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Thread: FFL Requirements - Buildings / Security

  1. #1
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    FFL Requirements - Buildings / Security

    Braintrust: My present set up is a residence, separate 40x65 metal shop building, and a hay barn. I am currently building out an office in my shop. My plans are to have a secure vault, security system, and video cameras. What are the physical security requirements for an FFL? How do I separate / distinguish the shop building from my residence in terms of plans to get an FFL license? I do not intend to conduct any business out of my residence. Nor would I expect my personal firearms to be subject to inspection etc. I appreciate your feedback / guidance.

  2. #2
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    Not a whole lot at the Federal level.
    Local laws may say more.

  3. #3
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    When the BATF agent came to my house, we just visited about paperwork and what was required in that area. When she go ready to leave I asked if she wanted to see my shop, she didn't. My 30X45 shop is detached from my house with both a security system and automatic motion sensor spot lights. My heavy safe is bolted to the concrete floor and two walls that have steel that are bolted to the safe.
    They seem to be more interested in my knowing the paperwork. They really didn't spend hardly anytime on the law or otherwise.

  4. #4
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    county, state, and local zoning ordinances, and your local police chief has to sign off ( unless that requirement has been rescinded). posted hours of operation for the Feds. With some of the new rules you might need a mfg lic as well - they have some really strange ideas about what constitutes manufacturing as of late.

  5. #5
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    Being in the county I had the Sheriff sign mine and was told later that it wasn't necessary. This was close to 20years ago. Local or county zoning stuff will need to be checked on. I have "heard" that some municipalities don't like guns. I believe this is not decided by the BATF, but your local folks.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX COWDOC View Post
    Braintrust: My present set up is a residence, separate 40x65 metal shop building, and a hay barn. I am currently building out an office in my shop. My plans are to have a secure vault, security system, and video cameras. What are the physical security requirements for an FFL? How do I separate / distinguish the shop building from my residence in terms of plans to get an FFL license? I do not intend to conduct any business out of my residence. Nor would I expect my personal firearms to be subject to inspection etc. I appreciate your feedback / guidance.
    I was a gunsmith in the early 80's.... back then the ATF considered themselves "above the law" and they hassled everyone.

    I swore off them. For 20 years.

    When I went to get an FFL around-and-about The Year Of Our Lord 2011 I told them all this...... I told them "I despise you guys,"

    " I've had terrible experiences with your agency, I've been set up for sting operation s 3 times".... "I have a friend who's dead, committed suicide on the courthouse steps, specifically because of a setup/sting from the old BATFE"......

    "So where are you now?"

    "Are you still anti-gun"

    And the well spoken fellow on the line said "where we are is, we're trying to regain our professional image"

    "We were cowboys"..... "We made a real mess back in the '80's and we're trying to regain our professional pride"


    !!!

    I said "well then, we should be able to do business "

    Sooo, I moved forward.

    And they were and have been VERY professional, courteous and accommodating. As I understand it and live it, THEY on a federal level are more concerned with keeping the paperwork straight than anything else. In simple fact, that is their job.

    It is NOT their job to care about local business licensing requirements although they absolutely will help you in any way they can. All local zoning laws, storage laws etc are just that, local. The ATF simply does not care.

    Nor should they.

    I told them absolutely nothing except that "yes, I have a metal safe for secure storage of customer firearms" nor did they ask.

    I set my store hours as "between the hours of 8PM and 9PM one Saturday a month by invitation only. Said Saturday to be determined on a case-by-case basis"

    I chose to not hassle with a storefront of any kind. And I own a construction business so my work is done under Sierra Concrete, the name on my FFL

    My property from line to line, and I clearly asked them whether or not my personal firearms, home, outbuildings etc were "subject to search" and they told me "no."

    I have a room set up with the appropriate signage on the wall where I do firearms transfers. An outbuilding. They have visited me twice, at my convenience and been very human about it..... just guys doing their jobs. They have never asked to look at any firearms. Nor can they without a warrant.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the feedback / advice. I put a call into the ATF Houston TX office and was unable to reach anyone. I am looking to verify that I do not need a separate building designation to distinguish my residence from my shop which are all at the same 911 address. For those with rural setups with a separate shop, do you know if any such requirement exists? If not I will move ahead with my LLC.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX COWDOC View Post
    Thanks for the feedback / advice. I put a call into the ATF Houston TX office and was unable to reach anyone. I am looking to verify that I do not need a separate building designation to distinguish my residence from my shop which are all at the same 911 address. For those with rural setups with a separate shop, do you know if any such requirement exists? If not I will move ahead with my LLC.
    Thatís going to be up to your local zoning codes, not a federal thing. Iíd start there first to make sure there arenít going to be any roadblocks getting a business license there.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the reply Rubicon. Iím rural in the county. I donít anticipate any zoning / code issues.

  10. #10
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    "How do I separate / distinguish the shop building from my residence in terms of plans to get an FFL license?"

    A friend put signage on the outbuilding he uses as Suite A & used that address for his FFL. It worked for him, YMMV.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TX COWDOC View Post
    Thanks for the feedback / advice. I put a call into the ATF Houston TX office and was unable to reach anyone. I am looking to verify that I do not need a separate building designation to distinguish my residence from my shop which are all at the same 911 address. For those with rural setups with a separate shop, do you know if any such requirement exists? If not I will move ahead with my LLC.
    I need to back up and realize that the original thrust of the thread was about getting a lathe....

    I think it must be noted that getting licensed and doing work for other people does change the tenor of the thread.

    I just went back and did a search "alinwa FFL" and it refreshed me to some of the questions I asked here on this forum a few years back, here's one. http://benchrest.com/showthread.php?...E-rules-re-mfg

    I've been an 07 for a few years now.

    I'm no expert, and rules do change, and I do this to make my hobby legitimate. And when I have questions re legality as regards FEDERAL licensing I now call "my" ATF contact. He's been very helpful.

    By my FFL requirements I can "do business" anywhere on my property...... period.

    "My property" is property line to property line..... I've done transfers on the kitchen table and on the tailgate of a pickup truck. "My property" also includes a table at a gunshow or my camping trailer alongside the sparkling trout brook.... although I've never exercised this right. But there is a line for it on the new 4473

    Only thing I require as far as on my property is a place to not get rained on and also to be able to set the paperwork down and step off into a private place, out of earshot of the client to call the FBI for their background check.....and not have the wind blow it away....

    I just mainly do it indoors, in a room set up for that purpose.

    I will offer this "advice". TIFWIW and understand that I'm a button-pushin' POKE-the-bear and BUST-the-winder-to-get-in kinda' guy. And I DO NOT fear "the government"....... (I also am a law-abiding citizen with a completely clean record. I'm an open book.) ..... but In My Opinion it's a battle worth fighting to simply not let the FBI push you around, or, more specifically not let them push you off. They are a LAZY bunch down there at NICS. If they hit the slightest hiccup they tend to (or I should say HAVE TENDED TO in the past??? They seem to be improving???) say "there's a hold, something that must be looked into, we'll get back to you" or a "deny" or and you don't get your permission. When I first got my FFL I had several cases where friends of mine got held up on a purchase for days.... I've heard of it taking weeks... For me it was a one day hold, one time and I got sick of it. firearm sales/transfers are a pita......I started saying "well, kick me on up the food chain, I'll wait"


    I've learned to tell the applicant "this could be 10 minutes or an hour"

    Keep a pen handy and write down EVERYTHING, names, NTN number but mainly just politely get the person's name and # (they all have a number) so that you can tell superiors to whom you spoke. Sooner or later you will get far enough up the line to get an answer in my experience. Learn to repeat their answer back to them with the NTN or any other number. The only two things most of these people value is "face" and their job. I've politely shuffled up the line 4 levels before, set on the phone for 40 minutes. And got the all clear in the end....


    If you let go that phone it might be a long process... and paperwork....VAF, UPIN, back and forth emails. I don't know, I've never let it go there.



    Now the FBI, wheewwwwwieeee...... they ARE NOT professional nor courteous!!! They are bigoted dysfunctional trailer trash......

    YUP, I said that on the innernet out there in fronta' God and ever'body.

    I feel that there are certain people at the FBI who are blatantly anti 2A and they will sic an ATF agent on you at the drop of a hat. ATF and FBI are completely disconnected agencies but the FBI can "authorize" or worse yet "recommend" a visit from the ATF basically on a whim.

    I did have an over-zealous FBI group try fish me a while back over a handgun...... basically if they call and you let them, they can send an ATF agent over to look through your books and copy everything whether there's probable cause or not. So I just told them "no." (I WAS NOT involved in any way with the handgun they were fishing for)

    While I feel the FBI is getting big-headed, I sincerely feel that the ATF is trying hard to be good people.

    BUT, having a lathe and doing machine work is very different that using the lathe as a business enterprise, in the firearms industry.

    I started doing gun work back when it was ATF, and the thought of any American owning a suppressor was a distant fantasy. Then I worked with them as BATF and as BATFE. After that experience I decided I'd never deal with those guys again, it's cheaper/better/safer to just pay others to stay on top of their equipment and the rules. But times do change....Due entirely to good people doing good things we're now back to ATF, and the old "presumption of guilt just because you have a threaded muzzle" is a memory.
    Last edited by alinwa; 01-30-2020 at 02:22 AM.

  12. #12
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    Oct 2014
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    I gave up my FFLs after the ATF declared that they would not renew unless you also had a state license where required. The New York State and Local laws make it very difficult. There are a few grandfathered, working out of their residents, but no new ones, at least in the county where I reside.

    Bob

  13. #13
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    Al is right on location on your property. They never asked me about a sign. At the beginning I gave 4:30PM-6PM daily as it is a part time venture.

  14. #14
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    As mentioned, my shop is detached, but I was never asked about where my shop was located. I am rural and that may make a difference.I kept my personal firearms on a separate inventory list, but it was for my personal needs "like insurance".
    A FFL is actually an unnecessary hindrance for me as I build or work on nothing for anybody else. Anymore the man on the street can purchase items as cheap as a FFL holder. I gave my license up a few years ago as I really didn't heed it for what I do.

  15. #15
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    MARCOCH is a spammer

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