In 2022, nearly half of households in the US reported one or more guns in their home, with first-time gun ownership “continuing to soar.” Whether it’s for hunting, training, or other reasons, Americans are passionate to invest in firearms and an important partner in this process are companies with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). Whether it’s a manufacturer of firearms or your local gun shop, many 2A businesses you shop with have an FFL. In this write-up, you’ll learn what an FFL is, the various types of FFLs, how FFLs began, and the increased rescinding of FFLs that impact many businesses across the country. With local gun and ammo shops generating $19.6B in revenue in 2022, FFL holders are more important to Americans now than ever before.
An FFL is a Federal Firearms License, administered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). When you visit your local gun shop, they must have their FFL in order to sell pistols, rifles, and other firearms, as well as certain gun-related add-ons such as ammunition and suppressors. As a leader in the industry, Silencer Shop (which has a Federal Firearms License) is often asked: what is an FFL license? There are 11 different types of federal firearms licenses (FFL) and each license issued by the ATF allows that company to do business in various aspects of the firearms industry. The meaning of "FFL" could vary: manufacturers of firearms and accessories may hold a specific FFL, such as ammo companies (Federal and Hornady) which have an FFL Type 06. FFL licenses were established in 1938 by the Federal Firearms Act while Democrat President Franklin D Roosevelt (also known as “FDR”) was in the White House.
What is an FFL dealer?
Across the 50 United States, there are 130,000+ FFL gun dealers. These businesses, many of which are independent, mom-and-pop small businesses, are valuable resources for gun owners and the local gunshop (LGS) in your city is an FFL dealer. Being an FFL dealer also has particular licenses and taxes: the most common FFL is Type 01, which permits the sale and transfer of non-NFA firearms and allows gunsmithing. A more specialized FFL dealer, may have a Type 07 FFL, permitting them to manufacture and deal in firearms. An additional credential is the Class 3 Special Occupational Tax (SOT), which is required to sell/transfer NFA items.
Buying From an FFL Dealer
Gun laws vary by state, so buying from an FFL dealer will vary based on your place of residence. For example, Texas has constitutional carry and there is no ‘cooling off’ period when you purchase a new firearm. You can buy from an FFL dealer and leave the store with your firearm that day, provided you meet the necessary requirements. In contrast, in New York, gun laws require a permit for all firearms purchases, which makes the buying process more difficult. When contacting your local FFL dealer, asking them for relevant regulations would be a good resource to be sure you’re complying with applicable laws.
FFLs Being Revoked by the ATF
The ATF revoked 500% more FFLs in 2022, while renewals are also being denied. This alarming trend has been called “misplaced priorities” and ATF field offices are reported to have said this trend will do more harm than good. Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga) said it’s “definitely obvious” about the revocation being an attempt to hinder the right to bear arms for many Americans. CBS reported that “iconic” gun shops are closing. Please support your neighborhood gun shop and if you are a local FFL and think you have been targeted, please click here for more details.