Best FFL Software of 2024: Side-by-Side Comparison

by Dave Chesson

May 24, 2024

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FFL Compliance is an incredibly important task – unfortunately, with all the requirements to fill out and maintain the necessary forms, it can also be cumbersome. Because of this, many FFL owners, and store owners are shifting away from physical bound books, paper 4473 forms, and looking to choose a FFL software to handle their compliance. So, this leaves the question of what is the best FFL software to use?

When looking at all the different FFL apps out there, it can be difficult to answer. What features do you truly need? How do they compare side-by-side?

Well, this side-by-side comparison of the best FFL software options on the market, we’ll not only help you to choose which one you need based on your purpose, but also help you to find the most effective and cheapest as well. We spent many hours diving into each option and used our expertise as firearms industry experts, and even as a firearm attorney that specializes in ATF compliance, to help compare each software solution.

When I originally wrote this article back in 2022, it was because of my findings that I started FFL Safe with a firearms attorney to help build a better solution due to what I found lack. So, let’s see how that played out.

So, let’s jump in and see the best FFL softwares compared side-by-side.

Update: This article has been updated because there is a new FFL Software, FFL Safe that is not only free, but also has excellent features that should meet the majority of FFL owners needs.

Best Compliance FFL Software Compared

When it comes to compliance software, there are really two important parts to it: an electronic bound book, and 4473 file management.  It is okay for it to only have an electronic bound book, however, knowing that it also handles 4473 and how it stores that information is another level.

So, with that, let’s look at the top options and see how they compare.

#1. FFL Safe Compliance Software : Editor’s Choice

Editor's Choice

FFL Safe Compliance Software

Latest and most up-to-date FFL compliance software on the market.

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  • Interface A+
  • Features C+
  • Compliance A+
  • Price A+

Our Grade

A

Reader’s Grade

A+

Based on 3 Reviews

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FFL Safe Review (#1 Recommended)

This is the home page of FFL safe when you first log in.

FFL Safe is the newest FFL Compliance software on the market and it is quickly becoming a fan favorite. Not only is this software absolutely free (thus it can save you hundreds of dollars a year), but it was designed to be the best looking and easiest to use by a landslide.

As you can see, its clean and very intuitive. Adding and disposing of guns is quick and easy, and doesn’t require someone to memorize a process since it is so easy to use (when you see how much effort you’ll have to do on the other software, you’ll know what I mean). This was very important to me when designing it.

I’d say this is absolutely perfect for Home-based FFL users. It has all the necessary features, and is absolutely free. Choosing FFL Safe over say Fastbound, you can save over $100 a year and probably enjoy it a lot more.

However, if you are a large sized gun shop, FFL Safe probably doesn’t have all the features you’d need like barcode scanning. However, there are so many new features coming out every month. As of right now, it will have 4473 forms by May and has plans to add a game-changing in-nework transfer System, digital signatures, and more.

Another thing that makes FFL Safe stand out is that it is the most compliant software on the market. This isn’t to say the others aren’t compliant (and if they weren’t, they’d be shut down). However, things like automatic backup of your logs on your computer without needing 3rd parties, none of the other software does. Instead, they get around this by ‘reminding’ you to manual do it yourself every day or using a 3rd party. FFL Safe automatically save backups of your files without you having to lift a finger. It’s for these reasons as to why I wanted to build FFL Safe.

Note: If you are currently using a different FFL software, and want to switch to FFL Safe and save over $100 a year, transferring your A&D bound book to FFL Safe only takes 3 minutes for most users.

Capabilities of FFL Safe: 

  • Electronic Bound book
  • 4473 (Coming in May)
  • FFL Search and Lookup
  • Sales Reporting

FFL Safe Pricing: 

It’s absolutely free – which is why I love this option. There are no hidden fees, nor any paid upgrades or different pricing for other features. It’s just purely free.

FFL Safe Pros and Cons

  • Absolutely Free
  • Best Interface
  • Easiest to Use
  • Most Compliant Software
  • Lacks features that large gun stores might need

Final Recommendation on FFL Safe

This won editor’s choice because it was built to fix some of the problems I saw in the other softwares. It has all the necessary capabilities for most FFL’s, is absolutely free, and the best looking and easiest to use. To learn more, you can check out my full review here.

2. Fastbound Compliance Software

Fastbound FFL software review

Fastbound Compliance Software

Long standing FFL compliance software backed by FFL Guard.

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  • Interface B-
  • Features A
  • Compliance B+
  • Price C+

Our Grade

B

Reader’s Grade

A-

Based on 2 Reviews

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FastBound Review (Best option for large-scale gun shops)

This is the home page of Fastbound when you first log in.

FastBound was considered by many as the gold standard for Compliance software. Their software’s look and operation was better than the other competitors on this list (that is until FFL Safe came to town), and they hold all the necessary features required for large scale gun shops to operating easily.  

Also, partnered/backed by FFL Guard, a firearms compliance law firm, they have a solid team of people to support and ensure they stay compliant with the ever changing ATF mood..I mean decision. However, with this, it is important to note that while they say Now, one thing I want to make clear for everyone though is that on their website, they say “100% covered by a legal defense against ATF.”  This doesn’t mean that if you break the rules or have a problem, that you get free legal coverage (this isn’t like CCW insurance).  Instead it just means that they have their legal team verifying their software stays compliant, and that if their software has a problem and causes you problems, they will cover that. 

For those interested in getting a Point of Sales software as well, they integrate with the likes of Trident1 and GearFire.  This way, if you are just getting started with your FFL, then learning and using Fast Bound will allow you to expand later without having to transfer all your files over to another software, and relearn something.  

One issue to keep in mind though is their automatic backup system. It is required that if you use a cloud based software like Fastbound, you must have automatic backups of your A&D bound book every 24 hours on your local computer. The way Fastbound does this is either you have to remember to do it yourself every day, or you use a third party software (Dropbox) as a work-around. To set this up, you need to make a drop box account, then go back to Fastbound and set it up to send the backup file to dropbox, and then setup in Dropbox to automatically sync to a file folder on your local computer.

With FFL Safe, this isn’t a problem. FFL Safe automatically backs up your bound book to your computer everyday using their own free downloader system. So, no possible extra cost, and no crazy steps to get two systems to work together and no dealing with a 3rd party.

Capabilities of FastBound (Included in all packages): 

  • Electronic Bound book
  • 4473 Forms
  • 4473 form filling Kiosk Capability
  • FFL Search and Lookup
  • Sales Reporting
  • Barcode Scanning
  • Digital Signature
  • In network transfer System

Fast Bound Pricing: 

When it comes to pricing, they are pretty competitive (except for the free FFL Safe).  With their pricing system, you get all the features and capabilities, but are limited by the number of transactions you make. 

Fast Bound Pros and Cons

  • Includes all necessary features
  • Backed by legal team
  • No free option for low transactions
  • Need 3rd party software to do automatic backups and stay compliant

Final Recommendation on FastBounds

If you’re a home-based FFL or a small gun shop, I don’t recommend FastBound and would instead recommend FFL Safe. However, if you are a large-sized gun shop then Fastbound is the best out of the paid full featured store systems. Read more about Fastbound’s software.

#3. FFL Boss Compliance Software

FFL Boss compliance software review

FFL Boss Compliance Software

FFL Boss is our second place FFL Software. It has all the features needed but isn’t price competitive.

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  • Interface B-
  • Features A
  • Compliance B+
  • Price C+

Our Grade

B

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

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FFL Boss Review – 3rd with Problems

FFL Boss's process for employee record and its interface

FFLBoss gets third place because I found it to not be as intuitive or easy to use as FFL Safe. Furthermore, depending on what level you are or what you need, it can be more expensive than FastBound without offering any reason for doing so.  

However, when you compare these two and their feature sets, they are pretty identical.  They might call certain features different names or have a different way of doing something, but they pretty much have the same capability.  

There is one more thing that needs to be brought up: While doing research on the background of the company, it seems as though they’ve had a bit of an internal problem in leadership.  You can see it all unfold in their Facebook post, and check out the comments, but the short and simple is that it seems as though one of the people who ran or was the forward facing person to the users left without a word and the specifics seem to have left a sour taste in the mouth of their customers. 

Capabilities of FFL Boss (Included in all packages): 

  • Electronic Bound book
  • 4473 Forms
  • 4473 form filling Kiosk Capability
  • FFL Search and Lookup
  • Sales Reporting
  • Barcode Scanning
  • Digital Signature
  • In network transfer System

Pricing for FFL Boss: 

This is the hard part about comparing pricing between the paid FFL softwares (since FFL Safe is in a class of its own as free). While both FFL Boss and Fastbound do the basically the same thing, their pricing is sort of this, sort of that. There are times where one is ‘cheaper’ than the other and vice-versa. Let me try to explain.

First, Fastbound makes everything available even at the lowest level. Whereas with FFL Boss, you get limited on background checks and have to pay $25 per month for NFA modules. So, keep this in mind.

However, after you go beyond the lowest level of transactions, USUALLY FFL Boss is cheaper.

What I mean by usually is assuming you don’t do any NFA modules, then you can do more transactions for cheaper than using Fastbound. But if you do do NFA modules, then there are crisscrossing points where one is cheaper than the other (due to the added $25 per month for NFA).

FFL Boss Pros and Cons

  • Can be cheaper…sometimes
  • Has all necessary features
  • More expensive for home-based FFLs
  • Internal turmoil

Final Recommendation for FFL Boss

If you are new or a home-based FFL, then FFL Safe is the better and cheaper choice. I also think that FFL Boss’s User Experience and looks are less than that of FastBounds. However, there are some cases where it still might be a better option – such as you are doing over 5000 transactions a year or if you are doing over 10000 a year.

Read our full FFL Boss review.

#4. Gun Store Master Compliance Software

Gun store master FFL compliance software review

Gun Store Master Compliance Software

Effective FFL application, but not as great or price competitive as others.

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  • Interface C
  • Features A-
  • Compliance B+
  • Price C

Our Grade

B-

Reader’s Grade

TBD

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Gun Store Master Review

I had a lot of hope for Gun Store Master.  However, I definitely don’t recommend this software. Not because it isn’t capable, but because of the pricing and integration. 

Let’s start by talking about their look and feel/operation.  Generally they do this well, and it is a simple program with the necessary capabilities.  It might look a bit outdated and rough around the edges.  However, it logically moves from screen to screen with just about all the necessary features and capabilities.    

However, this is where it falls off the rails.  First, it’s pricing is not the best.  For $1 more a month than Fast Bound, you get their basic package which does NOT include the necessary features you need – it’s really just an expensive bound book.  Instead, you need to pay $50/month in order to get all the FFL software features that FastBound offers you at their lowest price.  

But you may be saying, “Hey, but under that, you get unlimited which is cheaper than Fast Bound, right?” And while this is true, in order to make this a cheaper option than FastBound, you’d need to acquire over 2,500 guns in a month.  Now for some of you larger shops out there, that might be a major score.  However, hold up – there’s a bit more to this problem. 

If you are acquiring over 2,500 guns a year, you probably need a legitimate POS software.  Currently, Gun Store Master only integrates with Quickbooks and Celerant – both of which are not the best of modern options for POS software solutions. 

So, in the end, it might look appealing for larger stores, but you’ll have to limit your POS system, which with over 2,500 guns to process, that would not be the best situation.  

Pricing for Gun Store Master: 

Like I said above, I’m not a fan of this pricing.  You’re basically paying $10/month for an electronic bound book and have to pay $50/month for all the features.  So, not a good option for small FFL dealers nor large ones either. This is ridiculous considering FFL Safe does more and is free rather than Gun Store Master’s $10 a month version.

Gun Store Master Pros and Cons

  • Has all the necessary features
  • Limited in POS systems it will work with
  • Expensive compared to others
  • Outdated Interface

Final Recommendation for Gun Store Master

I do not recommend this FFL software. It is too expensive for an electronic bound book, and only would be a better option if you sold over 2,500 weapons a year.  But even then, that wouldn’t be great because you’d be limited in what POS system you could use – and the options aren’t great. 

4. EZ Arms Keeper Compliance Software

EZ Arms Keeper FFL software review

EZ Arms Keeper Compliance Software

A bit outdated, but pricing could be a plus – also only works naturally on some Windows.

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  • Interface D
  • Features B+
  • Compliance B
  • Price C+

Our Grade

C+

Reader’s Grade

TBD

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EZ Arms Keeper Review

EZ Arms Keeper FFL software gets one of my lower grades on this list.  This is influenced mainly by the way it feels and looks and is limited to only certain types of computers.

Let’s start with the limitation on computers. Right now, it is only supported on “Microsoft 8.1, 10, and 11 systems. It claims that it runs on MacOS, however, you need to purchase something like VMWare or Parallels and partition your hard drive in order to use it. These are both expensive, and can really slow down your computer.

With regards to pricing and their packages, I’ll cover that a bit more below.

However, there is one more feature point I’d like to make on this one. Their professional package doesn’t seem like it is worth anything. Basically, all it includes is 4473 Cloud integration – which 4473 Cloud is a backup file system for 4473 forms. I believe that the ‘ability’ to integrate with 4473 Cloud should be in all levels. Second, the extra benefits, including the unlimited SQL is useless for most, unless you have a SQL professional on your team – which I wouldn’t recommend running out to get one.

EZ Arms Keeper Pricing:

Now, let’s look at the pricing. While on the surface, it’s sort of hit or miss. It is important to note that the FFL Basic Plan is basically a decent electronic bound book with labeling capability. At $19 per month (if you pay monthly instead of annual) this seems a bit much for that, and cheaper options are available.

However, the FFL Standard package might be a place to save money. It is your basic electronic A&D bound book plus the required components for electronic form 4473s. However, where this might beat out others in pricing is because it is ‘unlimited’ transactions at this price range. Just paying $29 monthly (not annual) you could save. Something like FastBound increases as your transactions increase.

So, if you’re new or a home-based FFL, or don’t have many transactions per month, then this probably isn’t the most cost effective option. However, if you have loads of transactions, then you could save money by using EZ Arms Keeper.

EZ Arms Keeper Pros and Cons

  • Pricing can be decent depending on level
  • Outdated Interface
  • Only works naturally on Windows

Final Recommendation for EZ Arms Keeper

While the interface is outdated, and it only naturally works on windows, the pricing on this could be reasonable for you if you have lots of transactions (over 500 a year).

#5. Easy Bound Book Compliance Software

Easy Bound Book FFL compliance software review

Easy Bound Book Compliance Software

This is not the FFL-compliant software you should be looking for.

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  • Interface D-
  • Features C
  • Compliance D
  • Price D

Our Grade

D+

Reader’s Grade

TBD

Based on 0 Reviews

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Easy Bound Book Review

I’ll be short and simple on this one.  Easy Bound Book is down here on the list because it is incredibly confusing to figure out which product and plan you need and doesn’t feel like they serve the market as a whole like the ones above.  I tried working with it and just gave up on it – and I’m a pretty tech-savvy person. 

Recommendation on Easy Bound Book:  If you are looking for FFL-compliant software, the one listed above would suit you better than this.  I do not recommend trying them when the options above fit all needs and will do a great job – and with less headache.  

Compliance vs POS Software

As you can see, the compliance software was designed to help keep you compliant and is something that every FFL owner should have.  However, there is another type of software that gun shops might need to add for their operations: POS software.  

For most of you reading this, you may only need compliance software, and that’s it.  So, to help you understand these two types, here is a quick breakdown on what they are, and who needs what.

Compliance FFL Software: 

If you’re an FFL, regardless of the type of business you’re running, from a home-based FFL, to internet gun sales, manufacturing, or gunsmithing, you NEED a compliance solution. This solution can be pen and paper but the right compliance software makes things MUCH easier (and it keeps you out of trouble with the ATF).

Compliance requirements that can be streamlined with compliance software include your acquisition and disposition (A&D) book, electronic 4473s, multiple sales forms, manufacturing records, and more.

Who needs Compliance Software?  Every FFL owner, whether homebased or large store needs compliance software.  

POS Software: 

Point of Sale (POS) software is effectively a “cash register” software and does NOT have anything to do with compliance. If you need a method to add products to your inventory (including non-firearm products), accept credit cards, print receipts, and more, then POS software is what you’re looking for.

However, only a select few POS systems have their own compliance software inside of them. Therefore, if you choose a POS system that doesn’t have compliance (which most don’t), then you’ll need to also sign up for a compliance software as well.  

Who needs POS Software?   POS Software is really for major chains or large gun stores.  This is where inventory is large, transactions are multiple, and management of that inventory tedious and so a software solution is necessary.  If you are a home-based FFL owner, or someone who only makes a couple of transactions a month, then you do not need a POS system, and instead just need compliance software.  

So, as you can see, you might fall into the area of just needing compliance software.  Or, if you’re large enough, then you’ll need both Compliance and POS.  

Because multiple companies are just Compliance and others are POS (or both), I’ve decided that the best way to analyze the best FFL software is to break this review into two sections. In the first, I will only analyze the FFL Compliance software companies, thus giving them a side-by-side comparison.  Then in the second half, I will compare the POS systems side-by-side. 


By doing this,  you can choose which set you need, and choose the best from there.

If you need a POS software for your large gun shop or weapons operations, you should check out our breakdown on the best POS software for gun shops.  Thus, with the combination of your FFL software, and POS software, you should be able to effectively and efficiently manage your weapons transfers and sales.  

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About Dave Chesson

Dave Chesson is prior Navy with a specialty in international arms dealing for the US government across multiple countries. Having traveled the world and abided by ATF and ITAR, Roy has a unique background in legal as well as practical capabilities of weapons deployment and use.

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