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I once considered getting my own federal firearms license. Then I downloaded the application packet. Followed by thinking through all the reasons why I didn’t want to give ATF agents any reason to knock on my door for an un-announced visit. Paranoid? Probably. If I’d checked out one of’s guides, I might have gone ahead with it. Anyway, they’ve launched a new web site intended to make the process easier . . .

SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA (March 2013) –, the online FFL expert and seller of the most inclusive FFL kit on the market today, launches the new website with new features and digital content. Electric Pulp, a web development team with Fortune 500 clients created a site that delivers easy access, informative content and accessibility through desktop and mobile devices.

Since the launch, has helped over 40,000 customers achieve their goals of acquiring FFLs and Class 3 licenses. Many of these customers return to FFL123.comagain and again for the most up-to-date information on firearms regulations and industry information.

New customers will experience the same great personal service founder, Brandon Maddox is known for industry-wide, plus new benefits such as a member-only forum for exchanging advice and ideas with like-minded people.

“FFL license applications are at an all-time high. There is no better way to get your FFL than through our proven FFL123 Guide system. We take you step-by-step and provide great detail to get you through the application process successfully and painlessly!” Brandon Maddox commented. “In fact, we stand on our reputation. The Better Business Bureau has given an A+ rating for business excellence.”  We guarantee you’ll receive your FFL or you’ll get 150% of your money back., with their many, deep industry affiliations and relationships, goes beyond their online sales business model to help new FFL holders navigate the industry’s suppliers and manufacturers. “We like to think of our customers as part of the FFL123 family,” Brandon added. “Our goal after the sale of our products, is to ensure that our customers have access to all our industry offers, from discounts, gunsmithing courses, legal assistance contact information, and more.”

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  1. I’m definitely interested. Any FFLs (in CA or not) care to chime in on whether this is worthwhile? Dyspeptic?

    Interesting how they promote the personal discount angle, considering the ATF has reportedly been rigorous in enforcing the rules intended to discourage personal-use-only FFLs. Sure would be nice to able to legally possess suppressed SBRs, though. 🙂

    • As someone who recently went through the CA FFL, I didn’t find using a kit worthwhile, just did the paperwork myself, and had a meeting with the CLEO in my area to make sure he was ok with it, he was, and so the rest of the process went smoothly.

        • Thanks, A81! At-cost transfers and bare-bones markups over cost for anyone who knows me before I get my FFL. 🙂

          I’m thinking about getting the whole monty (basic FFL plus 03/SOT) so I can:
          * Specialize in competition-type and higher-end firearms (e.g. “Here is your SCAR-L just like the one Foghorn uses in 3-gun”)
          * Do single-shot-exemption transfers in support of above (sometimes it’s nice to have a mill in the garage for making stuff like SSE inserts)
          * Facilitate out-of-state transfers and gunsmith shipments at reasonable costs

        • Ugh. Dream: destroyed. Fscking urban California regulations.

          The home occupation shall not be associated with the following:
          k. massage parlors, dating services, photo schools or dance studios for persons over sixteen (16) years old;

          l. the business, art or practice of astrology, palmistry, phrenology, life reading, fortune telling, cartomancy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, crystal gazing, mediumship, prophecy, augury, divination, magic, necromancy or graphology; or

          m. firearms dealers, except gunsmiths and/or collectors of relics and curios;

          I love how kitchen-table FFLs are in the same class of intolerable subhumans as, say, “psychic” charlatans and those suspiciously hot Zumba dance instructors.


    • I used the material properly and got a kitchen table FFL in MA, of all places. I got zoning approval from my town by restricting my business to internet sales. No additional vehicle traffic, no signage, etc. I contacted the wholesalers Brandon recommended and have had nothing but good luck thusfar.

  2. As someone that was starting from a position of total ignorance I found the kit to be extremely thorough, step by step and well worth the money.

  3. Is this a waste of time to try in The Peoples Republic of California just like everything else firearms related?

    • Nope. Not a waste of time at all. In fact, if you want to play with some of the really good toys, this is just about the ONLY way to do it.

      Opening a storefront is a fool’s errand in many of the major metros. Some of the significant 2A litigation working its way through the courts right now involves an attempt to open a legit gun store in Alameda county. Interestingly a few storefront operations have successfully opened over in Santa Clara county in recent years.

      “Kitchen table” home-based FFLs, on the other hand, can fly under the radar as long as you keep the volume low, don’t annoy the neighbors, and (recommended) make good contacts with your local police and county sheriff’s departments. Staying out of the crosshairs of any insane homeowner’s-association petty tyrants is critical as well.

      • What kind of benefits are we talking here? What type of toys can you get once you’re an FFL in CA?

  4. I thought the kit was well worth it.

    I certainly changed my planned approach of getting a business together with which to apply for an FFL.

    Even if I never find the time to take the leap, I certainly found lots of flaws in the approach I had laid out on my own, via google.

  5. First, you must realize several things:

    1. Your local zoning better allow you to a) be a business at your FFL address and b) have no other zoning restrictions against a gun business at your FFL address. In some locations, you might have zoning that won’t allow it, but you can get a variance of “conditional use permit,” where the zoning designation disappears if you sell the property.

    If you’re in a rental property (ie, you don’t own the property where you live), you cannot apply for these types of variances. The property owner has to. This becomes the problem with rental property for FFL’s. If your rental property is in an area already zoned ‘commercial’ or ‘industrial’, then you’re done already and no property owner involvement is necessary.

    If your zoning isn’t in place and in order when you apply, your app will land in the trash can.

    2. All other business licensing, sales/use tax licensing, EIN, etc better be in place before you apply.

    The ATF has a group that checks over all your zoning, business/sales tax/etc paperwork. They know the regs in your state, county and city. You need to find out and have everything in place before you send in your application.

    If you don’t have the business licensing in order, you’re going to at least run into delays.

    3. After you get a 01 or 07 FFL, do not show a majority of your A/D book for personal consumption or use. Don’t even show a sizable proportion of your acquisitions for personal use.

    4. If you get your prints taken at a venue where they scan them into the federal print system, as opposed to make you ink up your fingers and roll them on a blue “10 card,” that might increase the turn-around.

    5. If you’re keeping your guns intermingled with “business guns,” (eg, in one safe) you’d better have all your private guns tagged as yours, all the time they’re in the safe. When the ATF shows up for a records inspection, you do not get a chance to go through the safe and say “this is mine, this is business.” They want to be able to flip open your bound book, pull out a record and then find the gun. When they find guns in the safe that aren’t in the book, they’d better know with a glance (at a colored tag, for example) why they’re not in the book.

    6. If you get a 07 FFL, you’re now begging for a nice letter from the State Dep’t on ITAR license fees, even if you don’t export anything, even if you haven’t made anything ever that is considered as usable my a military force.

    There’s other issues, but those are the big ones that come to mind.

    • Helpful as always, thanks.

      A question on safes, or the lack thereof: one home based FFL I’ve used for transfers had a number of items shelved out in the open in what I’ll call a “secure area”, formerly the garage. Between the perimeter security and an extensive video surveillance system, it did seem like a reasonably secure setup — but there was a ton of stuff not actually in a safe.

      Does ATF have requirements which mandate a safe for some or all items, or is having a high security area sufficient?

      • Also, if you’d be willing to answer a few questions off-forum, please drop me a note: “Silicon Valley Alpha Geek at gmail etc etc” no spaces. I promise to only sell your contact information to the choicest Nigerian princes and Russian oil magnates.

      • They require “secured storage.” There is no set requirement or checklist, and while a safe qualifies, a safe isn’t mandatory.

        For example, pawn shops and retail stores don’t put all their guns in a safe. They put an aircraft cable through the trigger guards of long guns and lock down the guns to the rack or wall. They have locked doors (using commercial grade locks) and maybe an alarm system. No safe.

        Other “secure containers” (depending on ATF agent) I’ve been told by ATF employees would be locked in the trunk of a car which is in a commercial garage. Sounds odd, but there it is.

        This is one of those areas of the regs where the ATF inspector’s interpretation might alter your requirements.

        Oh, one other thing: If you’re going to deal in handguns, or gunsmith handguns, you need to supply a trigger lock on handguns you sell/return to customers. The definition of trigger lock is something that has to be removed to enable operation. A cable-tie looped through the chamber and down the mag well of a semi-auto, or through a chamber on a revolver cylinder qualifies, as does a trigger lock, etc.

      • Yes, there is an affidavit to be signed regarding security. The inspector asked to see my safe during our interview. You’d be a fool to operate any other way in the first place. FFL or not, all gun owners should properly secure their firearms when not on their person.

  6. Slightly OT, but what’s the key to a kitchen table FFL business? i.e. auto dealers make their money on parts and service, software companies on license fees and service contracts, etc. I can’t imagine FFLs make a living on transfer fees — are the distributor discounts that good? How is online business versus local?

    • I do no transfers at my house – ever. I buy from wholesalers and resell on internet sites. So I only transfer to other dealers who are then responsible for NICS checks and the actual transfer to the purchaser. Also, I sell packages with optics and other accessories, and do light presale gunsmithing. It’s a part time gig only but I love it .

      • Yeah, I’ve been curious about the same thing. I’ve been pushing around the idea of an FFL for some time now, but I’m a little uncomfortable doing transfers out of my home. I know my wife wouldn’t like it either.

  7. Having obtained my FFL, I can tell you it’s a pretty straightforward process. The ATF is clear on the requirements: How to Become a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). Just make sure you are in compliance with all local zoning regulations (get your privilege license) and that you are pursuing your license because you want to operate a legitimate business.

    The FFL123 website makes it sound like you can get your license just to acquire personal firearms at a discounted rate. Sorry, but the ATF won’t approve your application if this is your intent. Plus, don’t expect the “30% discount pricing” on guns and ammo quoted on their site. If you’re looking to save money on firearms, scour the internet for good deals and find a local FFL that will transfer them to you for a good price.

  8. Within 1k feet of school property. 10 feet of no-man’s land between curb and saftey of my property.
    Any impact from the school GFZ? Is it a show stopper?

  9. i’m sorry, but i’m not about to ask the government’s permission to exercise my Natural Right to keep and bear arms(or buy, sell, and trade by association). i guess i’ll just have to wait until after the Revolution to set up shop.

  10. I used FFL 123 to get my FFL
    I have had it now since 2012
    I do transfers and sell online, also do restorations.
    Part time, fun, and very simple!
    I created an LLC And aquired a home based business permit from my county. 25.00 one time & have a sales a use tax permit from my state.

    A Very worth while endeavor .
    And yes I have saved quite a bit when I purchased guns for my self!
    Once you get dealer accounts it’s great.
    I have 10 wholesale accounts now and 30 to 90 terms with half of them now.

  11. Well my attempt didn’t work my home based FFL was denied. Now I’m trying to get my 200% refund back from my attempt. My next step was court case against ATF’s denial which of course attorney fees and court costs. Which is guaranteed none refundable. So now just hoping Brandon holds up to his advertising end of deal.

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