Part 4 & 1/2: Getting a Home-Based FFL – Interview Monday!

Much to my surprise and well ahead of 60 days (much less 30 days), the local examiner has called to set up my FFL 07 interview. My agent (let’s call him “Rick”) sounded enthusiastic, but overworked. It was a god-send that he had an open day as next week I am heading down to the NRA show for TFB’s coverage. After that, I head to India, Florida, and then on to Saudi Arabia. Ay Carumba!

Rick was a bit incredulous at first on an apartment-based FFL 07, but when I explained what I was up to (design, experimentation, writing, research, and assembly of completed lowers) he was up to speed and on-board.

batfe The extra due diligence submitted with my package paid off. Rick mentioned that he had never seen one so thorough and so easy for him to verify (I included letters from the local zoning board and my landlord will full contact information). Everything has checked out with them so this interview is my last remaining step.

I will write up the topics covered, procedures, etc. after its complete. With any amount of continued luck, my FFL will be at my home by the time I get back from my next world tour. Soon after, NFA item reviews!

Note to everyone out  there: The ATF’s 60 days starts after they accept the application, not when it actually arrives at the ATF. My application arrived on the 20th but was not accepted until the 27th. This puts my turn-around to less than 3 weeks(!) I have to give credit where it is due: FFL123’s suggestions for including due diligence paid off big here. 

Nathan S

One of TFB’s resident Jarheads, Nathan now works within the firearms industry. A consecutive Marine rifle and pistol expert, he enjoys local 3-gun, NFA, gunsmithing, MSR’s, & high-speed gear. Nathan has traveled to over 30 countries working with US DoD & foreign MoDs.

The above post is my opinion and does not reflect the views of any company or organization.


  • David

    It took 30 days to get my interview and 6 weeks to get my FFL

    • Black_Viper

      Same timeframe for mine. 07FFL with a SOT in the future 😉

    • I hope it doesn’t take that long!

      • echelon

        There was a 30 day turnaround from my interview to FFL in hand.

  • Very cool Nathan!

  • Andrew

    Question so once you have your FFL you plan on applying for your SOT? You mentioned NFA item reviews so I was wondering about that.

    • Yep. I will apply for the SOT starting the July 1, 2014-June 30,2015 time-frame. It costs $500 regardless of how much time is left in the year. Think $500 for only a month, yikes!

      • Andrew

        Well I think everyone would certainly be interested in how that process goes once you complete it. Hopefully the time frame is as expedient as this one so you can start filling out those form 3s!

      • david

        You can apply now and date it for July 1. I just sent mine in last week

      • Mack

        Ok, so you got you 07/02 but do you also have to pay ITAR? I am looking to become a gunsmith, but there is a few things i would like to do as a gunsmith that would actually classify me as a manufacture. But a lot of things i reads say if you are a manufacture then your on the hook for the ITAR registration. Please clear this up for me witch some facts beings you were just through this process.

  • Looking to start the process to do mine in the next few months. Awesome job Nathan.

  • Alliance Ammunition

    Hello All,

    I just went through this process and yes it was lengthy. Took about 120 days from what I recall. There is important information that I did not know about forehand that I should share with all of you before you decide this is right for you. First, if you are within 1000 feet of any school, school zone, liquor establishment or any food establishment that makes more than 60% of its revenue from alcohol – you will not be eligible for an FFL. Another note worth mentioning is this – VERY IMPORTANT – if you are attempting to do a HOME BASED FFL, you must do ALL your business at that HOME address, if you don’t and are caught – they will revoke your license and they now post those who violate them on their site regularly. MORE IMPORTANTLY TO THOSE WHO WANT PRIVACY – YOU GIVE UP YOUR 4TH AMENDMENT RIGHT OF DUE PROCESS AND WARRANT OF SEARCH IF YOU ARE GRANTED THE FFL. THIS INCLUDES STATE AND LOCAL LE. I work with our Sheriff locally and he as well as TXDPS, including anyone in the DOJ can essentially just open the door (they don’t need to kick it in either) and take a look around when they please. Typically, unless they suspect you are in serious violations – they do prefer to at least give you notice as some comfort; but if you list your home, they may and can in the case of mine – take a look at my entire premises and will ensure you meet local ordinances (including fire code).

    Second, unless you are a Type 07 – there is no Small Business exemption from FAET tax! You’re probably saying, ‘What is that?” This is a Federal Execise tax that is 11% and is due on all lowers, full assemblies or any complete bolt action design up to the 50 SMB limit. All Type 06 dealers (those of ammo) are IMMEDIATELY subject to the tax and there is no way around it – PERIOD. THIS INCLUDES RELOADS – NOT JUST NEW MANUFACTURE. There is an exemption but the customer must ACTUALLY OWN THE BRASS TO RELOAD AND RETAIN IT AFTERWARDS – thereby you are only doing them a service. If you are thinking of chopping up brass to make new cartridges, prepare for an 11% FAET tax, on top of any state sales taxes and then Federal Income Taxes depending on your business organization type selected. There are considerations in place with the recent sales of ammunition by the general public and LARGE ENTITIES WITH LARGE FUNDS to require Type 06 Licenses for ALL WHO SELL AMMUNITION, even those made by others as well. Good news is, at the moment – if you don’t make it – you don’t pay the tax.

    Another interesting note, ATF is now under the DOJ not the Treasury department and therefore uses the new TTB to collect those FAET and other revenues. This makes the ATF much more powerful to strong arm those who break the laws while revoking a license and prosecuting those who violate them. I was given information on this by the investigator (the ATF person that comes out is not part of enforcement but only licensing and is and investigator). The WORST PART OF THIS FOR BOTH TYPE 06 AND TYPE 07 IS, YOU MUST REGISTER WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT FOR ITAR! Even if you don’t plan to sell to foreign entities, it is because ammunition is listed as an export item and therefore – YOU MUST REGISTER. If you don’t, they do check status types now I hear and mail out a warning the first time they find you are not registered and the second time, they contact via DOJ to revoke your license for not registering when the Investigator informed you to. Best advice for those who want to do a home based FFL from one who just went through it is this – 1. Get a shop set up on your property outside of your home. Then they will not go through your residence. 2. Make sure and darn sure you do not decide to MAKE AMMO but instead, offer a reloading service or just pony up and buy a palate of it like most must now. It’s expensive but you do get some discount on $10k of ammo. Another note, there is a reason you don’t see to many Type 06 FFL licensees and that is why. 3. STAY BELOW YOUR 50 SMB LIMIT – DO TRANSFERS OR SOMETHING since they don’t count towards your limit. My suggestion is to do this, have one company setup to make your lowers and another MUST BE DIFFERENT ADDRESS USUALLY to assemble them if you do so. This gives you double your limit and legally.

    I hope all of this finds all of you well and helps you decide if that FFL is really worth it. If you don’t plan on doing $10k of business, I really wouldn’t bother as its just not worth it with all the fees that were added in 2009. Much of this was a surprise to me as not too many people have a Type 06 – now I know why (not to mention the margins aren’t great unless you a good with math and have top notch machinery as your time is labor and counts for quite a lot).

    Best Regards,
    Brian W Tate, Owner
    Alliance Ammuntion

    • Brian-

      Lots of good information, but I must correct one assertion. Federal law does not preclude FFLs from being within 1000 feet of a school, only that it is illegal to carry firearms within 1000 feet of schools. It is specifically exempted that you may carry on a FFL’s premises.

      Generally, it is unlawful for any individual to
      knowingly possess a firearm within a school zone.
      A school zone is defined as being within a distance
      of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public,
      parochial, or private school. This prohibition
      does not apply to the possession of a firearm on
      private property not part of school grounds, such
      as an FFL’s business premises (e.g., commercial
      storefront, residence, or driveway).

      You bring up some other good questions. My interview is now set for Thursday morning and I will ask as many questions as I can.


  • Scott

    FWIW, I just had my interview last Monday, and I am in fact within 1000 ft. of a school. I was informed that guns leaving the building have to be cased or have gun locks installed on uncased guns. No further discussion about this issue took place, and he said I’d receive my FFL in 2-4 weeks.

    My dates were: Mailed 07MAR14, received by ATF several days later. Visa card hit with charge on 27MAR, phone call to schedule interview on 18APR, interview 21APR. Now, waiting and watching the PO BOX like Christmas is coming.