I don’t want this article to become political, and I’m not endorsing any politicians or their plans outside of the firearms industry. Regardless of your political views if you are a firearms enthusiast you know that the current administration is quite gun friendly and quite business friendly. It’s a winning combination for those looking to acquire an FFL.
Right now is the time to acquire an FFL.
It’s critical to remember an FFL is for people interested in any of the following; transferring firearms, Internet based for online sales and local transfers, business of selling, importing, transferring, and even manufacturing firearms and or ammo. By acquiring an FFL you are starting a new adventure, so having an administration that is friendly to both is a blessing. In general, once you have your FFL it isn’t going anywhere unless you start violating laws of course.
Right now is the time to look at getting an FFL. Administrations come and go, as do Senators and Representatives. We have the 2018 elections right around the corner, and the 2020 elections not far behind. We could see changes come 2018, and drastic changes come in 2020. If it’s something you’re considering you should jump on the chance to acquire your FFL, especially if you are looking to have a home-based business. Start now, so you are ready for the next political changes.
The war on the ‘Kitchen Table’ FFL
Kitchen Table FFL is a derogatory term started during the Clinton administration as an attempt to devalue small businesses and small-time FFLs. They often used the term to describe small, home-based FFLs they thought were trying to beat the system. The term and the meaning behind it is ridiculous. Home-based FFls are subject to the same laws, regulations, restrictions, and processes to obtain an FFL as any other gun store. Currently, 67% of all FFL’s in the USA are home based.
In 2016 there were rumblings from the ATF about no longer issuing FFLs to home-based businesses. This was June 2016, and 4 months later the ATF was looking at a new administration and a total Republican control of the House of Reps and the Senate. Those anti-small business rumblings immediately disappeared, and we got a newer, friendlier ATF.
The ATF Deputy Director penned a white paper where they addressed home based FFLs and seemingly ending the war on the Kitchen Table FFL. Specifically, the white paper said,
The marketplace has changed significantly in recent years, and ATF’s guidance to FFLs on these issues has not kept pace with developments in commerce. Classic “brick and mortar” storefronts with an on-hand inventory and set “front-door” business hours often no longer apply in today’s modern marketplace.
The ATF has changed for the better, but the ATF seems to change at the will of the current administration. Worst case scenario we have 4 years until the ATF swings sides once again. If you are looking for your FFL now is the time to do so, with our new and improved ATF.
Sporting Purpose Clause
One of the most infamous clauses ever used to prohibit the importation of firearms is the sporting purpose clause. The sporting purpose clause gives the Attorney General and by extension the administration the ability to ban rifles and shotguns that don’t meet a ridiculous sporting purpose test. The ATF white paper addresses revising the sporting purpose test to include 3 gun and USPSA shooting sports. The White Paper specifically says:
Since the sunset of the Assault Weapons ban in 2004, the use of AR-15s, AK-style, and similar rifles now commonly referred to as “modern sporting rifles” has increased exponentially in sport shooting. These firearm types are now standard for hunting activities. ATF could re-examine its almost 20-year-old study to bring it up to date with the sport shooting landscape of today, which is vastly different than what it was years ago. Action shooting sports and organizations such as 3 Gun and the United States Practical Shooting Association (USPSA) have also drastically expanded in recent years.
How does this affect you as a small FFL? Well, a 250 dollar gun is easier to sell than a 600 dollar gun. If the sporting purpose test is reworked you could see the start of the importation of extremely low priced semi-automatic rifles.
Let’s not forget transfers. People rushing to buy guns that were previously banned will likely shop online and the guns will have to be transferred one way or another. The transfer fee on a 200 dollar gun is the same as a 1,000 dollar gun right? Cheaper guns will mean more gun sales and more transfers for you.
What’s Been Done So Far
We haven’t seen a ton of individual regulations lifted on actual firearms, but the current President has been removing numerous business and firearms regulations. One of the most important for small businesses in the gun industry was Operation Choke Point.
Operation Choke Point sold itself as an anti-fraud initiative, but in reality was a means for anti-gun and anti-business bullies to keep small businesses down. Choke Point made it anywhere from difficult to impossible for small FFLs to acquire business loans or even open bank accounts.
I’m happy to report Operation Choke Point is now dead.
The next gun business based victory was the easing of export rules for U.S. made guns. This won’t affect too many small FFLs, but could easily affect niche type 07 FFL manufacturers. The biggest effect small FFLs will see is increased production to meet export demands, which could lower prices and drive innovation. Prior to this exports of AR 15s were treated the same as missile sales.
President Trump has also formed a 2nd Amendment Coalition to advise him on 2nd Amendment matters. The coalition is made up of leaders in the firearms advocacy scene as well as leaders in the firearms industry. This advocacy group has the President’s ear and are knowledgeable enough to advise him of the intricacies of both firearms rights and the firearms industry.
If not now? When?
As a firearms enthusiast, I learned very quickly waiting is never a good idea. Who remembers the great gun, magazine and ammo drought of 2012-2014? I know I learned my lesson and I haven’t stopped stocking up. If you want an FFL now is not the time to procrastinate. The firearms industry and the regulations regarding firearms seem to change as the wind blows left and right. Today, it’s blowing the right way for the enterprising FFL owner.
If you need help getting your FFL you’ve come to the right place. If you’re intimidated by the process and intimidated by the regulation changes our current FFL kit stays continuously updated. Our kits offer just about everything you need to start your own home based FFL, the only thing missing is your ambition.