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Old 10-02-2003, 10:28 PM   #1
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FFL licenses - questions.

You know, it used to be that just about anyone whom wanted an FFL and wasn't a felon, could easily get one. Many people got them just for the sake of being able to easily buy guns without having to involve a third party in the transaction. One of the first guns I ever bought was from a guy whom had his entire "gun business" in a briefcase.

At one time (quite a while ago, actually) I got a Collector's License, thinking it would basically be an FFL, but not as a dealer, just someone whom wanted to be a collector and able to buy guns via mail order (as pre-1968). When I got the license and found out what it really entitled to me, I just laughed and put it in the drawer and let it lapse.

So how did all of the present restrictions on getting an FFL come about? Zoning regulations and the like? Is this something the BATF made up on their own, or did laws actually pass through Congress making it so?

I have often toyed with the idea of getting an FFL anyway, but not sure how my property being zoned agricultural would be reflected in the application. I could make the address as my regular street address and add a "-A" to it, which would actually be the building I raise rodents in. Do you actually HAVE to engage in buying and selling when a FFL holder? Can you be an FFL without a storefront, simply selling via Internet sales and occasional gunshows?

Just curious about it. Probably more hassle than I would want to deal with, but darn it, some things just gripe my butt.
 
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Old 10-03-2003, 07:29 AM   #2
 
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I'm not entirely sure about the new regs, but I do know that it is *very* hard to get an FFL these days w/o an actual storefront. The days of the "kitchen table" FFL's are pretty much over. I know 2 of them, and try to help them out as much as I can.

I do know that if you have one and don't renew it, you *can't* get another one. My stepfather used to have one in the 70's, let it lapse, and then found when he went to renew it a few years ago that he can't get another.

You can PM or email BOAS4Sale or FFL4U and he can give you the info.
 
Old 10-03-2003, 09:17 AM   #3
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So was this a change in the requirements to get a FFL passed by congress or an internal policy change in the BATF?

I guess one of the points of my question was "Can an enforcing agency legally (constitutionally, not actually) alter the intent or wording of a law without congressional debate?"

What happened between the '70s and now to make it more difficult to get a FFL?
 
 
Old 10-03-2003, 10:13 AM   #4
 
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I'm pretty sure it was BATF's decision to change the requirements. I've never hard of any congressional laws about FFL licenses.

I don't believe that they *should* have the power to make these decisions, but since they are charged with the regulation of firearms...they pretty much have free reign to do what they want.
 
Old 10-03-2003, 10:47 AM   #5
 
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The Executive branch of our government is so called, because it has the responsibility to execute all laws passed by the Legislative branch: Congress. That is the sole task of the Executive branch.

However, when Congress passes a law that is overly vague, it leaves the door wide open for the Executive branch to interpret the law as it applies the law under its scope of execution. That is exactly why we have the troubles with the EPA and USDA as we do. When Congress passed the Endangered Species Act of 1973, it was intended to protect the endangered megafauna of the nation. No one wanted Bald Eagles, American Alligators, or American Bison to actually become extinct as the Passenger Pigeon had earlier. So, the law was passed, and the EPA and the USDA, along with other regulatory agencies began to execute the law as they interpreted it to be. The result? We have Spotted Owls running the Northwest portion of our country!

The only way to curb this interpretative executive regulation is for a) Congress to amend the laws pertaining to the issue, clarifying the position intended, or b) The Judiciary to strike down the practice of the Executive branch as unconstitutional as it is practiced. Given the attitudes towards guns, gun sales, and gun dealers, I wouldn't expect too much of either of those options right now.
 
Old 10-03-2003, 11:04 AM   #6
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Thanks Darin. Sort of my point. The cornerstone of the Constitution of the United States of America (IMHO) is the division of power in the federal government as a means of oversight protection. Having a sub unit of the federal government that enforces the law, as well as interprets, alters it, and adds to it at will, certainly must be contrary to the protections the Constitution tried to put in place to protect citizens from this sort of activity.

Any bureau or department created by an act of Congress should still be held in check by the Consitution.

Of course, reading the Consitution these days is much like reading a fiction novel.
 
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