Type 01 Federal Firearms Licenses are the most common option for those who want to sell or do gunsmithing work on firearms. We’re going to go through the ins and outs of this class of FFL, including what it does and does not allow you to do, and the requirements to get one.
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The various types of FFL can be essentially broken down into the following categories: Dealer, Manufacturer, Importer, and Other/Collector. There are nine different varieties of FFL (Type 01, Type 02, Type 03, Types 6-11) that mix various aspects of these categories and change what exactly you’re allowed to sell, import, manufacture, or collect.
There is no type 04, or type 05, just as a note.
The most basic of the license types is the Type 01 FFL, which is the easiest and cheapest to get, but also the most limiting in some ways, which we’ll get to in the next section.
A type 01 is suitable for those who want to buy and sell firearms for commercial gain, and gunsmiths who want to be able to do repair and alteration work on existing guns. You cannot manufacture any firearm, including simply assembling from a kit, with a type 01 license.
The advantage of this federal firearm license is that it requires the least amount of paperwork and has the lowest barrier to entry of any of the options available. And if all you want to do is buy and sell commercially-available firearms, this is a great option.
It’s also the perfect option if you’re looking to do basic gunsmith work like re-barreling a rifle, engraving, or simple repairs. You can receive and ship guns, and even customize existing ones for resale, you just can’t manufacture a firearm from raw materials.
You also can’t sell, make, or receive National Firearms Act (NFA) items such as short-barreled rifles or shotguns, suppressors, or anything fully-automatic. These items will require a different license and a Class 3 Special Occupational Taxholder designation to sell, and additional licenses to manufacture.
You also can’t make, import, or sell destructive devices (grenades, flamethrowers, etc)
All in all, the Type 01 is a great way to get your foot in the door as an FFL holder and start a firearm business. If you’re more of a machinist and you’re looking to make something to sell, then you’ll need to look elsewhere and get a different FFL type.
Beyond that, the Type 01 is the perfect place to start a firearms business and get yourself set up as a gun dealer.
The legal requirements for a type 01 FFL are fairly simple. There are state and federal requirements, but in general, if you’re allowed to own firearms and are above the age of 21, then you can get an FFL.
The basic federal requirements are:
The state requirements vary, but in most states, you will have to register your business with the state government, receive a state firearms license (after receiving your federal firearms license), and then receive local zoning permission based on the type of business activity you will be participating in.
Be sure that when you seek zoning permission, if you are a home-based FFL, to make it clear that you are not attempting to create a retail location, and will be generating minimal foot traffic to your area, as this is often a point of contention for home-based FFLs.
If you are looking to have a retail location, then of course you will need to follow all your local zoning restrictions.