C&R FFL License [2021]

C&R FFL License

C&R 03 FFL License

The 03 FFL, or Curio and Relic License, is one of the easiest FFLs to get, and it’s also wildly popular. In fact, it is the only FFL that does not require an examination to get – or even fingerprints – and it costs just $30!

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Of course, there is a catch. (There’s always a catch.) You cannot use this license for commercial purposes. The 03 FFL is only for building a personal collection of guns that are at least 50 years old or older that are in their original configuration. In other words, it’s very much a collector’s license for the purpose of collecting.

Now that doesn’t mean an 03 FFL is a bad FFL to have. The cost is nominal, and if you buy even one qualifying gun per year out-of-state that fits the C&R definition, it literally pays for itself the first time you don’t have to pay a dealer transfer fee because C&R guns can be sent right to your front door! In some states with so-called universal background checks, having an 03 FFL will usually allow you to skip that process and go back to buying directly from private parties. Of course, this only applies if the gun in question is C&R eligible.

Some states only allow ownership of C&R NFA items, making a Curio and Relic License a must have for some folks who want to possess machine guns.

Now that we know what an 03 FFL is good for and how it can be an advantage for collectors and private parties, let’s look closer, including how you can get one and how it all works.

A licensee with a C&R is only licensed to obtain firearms classified as curios or relics without being subject to the Brady law, which requires a background check on all firearms sales. C&R license holders cannot purchase curios and relics just for resale purposes. That would be considered dealing in firearms, which requires a different type of license. This does not mean that you cannot sell guns you bought with your C&R FFL license, but we’ll cover that later.

The 03 FFL is for adding to a personal collection of qualifying firearms only. When it comes to purchases of modern firearms, the licensee would still be required to complete a Form 4473 just like a non-licensee would need to do.

What Qualifies as C&R?

The ATF has three qualifications which deem a firearm to be a “curio” or “relic.” The first is if the firearm has been manufactured 50 years prior to the current date. The actual firearm must be that old; replicas do not count. If the gun in question isn’t 50+ years old, then the second qualification is that it has been certified by a curator of a municipal, state, or federal museum which exhibits firearms to be curios or relics of museum interest. Private museum curators cannot do the certification. The final qualification for C&R status is that the firearm derives a substantial part of its monetary value based on it being novel, rare, bizarre, or its association with some historic person, event, or period.

Record Keeping

A C&R licensee must keep a bound record similar to other types of FFL licenses. The FFL bound book must contain information such as the make, model, and serial number, as well as when and where it was obtained. Should you dispose of the firearm, you must also record that information as well. Contrary to other types of FFL licenses, you will not need to turn your records over to the ATF when you decide not to renew your license. The ATF only requires the records of FFL licensees “engaged in business,” and a C&R FFL license does not allow you to engage in business.

Get your Own 03 FFL

We won’t lie, getting an 03 FFL isn’t very hard, and there are plenty of guides online that walk you through the somewhat confusing form.

But now that you’ve seen the benefits of such a limited FFL, and see that it comes with much of the same paperwork as any other FFL, why not go one step further and get an 01 or 07 FFL? In fact, for not much more effort, you can have your own home-based, part-time FFL business, and make your hobby pay for itself, while still enjoying all the legal, personal, and professional benefits of an FFL!

FFL123 will reveal the secrets to successfully running your own home-based FFL through our famous online FFL guide program.

Let’s get you started today, and discover the true power of your own FFL!

  1. Guest

    So if a C&R FFL holder is buying a firearm over 50 years old from a reg FFL dealer does a background check (DROS for Calif) have to be performed? And if so is the waiting period waived?

  2. Guest

    I am a felon who’s state restores all civil rights upon completion of sentence and all court requirements/fines satisfied. Would i still be able to get my C&R FFL?

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