How many home FFLs?
Back in the 90s, Congress passed legislation meant to kill "home FFLs," guys who didn't have a storefront, etc.. The main hit was a requirement that an FFL comply with zoning and other local non-gun regulations: more home FFLs were of course in areas zoned for residental and not for business.
But I know at least a few survive (I assume because their zoning allowed it). What's the general experience with this in your area?
I know of at least one in my region (DFW metroplex), from whom I purchased a new-in-box Remington 700 VSF in .308 about a year ago. They operate a commercial website, and they will ship to your FFL of preference; but if you are a local customer, you can also drive over to their home - which is what I did - and buy the firearm face to face. Their home is located in a nice middle class residential neighborhood. I have no idea whether their neighborhood zoning allows businesses to operate there, and for obvious reasons, I don't want to give any more information about them than what I've already stated here; but they do have a thriving business. They are honest, and their prices are very competitive ($831 for the above mentioned left-handed Remington, with MSRP set at $1,185), and they were personally very pleasant to deal with. I would gladly do so again.
Posted by: Chris Smith at May 26, 2008 02:14 PM
I live in urban Northern Virginia, and do all of my FFL transfers and purchases through a dealer who operates exclusively out of his home. I've been dealing with him since '03, and I don't know how long before then he was operating.
I won't be any more specific as to the location, but I will say it does NOT seem like the kind of place that would have lax zoning regulations. Not that I care. He's cheap and has always been honest.
Posted by: Adam at May 26, 2008 02:55 PM
I've dealt with a FFL that has said he is "grandfathered" and has run a gun business out of his house for forty years. This is in far suburban Chicago area.
Posted by: Chris at May 26, 2008 03:03 PM
Here in Houston we don't have zoning, so there's quite a few home-based FFLs. Heck, the one I use is a Class 2 manufacturer; he makes suppressors in his garage.
Posted by: CleverNickname at May 26, 2008 03:11 PM
I know of one not too far from me, who I use from time to time. Good guy, but have never discussed the issues surrounding the business.
Posted by: Carl in Chicago at May 26, 2008 04:40 PM
Well, my favorite C7/SOT FFL operates out of his house. I know of at least one other standard FFL here in this town who operates out of his house.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at May 26, 2008 05:08 PM
When the regulations about which you speak were instituted, I was a full time police officer who held an FFL for the purpose of providing firearms at low cost to fellow officers. The regulations certainly fulfilled their purpose where I was concerned. Zoning issues didn't persuade me to give up my FFL, but regulations requiring on site inspections, elaborate burglar alarms and similarly draconian tripe made providing a useful service to police officers far more trouble than it was worth.
Posted by: Mike at May 26, 2008 06:35 PM
The one I know lives out in the country where zoning is minimal. He's been running a small side business casting bullets--He says he started when the Viet Nam war interfered with his personal ammo supply. I don't know how long he's had an FFL.
Posted by: Sevesteen at May 26, 2008 08:37 PM
There are some here in tallahassee.
Posted by: Jim W at May 26, 2008 09:44 PM
Having had a couple of inspections at my residence becasue of a home FFL, I can say that so far no problems. The last inspection was last month. Just a check of the books and went over regulations. Nice inspector. The inpsectors now work out of their homes and handle FFL's in their territory. Home FFl's people do not seem to be a target. This is in a mid atlantic state.
Posted by: RAH at May 27, 2008 04:53 PM
As everyone would have guessed, Massachusetts provides the counterpoint here. Not only have the essentially disappeared, but the former AG was actually arguing that exemptions and waivers granted to some FFLs by local zoning authorities weren't valid.
Posted by: Ken at May 27, 2008 06:03 PM
I am one of the small ones that survived. I am in NW TX area and also teach CHL classes. I have a range just out my back door. What saved me was that I live outside the city limits and I own my property. I am also out of the way for inspectors. I did have to get set up for sales tax purposes, but outside the city limits the sales tax is 2% less than in several nearby towns. The bad part is that so many customers will drive 60 miles and pay more so they can have a "store bought" gun as that somehow makes it better. I have had some drive 300 miles to Dallas for the same price so they can say they have a "store bought gun from Dallas" (sometimes people are just downright strange). As of the last two years or so, I do more online auction transfers that I do sales. Usually they pay a lot more and wait just as long instead of having me order unless it is a special collector's item or a used gun they have been looking for. Right around here retail sales and CCW classes have been very slow the last year.
Posted by: AgPilot60 at May 28, 2008 01:21 AM
An acquaintance (and my connection to a community of NFA-firearms aficionados) had a home-FFL.
He claims that the township he lives in has found ways to halt renewals of existing FFL's within the township boundaries. He claimed to be the last FFL holder inside the township boundaries, and was not able to get his FFL renewed.
This was in a township in SE Michigan. However, to all appearances the situation may be unique to that township.
Posted by: karrde at May 28, 2008 09:51 PM
1. Maxium,Overal all No# Cap Limit:U.S.A. is Cap Limit of . number (25,315 )(01)Holders For Regular Retailers, Gun Dealers Busineses,too! Agreed! For State Groverments: 50 States is Maxium Cap,Number (01)Holders Limit,is overal count is (506.30) (01)Holders to Retailers Gun Dealeres Busineses is overal count too! For 01/01/2012 Starting From. The End Date: is 12/31/2012 A.D Period for 1 Year is 366 days to Agreed!!! No Extras Appl. not be issued too! Reason is To Reduiced City, Township, town. of 50 States too! Agreed!! By Cities, Townships,Towns Police Chiefs of Police too! Is good Plan too!
Posted by: David P.Curcione L.E.A.A./N.R.A. at December 14, 2011 12:37 PM
1. By 01/01/2015 A.D. to 12/31/2015 A.D. too! The End of Reduction of all (01)F.F.L.s Holder"s Gun Dealers too! Agreed!U.S.A. No#1 On 5000 (01) F.F.L.s Gun Dealers Retailers Busineses too! Is Maxican Cap Limit too! No extras Not Be added to not to exeeded it (cap Limit of (01) F.F.L.s Holders Retailers Store Fronts Busineses too! 2. The State Groverments is Maxiun Cap Limit is for 50 States too! Is 100 (01) Retailers Gun Dealer Busineses is Maxium cap Limit too! Agreed! No Extras Applications:(01)"s & State Licences Appl. Not be added too! Not to not: ,to exeeded the State Cap Limit Quauta Number Limit too! is 100 (01) F.F.L.s Holdes for each State of 50 U.S.A. States, each to Agreed no it too! Agreed!!! No Extras BNot be added too! Agreed!!!
Posted by: David at April 27, 2012 03:58 PM