The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF, or BATF) manages federal firearms license (FFL) applications in all states, including the state of Florida. The following article explains pertinent license requirements and how to get an FFL in Florida. It will also help you get a license that lets established, and new businesses sell weapons without violating regulations.
Along the way, you’ll learn about the payment processing challenges many gun dealers in Florida face and how Zenti can help solve some of those issues.
Table of Contents
- Who Needs a Federal Firearms License (FFL)?
- How to Sell a Gun in Florida: FFL Types?
- How Much Does It Cost to Get a Federal Firearms License?
- How to Sell a Gun in Florida: State Requirements
- What Are The Requirements for Getting an FFL in Florida?
- The Steps for Getting an FFL license in Florida
- What Are the Benefits of Getting an FFL in Florida?
- Are There Disadvantages to Getting an FFL in Florida?
- How to Succeed as a Firearms Dealer in Florida
- Partner With Zenti
Who Needs a Federal Firearms License (FFL)?
What do you need to sell a gun in Florida? Not everyone selling a gun or ammunition needs an FFL in Florida. Private sellers can sell individual guns to people without obtaining FFLs or other licenses. However, they still need to follow some federal laws. They can’t sell to people with felony convictions, people who have been incarcerated, anyone under 21 years of age, illegal drug users and residents of other states. Those are just a few of the restrictions. All private sellers in Florida should know the law so they don’t sell to someone illegally.
Who needs an FFL? Anyone who owns a store where guns or ammunition are sold. Knowing how to get an FFL in Florida also makes it possible for you to purchase firearms, ammunition and similar products from wholesalers. That means some avid collectors benefit from getting FFLs in Florida, even when they don’t plan to sell products online or in a store.
You might need to become an FFL dealer even when you don’t operate a physical location. A home-based FFL makes it legal for you to sell firearms online. Although you can’t sell weapons directly to consumers, you can ship items to other FFL dealers. Your customers can pick up their purchases at the FFL dealers partnering with you.
If you plan to process firearm purchases often as a source of income, you should consider getting an FFL in Florida. Keep reading to learn more about federal firearms licenses and how you can apply for one.
How to Sell a Gun in Florida: FFL Types?
The ATF Federal Firearms Licensing Center issues nine types of licenses for FFL dealers in Florida:
- Type 01 – You need this FFL license to run a gun store.
- Type 02 –You need this license to sell firearms from a pawn shop.
- Type 03 – Lets you collect older firearms.
- Type 06 – Allows you to manufacture firearm ammunition (it doesn’t apply to ammo for other destructive devices or armor-piercing ammo, though).
- Type 07 – Allows you to manufacture handguns, shotguns and other firearms that comply with state level and federal law.
- Type 08 – Lets you import most guns and ammo.
- Type 09 – Lets you sell destructive devices, such as machine guns and bombs.
- Type 10 – Permits manufacturing destructive devices, such as grenades, missiles and armor-piercing bullets.
- Type 11 – Lets you import and sell destructive devices
Most gun stores that want FFL licenses will focus on Type 01 and Type 02. The difference largely depends on whether you own a dedicated gun store or a pawn store that buys and sells guns and ammo.
FFl dealers in Florida also need payment processors that partner with businesses in the firearms industry. Zenti is one of the top gun-friendly payment processors. The company charges flat rates for high-risk merchant accounts, so you can control how much money you spend on monthly payment processing.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a Federal Firearms License?
The amount it costs to get a Florida FFL depends on the type of license you want. If you want a Type 01 or 02 FFL, expect to pay 200 USD for a three-year license. After that, you can renew your three-year license for 90 USD.
Fees for the other FFL types are as follows:
- Type 03 – 30 USD
- Type 06 – 30 USD
- Type 07 – 150 USD
- Type 08 – 150 USD
- Type 09 – 3,000 USD
- Type 10 – 3,000 USD
- Type 11 – 3,000 USD
However, keep in mind that the type of license you choose could influence other costs. For example, if you want to deal with firearms regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), you need a Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) license. You can expect a SOT license to cost 500 USD to 1,000 USD per year, depending on the type of weapon and ammunition you sell.
What about other expenses?
Your FFL and SOT licenses have flat rates you pay as required by the ATF. However, your store will probably have other expenses associated with following state and federal guidelines.
What do you need to sell a gun in Florida while helping your business thrive? Most gun sellers find that software makes it easier for them to comply with regulations. You might end up paying for gun store software with features like:
- Automated A&D Book compliance
- Inventory management software that gives you real-time inventory tracking
- Low stock alerts
- Ecommerce sales
Zenti integrates with many popular inventory management and bookkeeping solutions so you can focus on growing your business. Zenti’s payment gateway software also helps FFL holders thrive by:
- Encrypting all credit card payment information
- Integrating with popular ecommerce solutions
- Verifying funds in real time to avoid chargebacks
- Offering upfront pricing so you always know what charges to expect
How to Sell a Gun in Florida: State Requirements
As long as you meet the federal requirements for an FFL, you can get a license in Florida without taking many additional steps. You just need to register your business with the state and get your license approved by the ATF.
You can find directions on starting a business in Florida here.
Local ordinances could affect your firearms business
What you need to sell a gun in Florida can depend on your specific location.
For the most part, cities follow Florida’s state gun laws. However, It’s always a good idea to investigate local ordinances before opening a new business. You might discover that communities like Orlando and Jacksonville have zoning requirements that prevent you from establishing stores in specific locations.
Zoning restrictions could also prevent you from using a home-based FFL to sell guns from your house. In some cases, restrictions apply to businesses that aren’t open to the public. Don’t assume you can sell guns and ammo online from your home until you get more information about operating a business in your area.
Reach out to your local councilperson, Better Business Bureau or an experienced lawyer to learn more about any local laws or zoning requirements that will impact your business’s success.
Assuming you can use a home-based FFL license in your area, you’ll need a reliable way to process online payments for guns and ammo. Zenti offers high-risk merchant account services you can use to process payments on auction and ecommerce sites. You get excellent security features that encrypt payment information. You also benefit from features designed to reduce chargebacks and verify that the buyer has enough money to complete the purchase.
What Are The Requirements for Getting an FFL in Florida?
The ATF will take a close look at your background to ensure it feels confident giving you a license to sell firearms and ammo. The ATF will only give FFLs to people who:
- Are US citizens or legal permanent residents.
- Are at least 21 years old.
- Have not been convicted of a felony, domestic violence or any other crime that would prevent you from owning a firearm in Florida.
- Operate from a physical location, which can include a storefront or home.
- Don’t use illegal drugs.
- Haven’t violated any federal gun laws.
For the most part, people who can legally own guns in Florida can get approved for an FFL. You’ll, however, need an address that proves you’ll operate from a physical location.
The Steps for Getting an FFL license in Florida
The ATF has a handy infographic that can help you complete the requirements for securing an FFL in Florida. The steps include:
- Completing ATF Form-7 (Application for Federal Firearms License) and paying your licensing fee.
- Waiting for the Federal Firearms Licensing Center (FFLC) to review and process your FFL application.
- Getting a background check from FFLC to make sure you qualify as a “responsible person.”
- Meeting with a local Industry Operations Investigator (IOI) for an in-person interview.
Assuming your area’s supervisor approves your application and you pass your background check, you should receive your Florida FFL. The whole process takes about 60 days.
Once you have your FFL, you’ll need to maintain careful records of your inventory and sales. An ATF agent can drop by your location at any time to review your logs. Failing to maintain accurate records could mean you lose your FFL.
You’ll also need a reliable payment gateway that serves high-risk industries. Zenti makes an excellent option because it integrates with most of the software your business will use to track sales and inventory. Zenti can also process payments through popular firearm auction websites like Gunbroker. If you plan to sell items online, Zenti has the services you need to process payments securely while avoiding excessive fees.
What Are the Benefits of Getting an FFL in Florida?
Getting an FFL in Florida is a pretty straightforward process. However, it does cost money and take about two months to receive your license. Why should you bother getting an FFL? Do the benefits outweigh the challenges of applying and paying for a license?
Some of the reasons you should consider getting an FFL license include:
- Saving money by purchasing firearms, ammo and accessories directly from wholesalers
- Making money by acting as an intermediary that receives and processes guns sold online
- Avoiding the hassle of going through background checks when you want to buy more firearms
- Taking advantage of tax deductions that only apply to registered businesses
Are There Disadvantages to Getting an FFL in Florida?
There are some potential disadvantages to having an FFL. However, most of the disadvantages are just aspects of running a business licensed by the federal government. For instance, you can expect to:
- Pay an upfront licensing fee and renewal fee every three years
- Maintain well-organized records for 20 years
- Tolerate random inspections from the ATF
The ATF will also make your name public when you obtain an FFL. That means you lose a bit of privacy. On the other hand, it also means that potential customers can verify that you have a valid license to sell firearms and ammo.
Additionally, you’ll need to find a way to process your store’s payments. Merchant service providers put firearms dealers in the “high-risk” category. That means you spend more money processing payments than businesses operating in low-risk industries.
Zenti can make payment processing less burdensome. Some of the perks of partnering with Zenti include:
- A free EMV terminal or mobile reader, which comes in handy when you sell at gun shows
- Flat pricing without any hidden fees
- High-risk ecommerce credit card processing
- A high-risk payment gateway that can process any credit card
- Encryption that makes it nearly impossible for hackers to steal payment information
How to Succeed as a Firearms Dealer in Florida
Getting an FFL in Florida doesn’t ensure business success. You’ll need to build a streamlined company that meets customer needs and generates profits. Some tips that might position you for success include:
- Reaching a broader market by selling firearms online
- Paying close attention to trends so you can keep popular items in stock
- Forming relationships with licensed firearm and ammunition manufacturers so you can maintain your inventory
- Tracking your inventory and sales so you know which items generate the most revenue
- Choosing the right type of FFL license so you don’t pay a higher license fee than necessary
Partner With Zenti
You don’t have to pay outrageous fees to process payments for your Florida-based firearms store. Connect with Zenti today to learn more about how a high-risk merchant account can improve security, streamline processes and lower payment processing fees.