. Type 1 licenses are used to sell guns and ammunition, and Type 7 licenses are for manufacturing firearms. While Type 1 FFLs can do everything a Type 2 can, a Type 7 license is necessary to manufacture guns. The ATF considers any assembly of gun parts to be manufacturing. Also, you must meet certain requirements to manufacture destructive devices, including any gun or explosive device with a bore diameter of half an inch or more.
Once the IOI has inspected and interviewed you, he will write a report on his or her findings. Depending on your location, the license may not be issued. If your application fails to meet the requirements of local law, such as zoning ordinances or gun control acts, the IOI may deny you your license. Ultimately, your field office supervisor will review the report and make a recommendation to the FFLC.
An FFL application must also meet the ATF’s business intent requirements. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements for the license, including a letter of authorization from the ATF and a fingerprint card obtained through Form FD-258. Applicants may skip the photo and fingerprint card if they have the Type 03 license. Once all these requirements are met, the FFLC will issue their license. The application process typically takes about two months and includes more paperwork than a traditional FFL application.
Getting a federal firearms license is one of the most difficult things to do in the gun business. It takes extensive background checks, personal one-on-one exams with ATF agents, and a background check that can take a few months. If you’re a non-resident alien, you will also need documentation proving your exempt status or waiver from this requirement. It’s essential that you keep a clean background.
Depending on the type of firearms enterprise you’re operating, you’ll need to decide on the fee. Type 7 FFLs cost $200 and are good for gun shop owners and pawnbrokers. You’ll need to pay an additional fee if you want to manufacture ammunition or sell NFA items. A Type 8 federal firearms license costs about $2250 for a three-year validity. And the renewal fees are $90 each year.
Once you’ve completed the application, the ATF will conduct an electronic background check. You’ll need to name the Responsible Person for the firearm and complete the corresponding questionnaire. The ATF defines a Responsible Person as someone who “controls or supervises” the firearm business. This includes corporate officers, board members, shareholders, and any employee with legal authority to manage firearms. You’ll also need to fill out ATF Form 7/7CR.