Part 5: Getting a Home-Based FFL – City Bureaucratic Delays

(Updated) Yep, it was just a bit too smooth of sailing. As I was cleaning my home to prepare for the interview on Monday, I received a call from the IOI “Rick.” Rick received a message back from the City of Fort Wayne, that they wanted to talk to me first. Uh oh…

As it turns out, while I am well within the rules and regulations to not have to seek approvals, I do “need” a “letter” ensuring I am “classified” correctly. Despite requesting such a letter with another city planner when I first started this entire process, the Senior Planner has stepped in and wants to make sure i’s are dotted and t’s crossed.



I called the Senior Planner (he was shockingly in his office at 3:45 on Good Friday) and we had a pleasant chat. He explained that this was a formality and would likely only have a 2-3 business day turn-around.

As such, I have submitted a letter requesting classification including all the details of my proposed business for his evaluation. He will return an approval letter along with the classification (hopefully) by the middle of next week, according to him.

While the Senior Planner indicates that this is indeed a formality and that everything is likely in order, it causes major issues with my schedule. As I indicated in Part 4 1/2, I have extended upcoming travel. There will only be a few scattered days that I hope the IOI “Rick” and my schedules may coincide.

Note: According to Indiana State law, no municipality or locality may impose regulations on firearms businesses that are not imposed on all other businesses. Since the Senior Planner mentioned this was just for firearms companies, it technically violates state statute. However, I am not going to fight it as doing so would likely cause more issues that it would solve. Since the Senior Planner was pleasant, honest, and forthright, I am willing to cut through this Scotch equivalent red-tape. If it turns into duct-tape, I will update everyone. 

Update: The Senior Planner indeed turned around the Determination Letter within 24 hours. I am cleared hot for the interview and now have it scheduled for Thursday 4/22/104, just before the NRA show. 

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.


  • State preemption is a fun to deal with… Have dealt with it a lot here at home in WA. After you get everything in line and in hand, you might want to look into contacting the the state. The only way to fix the problem is to make them comply with the law. Just my $0.02 though.

    Sounds like its going ok for you though. Looking into getting mine in the next few months.

  • cawpin

    I would still file a complaint with the state after getting everything, including the FFL issued. Being nice doesn’t excuse breaking the law.

    • While I could “stick it to the man” and file a complaint, doing so would likely only agitate the office and make them search for reasons to deny, driving up my costs and delays. Not good.

      In this case, the Senior Planner did exactly as promised and returned the letter within 24 hours. Interview is now set for Thursday!

      • gunslinger

        i think he meant once you get the ffl and are “open for business” you file a complaint. they can’t “deny” you any more. because you have your certs.

        although if there is a renewal operation, it could be a hassle.

      • cawpin

        So, is Part 5 ready yet?

  • Doc

    You’re lucky you can get a home-based FFL where you live. The particular Township where I live in PA does not allow any home-based businesses so I converted a portion of my professional office to handle my firearms business. I don’t know how strict they are with home-based FFL’s but the ATF Inspector I met with was very friendly and helpful. Good Luck!

  • PJ

    When is part 5 coming out??

  • psychre

    Any Updates? I’m considering my own Home Based FFL since there’s only 3 FFLs within 50 miles of my location and they aren’t always the most customer freindly.

  • Steffan

    When are you going to have part 5 out? I am considering a home FFL. It just seems so over whelming. with all the paper work and fee’s.