Types of Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL)
Any kind of federal regulation is usually complicated and federal firearms licenses, abbreviated FFL, are no exception. There are 9 types of federal firearms licenses. Any person who manufactures, sells or is a pawnbroker or importer dealing with guns, ammunition or explosives is required to have a federal firearms license. These licensing requirements are controlled by the Gun Control Act of 1968 and any other firearms legislation enacted since then.
Since there is such a broad range of firearms, ammunition, explosives and activities covered by federal firearms legislation, there are currently nine types of FFL. Depending upon how an individual dealer or company conducts business, more than one FFL may be required to comply with all the federal regulations.
The types of FFL and their general description are:
- Type 1 – Dealer in Firearms. A Type 1 FFL applies to dealers who sell or repair pistols, revolvers, rifles, and/or shotguns.
- Type 2 – Pawnbroker. A Type 2 FFL allows a pawnbroker to take in and sell firearms including pistols, revolvers, rifles, and/or shotguns.
- Type 3 – Collector of Curios and Relics. A Type 3 FFL covers collectors of antique and specialty firearms as specified in federal firearms regulations. Basically a Type 3 FFL applies to firearms that are over 50 years old. A collector is not authorized to sell firearms like a dealer.
- Type 6 – Manufacturer of Ammunition for Firearms. A Type 6 FFL is required of any business or individual that manufactures ammunition or the materials that are used in reloading of ammunition, not including armor-piercing ammunition. This license also covers machine guns, sound suppressors, short-barrel shotguns and rifles, explosive devices, bombs, rocket launchers and cannons.
- Type 7 – Manufacturer of Firearms. A Type 7 FFL is required of any business or individual that manufactures any type of firearm, ammunition and/or ammunition components other than armor-piercing ammunition or destructive devices. It also allows the holder to be a firearms dealer as if they also held a Type 1 license.
- Type 8 – Importer of Firearms/Ammunition. Importers of firearms and ammunition other than destructive devices must obtain a Type 8 FFL.
- Type 9 – Dealer in Destructive Devices. Destructive devices include machine guns, sound suppressors, short-barrel shotguns and rifles, explosive devices, bombs, rocket launchers and cannons. A dealer with a Type 9 FFL is allowed to buy and sell these devices.
- Type 10 – Manufacturer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices or Armor-piercing Ammunition. An individual or company with a Type 10 FFL is allowed to manufacture destructive devices and ammunition for them, as well as armor-piercing ammunition.
- Type 11 – Importer of Destructive Devices. A Type 11 FFL holder can import into the United States only destructive devices that were manufactured in another country. This license does not cover more conventional firearms like handguns, rifles and shotguns.
Beyond the 9 Types of Federal Firearms Licenses, there are 3 Classes. When obtaining a Federal Firearms License it is highly recommended researching the “type” that applies to you and which “class” of license you may need to perform your specified firearms transaction.
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