Get to know the basics in buying and selling firearms — from what an FFL transfer is to an in-depth look at how to transfer firearms legally.
Many seasoned gun owners intimately know firearm rules and regulations but when you’re new to hunting or recreational shooting, it can be intimidating. You want to be safe and take all the right steps when it comes to holding the responsibility of a firearm, so diving into buying and selling firearms is a great place to begin.
Liberty Firearms Institute is an amazing resource for firearm information. Not only do we have a state-of-the-art indoor shooting facility, but we also have the leading firearm experts walking our halls! Level up your firearm knowledge and join us as we examine everything related to purchasing and transferring a firearm.
What is a Federal Firearms License (FFL)?
You’ll come to know and hear in the firearm circles the word FFL, so what is it? An FFL accompanies the Federal Firearms Act of 1938, and consist of a couple different types — type I FFL and type II FFL. For a full list, peruse the ATF site here. To conduct any firearms sales, typically firearms dealers and manufacturers have to comply with an FFL to operate a business. Under the FFL, it forbids the transferring of a firearm to a customer unless a specific criterion is met.
At LFI, we house one of the largest firearm retail shops in Colorado. Not only do we hold an FFL license, be we are more than happy to serve as your private firearm dealer and transfer party for firearms purchased online or out of state.
So, why is knowing about an FFL important to the new gun enthusiast?
It all begins with the background check. When you made (or when you make) your first gun purchase you have to comply with a background check. This pertains to an FFL because it’s one of the criteria for selling a firearm to a patron.
Validating a customer’s identity is vital and adheres to the stringent FFL rules and regulations.
Before purchasing the firearm, the dealer must verify your ID and fill out a Firearms Transaction Record (ATF Form 4437). The licensed FFL dealer will then keep an organized record of these forms and keep them for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), if and when they’re needed.
Following the ATF form 4437, the background check is run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to either approve, deny, or delay the application.
When it comes to an FFL, that is about it. It may seem daunting to first-time gun buyers, but a professional firearms dealer will be happy to walk you through the process and answer any questions.
It is also very important to point out and highlight — always ensure the person you’re buying from has an FFL license or you’re taking the proper legal steps in firearm transferring.
As we’ve explored what an FFL is and how it both pertains to the buyer and seller of firearms, many new questions may have been raised such as, “How do I sell my firearm legally?” Transferring a firearm is a process in and of itself, and we’ll explore it in part two — stay tuned!