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Federal Regulations for Firearms Dealers Laws

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Does Federal Law Regulate Who Can Sell Firearms?

Yes. Under the federal Brady Law, only persons who meet certain requirements are allowed to be licensed as firearms dealers. Firearms dealers include persons who are:

  • Engaged in the business of selling firearms at wholesale or retail
  • Engaged in the business of repairing firearms or firearm parts
  • Pawnbrokers

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining a Dealer's License?

In order to be licensed as a firearms dealer, a person must apply to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). BATF will approve an application for a person who:

  • Is at least 21 years old
  • Disclosed all material information on the application
  • Did not falsify any information on the application
  • Has a place to operate the firearms business
  • Certifies that the business location complies with all applicable zoning laws
  • Certifies that the person will comply with all applicable laws for conducting the business within 30 days of being licensed
  • Informs the local chief of law enforcement that the person intends to conduct business as a federally licensed firearms dealer at the stated location

What Are the Conditions of Being a Federally Licensed Dealer?

Federally licensed firearms dealers must follow numerous conditions in operating their business. Some of these conditions include the following:

Dealers are also required to refuse to sell firearms to the following persons:

  • Persons whom the dealer has reason to believe is under the legal age to possess and purchase a firearm
  • Persons who fail the background check
  • Persons who do not live in the state where the dealer is located
  • Persons who do not purchase the firearm in person

Do I Need an Attorney?

Violations of federal firearms laws are serious and can include criminal penalties. If you are a firearms dealer, or considering applying to be one, it would be wise to speak to a criminal law attorney about all applicable laws in your area, or to secure representation in the event you are charged with a federal violation.

Photo of page author Matthew Izzi

, LegalMatch Legal Writer and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 06-08-2015 11:05 AM PDT

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