What is an FFL? Why do I need one?


What is an FFL?

Federal Firearms License (FFL) is a license in the United States that enables an individual or a company to engage in a business pertaining to the manufacture or importation of firearms and ammunition, or the interstate and intrastate sale of firearms. Holding an FFL to engage in certain such activities has been a legal requirement within the United States since the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Why do I need one?

Lets go over a few points that you may not know:

  • ALL gun sales are “face to face”. Even though you bought the gun from someone in another state via the Internet, you will have to take possession of the gun from a local dealer. You will, of course, have to comply with all federal, state, and local requirements for owning a gun.
  • There are only two ways to have a gun shipped directly to your house. The first, is if you are a federal licensee and your ‘premises’ are also your house. The other way to have a gun shipped directly to your house is if you own the gun in the first place. For example – if you need to ship a gun back to the manufacturer or a gunsmith, then they will send it directly back to you.
  • Accessories don’t apply. Magazines, scopes, ammunition, and everything without a federally regulated serial number can be purchased directly without any sort of federal license.

With the legal requirements and rules of the sales of guns decided by the United States, an FFL transfer is the only way we can sell you a gun.  You are responsible or finding your own FFL in your area to transfer your gun to.  Make sure you check with local law enforcement or a nearby FFL to make sure the gun you are purchasing is legal in the area of your place of residence.  Some things that may be illegal in your place of residence is the actual gun type, size of magazine, and model.  Remember that laws change and to make sure before buying your firearm that you check.


Side Note:  Some states do not allow the sale of buying online ammunition and some states are passing laws that ammunition imported from another state has to goto an FFL.  So always check your local laws.

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Richard Blakeman