Gunsmithing License


Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2010
Dumb question: Legally, do you need a gunsmithing license or certificate to work on guns? I know you would need an FFL to take guns into your shop, but say for instance you work at a retail gun shop and you do minor gun repairs, ( no machine shop work) maintenance, trigger work, etc. What legally can you do?

Yes, you need an FFL to take a gun in your shop, but not if you simply take the stock for work. Either way, you probably need a local business or mercantile license and sales tax license, if required by your state.
Yes,we have all that, the store has been in business for 55 years, I'm not the owner, just work there, and do some work on guns. But I am not a "certified" gun smith.
None of the smiths that I know of around here have a license more like an apprenticeship to learn the trade and an FFL to be able to take the guns into posession.
No such thing as a specific gunsmith license. There is no recognized government standards other than the definitions provided in the Code of Federal Regulations. No bar exam, board of review, competency tests. If you modify guns for your occupation you are a gunsmith. If you do it on the side or for fun then you are not. There are "certifications" that you can earn from learning institutions but holding one is not a requirement for licensing. A recognized certification and valid FFL license together will allow you to purchase certain restricted parts. Usually trigger stuff and the recognition of said certifications varies by each vender.

The definition of a gunsmith is you must be Engaged in the business.
as defined in the Code of Federal Regulations - Title 27: Alcohol, Tobacco Products and Firearms

[27 CFR 478.11 meaning of terms]

Engaged in the business is defined as:

(d) Gunsmith. A person who devotes time, attention, and labor to engaging in such activity as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit, but such a term shall not include a person who makes occasional repairs of firearms or who occasionally fits special barrels, stocks, or trigger mechanisms to firearms

The 01 FFL is the only license you need. It in itself requires you to comply with all local regulations to practice the occupation of gunsmith.
Warning! This thread is more than 13 years ago old.
It's likely that no further discussion is required, in which case we recommend starting a new thread. If however you feel your response is required you can still do so.

Recent Posts