Federal firearms license is a license needed to sell and manufacture firearm in the United States. There are 8 types of federal firearms licenses. FFL is like a driver’s license in selling and manufacturing firearms. You need to get licensed before selling and manufacturing guns in the US. And anyone who sells gun must be 18 years or older; 21 years or older to sell .22 caliber rifles or ammo. You may need all kinds of federal firearms license if you want to be a gun dealer in the US.

  1. License Type 1 – Dealer in Firearms Other than Destructive Devices (Including Gunsmith)
  2. License Type 2 – Pawnbroker in Firearms Other than Destructive Devices
  3. License Type 3 – Collector of Curios and Relics Only
  4. License Type 4 – Dealer in Destructive Devices (Including Any Explosive, Incendiary, or Poison Gas Bomb, Grenade, Mine, Missile, Rocket, or similar device)
  5. License Type 5 – Manufacturer of Destructive Devices, Ammunition for Destructive Devices, or Armor Plated Vehicle
  6. License Type 6 – Manufacturer of Ammunition for Firearms Other than Ammunition for Destructive Devices or Armor Piercing Ammunition
  7. License Type 7 – Dealer in Firearms other than Destructive Devices (Including Overnight Air Transportation and Mail Order House)
  8. License Type 8 – Pawnbroker in Firearms other than Destructive Devices

But, what if you only want to sell or buy some gun at your local gun shop? You don’t need to be a federal firearms licensee. And here is the list of ways on how to purchase firearms legally. There are many ways to buy firearms legally; here are some of them.

  • Buy from a gun shop (FFL Dealer)
  • Buy online (most online firearm sellers are FFL dealers, they can ship guns to your local FFL dealer for you to pick up)
  • Donate or purchase at gun auction (usually through an FFL dealer, but occasionally can be done without transfer of title)
  • Find a gun at a yard sale or flea market (again, likely to require an FFL background check)
  • I dare you: “straw purchase” through the ATF’s eZ Check System. If this is your preferred method of acquisition, you should be prosecuted for multiple felonies.
  • Private party transfer (face to face purchase through an individual, requires documentation)
  • Special Occupational Taxpayer (SOT) FFL ($500 one time fee) can engage in the business of buying and selling NFA firearms. Also, non-SOT can order NFA firearms as long as they’re for the exclusive use of the government agency that employs the person ordering it.
  • Curio and Relic (C&R) FFL can purchase C&R firearms, which are treated differently by law from normal firearm purchases.
  • Foreign diplomat – may be imported without a permit so long as a State Department letter accompanies them and all registration requirements are complied with (which is onerous; under federal law, your foreign-made firearm must be marked as such with a serial number and date of manufacture – usually by engraving or molding the metal).