Disclaimer: SKS-files.com is not composed of legal experts, we do our absolute best to make sure that what we post here is accurate, thorough, and factually based. Still, it is the epitome of foolishness to listen to “a guy on the internet” as your sole basis for legal advice. If you have specific questions about this subject, you should consult appropriate legal council who specialize in firearms law or contact the ATF directly to obtain a formal determination about your particular firearm or issue.
Applying for a C&R FFL03 is quite easy, and can be accomplished in a few easy steps.
- Before you apply for a C&R FFL03, it is best to understand what benefits it might provide given your current local and state laws. While the C&R FFL03 enables you, at a federal level, to engage in interstate “commerce” in C&R firearms, state and local laws may preempt federal law in this case and be more restrictive. As a general rule of thumb, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York & Washington DC all have ‘special’ rules that are far more restrictive than other states.
For some of the benefits to obtaining a C&R FFL03, please see Q: What are the benefits of obtaining a C&R FFL03?
- Obtain the C&R application form ATF F 5310.16. This form is also called ATF E-Form 7CR. Please note that you do not want to fill out ATF form 7 (ATF F 5310.12) as this form is for FFL01, 02, and 06 through 11 applications.
- Fill out ATF F 5310.16. Here is what you can expect:
Page 1 of the application deals with the following:
1. Enter your name, last name, first name, middle initial.
2. This will be your premises address, i.e. the address that you will keep your collection.
3. This is your mailing address if it’s different than line 2. Can be a PO box.
4. Name of the county in your state where the address in line 2 is located.
5. Phone number is pretty self-explanatory. This is just a number where they can reach you if they have questions.
6. Trade or business name. You can’t really have a business with a C&R FFL03, but you might have a gun collecting club, shooting club, or other entity. I’ve never personally applied for a license using this method, but the fact they have it on the C&R specific form appears to show that it is indeed an option.
7. Check the box that applies. 99% of the time it will be an individual.
8. Payment information if paying by credit card. Leave this section blank if paying by check or money order.
9. Detailed information for each ‘responsible person’ in the partnership, club, or corporation. Note the maiden name information they want for females.
10. Nonimmigrant alien certification of compliance. You would only fill out this section if any person you identified in question 9. was a nonimmigrant alien.
11. If any question is answered “yes”, ATF wants a detailed explanation on a separate sheet identified with your name, address, and SSN at the top. It appears that question A is an attempt to identify people who might be trying to allow one C&R FFL03 to lapse and obtaining another one shortly after the expiration in order to limit the information they need to keep in the bound book.
12. Again, if any question is answered “yes”, ATF wants a detailed explanation on a separate sheet with your name, address, and SSN at the top. Any of these questions, if answered “yes” would throw up red flags that one of the responsible persons may not be eligible to possess a firearm under federal law. Note the footnote to question 12A.
13. Again, if any question is answered “yes”, ATF wants a detailed explanation on a separate sheet with your name, address, and SSN at the top. Any of these questions, if answered “yes” would likely be a major impediment to possessing a firearm under federal law. Note the footnote to question 13A.
14. You need to acknowledge that you understand and will comply with each of these questions by initialing inside the appropriate boxes. Do not simply check the box or your application will be denied and returned to you. The chief law enforcement officer (CLEO) is the local county sheriff, local chief of police, or other high-ranking law enforcement official in your city, county, or municipality.
15. Certification signature and date. Under the block labeled “title”, C&R FFL03 applicants would fill in “collector” unless you’re the president of the club or some other type of official from a corporation. Remember that your signature indicates your acceptance of the penalties under 18 U.S.C. 924 as well as allowing a release of your military, medical, police, and employment records to ATF.
Page 4 contains information needed to correctly interpret the definition of terms and to fill out some of the questions on the application.
Pages 5 through 7 are the copy that you will send to the CLEO as directed in question 14. The credit card payment information (question 8.) is totally blanked out on this form as apparently the ATF has determined that the CLEO can be trusted to help determine whether you successfully obtain a C&R FFL03, but can’t be trusted to see your credit card information.
Finally page 8 is simply a repeat of all the instructions from page 4, although the paragraph and sentence layout on the page is somewhat different.
- Once the application is completed, enclose your $30 payment in the application you will send to ATF (unless you have entered the information from your credit card in question 8.) ATF wants you to write your SSN on the check or MO, but this is a huge no-no in my book. If someone unscrupulous manages to obtain the check with your name, address, bank account number and SSN...what could possibly go wrong?
- Make sure the application copy that is going to the CLEO is completely filled out, in order, signed, and that you do not have your $30 payment mistakenly enclosed in this packet. Note that all responses in this application should be identical to the ones in the copy you are sending to ATF. If questions are answered differently between the two applications, I doubt good things are going to happen.
- I prefer to send in applications like this via some type of certified mail that gives me a tracking number and some type of delivery confirmation. That way, I can't be given the run-around that they never received my paperwork. The application typically takes many weeks, even months to process and it's possible that you will be contacted by ATF to resolve any lingering questions they may have before they actually issue you a license.
After the application is completed, all you can do is sit back and wait. You might start looking at various vendor websites
that you might want to use your new license with when it arrives.
One final thing: Never
sign or date the original license that AFT sends you!
Let me repeat that as it is very important:
Never sign or date the original license that AFT sends you!
Always scan or make photocopies of the license and use a fresh ink-signed copy with the current date when you make a C&R transaction and keep your original in a safe place such as a safe deposit box or filed away with other important paperwork. Out of state vendors will often accept a signed copy that has been scanned and emailed, and will keep the valid license on file until it expires.