What is a Federal Firearms License? An FFL is simply a license to do business in the United States which allows an individual or company to engage in either the importation or interstate distribution of ammunition or firearms, or both, and any other activities related to gun sales. This can only be done with an FFL and a Dealer. However, an FFL does not grant the right to buy, sell, possess, or transfer weapons.
What is the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms? The second amendment to the constitution, also referred to as the amendment recognizes a right of citizens to keep and bear arms, which includes the right to use arms in case of an emergency. The second amendment was intended to include an “arm’s carriage” clause similar to that included in the first amendment. That clause, in its modern form, includes a guarantee that a person may not be “arrested without cause.” The second amendment also guarantees the right to keep and bear arms is applicable to all U.S. residents and applies to those outside of the country as well, except U.S. citizens who are resident aliens, subject to the law of the host country.
So what is a federal firearms license? An FFL is an authorized ID card that gives an individual authorized access to a licensed firearms dealer, who can then resell or trade the firearms to a third party. An FFL must be obtained from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, (ATF) and is granted by the United States Department of Justice. A license holder is not allowed to buy, sell, possess, ship, receive, or transport firearms or ammunition without a valid FFL from the ATF.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms issues a license to any individual who qualifies under federal law to purchase, sell, transfer or transport firearms, ammunition or other items regulated by the Brady Act. To get an FFL you must: be 18 years of age; have not been convicted of a crime involving a firearm; be a U.S. citizen; pay all applicable taxes; and possess a fixed address where you regularly reside. There is no paperwork involved with obtaining an FFL; you don’t need to fax through forms or wait for weeks to receive a response, so there is no hassle or delay.
The second question asked by most would-be firearm buyers is what is a federal firearms license and does not an FFL supersede state laws? There are differences between what is a federal firearms license and what is a state license. For example, an FFL is issued at the national level and does not need to be renewed, whereas a state license needs to be renewed and made effective as it is registered. Also, while the states have their own licensing systems, they also coordinate with the FFL, so a valid FFL can legally transport firearms between states. However, just because you’re not required to obtain an FFL doesn’t mean you can’t buy and sell without it.
The third question most frequently asked is what is a federal firearms license and can it be denied. A federal license can’t be denied because of your illegal drug use or other serious crimes. You may still be denied a license if you have financial ties to criminal organizations and have given money to any group that the agency ties to. If you have an FFL, you can legally sell, buy, transfer, and receive firearms between states.