Federal Firearms License

A Federal Firearms License (FFL) is a license in the United States that enables an individual or a company to engage in a business pertaining to the manufacture or importation of firearms and ammunition, or the interstate and intrastate sale of firearms. Holding an FFL to engage in certain such activities has been a legal requirement within the United States since the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Certain types of firearms, accessories and other weapons are currently restricted under the National Firearms Act (NFA).[3] In addition to a current FFL (of whatever “type” is applicable), the ATF requires that business owners who are planning to import, manufacture or deal in restricted materials also pay a Special Occupational Tax, or “SOT” (thereby making the business owner a “Special Occupational Taxpayer”). On occasion the issue arises as to whether a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) can obtain a refund of his/her/its Special Occupation Tax (SOT) that was previously paid but not utilized. There is very little information on this topic and there are no regulations that speak to it directly.

Federal law defines guns manufactured in or before 1898 as “antique”, (27 CFR §478.11) and they are generally unregulated in federal law. They may be bought and sold across state lines without an FFL. The only exceptions are short-barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, and machine guns, which are regulated under the National Firearms Act of 1934.