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  • PWF3

    New Member
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    Sep 15, 2008
    7
    1
    I was thinking about getting the appropriate FFL so my son and I could buy and sell guns to make some extra money. Kind of a small home-based business type thing. But I feel the need to get some advice first: What "gotchas" am I not seeing here? and my biggest question is: "How do you find a good wholesaler?"

    Couldn't find much on-line so I thought someone here could help.
    Thanks in advance.
    Venture Surplus ad
     

    JKTex

    Well-Known
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    Mar 11, 2008
    2,011
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    DFW, North Texas
    I think current requirements include having a brick and mortar store. Or maybe they just make it tougher if you don't have one??

    But the BATF web site should steer you in the right direction in regards to what they require.

    I think as a business, it's tough as I don't think there's a lot of margin unless you're a preferred dealer such as a Kimber Master Dealer, but you have to keep up a certain level of sales.
     

    DirtyD

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    Sep 20, 2008
    1,627
    31
    Spring
    CDNN is a wholesaler, the problem is they will sell to ANY one.... you just have to have it shipped to an FFL....
     

    mac79912

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    BANNED!!!
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    Mar 4, 2008
    1,666
    21
    Southern Ohio Gun,RSR and Ellet Brothers are who I deal with.Do not expect to get a license fast as the process can take months to get approved.
     

    txinvestigator

    TGT Addict
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    May 28, 2008
    14,204
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    Ft Worth, TX
    No B&M store is required. You will need a room dedicated to the operation of the business....Kitchen table operations are no longer approved.

    When my friend set his up in 2007, the ATF was helpful and helped him expedite the process as much as possible.
     

    drj3828

    Active Member
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    Mar 4, 2008
    273
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    Grimes County, TX
    Last time I checked into it you had to have a building separate from your dwelling(house) and had to advertise in two forms newspaper yellow pages internet. And also post a business sign at the location, this was about two years ago. I am sure things have changed in two years though. best to contact the BATF for the correct answers.
    DRJ
     

    txinvestigator

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    May 28, 2008
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    Ft Worth, TX
    Last time I checked into it you had to have a building separate from your dwelling(house) and had to advertise in two forms newspaper yellow pages internet. And also post a business sign at the location, this was about two years ago. I am sure things have changed in two years though. best to contact the BATF for the correct answers.
    DRJ

    Nope.
     

    CowDog

    New Member
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    0   0   0
    Sep 26, 2008
    32
    1
    South of Iowa Park
    Them Clinton horsepatoots reported private FFLs to local authorities in cities, to get them in trouble with zoning ordinances controlling businesses in residential areas. No matter which one gets elected this time, it doesn't look good for guns, private FFLs, or anything else. Get the lowdown from the BATF and figure out what you can do. If you get forced out, you're still stuck with making copies of everything you did and sending it to BATF, and then keeping records for five years, and being on their list of folks whose house they can enter at anytime day or night for inspection, at any BATF whim. BATF is likely to get a lot of whims in the next few years.cd
     

    springmom

    New Member
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    Apr 3, 2008
    8
    1
    Spring
    One thing....if you live in a neighborhood with deed restrictions, check those carefully. If there are restrictions on running a business from your home, ATF will not grant the FFL. I thought about this, as it would be ideal for me; but our neighborhood has such a restriction. Mind you, it's ignored by several folks, including my neighbor two doors down who runs a TRUCKING business out of his driveway (one truck only, thank heaven, but he's not subtle about it...he carries oil rig parts around on it!). But they will see that as a local ordinance that says you can't do it.

    For a state that's as big on property rights as we are, how those bloody HOA's and deed restrictions EVER got the foothold they have, I'll never understand. But that's a different topic altogether.

    Springmom
     

    JKTex

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    Mar 11, 2008
    2,011
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    DFW, North Texas
    I think you'll find that no HOA can restrict a business being run out of any house unless it has customers, employee's or others that enter and exit the house on a regular basis.

    But that's probably moot in this case.
     

    Renegade

    SuperOwner
    Rating - 100%
    1   0   0
    Mar 5, 2008
    11,799
    96
    Texas
    How about this:

    I actually have an FFL/SOT and operate out of my property. I live on a ranch and run the business out of a shop, not my actual residence, though it is all on the same property. However, my actual residence would have been OK too.

    The biggest gotcha is zoning, but I am rural and un-incorporated so that was no problem. I do know 4-5 FFLs that run business out of their suburban residences.

    You do not have to have a B&M shop. You do not have to have retail hours, just business hours. You do not even to let customers on your property (think wholesalers), etc.

    Now, it is HIGHLY unlikely you can even come close to price matching guns compared to the big dealers like Bachman, Schramm, Gun Zone etc., unless you are going to do the volume they do. So you need to find a niche that you can cater to that the volume dealers ignore if you plan on making money.

    Find wholesalers is the last problem you will have.
     

    JKTex

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    Mar 11, 2008
    2,011
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    DFW, North Texas
    Sporting Arms (Welcome to SportingArms.com, your source for discount firearms, ammo, and accessories. Brands such as Browning, Kimber, Remington, Sigarms, Colt, Winchester and more.) who I know sell all over the country and don't do even do auctions, are set up in their home here in the DFW area (just a few miles from me). They do however have a pretty cool set up for the business. Their formal living and dining rooms are a full fledged office and stock room. Last time I was there (appointment only) they had 2 UPS package cars that had just unloaded. They do a lot of business and are extremly competitive on pricing. They're even a Kimber Mastrer dealer which I understand is hard as hell to keep these days. But they get the good pricing and I know close to 10 people I've referred who ended up buying because of price and just how nice they are to work with.

    So I guess it can be done, but it sounds like you really need to do a lot of volume to survive.
     

    Shorts

    TGT Addict
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    6   0   0
    Mar 28, 2008
    4,607
    31
    Texas
    First off - go to the source: ATF Online

    FAQ: General Questions- FAQ's


    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Who can get a license? [/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][Top][/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] [/FONT] [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]ATF will approve the application if the applicant: [/FONT]

    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Is 21 years or more of age; [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Is not prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition; [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Has not willfully violated the GCA or its regulations; [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Has not willfully failed to disclose material information or willfully made false statements concerning material facts in connection with his application; [/FONT]
    • [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Has premises for conducting business or collecting; and, [/FONT] [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The applicant certifies that-- [/FONT]
      [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif](1) the business to be conducted under the license is not prohibited by State or local law at the place where the licensed premise is located to include compliance with zoning ordinances; [/FONT]
      [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif](2) within 30 days after the application is approved the business will comply with the requirements of State and local law applicable to the conduct of the business; [/FONT]
      [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif](3) business will not be conducted under the license until the requirements of State and local law applicable to the business have been met; [/FONT]
      [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif](4) a completed copy of the application has been has been sent or delivered to the chief law enforcement officer of the locality in which the premises is located; and,. [/FONT]
      [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif] (5) secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place in which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees ("secure gun storage or safety defined in 18 U.S.C. 921 (a) (34) ) .[/FONT]
     

    jbeni96

    New Member
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    Apr 23, 2009
    1
    1
    I'm a home based FFL in Sierra Vista Arizona. I run the business from a room in the house. I do have to post some signs required by the ATF in the room, but nothing outside the house. That might be a local zoning thing. I was inspected and received my FFL in the mail 5 business days after the inspection.
     

    lonewolf23c

    Active Member
    Rating - 0%
    0   0   0
    Oct 2, 2008
    552
    1
    Idaho
    In order to qualify for an FFL you have to have posted "business hours" say you would be willing to help customers from 9am-3pm, Monday Through Friday you would have to post it in a window or similar location so that its easily visible. It costs $150 for a 3 year license, and it takes a while to get approved. Also there are a few other guidelines and rules you have to follow also, too many to list here, but if you send me a PM with your email address and I can get you a copy of my FFL book in PDF format to help you out.

    I'm taking an online gunsmithing course right now and part of the course goes into detail about FFL requirements, so I could help answer your questions by simply sending you the book.

    Bill
     

    navyguy

    TGT Addict
    Emeritus - "Texas Proud"
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    0   0   0
    Oct 22, 2008
    2,986
    31
    DFW Keller
    TXInvestigator's got it right. You need to dedicate a room for your business, and it has to be a business not a hobby. You need to do business with the general public. You can't just say I'll only sell to my friends. Your "room" is open to ATF inspection.

    I thought about doing that after I retire, but I talked myself out of it. Doing it out of my house is just out of the question, and unless I could find a small space to rent really cheap, it would not be worth it. As glamorous as it sounds, to make ANY mone, it would turn into real WORK.
     
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