Federal Firearms License – Eligibility?

I have tried checking with several sources; some say that the required age for a Federal Firearms License is 18, others say 21. I have also read that different ages are required for purchasing certain types of firearms (shotguns, handguns, rifles and respective ammunition). Does anyone with experience in this field know what the correct required age (for each, if necessary) is?
I’ve always been a legal citizen and have no criminal record, so no factor other than age (I’m 17) prevents me legally from being able to hold a license.
I am particularly interested in rifles, such as assault rifles and battle rifles in .308 Win, 7.62mm, etc. Are there any other requirements for these types of firearms?

8 thoughts on “Federal Firearms License – Eligibility?”

  1. You only need a Federal Firearms License if you intend to buy and sell firearms as a business. You do not need one to buy, own, or possess weapons for your own use or collection.

    If you are thinking about running a gun business, then you will have to be 21 years of age. That is because the FFL will allow you to purchase handguns from other dealers or businesses and the federal law restricts that until you are 21.

    Your age is not the only restriction attached to an FFL. One of the requirements is that you have an actual place of business. . ., it can not be your residence. You are also subject to unannounced inspections by ATF agents who will review your records, inspect your storage facility, etc.

    As far as owning the rifles you mention there is no particular restriction to having them, depending on what state you live in. Here, in Wyoming, I can pretty much own whatever I want. However, in California (and a couple other states), assault style rifles are banned or heavily regulated. Know your State’s laws.

    Enjoy this new hobby.

  2. An FFL, is only needed if you are to sell weapons as a business. If you want an FFL you need to have a store front to do so.

    If you want to purchase for personal use, go find a local FFL Dealer, and have him order said firearms, or have him give you his information and let him know what firearms to expect so you can have them shipped to him from firearm auction sites.

  3. Michael pretty much summed it up perfectly. Now, i just want to add that this question gets asked semi-frequently here. Often, its because somebody gets the idea that it would be SOOO much cheaper and easier to ‘just get an FFL’ so they can buy guns online directly, or get wholesale pricing.

    If this is you idea too, its not going to happen. Aside from the restrictions michael mentioned, you also must have a business license, insurance, and the ATF requires minimum annual sales volume (of $250,000 i believe).

    To address some of your other questions, you must be 18 to purchase rifles & shotguns and thier ammunition. You must be 21 to buy handguns, and handgun ammo.

    You do not need any type of license if you want to buy a gun, unless you live in an oddball state like Illinois or New Jersey, where the state felt that the federal government’s laws werent restrictive enough for some silly reason.

    You may purchase any single action, lever action or semi-auto rifle you like when you are 18. Again a few states have silly laws that restrict certain styles of semi-auto rifles, for no logical reason.

  4. FFLs exist for those who

    #1 make guns
    #2 run a pawn shop
    #3 fix guns
    #4 sell guns as a business, either full time or part time
    #5 import/export guns

    if you are not actually GAINFULLY EMPLOYED in the firearms business, you aren’t going to get an FFL…and you also don’t need one.

    Just turn 18 and go buy an M1A1 from Springfield Armory or a FN-FAL from DS Arms, both of which will be semiauto.

    OR if you are rich, when you turn 18 you can pay the $200 tax stamp and have a sheriff sign off on your purchase of a full auto version (and if he won’t you can form your own corporation for the purpose of owning one) and submit your fingerprints to the FBI for a more careful background check, then you can go on the free market and buy a full auto FN-FAL or whatever you want, just be ready to pay $25,000 for hte gun.

  5. You have some good answers;
    FFL is only for dealers, and you do have to be 21.
    But you can get a C&R Federal license, at 21.
    To legally register a ‘machine gun’ you have to be 21.

    You have to be 18 to purchase a rifle or a shotgun.
    You have to be 21 to purchase a handgun from a Federal Licensed Dealer. Some states also require 21 for any purchase of a handgun.

    Some states require you to be 21 to purchase an "Assault Weapon" as defined by state law.

    An Assault Rifle is select fire and thus is a Machine Gun as defined by the National Firearms Act.

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