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  #1  
Old 12-20-2006, 8:37 AM
tbronson tbronson is offline
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Default Noob question on getting an FFL and CADOJ signoff

Folks,

First let me say thank you for taking the time to read and possibly reply to this post and let me apologize ahead of time if I am asking a question that has been asked and answered already. I tried searching under California and FFL as well as PRK and FFL and did find some interesting posts and threads but nothing but some vague references to what I am looking for so I thought I would jump in with both feet and just ask. Again I apologize for being a Noob and possibly asking a retarded question.

Let me first give you some background.

I live in the greater metro Los Angeles area and have been kicking around the idea of obtaining an FFL Type 1 with an AW and Hi Cap permit. I do not plan to do this as a full time business or to compete with the great guys offering services and the like already here in LA like Pat from Metroshot.

Honestly I would be doing this primarily as a way to legally own certain items in California that I cannot otherwise own and to provide a service to customers (including a subset of LEA's thus the need for AW/Hi Cap) who are looking for a no games or nonsense, consistent, good customer service, honest, and affordable business to use for their transfers and purchases without having to drive too far out of the LA area to obtain what they are looking for.

I would be forming a LLC for this and I would be by appointment only in terms of hours. I am looking for affordable rental space in my area in a city outside of LA City limits that will issue the permits I need so I can have a 'place of business' other than my house. In the rental space I would have a desk, phone line for DROS, alarm, and gun safe and I would not have any employee's.

I also plan to keep scrupulous records, follow all ordinances and laws, and plan to be quite selective in whom I will do business with in that I will not sell to/work with gang bangers, drug dealers, general wankers and assclowns, and other various and sundry slimy folks.

I do not plan to carry an inventory, do not plan to sell on consignment, do not plan to purchase used weapons, and do not plan to operate a retail store front. My goal isn't to save money because I don't really buy that many firearms and the savings vs. the fee's wouldn't be worth it and I am not looking to turn this into a full time business. But if I can get to the point where I am selling a few items every month and doing a couple of PPTs for people in my area so that my 'nut' would be covered it would be worth it to me.

So my questions are:

1. Am I completely out of my mind for even thinking of doing this? ;>
2. Do you all think there is enough of a need for such a service where it would be worthwhile doing?
3. What do I need to do to get CA DOJ to sign off on my FFL and AW/Hi Cap? (I already have source for a letter from a LEA for purchase)
4. What are the things I should watch out for?
5. What cities in the Los Angeles area specifically the San Gabriel Valley are 'friendly' to this kind of business?
6. What other things do I need for my place of business and operations?
7. What kind of $ should I plan on for fee's and expenses not including rent and utilities?
8. Any other thoughts or advice you all might have?

Thank you again for your time.

Ted
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  #2  
Old 12-20-2006, 8:55 AM
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1. no alot of guys think about doing it, most don't have the money or time to dedicate to it.
2. there really isn't enough need for AW's/High caps, police usually have guys that they do buisness with and have a working relationship with, they really don't want to authorise a new guy who is going to undercut their buddy's who they have delt with for years. Make it clear that you don't intend on dealing much with AW's and that your there if they need you, but you aren't going to activly try to solicit buisness away from others.
3. I have no clue, one of the AW dealers might know
6. If you work out of your home, your expenses are signifigantly less.
7. Inventory, A huge safe, high quality alarm system, and the best type of liability/theft/fire/flood/etc insurance that you can find. You might also want to have a lawyer on retainer.
8. If you focus on off list lowers/rifles/selling replacement parts for high cap magazines, have 1919a4's, and semi auto MG42's along with .510 DTC rifles and AR parts in stock at all times, you'll probably do a decent buisness, but remember that if you sell things that people actually want to buy the DOJ will crawl so far up your *** they'll clean your sinus cavity's. Ask Bright Spot Pawn about the extra attention the DOJ pays them. Remember, having a lawer on retainer is your friend, even if you think you're doing everything perfectly, you're doing something wrong, especially if you're new to it.

Just my 2 cents,
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2006, 4:31 AM
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There are old threads about how Big Mac started, I highly suggest you do a search for those.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2006, 5:37 AM
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No store front no FFL. Yes there are some people that have them but they had them. If you live in the city of L A then a big NO. If you live in L A county then just a little no.

The Hi Cap mag endorsement isn't a big deal once you have an FFL.

I don't know if you have an FFL how many more hoops you'd have to jump through to get the AW endorsement

Move to Ventura, Kern county you'll have better luck

Good luck to you
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2006, 11:20 AM
tbronson tbronson is offline
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Default Thank you Ajax22

[QUOTE=AJAX22]1. no alot of guys think about doing it, most don't have the money or time to dedicate to it.

Thank you for your help Ajax22. I am looking at this as a very part time endevor. With minimal funds as possible.

2. there really isn't enough need for AW's/High caps, police usually have guys that they do buisness with and have a working relationship with, they really don't want to authorise a new guy who is going to undercut their buddy's who they have delt with for years. Make it clear that you don't intend on dealing much with AW's and that your there if they need you, but you aren't going to activly try to solicit buisness away from others.

Excellent point. Thank you again. I have a few LEO friends who are not happy with who they are dealing with because of cost and service so I thought there might be a need.

6. If you work out of your home, your expenses are signifigantly less.

True but the problem here is I have a family and don't want to have to worry about them while I am doing business or my children getting into something they shouldn't. At $400-$600 for a small office in my area it is worth it to have a 'place of business'

7. Inventory, A huge safe, high quality alarm system, and the best type of liability/theft/fire/flood/etc insurance that you can find. You might also want to have a lawyer on retainer.

Ok. Good point. Can do on all of the above.

8. If you focus on off list lowers/rifles/selling replacement parts for high cap magazines, have 1919a4's, and semi auto MG42's along with .510 DTC rifles and AR parts in stock at all times, you'll probably do a decent buisness, but remember that if you sell things that people actually want to buy the DOJ will crawl so far up your *** they'll clean your sinus cavity's.

Interesting. So carry this kind of inventory will mean good business. Thank you for the tip.

Where I work full time I am subject to random drug testing, a regular poly, have gone through a lifestyle poly, and other various pain's in the *** so having DOJ come calling and climbing abord will just mean more 'friends' sharing time and space back there. Heck at this point I should charge rent.

As my little thumb in the eye I tend to eat lots of garlic and near raw bulgolgi (both make me all kinds of gassy) when I know something is coming just to share the wealth. ;>

Ted
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2006, 11:28 AM
tbronson tbronson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy
No store front no FFL. Yes there are some people that have them but they had them. If you live in the city of L A then a big NO. If you live in L A county then just a little no.

The Hi Cap mag endorsement isn't a big deal once you have an FFL.

I don't know if you have an FFL how many more hoops you'd have to jump through to get the AW endorsement

Move to Ventura, Kern county you'll have better luck

Good luck to you
Thank you for the reply. Sadly moving to Ventura isn't an option on the plus side I am not in LA City, thank God!

Ted
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2006, 11:36 AM
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Unincorp LA county or a small city outside LA is best (not sure which ones)

outside of LA requires the sheriff and/or fire dept to sign off for safety features. They forsure require a safe and a 1M insurance policy. They might require an alarm system depending on who is issuing the permit and where in the county it is at. It really does not sound that bad.

Eb
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  #8  
Old 12-21-2006, 11:49 AM
tbronson tbronson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C.G.
There are old threads about how Big Mac started, I highly suggest you do a search for those.
Actually that was one of the first things I tried after seeing posts talking about his threads. I couldn't find them. Would you please point me to them?

Thank you,

Ted
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2006, 11:50 AM
tbronson tbronson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EBWhite
Unincorp LA county or a small city outside LA is best (not sure which ones)

outside of LA requires the sheriff and/or fire dept to sign off for safety features. They forsure require a safe and a 1M insurance policy. They might require an alarm system depending on who is issuing the permit and where in the county it is at. It really does not sound that bad.

Eb
Thank you for your reply. I am looking at a small city in the San Gabriel valley. I can get a 10x20 office for about $400 a month and insurance for about $200 a month. The permit process is what has me worried.

Ted
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2006, 12:40 PM
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First I would go here for federal requirements:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/index.htm

And then go here for state requirements:

http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/dlrfaqs.ph...edb1f7b51b5140

Also, call the CADOJ Firearms Division. I'm sure they have answers to your questions. Also call the ATF compliance office. Remember, these are all public servants. Last but not least try this (not a CA specific kit):

http://www.easyffl.com/


ETA: I've thought about getting my FFL, too. Although, I wouldn't do it in this state because I want NFA items...
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2006, 1:14 PM
tbronson tbronson is offline
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[QUOTE=whomper]First I would go here for federal requirements:

http://www.atf.gov/firearms/faq/index.htm

Thank you. Been there and got it. Same for the state.

Also, call the CADOJ Firearms Division. I'm sure they have answers to your questions. Also call the ATF compliance office. Remember, these are all public servants. Last but not least try this (not a CA specific kit):

I also did this and talked with them for over an hour. Being a public servant myself I know exactly what you mean. ;> Fortunately I speak civil servant and they were suprisingly helpful. I talked to several people over the span of an hour and they gave me quite good advice and tips.

http://www.easyffl.com/

Thank you again. I was looking at this and was going to ask about it.

Ted
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2006, 1:25 PM
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Good luck. I'm curious to know what the process is, both from a state and federal level. Like I said, I've thought about it and may go for it at a later date in another state. I'm interested in NFA stuff. I found this book for sale:

http://www.rayrilingarmsbooks.com/cg....cgi/7723.html
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  #13  
Old 12-23-2006, 12:12 PM
tbronson tbronson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whomper
Good luck. I'm curious to know what the process is, both from a state and federal level. Like I said, I've thought about it and may go for it at a later date in another state. I'm interested in NFA stuff. I found this book for sale:

http://www.rayrilingarmsbooks.com/cg....cgi/7723.html
Well after several days of going through the process here is what i have to report back:

The CA DOJ was surprisingly helpful. I was told that they would approve it if I had a business license from my municipality with the firearms seller stamped on the license and complied with the requirements for storing and the like.

They walked me through the whole process including which steps to take first. They let me talk to their general counsel, field agents, and various and sundry other people who answered all of my questions either on the spot or called me back within a day with the answer. So it was a surprisingly painless and actually helpful time spent. Even with the understanding that I would be dealing in AW and High Cap. They even had recommendations on what cities I should look at and how to get the cities to issue me a license and who/how to talk to the local PD who were also suprisingly helpful and wanted me to let them know when I would be up and running. It seems the prices Turners gives to local PD aren't all that spectacular. ;>

Distilling it down: Get the FFL paperwork started. Locate a city friendly to the type of business and that has issued a business license like this before because then there is a precedent for it and it is harder for them to deny it. Find the commercial space you want to set up in. Get the business license with stamp and then start state paperwork including sending in a copy of the license from the city and the FFL approval as well as a COE form. Have inspection and signoff on commercial space by local Fire Department for code compliance if you are storing hazardous materials (gun powder) and include that. Wait for approval but follow up in a friendly and polite way with them to help move the paper work through.

In closing I am in talks with two local muni's and hope to have something operational by Feb or March of next year. As I have to run the paperwork gauntlet with BATF, CADOJ, CA Sec State (Incorporation etc), Muni Code/Permits, etc. So we shall see if they walk the walk as well as they talked the talk.

Thank you all for your input and help!

Ted
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  #14  
Old 12-28-2006, 10:35 AM
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Good luck Ted! Keep us posted please!
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  #15  
Old 12-30-2006, 10:48 PM
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Have you had any word from municipal authorities? I'm very interested. A buddy and I have been kicking around the idea of doing something like this. I'd like a Class 2 SOT.
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  #16  
Old 12-30-2006, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy
No store front no FFL. Yes there are some people that have them but they had them.
That's not true. It mostly depends on city, county and state ordinances... Check your local laws. In San Jose, you can't get a new FFL unless you have a legitimate business address. Several other cities in my area require this as well, and will deny people for zoning reasons. In Mtn View, however, there are no restrictions. Just state and federal.
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  #17  
Old 12-31-2006, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenophobe
That's not true. It mostly depends on city, county and state ordinances... Check your local laws. In San Jose, you can't get a new FFL unless you have a legitimate business address. Several other cities in my area require this as well, and will deny people for zoning reasons. In Mtn View, however, there are no restrictions. Just state and federal.
You should open up shop in your garage
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Old 12-31-2006, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweak338
You should open up shop in your garage
I am!
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  #19  
Old 12-31-2006, 8:06 AM
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I don't know how likely it will be for you to get your AW permit. First the thing costs $300 something bucks and you have to have at least two established police departments that would want to buy from you. The high cap magazine permit is a given, you just fill out a form and send it in with your CFD paperwork and they send you one for free.

Your main hurdle is going to be just finding a friendly municipality to get it started in. Once you find that, the Feds will rubber stamp you and the state probably will too.

I honestly don't know how having an FFL could be a part time thing. My shop is most certainly not part time. It takes up a whole lot of time. Good luck.
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  #20  
Old 12-31-2006, 8:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenpercentfirearms
I honestly don't know how having an FFL could be a part time thing. My shop is most certainly not part time. It takes up a whole lot of time. Good luck.

Hey Wes, I have a couple questions...

Is your shop in a retail space or in you house/garage?

Is it worth trying to get my FFL01? Can you make any money?

There is only 1 "gun shop" that I know of left in my county (Santa Cruz County), the others are a Big 5 and an Outdoor world, but they're just sporting goods stores and Big 5 won't receive firerarms.

I know this county is WAYYY liberal, but I think that a gunshop would be good for our area...I think it would get guns back into the mainstream a little.

The gunshop here is the only show in town, they're prices are high, plus it's in the south end of the county like 30 mins away.

This is something I've been pondering for about a year...just looking for some info.


Thanks,

Robert

(TBRONSON sorry for jacking your thread a little )
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  #21  
Old 01-02-2007, 1:09 AM
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Hats off to ya. Good luck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tbronson
Well after several days of going through the process here is what i have to report back:

The CA DOJ was surprisingly helpful. I was told that they would approve it if I had a business license from my municipality with the firearms seller stamped on the license and complied with the requirements for storing and the like.

They walked me through the whole process including which steps to take first. They let me talk to their general counsel, field agents, and various and sundry other people who answered all of my questions either on the spot or called me back within a day with the answer. So it was a surprisingly painless and actually helpful time spent. Even with the understanding that I would be dealing in AW and High Cap. They even had recommendations on what cities I should look at and how to get the cities to issue me a license and who/how to talk to the local PD who were also suprisingly helpful and wanted me to let them know when I would be up and running. It seems the prices Turners gives to local PD aren't all that spectacular. ;>

Distilling it down: Get the FFL paperwork started. Locate a city friendly to the type of business and that has issued a business license like this before because then there is a precedent for it and it is harder for them to deny it. Find the commercial space you want to set up in. Get the business license with stamp and then start state paperwork including sending in a copy of the license from the city and the FFL approval as well as a COE form. Have inspection and signoff on commercial space by local Fire Department for code compliance if you are storing hazardous materials (gun powder) and include that. Wait for approval but follow up in a friendly and polite way with them to help move the paper work through.

In closing I am in talks with two local muni's and hope to have something operational by Feb or March of next year. As I have to run the paperwork gauntlet with BATF, CADOJ, CA Sec State (Incorporation etc), Muni Code/Permits, etc. So we shall see if they walk the walk as well as they talked the talk.

Thank you all for your input and help!

Ted
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  #22  
Old 01-02-2007, 11:35 AM
tbronson tbronson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whomper
Have you had any word from municipal authorities? I'm very interested. A buddy and I have been kicking around the idea of doing something like this. I'd like a Class 2 SOT.
Working on it. So far two muni PD's don't seem to have a problem overall with it but are not sure who I need to talk to for formal approval. They have promised to get back to me but said it may take a while due to the holiday's. Hopefully I will hear something in the next few days and can update you.

Ted
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Old 01-02-2007, 11:50 AM
tbronson tbronson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenpercentfirearms
I don't know how likely it will be for you to get your AW permit. First the thing costs $300 something bucks and you have to have at least two established police departments that would want to buy from you. The high cap magazine permit is a given, you just fill out a form and send it in with your CFD paperwork and they send you one for free.

Your main hurdle is going to be just finding a friendly municipality to get it started in. Once you find that, the Feds will rubber stamp you and the state probably will too.

I honestly don't know how having an FFL could be a part time thing. My shop is most certainly not part time. It takes up a whole lot of time. Good luck.
Thank you for your input.

Interesting. I was told that I only needed one. Would you mind providing a link for this or what state level department I should talk to? I have one lined up already and may be able to get a second and the $300 isn't an issue.

So far, and I put that as a caveat, the two muni's I am talking to seem to be ok with it and one actually seems to welcome it. Time will tell however. Over the next few weeks I plan to set up an appointment to meet in person with the person(s) who will need to sign off on it from the PD and that will be the big tell as to how hard it will be.

As to part time/full time I am not planning on a full retail front and plan to have limited in house inventory as well as limited hours. My purpose for this is to discourage the 'lookieloo's' who come in to browse and shoot the breeze.

My thought process on this is that if you are serious about buying an item you will already know what you want. My value add is that I do not have a high overhead and thus can provide you what you want at a price that is reasonable with good customer service as well as saving you from having to deal with what I call the idiot factor you find at a place like Turners.

By idiot factor I mean things like the lookieloo; calling my local Turners asking about a bore sight, asking if he could verify that it is there, being told that they had one and he was holding it for me, driving over, and being told that they didn't have it (after I was told they did and it was being held for me) but they would be happy to bore sight my rifle for me; and having to drive way out of my local geography to a non-Turners shop in order to do a PPT or purchase something outside their normal in store inventory.

I would like your input on this idea though, if you don't mind.

Ted
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