Jun 24, 2012

Insurmountable? No.

... but probably not an easy task. I've toyed with the idea of an FFL01 over the years, and after the DuraCoat experience (and yesterday's pictures) had an inquiry about doing a firearm for someone.

The short answer is this: I'm not going to be able to refinish/coat firearms in anything resembling the near future. The long drawn-out answer follows...

The firearm is the serial-numbered portion of the gun. Doing any work on a firearm in exchange for money is "gunsmithing". Being a gunsmith means obtaining a FFL01 from the ATF, and since I'm in NY, an additional license from the state.

The federal license is $200 (which, by the by, the ATF doesn't list on their site - only "include the correct fee with your application"), plus an interview and premise inspection from the ATF... and there's the rub.

I don't have a premise. The ATF in general, and NY especially, have tried to put an end to "kitchen table" FFLs - guys who would get a license simply to handle their own incoming/outgoing transfers, or maybe take care of a few buddies for a case of beer now and then. (I've spent FAR more than $200 on transfer fees in the past three years, which is the term of the license.) By requiring posted business hours and doing random inspections, they've made the home a bad place to do FFL business.

I have a garage which could potentially be used... but the idea of having a business on my land doesn't sound good. If the business tanked, or worse yet got sued, the entire house and property becomes an issue. Forming an LLC would help, but that's getting into a pretty gray area.

And finally, NY's scary-looking-guns ban. We mirror the expired federal AWB, which means that without an FFL (which is exempt from the law) I can't possess guns with things like bayonet lugs and flash hiders.

Is all of this insurmountable, if I wanted to get into firearm refinishing or even run my own shop? Not at all. But it's not in the budget for the time being - because it would be a pretty hefty investment no matter what. Finding a business space - or buying a small parcel of land and building a small shop - is the first hurdle. Following that is capital investment: shop tools, fixtures, and so forth. And once all that is in place, the licensing process - which could still be denied. Serious gamble.

At the same time, the idea of running a gun shop - even part time - appeals to me... and I'm going to start exploring this a little bit further.

(In the meantime, if one of you wants something coated that isn't a firearm - an upper, slide, magazine, knife, blah blah blah - and aren't keen on doing it yourself, drop me a line. We might could work something out.)


Old NFO said...

Honestly, I'd wait until I left NY to pursue that dream... NY is NOT gun friendly OR gunsmith friendly...

Borepatch said...

Well, bummer. Let us know if you change your mind.

ZerCool said...

NFO: Preaching to the choir, brudda. *sigh*

Borepatch: you'd be the first to know. :)

Wally said...

Holler if I can give any assistance from my vantage point.
Yeah there are downsides, and then there are upsides too.

ZerCool said...

Duly noted, Wally, and thank you.