Matthew Lutz

FFL/retail license question

11 posts in this topic

I called the NJSP firearms invest unit but can't get anybody to pick up the phone, so figured I'd ask here. I'm in the process of obtaining a professional gunsmithing cert and hope to run my business (part time) out of my home. The recorded message at the NJSP states that, before they will send you an application, you need a letter from your zoning official that states that you are approved for "retail firearms and ammunition sales." Thing is, I have zero intention of selling guns or ammunition. But i still need a retail dealer's license to operate as a gunsmith. So is it ok if the zoning letter states that I am approved for gunsmithing activities, or does it have to say that I'm approved for sales in spite of the fact that I won't be selling anything?

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I'm aware of that. The question kind of applies to both, though. Does the letter HAVE to say that I'm approved for retail sales if I don't plan on selling anything?
Depends. I think if the zoning officer says you are okay for Smith work, it would be good enough for the NJSP.

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1 minute ago, PK90 said:

Depends. I think if the zoning officer says you are okay for Smith work, it would be good enough for the NJSP.

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Thanks for the reply. Thats what I would think as well, but that recording when I called the NJSP threw me off. It was very specific that it had to say the premises is approved for retail firearms sales. 

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As a planning Board member and former councilman in my town I can tell you that many municipalities passed "cottage industry" ordinances.  Allowing small businesses that work out of the house to be allowed in a residential zone.  If zoning knows any sales (if any) will be drop ship and/or internet you could be allowed, thereby be permitted to hold an FFL at your address.     

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1 hour ago, BobA said:

As a planning Board member and former councilman in my town I can tell you that many municipalities passed "cottage industry" ordinances.  Allowing small businesses that work out of the house to be allowed in a residential zone.  If zoning knows any sales (if any) will be drop ship and/or internet you could be allowed, thereby be permitted to hold an FFL at your address.     

Millville has a "home occupation" ordinance which designates it as a "conditional use" that can be granted by the planning board. One of the prerequisites, though, is that no sales can be conducted on the premises. So yes, technically I could do internet and or gun show sales and be in compliance. The problem is that I'm still at the mercy of the planning board whether I meet the prerequisites or not. My suspicion is that they would deny any business plan which results in me selling guns out of my house (internet or otherwise). I could be wrong but, the truth is, I don't really want to sell guns anyway. I want to do repairs and transfers. Thats it. And I know that I could get the planning board to allow me to do those things because I know a gunsmith who does exactly those things who lives around the corner from me. The problem is, he got his FFL like 40 years ago. Not sure if the rules have changed. At the end of the day, life would be a lot easier if the ATF and NJSP would grant me the licenses just based on being zoned for a gunsmithing business.

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Zoned or no zoned they need the locals approval for an FFL.  Doing transfers will also mean that the guns will have to arrive at your house and the customer will have to come and get them.  That would constitute retail.

 

See what JT's input is. He may have a loop hole.

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If I remember correctly, ATF will not issue a FFL unless you have the retail license secured first. In NJ you need a retail firearms license and be zoned for a home business. You MIGHT be able to get around zoning by claiming to be online/mail order only since most towns will have a clause for “occasional” foot traffic..

 

NJSP will require (at the very minimum) you have storage (safe, even the cheap stack-on cabinets work) and alarm system. NJSP and ATF will meet up wth you and go over your plans/see the location. You mentioned Millville and I believe ATF would come from Philadelphia or woodland park for the interview and inspection. Woodland Park office handles my FEL (federal explosives license) and ATF has always been very professional and easy to deal with. As long as you walk a straight line you’ll have no problems with them, NJSP too.

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1 hour ago, BobA said:

Zoned or no zoned they need the locals approval for an FFL.  Doing transfers will also mean that the guns will have to arrive at your house and the customer will have to come and get them.  That would constitute retail.

 

See what JT's input is. He may have a loop hole.

No loophole - I just explained to Matt the best way to go about the process

Matt is a customer of mine - I always want the best for them.......

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