The FFL processor requirements you need to know

Since 2002,  Tasker Payment Gateways LLC has helped hundreds of FFL merchants find and set up payment gateways for their e-commerce store. In the process, we’ve become very familiar with the requirements that credit card processors have for accepting FFL businesses.

As a BBB accredited and A+ rated service provider, we can help your online FFL (Federal Firearms License) store find an appropriate high-risk merchant account and payment gateway. We perform this service at no direct cost to you because we are paid by the providers, not the website owner.

Below, we highlight some basic requirements you must fulfill for your FFL site to be approved by a payment processor. That said, this page is only a good starting point. If you need more details or have questions, reach out to us. We are always happy to help.

If you are an FFL dealer looking to work with a like-minded partner, please take a moment to read out our annual  “How we feel about the 4th of July” post.

If you’re ready to set-up a 2a friendly payment gateway, we can get to work for you today, just give us some basic information, and we’ll take it from there.

Processor license requirements for firearms sales

It’s important to note that the requirements we outline here are relatively general. Some payment gateways and payment processors might have different specific requirements. However, from our years of experience helping FFL merchants with their payment needs, we find that these requirements do cover most bases.

With rare exception, payment processors require you to have an FFL when selling firearms online. Your name and signature on the application must match the FFL exactly. Additionally, the legal entity listed on the FFL must also match the name listed on your payment processing application.

If you’re selling ammunition or antique firearms only on your site, and you approach a payment processor, they’ll need to verify that you do not sell other guns elsewhere on your site or through GunBroker. If this is the case, you’re deemed a “non-FFL website.”

It’s important to note that, to satisfy processor requirements, you’ll need a Type 06 FFL if you’re manufacturing the ammunition, or any component of the ammunition, that you sell.

Processor requirements, do not mean legal requirements. Before entering into any firearms related business, you should always consult an attorney well versed in federal, local, and State firearms laws.

If you have any questions regarding payment gateways or high-risk merchant accounts, contact us anytime. We’re more than happy to get to know you and your business and help you start selling FFL products online. We’re only a short message away. You can find our contact form at the bottom of this page.

E-commerce shooting sports site requirements you must follow

There are several requirements that processors generally expect to be in place before accepting an application. When we recommend a merchant account provider to an online FFL, we always make sure to assign the dealer a new account specialist that can go over every line of the payment processing application when needed and discuss the requirements below ahead of time.

Here are some of the requirements for different dealer types. First off, we’ll discuss FFL merchants, then ammo-merchants (non-FFL), and then Class III merchants.

General site requirements for FFL merchants

One of the most common requirements is that your website has an FFL disclaimer on “how to purchase Firearms.” This must include details about the sales process, and state that you only sell FFL products in accordance with Federal, State, and Local firearm laws. Additionally, you’ll need to ship to a valid FFL holder for pickup.

IMPORTANT: You cannot ship directly to buyers when selling guns online. You must only ship to another FFL who will then perform the required federal background check before transferring the firearm to the buyer in person. 

You should also include a list or link to a list of firearm restrictions by State and make it easy to find on your site. Here is an example on the Midway USA page. 

We strongly recommend that you get in touch for more details to make sure you meet the website requirements you’ll face when acquiring a payment gateway and merchant account, and again consult an attorney with any legal questions.

You can contact us through our site or via our contact form at the bottom of this page. We can assist you with a 2A friendly payment gateway, a merchant account recommendation, or even refer you to an attorney.

General requirements for sites selling ammunition

Similar to the FFL site requirements, you should also list, or link to the ammunition rules and restrictions by state. Additionally, you need to enforce strict age restrictions when selling ammo. Of course, this means you need to make an adult signature upon pick-up/delivery mandatory.

General site requirements for Class III merchants

Class III merchants also need to fulfill all the requirements that regular FFL merchants need to have for their online store. However, in addition to this, you need to outline the process of purchasing Class III products. This includes stating that the verification of the purchase of the product can take 30 to 45 days, as well as 4 to 6 months to deliver. Class III merchants, regulated by the National Firearms Act, require special attention.

Gray areas you need to keep in mind (80% lowers, antiques & ammo sales)

There are some common misconceptions when it comes to what product sales require an FFL. For example, 80% lowers are among the products which fall into a bit of a gray area. While the purchase of an 80% lower receiver for personal use doesn’t require you to carry a license, you do need an FFL to accept credit cards for them.

From a payment processor perspective, 80% lowers are considered firearms and require an FFL.

Another typical gray-area product is antique firearms. While they are technically firearms, payment processors do not always require you to have an FFL for you to sell them. To keep everything on the straight and narrow, let’s use the ATF’s definition of what classifies as an antique firearm.

The term “antique firearm” means any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898. The definition includes any replica of an antique firearm if it is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or uses rimfire or conventional centerfire ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States, and which is not readily available in ordinary channels of commercial trade. Further, any muzzle loading rifle, shotgun, or pistol which is designed to use black powder or black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition, is an “antique firearm” unless it (1) incorporates a firearm frame or receiver; (2) is a firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon; or (3) is a muzzle – 3 – loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.

While we’d like to have abbreviated what constitutes an antique, we didn’t. It’s essential that you get the full picture of what is taken into account, which is why we opted to provide you with the ATF full quote.

The particulars with machine guns, SBRs, SBSs, and other weapon sales

Are you planning on selling machine guns, short barreled rifles, short barreled shotguns, suppressors, or “any other weapon” (AOW) or “destructive devices?” If so, you’re going to be selling firearms that fall within a very specific category. They’re under the Class III product category. Processing is more complicated for these product types and can require a more lengthy approval process.

As we mentioned earlier, Class III products fall within the National Firearms Act. However, for you to sell these products, you need a Class III license. Any payment gateway and merchant account require Class III merchants to have a Class III license. A Class III license is made up of a SOT (Special Occupational Tax) license and an FFL. Once you have this license in place, you’ll be able to approach payment gateways and merchant account providers with confidence.

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