Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Krouse, William J. 2012 ‘Licensed Dealers and Firearms Transfers.’ Gun Control Legislation, pp. 18-19. Washington, DC: United States Congressional Research Service. 14 November
Licensed Dealers and Firearms Transfers
Persons who are federally licensed to be engaged in the business of manufacturing, importing, or selling firearms are known as "federal firearms licensees (FFLs)."(71) Under current law, FFLs may ship, transport, and receive firearms that have moved in interstate and foreign commerce. FFLs are currently required to verify with the FBI through a background check that non-licensed persons are eligible to possess a firearm before subsequently transferring a firearm to them. FFLs must also verify the identity of non-licensed transferees by inspecting a government-issued identity document (e.g., a driver's license).
FFLs may engage in interstate transfers of firearms among themselves without conducting background checks. Licensees may transfer long guns (rifles and shotguns) to out-of-state residents, as long as the transactions are face-to-face and not knowingly in violation of the laws of the state in which the unlicensed transferees reside. FFLs, however, may not transfer handguns to unlicensed out-of-state residents(72). Since 1986, there have been no similar restrictions on the interstate transfer of ammunition. Furthermore, a federal firearms license is not required to sell ammunition; however, such a license is required to either manufacture or import ammunition.
Also, FFLs are required to submit "multiple sales reports" to the Attorney General if any person purchases two or more handguns within five consecutive business days. As described below, FFLs are required to maintain records on all acquisitions and dispositions of firearms. They are obligated to respond to ATF agents requesting firearms tracing information within 24 hours. Under certain circumstances, ATF agents may inspect, without search warrants, their business premises, inventory, and gun records.
71) 18 U.S.C. §923(a).
72) 18 U.S.C. §922(b)(3).
[18 U.S.C. = Gun Control Act of 1968, as amended; ATF = Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives]