What Does FFL Mean?

The term FFL means “Federal Firearms License”

A Federal Firearms License is a license issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) that allows the person or business who has the license to engage in the business of making and/or selling firearms.

The term FFL refers both to the license required to be engaged in the business of making or selling firearms and also the person/entity which has the license. For example, your local gunshop is an FFL. They also have their FFL. 

It can be confusing at first.

Who needs an FFL?

Anyone who intends to be engaged in the business of dealing (selling), repairing (gunsmithing), importing, or making firearms, needs to have an FFL.

Federal Firearms Licenses (FFLs) are not just for “brick and mortar” storefronts – in fact, most FFLs in this country are home-based FFLs!

If you’re interested in getting your own FFL, check out RocketFFL

What does an FFL need?

An FFL, at a minimum, needs a place to conduct business and a method to maintain an Acquisition & Disposition log (A&D Book or “Bound Book”).

The business location can be a home or a commercial location – it will be the address listed on the FFL itself.

For the Bound Book or A&D Book, there are many options to consider:

A&D SolutionProsCons
Paid SoftwareMany features; Easier to use than paper/spreadsheetsExpensive (monthly or annual charges); Some can be confusing or have a complicated interface; Many aren’t really fully ATF-compliant; May not include POS
Paper Bound BookSimple; InexpensiveDifficult to track changes; Easy to make mistakes; Difficult to find firearm/transaction information; Can be lost/destroyed
Excel SpreadsheetSimple; Inexpensive; Easier to search than a paper book; Can be backed upDifficult to set up and operate within ATF guidelines; Limited features
FFLSafeFree; Many Features; Easiest of all options to use; Fully ATF Compliant; Created by a firearms attorneyNo POS (point of sale); Will have too much free time because its so simple to use that you’ll have more time for chores at home
A&D Options Compared


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