If you have decided that you want to enter the business of buying and selling firearms for a profit, you or your business must obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL). While obtaining the FFL packet from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF or BATFE) is relatively simple, depending on the corporate structure, responsibilities of each member, shareholder and/or employees, the responses to the application questions can become daunting and source of problems in the future, if not properly filled out. It is important to review who all will be “responsible persons” and who all must be “responsible persons” even if they will not be transacting firearm sales.
During the process of procuring an FFL, the field office supervisor of the local BATFE field office will assign an Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) to conduct an in-person interview. The IOI will go over your application and review the relevant State and Federal laws. Sometimes, IOI’s have a tendency to request information that does not have to be turned over but to which the applicant feels obliged to turn over. With proper representation, this can be limited, if not completely curtailed. As an example, IOI’s will frequently request bank statements of individual members of a corporation, which have no bearing on the corporations procurement of an FFL.
The IOI will also consult your local township or city for compliance with local ordinances and ensure that you have the proper licenses and zoning for your business. Unfortunately, many local townships try to prevent new gun stores by erroneous denials of occupancy permits or informing the applicant that the zoning does not permit a gun store. This is another area where proper representation can prove crucial to ensuring that the FFL application process goes as smoothly as possible.
Another unfortunately common trend of late is the BATFE delaying determinations on FFL applications. Although the FFL application process is suppose to be determined within 60 days, it can often take much longer, especially where the individual or corporation is unaware of his/her/its rights and is without representation.
Whether you are a sporting goods store with several locations already or an individual looking to start a new part time business from your home, Prince Law Offices, P.C., has attorneys who understand the issues involved in procuring an FFL. Call us today to discuss your needs or future business ideas and we’ll make sure to make the process as quick and smooth as possible.