FFL eZ Check is a system created and operated by the ATF as a tool to check the validity of a Federal Firearm License (FFL).
In this FFL eZ Check article, we’re going to cover:
- What is FFL eZ Check?
- How to Use FFL eZ Check
- When to Use FFL eZ Check
What is FFL eZ Check?
FFL eZ Check is a tool for checking the validity of, and for downloading copies of, Federal Firearm Licenses (FFLs).
The ATF’s Federal Firearm License system establishes a network of manufactures and dealers of firearms across the country.
If you are purchasing a firearm from a gun store, even if you are purchasing a firearm online, you are ultimately going to be getting the gun from an FFL.
FFLs may freely transfer guns to other FFLs, even across state lines. However, if you want to transfer a gun to someone else across state lines, you are going to need to ship it to an FFL in the other state.
When a firearm is being shipped to an FFL, you, as an individual, should get a copy of the actual FFL license for you records. If you already have your FFL, even a home-based FFL, then it is REQUIRED for you to get a copy of the FFL before you ship the firearm.
If you’ve done this before, you already know that you’re likely to receive a scanned copy of a piece of paper as your “proof of an FFL.” How are you to know if the piece of paper is actually a valid FFL?
FFL scams are common where an invalid FFL is used to get guns. The scammers can either use a revoked or expired FFL or they can even change the address on a valid FFL so that the guns are shipped to them instead of the gun store.
For example, even if the expiration date on the FFL shows that it hasn’t expired yet, how do you know that the ATF hasn’t revoked it since the scan was made? Or, even if the FFL is a valid license for a valid business, how can you be sure that the address is correct?
Hopefully you can see that it is a good idea for you to confirm the validity of the FFL. But, how?
Enter the FFL eZ Check system.
By going to the ATF’s FFL eZ Check website, you can search for the current status of any active FFL and you can even request and download a copy of an FFL for your records.
How to Use FFL eZ Check
Using the FFL eZ Check system is easy.
Steps to using FFL eZ Check:
- Navigate to the ATF’s website at: https://fflezcheck.atf.gov/fflezcheck/
- Enter the first 3 and last 5 digits of the FFL number
- Confirm validity of the FFL
An FFL numbers is broken into 6 sections and each section of an FFL number stands for something different.
The first three numbers of an FFL (the first two sections) refer to the region of the country and the specific district of the FFL.
The last five digits of the FFL number are the unique identifier for that particular FFL.
The middle sections of an FFL number refer to the expiration date and the type of FFL.
For your purposes, the expiration date section isn’t important because the FFL eZ Check system will let you know if the FFL is valid. However, it is important to pay attention to the FFL number section for the FFL type.
If the FFL type is “06” then NO FIREARMS may be shipped to this FFL. The company may receive firearms if it has an appropriate FFL, but this particular license can only be used to manufacture ammunition and no firearms can be disposed to this particular FFL number.
Additionally, if the type of FFL that you’re going to run through eZCheck is a Type “03” FFL, then you must confirm that the firearm you are going to chip qualifies for curio and relic status.
Once you’ve confirmed that the FFL is the right type, then you should run the first three and last five digits of the FFL through the FFL eZ Check system to confirm the validity of the FFL and the accuracy of the address of the FFL for shipping.
If you are an FFL, then you should print a copy of the screen for proof that you checked the validity of the FFL prior to shipping the firearm. This can really help in an ATF audit.
If the FFL only gave you a number, and didn’t give you an actual copy, you can also download a copy of a valid FFL on the FFL eZ Check page.
When to Use FFL eZ Check
You should use FFL eZ Check whenever you are sending a firearm to an FFL – this includes when you’re sending an FFL a firearm as an individual (personal firearm) or even if you are also an FFL and are transferring the firearm.
Simply relying on a scanned piece of paper is not enough – you should use FFL eZ Check to confirm that the FFL name, address, and type are valid and authentic.
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