An FFL in any state can be a valuable asset for anyone who wants to buy and sell firearms, make their own weapons, or handle explosive devices. There are 3 main types of firearm businesses:
- Importing or Selling Domestically
- Buying and Selling
These are the cornerstones of what an FFL or Federal Firearms License covers. The process is not overly difficult if you understand what the federal and state governmental agencies need from you. In this blog, we go over the FFL process for the state and the feds. Here’s a closer look at what you will need and what the process entails.
Benefits of Having a Florida FFL
The biggest benefit of having an FFL in Florida is that you can store and ship guns or ammo directly to or from your place of business. That means if you are a home-based business with an FFL, you can ship guns or ammo to your home.
Because an FFL makes your gun buying and selling business legal you also gain all of the tax incentives offered to those people who own businesses. In addition, your legal business has access to many of the gun and ammo manufacturers that a non-FFL would not have.
The Steps to Get Your FFL in Florida
The state of Florida does not have any additional licensing requirements beyond those required by the Federal Government and the ATF. In Florida, you only need a Federally issued FFL to be able to buy and sell guns as a business.
The short answer here is that the steps you need to get an FFL in Florida are those required by the ATF.
Before you get started on that process, it is a good idea to ask yourself if you can legally own a gun.
Step 1 – Can you pass a background check? In Florida, obtaining an FFL is not difficult if you can pass the background check. What you will need is:
- to Complete a fingerprint card and submit it to the ATF.
- Physical address
- Full name
- Social Security Number
- Date of Birth
- Place of birth
- Former addresses
- Personal information – height, eye color, gender, etc.
Additionally, you will need to answer a long list of questions about your past in relation to former FFLs, revocation of FFLs, businesses, etc.
If you are free of felony convictions for drug and alcohol or violent crimes, and if you do not have any restraining orders in place or a history of domestic violence, then you will likely pass the background check. If you are a corporation – then every member of the management team will be required to submit a background check on the ATF form along with fingerprints. For those businesses that are sole proprietorships or that have only a single owner or manager, then only one form is required.
Step 2 – Choose the type of business you are – sole proprietor, LLC, corporation, partnership, etc. If you are not a sole proprietor you will need to prove you have the authority to be an LLC, corporation, partnership, etc.
Step 3 – Add your business details – EIN numbers, address, responsible persons, etc.
Step 4 – Choose the type of FFL or multiple FFLs that you are applying for – dealer, manufacturer, importer, etc.
Step 5 – Include your payment information.
Page 2 of the FFL Application
Page two of the application returns to business details. An FFL dealer is a recognized business that buys, sells, or manufactures firearms, ammo, or explosive devices. You will need to gather the legal business information for this section.
Step 6 – The ATF will want to know your operating hours, whether or not this is a brand new business or one that you’ve purchased from someone else, any old FFL numbers that are associated with you or the business, local zoning information, and information about the premises such as if it is a military organization, single-family dwelling, They will also want to know how you plan to run your business – as a shop or with a mobile component such as selling at gun shows.
Page 3 of the Application – Chief Law Enforcement Officer
The Chief Law Enforcement Officer is the “big gun” in your area. It can be your local chief of police if you live in a city, the county sheriff if you live rurally, or the head of the state police. It can also be your local district attorney.
Step 7 – Name the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for your area. This person has no real control over your application, but the ATF will check with them to make sure they do not have additional information about you that may prevent the approval of your application.
Step 8 – Finger Prints – You will need to attach a fingerprint card, a 2″x2″ photograph of the applicant – all if more than one is applying and also an additional Part B for each applicant.
The remainder of the form is a full list of instructions and a second copy of the application which would go to the Chief Law Enforcement Officer. If you are filling this out by hand, then you will need to fill out each set of applications.
Step 9 – Proofread the applications, make sure that everything needed is provided, and every place that requires a signature is signed. Each person on the application must complete form B in its entirety. Double-check the payment method and that you understand your fees for this application. They will vary by FFL type. Mail the application to the address provided on the form. You can also use FastBound to fill out the forms automatically and submit them electronically.
Federal FFL Requirements
The federal requirements for an FFL holder are that:
- You are free of felony charges and convictions, especially those involving drugs, alcohol, and violent crimes.
- You are over the age of 21.
- You do not have any restraining orders, or domestic abuse charges pending, and you are an upstanding citizen of the United States.
Florida FFL Requirements
The state of Florida does not require any additional licenses beyond the federal FFL application. That can vary on a local level, so it is always a good idea to check with your local ATF bureau to see if there are local requirements.
Florida FFL Cost
The cost of an FFL on the federal application ranges from $30-$3,000 depending on the type of FFL you are applying for. You can apply for multiple FFLs as required for your business.
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FFL in Florida? FastBound Can Help
While the FFL application to the ATF is fairly straightforward it can be challenging, especially because of its length and because it is required in duplicate. The application is the easy part for most FFL businesses. What is the most challenging is the continual compliance with ATF rules even as those rules change.
FastBound simplifies compliance for any FFL dealer or business. The platform comes with guaranteed legal defense backed by FFLGuard to help every FFL member legally counter and compliance issues. Other features include:
- Unlimited and Accurate A&D forms and submissions of forms electronically across most types of FFLs. One of the most common reasons for sanctions from the ATF is paperwork issues. FastBound makes the process simplified, faster, readable, and accurate. From semi-automatic to long guns and pistols, the A&D features offered by FastBound keep you in compliance.
- Form 4473 – FFL holders can fill out form 4473 on any smart device to be submitted and stored electronically. You can turn a tablet, smartphone, or Desktop computer/laptop into an easy-to-use workstation for your clients and your staff all without any additional software or equipment needed. FastBound makes firearm transfers easy and accurate.
- Fearless multi-sales reporting – FastBound handles multiple sales reports electronically and helps you check the form’s accuracy before you submit it. Erroneous multi-change reports rank near the top for noncompliance issues from the ATF. FastBound helps you correct those errors before they reach the ATF. You can automate incoming transfer forms making the process easy and accurate and with electronic storage, there is no need to keep those dusty piles of forms around.
- Electronic Bulk Changes – As an FFL License holder, FastBound allows you to electronically correct errors from A&D with ease and accuracy without further issues from the ATF.
- Automation made easy – Fill out Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and State forms easily as FastBound helps you automate and populate forms electronically. From firearms transfer forms to A&D forms, the automated features offered by FastBound not only make the process easy, but accurate as well.
- Florida has no additional state requirements beyond those of the ATF. But that can change and when or if it does, FastBound will update and notify you of those changes. The platform works with all changes on the state and federal levels to keep you in compliance with FFL practices at all times.
For a firearm dealer, FastBound makes transferred firearm sales a snap while keeping you in compliance with local law, Florida law, and Federal Law. As a gun dealer, FastBound works with your business instead of competing with it. Your gun sales to private individuals remain in compliance even when the ATF or Florida changes the rules suddenly.