Can a "civilian" get an FFL (Federal Firearms License)?

Can anyone get an FFL? Or do you have to own a gun store or something? If so how would you go about doing it?
Is there any benefit to have an FFL or the Collectors license? like can you get cheaper prices or anything?
Yea basically I’m just trying to figure out a way to purchase guns online without the need of transferring the gun to an FFL dealer because I’m tying to save money and avoid the hassle of going through extra steps

10 thoughts on “Can a "civilian" get an FFL (Federal Firearms License)?”

  1. what you’re asking for is to obtain an FFL so you can enlarge your private collection by just having the firearms shipped straight to your house?

    i believe that with the new BATF requirements what you’re asking for is illegal. the BATF now requires an actual place of business,not your garage. an FFL is for people who will be making a large percent of their income by firearm sales/transfers, not adding to your collection. you could get a C&R w/o much trouble.

  2. Yes but BATFE is a bit more strict now days. I had one for years. Call your nearest BATFE office and ask them to mail you the application package

  3. Anybody can apply for an FFL. It has nothing to do with the military. Owning a gun shop is expensive and is more than a full time job though. Don’t do it unless you are extremely dedicated and willing to take a chance at failing.

    Here’s the ATF’s FAQ section on FFL licenses:


    I think you’re referring to a C&R license. If you get your C&R you can get C&R guns shipped right to your house and avoid the FFL transfer and associated fees. Most places will also give you a discount on C&R items, but not all do.

    Be aware that C&R licenses are only useful when you are buying C&R guns and is of absolutely no use unless you are into older guns.

    To be recognized by ATF as a C&R firearm, a firearm must fall into at least one of the following three categories:

    -Firearms which were manufactured more than 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof;

    -Firearms which are certified by the curator of a municipal, State, or Federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest; and

    -Any other firearms which derive a substantial part of their monetary value from the fact that they are novel, rare, bizarre, or because of their association with some historical figure, period, or event. Proof of qualification of a particular firearm under this category may be established by evidence of present value and evidence that like firearms are not available except as collector’s items, or that the value of like firearms available in ordinary commercial channels is substantially less.

  4. Most military personnel are to busy to be in the business of selling firearms. There are two wars going on and numerous hot spots all over the globe.

    There are restrictions on who can get a FFL, much like there are are who can legally buy a firearm.

    BATFE wants you to list a business location and store time on the form.

    Fill out the forms pay your money and wait.

    Not C&R license is also a FFL but not to sell firearms only to collect them. You need not a store location nor business hours for the C&R license.

  5. You can but the ATF does not like it. For a while it was a way to own a newly manufactured machine gun. So they cut down on the number of FFL who don’t actively do business.

  6. it’s much tougher and very expensive now. When I got mine, it was $35.00 and no store was required. Now, you must have a business in a specific store (not your garage) and the cost is phenomenal.
    shoot safe

  7. You can get an FFL, but only for business purposes. It is illegal to use one to enhance your own gun collection.

    The one exception to this rule is the C&R license. It’s cheap & easy to get. It lets you ship certain historic and/or old guns straight to your home, no FFL dealer as a middleman.

  8. midwayusa, brownells, and others give you the "dealer" discount if you have a FFL 03 (C&R). These discounts are worth the 30 dollar ffl cost by itself.

    You can also get nice historical weapons sent directly to your door. If you do get a C&R FFL, I would suggest that you get you a CZ-82 as soon as you can.

  9. As stated, unless you REALY want to start a business and have the capital to do so, don’t go down that path. My company has an import/export and manufacturing FFL, by default we can also deal. We have no store front and we do no sales at all online.

    We do however have a180,000 square foot factory and do produce numerous firearm components. So we are very legitimate. The FFL in itself is not that expensive, but you need to a competent and legitimate establishment. When we applied the ATFE spent three weeks on site to ensure our legitimacy. As someone else stated, don’t even think about doing it out of your garage. We have two 5 axis C&C’s, 14 high speed lathes, 2 laser cutters / engravers, etc.

    All told I have put about around $4.5M into equipment alone. That was 5 years ago and 2011 marks the first year we turned a profit!

    If you want to purchase for yourself and save some money, your best bet is getting a job at a legitimate gun shop.


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