Revocation Of Federal Firearms License



Revocation of Federal Firearms License

Revocation of your Federal Firearms License can be initiated by the ATF if you willfully commit one or more of the following offenses in violation of the Gun Control Act (GCA) or the National Firearms Act (NFA).

Reasons For Revocation Of FFL

  • Selling or transferring a firearm to someone who is prohibited from ownership.
  • Failing to conduct required background checks.
  • Falsifying bound book entries or transaction forms.
  • Failing to respond to a trace request on a firearm.
  • Refusing access to the ATF for normal inspections.
  • Failure to account for firearms.
  • Failure to verify and document buyer eligibility.
  • Failure to successfully maintain records pertaining to firearms tracing.
  • Failure to report multiple sales of handguns.
  • Being charged and found guilty of a felony crime.

Please note that willful violations are not common. The ATF will work with and help the licensee correct violations that may be the result of clerical or administrative mistakes. This is not to say that you may not be issued a warning letter or be required to attend a warning conference.

The ATF understands that mistakes can and do happen, however, they also expect for the FFL holder to correct such problems as they are brought to the attention of the licensee. Your IOI will inform you of any discrepancy in your records keeping after your compliance inspection and advise you on the possible solutions that will make you compliant with the law.

ATF Firearms Compliance Inspections For Fiscal Year 2020 (Source ATF)

2020 FFL Compliance Inspection Table


What Is A Willful Violation ?

A wilful violation takes place when one violates the laws of the Gun Control Act or National Firearms Act with willful disregard for the laws and public safety. Your FFL can be revoked for even a single willful violation. As an Federal Firearms License holder you have a legal duty to follow all applicable laws and regulations.

FFL Revocation Process

1. The ATF will send the licensee a notice of the revocation of their FFL. This is done with (ATF Form 4500). This form will list the violations that are the basis of your revocation.

2. Once the licensee has received their notice they have 15 days to respond and initiate a request for a hearing with the DIO ( Director of Industry Operations) in the licensees ATF field division.

3. At the hearing the ATF will be represented by ATF counsel and by the Industry Operations Investigators that have recommended that your FFL be revoked. The licensee is allowed to bring an attorney, employees and any supporting documentation that has a bearing on the violations as cited on the ATF Form 4500.

4. At the hearing, as the licensee you will have the ability to dispute the validity of any violations that have been levied against you. Based upon any evidence you submit and any evidence that has been submitted by the ATF the DIO will decide if the revocation will proceed.

Evidence you need may include bound log books, ATF forms 4473’s, acquisition and disposition books, multiple sales reports, theft and loss reports, Brady forms and or computer printouts. Depending on the amount of material and evidence submitted by both parties a hearing may last just a few hours or can go on for days.

5. If the licensee does not respond within the 15 day period to request a hearing the DIO may decide that the cited violations are true and the revocation of the FFL is justified. It is to your benefit to request a hearing as soon as possible after receiving the notice from the ATF that they intend on revoking your FFL.

Notice Of Revocation Of Federal Firearms License

If the DIO decides that after your hearing that the violations are justified the ATF will send you a final notice of revocation (Form 5300.13) along with their justifications and legal conclusions concerning your FFL revocation. The DIO makes this decision based on the evidence that has been supplied by the ATF IOS’s and the evidence that they have accumulated based on your past ATF Compliance Inspections.

FFL Revocation Appeal Process

As the FFL holder you have 60 days to file for a judicial review of your revocation of your FFL. The petition to appeal must be filed in the U.S. District Court where the licensee resides or has their principal place of business.

Request To Continue Operating As An FFL

During the appeal process you may not conduct business as an FFL . However, you may make a request to the DIO to continue operations during the appeal process. Based upon the circumstances the DIO may or may not allow you to continue operations.