What is an FFL Transfer?

Alright. Let’s start from step one so that we’ve got everyone on the same page. In an FFL transfer, the FFL stands for Federal Firearms License, or Federal Firearms Licensee. In most cases, an FFL transfer is necessary when purchasing a firearm in another state. Holding an FFL to engage in firearm trading, selling, or purchasing activities has been legally required since the Gun Control Act of 1968. The FFL is issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, otherwise modernly labeled the ATF. In most cases, an FFL transfer is the transfer of ownership, for a firearm, to one party from another. Usually, shops such as us will handle the whole processing of the FFL transfer for you, for a minimal fee. There are nine types of FFL transfers (oddly enough only types 1 through 3 and 6 through 11 exist) and three of those types involve destructive devices.

Another thing you’ll need to know about when pursuing an FFL transfer is the Special Occupational Tax Classes, or the SOL classes. There are certain types of firearms, weapons, and accessories currently restricted under the National Firearms Act (NFA). In addition to a current FFL (per certain applicable ‘type’), the ATF requires that owners of the business who plan to import, manufacture, or deal in restricted materials also pay a SOT. This makes the business owner a “Special Occupational Taxpayer”. Class one SOT status’ usage is to import NFA firearms; this status requires an importer FFL, either Type 8 or Type 11. Class two SOT status’ usage is to manufacture and deal NFA firearms. This class also requires a manufacturer FFL, either Type 7 or 10. Class three SOT status’ usage is to deal NFA firearms. Class three requires a dealer or manufacturer FFL, type 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11.

How old must I be in order to purchase a firearm from an FFL? Do those requirements apply when purchasing from other non-licensees?

It’s unlawful for any Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to sell or deliver any firearm or ammo to anyone he/she knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than eighteen years of age. It’s also unlawful for an FFL to sell/deliver a firearm other than a rifle or shotgun or ammunition for a firearm other than a rifle or shotgun to any individual who he/she knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less than 21 years of age.

However, an unlicensed individual may sell or transfer any firearm to an individual over the age of 18 who resides in the same State, provided that he does not know or have reasonable cause to believe the person is prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms under Federal law. Please note that there may be State laws that prohibit the possession of firearms, including handguns, by an individual who is under 21 years of age. You should contact your State’s Attorney General Office to inquire about the laws and possible restrictions in your State concerning possession of firearms. A list of State Attorney General Offices may be found at The National Association of Attorney General’s website.

How do I become a Federal Firearms Licensee?

First, you must apply for a Federal Firearms License. You would send the completed application to the ATF post office box listed on the application form. A link to the ATF’s page regarding your personal FFL can be found right here.

AZ Guns handles most FFL transfers, for only twenty dollars. That’s right, only $20 ($17.50 for police and fire personnel). Visit our dedicated FFL Transfer page for more information.

photo credit: Defense and Arms