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FFL License – School Zone

Jul 31

FFL License – School Zone

The Gun Free School Zone was created as a measure to help keep children in America safe. It’s a law which forbids the possession of firearms within 1000 feet of school grounds (public, private, or parochial), except under certain circumstances. Fortunately, one of those circumstances allows those who live within the 1000 foot radius to still obtain their FFL license.

When the Gun Free School Zone law was originally put into place, it included everyone in that perimeter. The ATF soon discovered that encompassed many people who were already FFL holders and/or gun owners and realized their law would not function well without a few amendments. The law is now worded in a way to still function as a protective measure for school children but also prevent restrictions on the citizens who live within the Zone. The prohibition of knowingly carrying a firearm within the protected Zone does not apply to private property (commercial, storefront, residence, or driveway). Therefore, you could hold a FFL license from your home, even if you are within the grounds of the Gun Free School Zone and still be abiding by the law.

There are a few additional parameters in which an individual could possess a firearm and not be in violation of the federal Gun Free School Zone law.

The individual is licensed by the state or political subdivision to possess the firearm, and the license was issued after law enforcement officials verified the individual is qualified to receive the license (i.e. a permit to own a handgun);
The firearm is unloaded and kept in a locked container or locked gun rack on a vehicle;
The firearm is possessed by someone for use in a school-approved program;
The individual in possession of the firearm or his/her employer is entered into a contract between the individual and the school, in which firearms are allowed;
The individual is a law enforcement officer acting in their official capacity;
The individual is crossing school grounds in order to get to a public or private way. The firearm must be unloaded, and the individual must have the school’s permission;

These exemptions listed above do cover many cases but not all. If you should reside in a state which does not require permits (which would otherwise have you covered under the first exemption listed), the ATF advises that the firearms be unloaded and in a locked container before leaving your FFL licensed premises.

Don’t let living in a Gun Free School Zone prevent you from getting your FFL license. Join FFL123.com to join the ranks of FFL holders across the nation today!

See additional FFL resources!  See NRA Reviews of FFL123.com  See benefits of obtaining an FFL.



  1. you can not have an FFL within 1000 ft of a school . so if you live across the street from a school you will be denied

    • Gary, you are 100% incorrect sir.

  2. Brandon, you are correct. Gary is wrong. Even MY ATF industry operations say they “may” approve the license, but EVERY person waling in and out of that store would have to have the firearm unloaded, in a locked, hard-sided case, with no ammo.

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