DO I NEED A LICENSE TO BUY AND SELL FIREARMS?
Who needs a Federal license to deal in firearms?
Under federal law, any person who engages in the business of dealing in firearms
must be licensed.
What does it mean to be “engaged in the business of dealing in
Under federal law, a person engaged in the business of dealing in firearms is a per-
son who “devotes time, attention and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course
of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the
repetitive purchase and resale of firearms.”
Under federal law, conducting business “with the principal objective of livelihood
and profit” means that “the intent underlying the sale or disposition of firearms is
predominantly one of obtaining livelihood and pecuniary gain, as opposed to other
intents, such as improving or liquidating a personal firearms collection.”
Consistent with this approach, federal law explicitly exempts persons “who make
occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a
personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection
Has ATF defined what it means to be “engaged in the business” of
dealing in firearms?
ATF has published regulatory definitions for the terms “engaged in the business”
and “principal objective of livelihood and profit.” ATF’s regulation defining when a
person is “engaged in the business” of dealing in firearms is identical to the lan-
guage of the statute, though in the definition of “dealer,” ATF clarified that the term
includes “any person who engages in such business or occupation on a part-time