How to get a firearm license

Written by contributing writer
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Obtaining a firearm license is the first step in being able to hunt in your state. Firearm licenses aren't always easy to obtain, but once you have one, as long as you respect the license and the firearm, you should be able to renew the license rather easily.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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  1. 1

    Find out if you qualify to obtain a firearm license. You can't get a firearm license if you are an illegal alien, have a mental illness, are prone to seizures, have a serious criminal background, are under a restraining order, have a drug record or are involved in stalking or assault crimes. You have to be 21 in order to obtain a pistol or handheld firearm and 18 in order to obtain a shotgun in the United States.

  2. 2

    Check that you have never wilfully violated any federal firearm law or regulation. That is another way to be denied for a firearm license. You can check your background by hiring a private investigator to check your background or search your local law enforcement and court records.

  3. 3

    Go to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. You can get a license as a dealer, pawnbroker, manufacturer, importer or collector. The fees can be affordable or expensive, depending on the type of license you need.

  4. 4

    Bring a photograph and fingerprints from a law enforcement agency along with you. This is a part of the application process. You can have your fingerprints taken by your state criminal investigative unit.

  5. 5

    Tell the ATF any information that it wants to know. You do not want to withhold any information or fail to disclose any information that is required. Don't lie in any way on your application.

  6. 6

    Wait 60 days for the ATF to approve or deny your application.

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