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Home > Blog > What Does FFL Dealer Mean?

What Does FFL Dealer Mean?

If you’ve been shopping around for firearms online, then you are most likely familiar with the three letters F-F-L. These 3 letters stand for Federal Firearms License, which is a license people and companies in the United States must acquire if they are working with manufacturing or importing firearms and ammunition, or if they are involved with the interstate and/or intrastate selling of firearms. You might be wondering why FFLs are necessary and perhaps you do not completely understand why gun sellers are not permitted to ship firearms you buy online directly to your home. Well, the history of the FFL can in some way be traced all the way back to the year 1963, the year President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

What Happened in 1963

In 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald purchased a bolt-action rifle for $19.95 from an advertisement he found in the National Rifle Association (NRA) magazine American Rifleman. The gun was sent to him via mail order and Oswald used this weapon to assassinate President Kennedy. Five days after the president was killed, a Democratic senator from Connecticut named Thomas Dodd introduced legislation that proposed the ban of mail order sales of shotguns and rifles. The bill did not pass initially, but after 5 years, the bill was approved and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The Gun Control Act of 1968

On October 22, 1968, after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., President Johnson signed into law the Gun Control Act of 1968. In general, this law regulates the firearms industry and firearm owners. It focuses on regulating interstate commerce in firearms by prohibiting transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers, and importers. This act prohibited the direct mail order of firearms and made it a law that any person who wants to buy firearms from a source that is not a private individual must do so through a dealer with a FFL.

The Gun Control Act of 1968 established the following laws:

People without FFLs cannot acquire handguns outside their state of residence
Residents from 2 different states cannot conduct private sales without going through a licensed dealer (unless a buyer holds a Curio & Relic license and is purchasing a firearm that qualifies as Curio & Relic)
2 unlicensed individual who are residents of the same state can conduct private sales so long as such transfers do not violate existing federal and state laws (law mandates a background check must be performed, but private parties living in the same state are not required to perform background checks)
A person who does not have a FFL cannot be in the business of buying or selling firearms
People who are buying or selling firearms and do not have FFLs must be doing so from their own personal collections
An importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with a FFL must not sell or deliver a rifle or shotgun, or ammunition for a rifle or shotgun, to individuals younger than 18 years old.
An importer, manufacturer, dealer, or collector with a FFL must not sell or deliver a handgun or ammunition for a handgun to individuals younger than 21 years old.
A person may ship a firearm via contract carrier (UPS, USPS, FedEx) to a gunsmith who has a FFL
A person may ship a firearm to a gun manufacturer’s factory for repairs and modifications. After the repairs are finished, the gun can be shipped back to the customer.

Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

In 1993, the Gun Control Act of 1968 was enhanced with the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. This created a background check system that required licensed sellers to inspect the criminal history backgrounds of prospective gun buyers. It also established a list of categories of individuals who could not legally purchase firearms. The lawful trade of firearms was essentially limited to people holding FFLs in the United States.

Buy Firearms Online Today

As long as you meet the requirements for gun ownership in the United States of America and abide by the specific laws in your state of residence regarding gun ownership and use, you can purchase a gun online. The only requirement: you must find a dealer near you who holds a Federal Firearms License and will accept the transfer of the firearm you want. Many online gun sellers make the process of finding FFL dealers near you simple if you don’t already have one in mind. On deguns.net, for example, all you need to do is enter your zip code and a list of local FFL dealers will appear. Some might have FFL licenses on file with deguns.net already and others might not. If the FFL licenses are not on file, then you must acquire a copy of the license for the dealer you want and upload it to deguns.net or the dealer must do this. The firearms cannot be shipped to a dealer without a FFL on file with Deguns. Once the FFL is on file and the order is complete, the firearm will be shipped to the dealer of your choice. You can pick up your order at the dealer when it arrives. It is important you are aware of the local, state, and federal gun laws. You will be subject to a background check and possibly transfer fees when you pick up your gun at your FFL dealer.

Contact Deguns Today

If you have questions regarding Federal Firearms Licenses or the online gun buying process, then do not hesitate to reach out to Deguns today. Give us a call at 402-875-6500 or fill out our online contact form and we’ll be in touch soon.