Before you apply for an FFL, you really need to know what types of FFL is best for you. Not all FFL’s are the same, they allow you to deal, sell or collect different things. For instance, a person who only wants to collect old guns doesn’t need a license that allows for manufacturing silencers. On the other hand, a gunsmith isn’t going to get a license to import exotic ammunition. So let’s take a look at the different types of FFL’s out there and what these FFL license types do.
Each FFL is known as a “Type.” You hear people say “Type 07 FFL” or “Type 03” FFL. There is some confusion when you add what is known as a SOT (Special Occupation Tax) to certain kinds of FFL’s. These are “class” type SOT’s. When you hear people talk about “Class 03” FFL, it really means they’ve added a Class 03 SOT to their license. But for the moment, we are just focusing on FFL license types and what you can do with them.
Table of contents for types of FFL:
What is an FFL?
Someone who is licensed to engage in the business of dealing, manufacturing or importing firearms. Individuals must be licensed by the ATF to run a business of firearms.
The types of FFLs (Federal Fireams Licensees) can be broken down into four categories:
- Dealer FFL
- Manufacturer FFL
- Importer FFL
- Other FFL – Collector
How many different types of FFL / FFLs are there?
There are nine different kinds of FFL’s out there, but for the vast majority of people interested in getting an FFL, only three really apply. The Type 01 FFL is the basic FFL that let’s you buy, sell and repair most guns. It is somewhat limited in scope, but is very popular as it addresses the most common forms of commercial transactions in the gun world.
Different FFL License Types
Below table represents different types of federal firearms licenses also known as FFL license types. Find out which FFL you should get.
|FFL Types||The Purpose of an FFL License||SOT Class|
|Type 1 FFL||Dealer in Firearms / Gunsmithing (firearms repair)||3|
|Type 2 FFL||Pawnbroker/Firearms’ Dealer||3|
|Type 3 FFL||Collector of Curios and Relics||N/A|
|Type 6 FFL||Manufacturer of Ammunition for Firearms||N/A|
|Type 7 FFL||Manufacturer of Firearms & Ammunition||2|
|Type 8 FFL||Importer of Firearms/Ammunition||1|
|Type 9 FFL||Dealer in Destructive Devices||3|
|Type 10 FFL||Manufacturer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices, or Armor Piercing Ammunition||2|
|Type 11 FFL||Importer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices, or Armor Piercing Ammunition||1|
The Type 03 FFL is your special collector’s license, and only suited for acquiring old guns for a private collection. But if you are a collector, it is a powerful license that usually let’s you bypass the paperwork and transfer fees of buying guns out of state or from dealers.
The Type 07 FFL is by far the most useful and versatile FFL for most people. Not only can you buy, sell and repair guns, you can also manufacture guns and ammo, plus sell NFA items like silencers, and with a Class 03 SOT, manufacture NFA items!
Type 01 FFL – Dealer in Firearms / Gunsmithing (firearms repair)
The Type 01 FFL is the most common license type. If you are a gunsmith, this is all the license you need. If you want to buy and sell non-NFA firearms, this license will get you started in the gun business.
However, the Type 01 FFL also comes with some limitations. You cannot manufacture (that even means assembling from kits) guns for sale, and you can’t sell popular items such as silencers. Many people choose other kinds of FFL’s these days. But if you accept the limitations of a Class 01 FFL then it will be fine. This FFL costs $200 to apply and $90 to renew every 3 years.
Type 02 FFL – Pawnbroker
The Type 02 FFL is similar to a Type 01 FFL designed for pawnbrokers. Pawnbrokers are licensed differently because they are are allowed to take guns as security on a loan. However, there is no practical difference between an 01 and an 02 FFL, other than the type of business you are engaged in.
Type 02 FFL holders are inspected by the ATF more often due to the nature of their type of business. Costs are $200 to apply and $90 to renew for every 3 years.
Type 03 FFL – Collector of Curios and Relics
This is a special FFL for collectors of old guns. The ATF generally considers any gun at least 50 years old to be a Curio and Relic. There are some exceptions for certain newer guns as well, such as some semi auto military rifles and pistols that are less than 50 years old.
The Type 03 FFL is not a license to sell guns, or to acquire guns for resale. It is only intended to facilitate building a collection of old guns. This means it is only for private, personal use. However, it allows you to purchase eligible guns without additional background checks and paperwork on each gun. Some states with restrictive gun laws may ignore your 03 FFL and still require background checks on certain kinds of guns.
Get this FFL if you are a collector of old guns. It costs just $30 to apply, and $30 to renew every 3 years.
Type 06 FFL – Manufacturer of Ammunition for Firearms
This is a very specific sort of FFL. It is only for making common small arms ammunition, and nothing else. If you want to just make ammo, this license is fine. Otherwise, you can get a Class 07 and make both guns and ammo with the same FFL.
Get this FFL if you are only making ammo for resale. It is perfect for people who want to engage in commercial reloading, or want to sell specialty hunting and self defense ammo. A Type 06 FFL costs $30 to apply and $30 to renew for 3 years.
Type 07 FFL – Manufacturer of Firearms & Ammunition
The Type 07 FFL is the most powerful and popular FFL to get. With it you can do everything a Type 01 FFL can (buy, sell and repair firearms) plus manufacture guns and ammo. When you add a Class 03 SOT to this license you can also make NFA items like silencers and even machine guns!
With the growing popularity of silencers, short barrel rifles and shotguns and other NFA items, many gun dealers choose a Type 07 license so they can serve all their customer’s needs. With the rising popularity of AR-type sporting rifles and the wide availability of parts, many Type 07 FFL holders are choosing to manufacture custom rifles for resale.
Get this FFL if you want the freedom to make and sell guns and ammo, and to add a Class 03 SOT to tap the lucrative NFA market. The Type 07 FFL costs $150 to apply and $150 to renew every 3 years.
Type 08 FFL – Importer of Firearms/Ammunition
The Type 08 FFL is for people who want to import most guns and ammo. You can’t use it to import destructive devices or armor piercing ammo. If you’ve got business connections overseas and want to try to import guns or ammo, this is the FFL for you.
Importing guns and ammo can take a lot of time to get ATF and other import paperwork in order, so be sure you have a firm understanding of how this market works before you get involved. Naturally, FFL123 can provide the support you need to understand the complex world of the Type 08 FFL.
This FFL costs $150 to apply and $150 every 3 years to renew.
Type 09 FFL – Dealer in Destructive Devices
Destructive devices are a sort of catchall category for non-sporting guns with a bore over half an inch, grenades, artillery, certain types of semi-auto shotguns, or some kinds of exploding ammo. All destructive devices require registration and a $200 tax stamp to own.
Most states allow private ownership of destructive devices and their many collectors of rare and unusual exotic weapons. Military contractors, law enforcement and government agencies also buy destructive devices. This license costs $3,000 to apply and $3,000 to renew every 3 years.
Type 10 FFL – Manufacturer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices, or Armor Piercing Ammunition
The Type 10 FFL is for people who want to make Destructive Devices (DD’s), ammo for DD’s, or armour-piercing ammo.
If you are interested making DD’s and their ammo, and armour-piercing ammo for sale to government agencies, restoring certain kinds of vintage military arms for collectors, or any other aspect of making DD’s and their ammo, you’ll need a Type 10 FFL. It costs $3,000 to apply and $3,000 to renew every 3 years.
Type 11 FFL – Importer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices, or Armor Piercing Ammunition
The Type 11 FFL is much like a Type 10 FFL, only it is for importing Destructive Devices, ammo for DD’s, or armor piercing ammo.
This is a very limited sort of FFL, and will really only work for people dealing with government agencies, or handling the import of certain kinds of rare and collectible military arms for museums or wealthy private collectors. It costs $3,000 to apply and $3,000 to renew every 3 years.
FFL Cost and Firearm Activity by FFL License Types 
|FFL Types||Application||Renewals||Years||Guns Dealers||Guns Manufactures||Guns Importers|
|FFL Type 1||$200||$90||3||✔||X||X|
|FFL Type 2||$200||$90||3||✔||X||X|
|FFL Type 3||$30||$30||3||X||X||X|
|FFL Type 6||$30||$30||3||X||X||X|
|FFL Type 7||$150||$150||3||✔||✔||X|
|FFL Type 8||$150||$150||3||✔||X||✔|
|FFL Type 9||$3,000||$3,000||3||✔||X||X|
|FFL Type 10||$3,000||$3,000||3||✔||✔||X|
|FFL Type 11||$3,000||$3,000||3||✔||X||✔|
FFL Types and SOT Registration Cost 
|FFL Types||The Purpose of an FFL License||SOT Class||Under $500k||Over $500k||Class||Years|
|FFL Type 1||Gunsmith/Dealer of Firearms||3||$500||$500||3||1|
|FFL Type 2||Dealer/Pawnbroker of Firearms||3||$500||$500||3||1|
|FFL Type 3||Collector of Firearms||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|FFL Type 6||Manufacturer of Ammunition||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|FFL Type 7||Manufacturer/Dealer of Firearms||2||$500||$1,000||2||1|
|FFL Type 8||Importer/Dealer of Firearms||1||$500||$1,000||1||1|
|FFL Type 9||Dealer of Destructive Devices||3||$500||$1,000||3||1|
|FFL Type 10||Manufacturer/Dealer of Destructive Devices||2||$500||$1,000||2||1|
|FFL Type 11||Importer/Dealer of Destructive Devices||1||$500||$1,000||1||1|
Firearm Activity by Type of FFL License
|FFL Types||Firearm Dealer||Manufacturer of Firearms||Importer of Firearms|
|FFL Type 1||✔||X||X|
|FFL Type 2||✔||X||X|
|FFL Type 3||X||X||X|
|FFL Type 6||X||X||X|
|FFL Type 7||✔||✔||X|
|FFL Type 8||✔||X||✔|
|FFL Type 9||✔||X||X|
|FFL Type 10||✔||✔||X|
|FFL Type 11||✔||X||✔|
The Number of FFL Licenses Issued by Type
|FFL License Type||Total Number|
|FFL Type 1||52,971|
|FFL Type 2||7,087|
|FFL Type 3||N/A|
|FFL Type 6||1,841|
|FFL Type 7||14,661|
|FFL Type 8||1,190|
|FFL Type 9||127|
|FFL Type 10||430|
|FFL Type 11||272|
Total Number of FFLs by State
|State||FFLs In Total (June 2021)|
|NC (North Carolina)||4,544|
|ND (North Dakota)||712|
|NH (New Hampshire)||1,212|
|NJ (New Jersey)||461|
|NM (New Mexico)||1,042|
|NY (New York)||3,897|
|RI (Rhode Island)||575|
|SC (South Carolina)||2,157|
|SD (South Dakota)||783|
|WV (West Verginia)||1,357|
Of course, you may decide a different FFL is what your business needs. The FFL123 licensing kit gives you access to all the tools you need to determine what FFL is right for you, along with personalized one-on-one support to guide you through the entire licensing process and beyond! We also provide support with getting industry contacts, private forums for discussing specific issues and questions with our expert staff and members, and much, much more…
Are you certain you understand all types of FFL now? Do you have any additional questions about FFL license types? You can get answers to your questions by contacting us.
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No matter if you want to run a small part time transfer only business, or manufacture and deal in NFA items like silencers and machineguns, FFL123 will get you in the business!