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September 19, 2014

Personal Firearms and Your FFL Business Site


One question frequently asked by retailers is how to account for firearms on their premises that are personally owned and not for sale. When a retailer is inspected, ATF Industry Operations Investigators (IOIs) will presume that all firearms on the license premises are for sale and must have an associated entry in the firearms acquisition and disposition record. If a retailer (either a sole proprietor or the responsible person of another type of business structure), wants to keep personally owned firearms at the licensed premise, those firearms should be: 1) physically segregated from those firearms in the inventory held for sale; and 2) appropriately identified as personal firearms not part of the business’ inventory. We suggest affixing a hangtag on the trigger guard that says something like “Personal Firearm—Not for Sale.” If a safe or display case is on premise for the storage of personally owned firearms, the safe or display can also be identified as containing personal firearms, but we still recommend that each firearm be individually tagged.

What about retailers and their employees who carry their personally owned handguns while working in the store, should these guns be tagged too? Unfortunately, we are aware of retailers being cited by ATF for violations when these personal firearms were not tagged. In that light, to be safe, we recommend that these guns are also identified as not for sale. The way we’ve seen many retailers handle this situation is to affix a piece of tape to the handgun containing words like “Personal Firearm—Not for Sale,” while those employees and their carry firearms are on the business premises.

Finally, if a retailer ever decides to acquire a tagged, personally owned firearm for their store’s inventory to sell, the firearm must be immediately entered into the retailer’s acquisition and disposition record and the tag marking it as personally owned removed. The firearm should also be removed from the segregated storage or display area.