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The FFL application process can seem very daunting at first. From all the paperwork that needs to be filled out, annual fees that are required, to information and updates that must be recorded; there are a host of things to do in order to obtain an FFL. The easiest way to conquer the FFL application process is to break it down into easy to understand steps that guide you along the way. In breaking it down into steps you’ll be making your job of applying easier to accomplish.
The first step in the FFL application process is actually to order an application from the ATF. This can take up to two weeks to deliver! Since it’s one of the easiest steps in the process, there are other things that you can do meanwhile so that you’re making the most of your time.
The second step to ensure success in your FFL application process is to check your local planning and zoning requirements and regulations to make sure that your FFL-holding business will be in compliance with local zoning ordinances. As many of us are well aware, zoning requirements are one of the most common reasons that an FFL is denied. You should therefore spend plenty of time making sure that your business will be in compliance. Do this while you’re waiting for your FFL application to come in, and you’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone.
The third step is to make up your mind about which FFL you’d like to have. This is one of the most important steps because what class or type of license you obtain will determine what you ave to pay, what paperwork you will have to finish, and all the different requirements that you’ll have to meet. It doesn’t matter if you’re pursuing a class 3 license or a Curio & Relic (C&R) license, you’ll need to make sure that you choose the right type for the type of business you plan to conduct.
The fourth step is to go ahead and incorporate your business or set up as sole proprietorship. In order to be a licensed FFL holder, you have to actually have a business. You can’t just have an FFL in your name alone; you actually have to have it in your business’s name as well. So you’ll have to go through the proper state agencies to set yourself up as a business. This is not to say you cannot run the business from your home, but you will need to setup a business front.
Once you’ve done all these things – set yourself up as a business, decided which FFL’s you want, and confirmed that your zoning is okay – you’ll want to mail in that application to the ATF, and they should have it back to you in two months. After that all you do is wait, and then you have the FFL interview from the ATF. Once you get past the interview, you get your license and get rolling. It’s all downhill from there.
In short, if you’re going through the FFL application process, the best way to handle it is to break it up into steps. There are FFL Guides available making the process easier, better understood and increase chances 10 fold of obtaining your Federal Firearms License (FFL).