Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 08/08/2018 in FFL Business

BATF Will Approve Home Based FFLs

BATF Will Approve Home Based FFLs

The rumors continue that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATF) is denying home based Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL)...it's gotten out-of-hand. 

It is true the BATF denies FFL applications. BATF will deny a home based FFL. It also denies FFLs for retail business locations. The reasons behind the denials are not that the BATF objects to a home based FFL. The reasons are the application was not filled out properly, the person cannot have an FFL or the property cannot have an FFL based there. 

REASONS FOR DENIAL 

“Some reasons for denial may include failure to comply with State or local law (such as zoning ordinances), evidence of previous willful violations of the Gun Control Act, or falsification of the application,” BATF says

The BATF agent has to come up with a reason within the law and under BATF rules to deny a home based FFL. The agent’s personal opinion is irrelevant. In other words, an FFL is a must-issue license by the BATF. 

Some federal reasons for denying a home based FFL are: 

  • Being under 21 years old. A gun sales FFL gives the person the right to buy and sell firearms, including handguns. Under federal law, a person must be at least 21 to purchase a handgun. 
  • Conviction of a firearm-related crime. 
  • Being a felon. 
  • Convicted or under indictment for a crime that carries a sentence of more than a year in prison. If convicted, the length of the prison stay does not matter. If the charges are dropped or reduced to a charge carrying less than a year, the FFL may still go through, depending on the new charge. 
  • Addicted to illegal drugs. 
  • Committed to a mental institution in the past. 
  • Being in the country illegally. 
  • Dishonorable discharge from the military. 
  • Renounced US citizenship. 
  • Has a restraining order against the applicant. 
  • Convicted on a domestic violence charge. 

These are similar to the list of reasons the FBI gives for denying a firearm purchase. The FBI, not the BATF, conducts background checks on gun purchases. 

EVEN MORE CLEAR 

BATF makes the issue of home based FFLs even more clear. 

Another question on the BATF website asks, “To qualify for a license, must applicants also sell firearms from their premises?” BATF replies, “No… Once issued, a dealer’s license allows the licensee to sell firearms by any means or from any location otherwise permitted by law regardless of his/her intent at the time of application.” 

A Type 01 license, even a home based then allows the license holder so sell guns anywhere it is legal. 

STATE AND LOCAL LAWS 

Where legal is often defined by state and local laws and zoning codes. “Yes, you can get a FFL under federal law but your state may have special rules that prohibit it. For example, if you’re living in an apartment building in New York City, you probably aren’t going to get an FFL,” says RocketFFL. “As long as your local zoning approves of you having a firearms license at the address you choose, then the ATF will give you an FFL!” 

At the same time, BATF also says the FFL does not cover multiple locations. “A separate license must be obtained for each location. However, separate facilities solely to store firearms are not required to be covered by a separate license, although the records maintained at the licensed premises must reflect all firearms held in the separate storage facility,” the agency says

The BATF ruling here covers permanent locations like a house, a downtown store or a bay in a strip mall for example. Gun shows are not permanent locations. 

RENEWAL 

When it comes time to renew the FFL, many license holders wonder if their license renewal will be rejected even if they do not sell guns from their home. 

The BATF says, “No,” in what has to the world-record for both an accurate and concise answer to a question by the federal government. 

FFL APPLICATION 

Depending on the FFL application, BATF can take one to several months to process an application. 

“The FFL application process itself isn’t easy. It requires research, preparation, paperwork and an interview with the ATF. You can navigate the process by yourself. Or you can read advice online. Or you can go with a service,” said Guns.com 

Several companies offer kits for first-time home based FFL applications. 

The top two providers are: 

FFL application help is all over the Internet with videos, how-to articles and more. Be careful. FFL regulations do change. The BATF posts news and announcements on the news section of the agency’s website.


  1. How to Get an FFL
  2. Your FFL Transfer Fee
  3. Gun Wholesalers for FFL Dealers
  4. What Can You Do With an FFL?
  5. The FFL eZ Check System
  6. The NFA and Owning NFA Items
  7. Offline Firearms Marketing and Your FFL Business Plan
  8. Online Firearms Marketing and Your FFL Business Plan
  9. Pawn Shops and the Type 02 FFL
  10. FFL Responsibilities and Regulations
  11. BATF Will Approve Home Based FFLs
  12. Customer Service in Your FFL Business

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