FFLs or Federal Firearms License is not a single license but a collection of them. The special FFL is 03, which deals with the collector of curios and relic firearms for those people who are C&R holders.
FFL 03 is for anyone who collects curios and relic firearms. The Federal Firearms license 03 defines “curio or relic (C&R) firearms as those which are of special interest to collectors by reason of some quality other than is associated with firearms intended for sporting use or as offensive or defensive weapons.” – Quoted from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) uses three criteria to define what a C&R firearm is. Those include:
Most people understand the 50-year rule. But under #2 and #3, there can be confusion. If you have a gun that you think is a curio or relic but is not listed as such, you can submit the gun to the ATF for review – The department that handles that process is The Firearms and Ammunition Technology Division (FATD) and they will issue a formal classification.
There are other advantages and disadvantages of the 03 FFL.
If you want to have both a personal collection of C&R rifles and C&R handguns, you can do so under Type 03 FFL, but to own and run a gun selling and buying business, you will need a type 01 FFL or another FFL that fits your business model.
The requirements to obtain a 03 FFL include filling out the same application as FFL applicants use for types 01 and 02, etc. You will also need to undergo a background check by the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC.) You may or may not be responsible for the firearm transfer fee. Some Type 03 purchases do not require an FFL.
The 03 FFL does not require an on-site inspection. Also, with the 03 FFL, you only need to fill out Part B for yourself, whereas, for type 01 FFL the entire board of directors and responsible parties for your business would need to each complete Part B.
The basic federal requirements are:
State and local requirements will vary depending on where exactly you are located. In general, expect to have to register your business with the state government and then get an additional license through the state after you get your federal license.
You will also likely need permission from your local zoning board unless you’re in a very rural area. Typically, you will be unable to have a home-based FFL if you’re dealing with destructive devices or explosives, and the state or your local zoning board or fire marshal may require additional pre-licensing inspections.
How to apply – You can download the FFL application form and fill it out. It must be mailed to the Post Office Box on the form. Be sure to include the form for Part B – Responsible Person. Part B is six pages long. The Application for FFL is 12 pages long.
Once you have mailed in the application and Part B, the ATF will review it and initiate a comprehensive background check. If you pass the background check then the ATF will issue you a Type 03 FFL for a Licensed Collector. You do not need to undergo an on-site inspection or interview.