A Federal Firearms License allows individuals to store, manufacture, sell, distribute, and purchase firearms from local wholesalers or overseas. Whether you want to start a firearm business or serve your community as an FFL holder, you need a Federal Firearms License. It serves as proof that you are eligible to keep and sell guns in a commercial space or from home (if you have applied for a home-based FFL). In this post, we are going to discuss the process of applying for a firearm license, the cost of FFL, its renewal, and the eligibility criteria to get an FFL in Florida. Let’s take a look.

The process of obtaining an FFL differs in each state. In addition to the federal regulations that govern the steps to obtain this license, you must comply with the local and state laws to qualify for an FFL.

Overview of FFL

Before we discuss the process of obtaining a Federal Firearms License in Florida, let’s understand what FFL is and how the application process works.

Overview of FFL

An FFL is issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in the US. To obtain your license, you must meet the eligibility criteria set forth by the ATF and the federal and state laws. The ATF agents will run a background check on you and visit your business premises to ensure your location and the infrastructure are compatible with the nature of the business.

Once you have submitted the application and are done with the screening, ATF will review your past criminal and compliance records to ensure you are eligible to keep and sell guns. After reviewing, they will issue the Federal Firearms License within 60 days, permitting you to start your firearms business.

That was the general FFL application process. Keep reading to learn more about how it works in Florida.

Steps to Obtaining FFL in Florida

You can work with an attorney to simplify the process, but applying for an FFL is not rocket science. This post has every aspect of the application process covered. So, by the end of it, you will be ready with your application. Here are the steps to obtaining an FFL in Florida.

Steps to Obtaining FFL in Florida

Step 1: Understanding Federal Regulations

Federal requirements are the same for all American states, including Florida. However, an individual applying for a firearm license must meet all federal and state conditions to be considered eligible. To get an FFL, here’s what you need:

  • You must be at least 21 years old
  • You have a business location, which is compatible with the firearm business
  • There are no local zoning requirements that restrict you from starting an FFL business in your area
  • You have a clear criminal history, i.e. you never committed a crime that put you in jail for more than a year
  • You have never violated federal firearm laws
  • You have other licenses to manufacture and sell guns, as required by your state
  • You are legally allowed to keep weapons and ammunition
  • You have not made any false statements in the license application

Note that these are federal government requirements for those applying for an FFL in Florida. Once you meet these, you must move on to the state-specific firearm license regulations. Before you collect the application form, make sure you meet these requirements and have no criminal record that prohibits you from possessing guns and other regulated items.

Step 2: Select the FFL Type

FFL comes in different types, each with different permission levels. Knowing the types of FFL and understanding what they offer is crucial to setting up a successful firearm business and ensuring that you meet legal requirements. Depending on your goals, you can choose Type 01 FFL, which works for all firearm dealers. If you plan on manufacturing and selling guns and ammunition, you should consider getting a Type 07 license. Let’s take a look at the different categories of Federal Firearms License Types:

Collector: These individuals can collect firearms, but are not allowed to do firearm or ammunition business.

Dealer: A dealer can work as a gunsmith. They are allowed to have a physical location or an online setup where they list the guns for sale. Simply put, they can engage in the buying and selling of weapons.

Manufacturer: This category is divided into two types—the manufacturer of ammunition, as well as, firearms. They can also act as the dealer of these weapons. Two, the manufacturer of the ammunition only. These license holders cannot manufacture firearms nor they can engage in the firearm business.

Importer: For a more comprehensive license that covers importing, manufacturing, and dealing of firearms, you need to apply for an importer license.

Different Types of FFL

 

License Type Purpose
Type 01 Firearm dealers (selling and buying of weapons, online or offline)
Type 02 Firearm dealers
Type 03 Firearm collectors
Type 06 Manufacturers (ammunition only)
Type 07 Manufacturer (firearms and ammunition)
Type 08 Firearm importers
Type 09 Business engaged in the dealing of destructive devices
Type 10 Manufacturer of destructive devices
Type 11 Importer of destructive devices

 

You can get an FFL license as a sole proprietor or a business. So, how do you know which FFL license is suitable for your business? Let’s take a look at the breakdown of each to explore the most common features that each covers. You can decide on an ideal type of FFL for your business based on these details.

Type 01 FFL

The most common and widely issued license in America is the Type 01 FFL. It allows you to be the dealer and the gunsmith. If you want to become the standard firearm dealer, Type 01 FFL is your best choice. You can start a home-based FFL business or set up a commercial space for buying and selling guns with a Type 01 FFL. It’s a great way to make a side income selling guns online and at gun shows.

Type 02 FFL

Type 02 FFL offers you the same features as the Type 01 FFL, except that you get to be a pawnbroker in addition to a dealer. This allows you to use your weapons as collateral to borrow money temporarily and have your guns back once you return the money. If you are considering firearm pawnbroking activity, it’s advisable to get a Type 02 FFL.

Type 03 FFL

Obtaining a Type 03 FFL is a fairly easy process and it’s also comparatively less expensive than other FFL types. However, with Type 03 FFL, you can only be the collector of the firearm. You can add firearms, including curio and relic, to your weapon collection, but you can’t be a dealer. You can’t engage in any business activity associated with weapons. Also, the license doesn’t allow you to receive modern guns. You can easily obtain a Type 03 FFL without any background checks on each gun you own, but these must strictly be for your personal use.

Type 06 FFL

For the manufacturer of ammunition, a Type 06 FFL is considered the best license. It allows you to manufacture and sell ammunition, but you can’t be a firearm dealer with a Type 06 FFL. You may need additional licenses to expand your manufacturing business to the firearm industry.

Type 07 FFL

Another common type of FFL in Florida is the Type 07 license. It allows you to be a manufacturer, as well as, the dealer of the ammunition and firearms. Fortunately, ITAR regulations have been modified and you are only supposed to pay a fee for firearm manufacturing if it’s an NFA firearm.

Note that this FFL isn’t considered valid for destructive devices and antique weapons. All basic weapons included in the Title I firearms can be manufactured and sold under Type 07 FFL. This includes shotguns, handguns, revolvers, etc. You can also manufacture and sell ammunition with this Federal Firearms License. It’s the most powerful license so far, as it allows you to do everything you can in the Type 01 FFL, plus manufacture ammunition and firearms.

Type 08 and 09 FFL

Type 08 allows you to import firearms, but not destructive devices, while the 09 FFL type is for individuals who plan on importing destructive devices. For those who have connections in international countries and would like to import guns from overseas, the Type 08 FFL is their best choice.

Type 10 FFL

Another popular and powerful license to have in the firearm business is the Type 10 FFL. It’s the same as Type 07 FFL and allows the manufacturing and dealing of ammunition and firearms, but it’s more comprehensive. You need a Type 10 FFL if you plan on manufacturing destructive devices.

Type 11 FFL

Similar to the Type 10 FFL, this license enables you to import destructive devices. Type 11 FFL is quite rare and works for those who need to collect ammunition and weapons from overseas. It’s especially for those working with government agencies. Unfortunately, Type 11 FFL is the most expensive of all and can cost you up to $3000 in application.

Step 3: Enroll in an FFL Course

Getting an FFL requires complete knowledge of the federal firearm laws, your state’s firearm regulations, the zoning restrictions in your area, and the fundamental knowledge of different weapons and their uses. The application process might seem as simple as filling out the 7/7CR form, but it involves background checks and interviews.

Once the ATF has reviewed your application, they will schedule a face-to-face interview with one of their agents. They will want to know your level of expertise and knowledge in the firearm industry and your intent to obtain a Federal Firearms License. Signing up for an FFL course will help you learn everything you should know about getting your FFL in Florida, ATF obligations, federal laws, and other basic regulations concerning the FFL industry. It helps you prepare for your application, interview, and inspection, thus increasing your chances of obtaining your licenses without any issues.

Submit Your FFL Form

You can get an FFL form on the ATF website. You need to attach 2 fingerprint identification cards for background check and verification purposes. Along with that, you must submit two passport-sized photographs. You may need to complete multiple forms and obtain state-level licenses, depending on your location and the type of FFL you apply for. Make sure you discuss your goals with the zoning department in your area to ensure local compliance.

You can also choose a home-based FFL if you do not have a commercial space for a firearm business. For a home-based firearm store, you are allowed to sell your weapons online and at gun shows. Foot traffic, however, is strictly restricted. If you choose a home-based FFL, the ATF team will conduct a house inspection to check whether you have a dedicated space to store and run your firearm business and if your neighborhood and location are compatible with the firearm business.

Getting an FFL in Florida

Getting an FFL in Florida

As mentioned previously, you may need to adhere to the state-specific regulations for an FFL in addition to the federal laws. Here’s what the FFL requirements in Florida include:

  • State Licensing Requirements: The best part about the state for firearm dealers is that there are no state-specific requirements to possess and sell firearms. However, if you move your business to a new state, you must check the state-level regulations for a firearm business and the zoning requirements in that area to prevent any legal complications.
  • Florida Business Registration: Like any business, you are supposed to have your firearm and weapon business registered in Florida. Even if you are from another state and are continuing your firearm business in Florida, you need a separate registration to run a business in Florida. Florida Division of Corporations has explained the steps for starting your business in the state and the legal requirements. Even if you are starting a home-based firearm company, it’s important to have your business registered before applying for an FFL.
  • Local FFL Requirements in Florida: The biggest challenge a firearm business might encounter when applying for an FFL in Florida is the local zoning restrictions. First of all, you must make sure that the location you’ll be using to conduct firearm business operations is in line with the zoning requirements. While a home-based FFL is allowed in most states, including Florida, it’s possible that your application for running a firearm business from home can get declined. Since home-based businesses do not have foot traffic, it can seem challenging to get your application approved. It’s important to check the zoning requirements to avoid any issues later.

Cost of Obtaining FFL in Florida

The Federal Firearms License is issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and is considered valid for up to three years from the date it’s issued. The license must be renewed for the next three years.

The cost of obtaining the firearm license varies depending on the type of FFL you choose. It can start at $30 and can reach a whopping $3000. However, you don’t have to pay that much unless you work for a government agency and need a license to import and sell destructive firearms. The cost of FFL must be transferred to the ATF with your application.

As you can see from the above FFL types table, each FFL comes with different functions and the cost of each might vary depending on the level of permission you get. So, the FFL fee depends on whether you want to be an FFL dealer, manufacturer, importer, or just collector. Let’s check out the application fee structure for FFL in Florida.

Type 01 and Type 02: $200 for application and $90 for renewal

Type 03 and Type 06: $30 for application and $30 for renewal

Type 07 and Type 08: $150 for application and $150 for renewal

Type 09, Type 10, and Type 11: $3,000 for application and $3,000 for renewal

Each license lasts for three years. If you are dealing with NFA, you will incur an additional SOT registration fee.

Conclusion

Getting your FFL license in Florida has pretty much the same requirements as other states in America. You must check state-level laws to learn more about the zoning regulations. Also, if you are planning to start a home-based firearm business, the zoning department and the ATF will require you to submit the landlord’s approval letter. The agents will also discuss your business type and nature with your landlord (if you live in a rented apartment) to ensure they don’t mind their space being used for a firearm business.

FAQs

Do I need any additional licensing to start a firearm company in Florida?

Fortunately, no! Florida doesn’t require additional licensing.

Should I get an FFL to get guns for a lower price?

You must have a business intent, i.e. the desire to start a firearm business to receive an FFL and not just to get weapons at a lower price.

Is business registration mandatory to get an FFL in Florida?

Yes, you must have a registered business to get an FFL.