There are a lot of gun owners in Virginia, and as of June 2021, the state ranks 5th in the nation for states with the most FFLs. There are 4,107 of them! And yet, the state government is openly hostile toward gun owners and FFL holders. That means you have to tread carefully when getting your Virginia FFL and you need to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row in order to get into – and stay in – business.
In other words, when you are setting out to get your Virginia FFL, remember that Richmond would prefer you didn’t – but FFL123 is here to make sure you can get that Virginia FFL you want and deserve!
The very simple answer is: yes. If you plan on running a business that deals with firearms, you need to have an FFL. This isn’t a state requirement, but rather a Federal requirement. Speaking of which…
The ATF has pretty basic requirements to get an FFL. So basic, in fact, we’ll only glance at them, because the real problem lies with Virginia’s specific licenses and rules.
To get an FFL, the ATF requires that you be a law-abiding US citizen or permanent resident over 21 years of age who can legally own a firearm. Pretty simple stuff, really. The paperwork is annoying, and you have to demonstrate you are planning to operate a business, but that’s not too hard.
What is hard for would-be Virginia FFL holders is that the ATF also requires that you have all appropriate state and local licenses before you can be in business. And that is where the “fun” starts…
While Virginia recently backed down from some plans for laws that would ensure many FFLs were simply put out of business, there are still some things you have to get in order to be approved for a Virginia FFL.
Yes, you must be registered with the state as some kind of business to get an FFL in Virginia. While there are no state-level gun dealer licenses, you must still be successfully licensed with the state and the local area in which you are doing business. You also have to operate in a correctly zoned area that matches the type of business you are doing.
First, you need to get a state business license. This is a pretty cut and dry process and even largely automatic as long as you pay the licensing fees. Now is a good time to decide if you are setting up as a corporation or not. We suggest doing business as an LLC or other corporation to limit personal liability.
Next, it’s time to get your local business licenses. Cities and counties may also require a business license. Again, this should be pretty cut and dry.
Make sure you are properly zoned for the kind of business you plan on doing. In most places, a home-based FFL should be possible. Type 07 FFLs that engage in more than the lightest of manufacturing probably won’t be possible in residential areas.
Virginia is a big state and, thankfully, not all of it is heavily anti-gun. However, major cities (such as the Richmond capital) may try to slow down or stall business licenses for FFLs. Expect anti-gun licensing authorities in more populated areas to try and squash home-based FFLs, even when other retail is permitted. More rural or less densely populated areas likely will happily welcome an FFL with no problems.
You cannot get your Virginia FFL from the ATF until you are licensed to do business at the location you choose. Both the ATF and the State of Virginia require that you be properly licensed locally before you can do business.
It is impossible to describe all the possible local problems getting a business license in Virginia for your FFL. Many major population centers are openly hostile to gun dealers and could have restrictive zoning and operations requirements to make doing business very hard.
To get your Virginia FFL, you’ll have to satisfy the ATF that you’ve done your homework. Local business licenses shouldn’t be a problem, but there is always the chance that local offices could try and hold you up.
On the Federal level, it costs between $30-$200 to get an FFL for the first three years. Each license type’s cost varies due to the different responsibilities they allow the licensee to perform. There are different kinds of licenses for selling a few handguns versus handling or making NFA items.
There are also other costs associated with Virginia state and local licenses. Because of the wide variety of localities and their different policies and procedures, it’s best to check directly with your local government to find out how much they charge for business licenses, etc.
Register a Business in Virginia: Virginia has a great site full of information to help you get set up as a business there.
Virginia Department of Law Enforcement Firearm Purchase Program Firearm Dealers Manual: Firearms dealers in Virginia can use this guide to properly handle firearms sales.
How to Become a Federal Firearms Licensee in 10 Easy Steps: This is the ATF’s own guide to getting your FFL.
US Code § 923: Federal US Code § 923 covers regulations for the import, manufacture, and dealing of firearms and ammunition. This is the law that requires firearms businesses to get an FFL.
US CFR § 478.47 – Issuance of License: This explains how a Federal Firearms License is issued, including who must assign the license number. It requires the ATF to qualify applicants based on a predetermined list of requirements and to issue Federal Firearms Licenses. If a correct FFL application has been submitted, the Chief of the Federal Firearms Licensing Center must issue the license and assign a serial number to the licensee.
Gun Control Act (GCA): The GCA of 1968 established stricter laws on the firearms industry than were already present in the NFA of 1934. This included new regulations regarding firearms offenses, firearms/ammunition sales to “prohibited persons,” and federal jurisdiction for “destructive devices” (bombs, grenades, mines, etc.) These are just some of the things that were created with the GCA.
Virginia Gun dealers: Find the latest list of Virginia gun dealer’s name, email id, phone number and address. You can easily contact the gun dealers. Click here to see class 3 gun dealers in Virginia.
Truth be told, we’d like a world where any law-abiding American could easily get into the gun business. But we don’t live in that world, and Virginia carefully targets gun owners in a way to hurt FFLs. For instance, they prohibit purchasing more than one handgun in a 30 day period unless you meet certain requirements, and this can impact an FFL’s bottom line.
We know this, and so does our staff of industry insiders and legal experts. FFL123 has assembled a staff that is dedicated to helping our customers cut through the red tape of getting an FFL.
When you purchase an FFL123 guide, you aren’t just buying a comprehensive step-by-step guide to applying for an FFL. You are also getting decades of combined industry and legal experience that is there when you need it the most.
Every FFL123 customer is entitled to direct, one-on-one customer support for their specific problems in getting an FFL. We specialize in helping people understand and navigate complex local zoning issues, as this is where most problems with getting your Virginia FFL will occur.
In other words, when you do business with FFL123, we back you up until you get your FFL. In fact, we go beyond that, and keep backing you up for as long as you are in business! Our customers get ongoing support for everything from finding suppliers to keeping abreast with the latest changes in gun laws and regulations.
With just a couple easy clicks, you can start your journey to your Virginia FFL today. Rest easy knowing that you aren’t cast adrift with confusing Federal and state paperwork, or left alone to figure out how to fill out and file seemingly conflicting forms. FFL123 is here for you along your entire journey from choosing the FFL that’s right for you, to your first day of business and everything in between.
Are you ready to get your Virginia FFL? Choose the guide that is right for you. Not sure which one you need? No problem! Just ask and we’ll help you with that too. What are you waiting for? The sooner you start, the sooner you can enjoy all the benefits of an FFL!
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Brandon you have really helped my dream come true, I think the whole ATF and FFL Application process really just scared me. Your simple to follow process really made the Federal Firearms License process an easy goal to obtain. Come visit me when back east!
Hey man I just wanted to thank you for creating this awesome FFL guide. I never would have got my FFL without it! I am 21 years old and in my third year of college, and now I have a part time job selling guns as a license gun dealer (and buying a few firearms for myself)! Anyways, keep ...
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