Legally Armed: V22N3

By Teresa G. Ficaretta, Esq. & Johanna Reeves, Esq.

Applying for a Federal Firearms License

We are frequently asked to provide assistance to individuals and companies who wish to obtain a federal firearms license (FFL) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This article provides guidance on the process of applying for a FFL and how to avoid problems and delay.


The Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), 18 U.S.C. Chapter 40, makes it unlawful for any person to engage in the business of importing, manufacturing or dealing in firearms without obtaining a license from ATF. The GCA sets forth the fees ATF may charge for a license and the criteria ATF must apply in approving or denying an application. The statute requires ATF to issue a license if the following criteria are satisfied:

Pursuant to ATF’s regulations implementing the GCA, applicants for manufacturer and importer licenses do not need a separate license to...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V22N3 (March 2018)
and was posted online on February 9, 2018


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