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Frequently Asked Questions

California Firearms Licensee Check (CFLC) Program

  1. Are there any costs or fees to obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number from the Department of Jusice (DOJ)?
  2. I am not an FFL but I want to ship a firearm to a California FFL. Do I have to obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number before shipping a firearm to California?
  3. I am an FFL in California. How does the CFLC program affect me?
  4. Are any California FFLs exempt from the CFLC verification approval requirement?
  5. I am an FFL located outside of California. I ship/transfer firearms to California FFLs. Am I affected by the California Firearms Licensee Check (CFLC) Program?
  6. I am an FFL outside of California. I do not intend to ship/transfer firearms to a California FFL. Will I be affected by the CFLC Program?
  7. I am an FFL dealer. What is the procedure for me to ship/transfer a firearm to a California FFL?
  8. I do not have Internet access. How do I receive Firearms Shipment Approval numbers?
  9. Who obtains the Firearms Shipment Approval numbers, the shipper or the receiver of the firearm?
  10. Once I am issued a Firearms Shipment Approval number to ship/transfer a firearm, what do I do with it?
  11. Do I need to notify DOJ if the number of firearms that are shipped changes, or the shipment is cancelled after a Firearms Shipment Approval number has been issued?
  12. I ship/transfer firearms to the same FFL dealer on a regular basis. Do I need to obtain a new Firearms Shipment Approval number each time I ship firearms to that dealer?
  13. My company often ships a large number of firearms in a single drop shipment. Do we need a Firearms Shipment Approval number for each individual firearm, or just one number for the entire shipment?
  14. Do I have to retain Firearms Shipment Approval numbers for firearms I receive?
  15. Can I view or reprint a Firearms Shipment Approval that I obtained previously?

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  1. Are there any costs or fees to obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number from the Department of Jusice (DOJ)?
    • No. There are no costs or fees associated with the CFLC program.

  2. I am not an FFL but I want to ship a firearm to a California FFL. Do I have to obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number before shipping a firearm to California?
    • No. Only shipments from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) require a Firearms Shipment Approval number.

  3. I am an FFL in California. How does the CFLC program affect me?
    • If you receive firearms, you must be listed on either the Centralized List of Firearms Dealers (CLFD) pursuant to Penal Code section 26715, or the Centralized List of Exempted Federal Firearms Licensees (CLEFFL) pursuant to Penal Code section 28450. Anytime you receive a firearm from an FFL (regardless of whether the other FFL is located within or outside of California) a Firearms Shipment Approval number from the FFL shipper must be included with the firearm. When you ship/transfer a firearm to another California FFL, you must obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number from DOJ. To obtain Firearms Shipment Approval numbers, you must enroll in the CFLC program. (Pen. Code, §§ 27555, 28450, and 28470.)

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  5. Are any California FFLs exempt from the CFLC verification approval requirement?
    • Yes. The CFLC program does not apply to shipments made by Type 03 (curio and relic collectors) and Type 06 (ammunition dealers) FFLs.

  6. I am an FFL located outside of California. I ship/transfer firearms to California FFLs. Am I affected by the California Firearms Licensee Check (CFLC) Program?
    • Yes. You must obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number from DOJ prior to shipping a firearm to a California FFL. You will need to enroll in the CFLC program to obtain Firearms Shipment Approval numbers.

  7. I am an FFL outside of California. I do not intend to ship/transfer firearms to a California FFL. Will I be affected by the CFLC Program?
    • No. If you do not ship or transfer firearms to a California FFL, the CFLC program does not apply to you. If you decide to ship or transfer firearms to a California FFL in the future, you will be able to enroll in the CFLC Program at that time.

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  9. I am an FFL dealer. What is the procedure for me to ship/transfer a firearm to a California FFL?
    • To enroll in the CFLC Program, go to the CFLC Log In Home Page or visit the CFLC information page on the Bureau of Firearms (BOF) website for additional information. Once enrolled, you may access the CFLC database 24 hours, 7 days a week. When you obtain a Firearms Shipment Approval number for a firearm shipment, you need to provide the Firearms Shipment Approval number to the receiving California FFL and keep a copy of it for your records.

  10. I do not have Internet access. How do I receive Firearms Shipment Approval numbers?
    • You may enroll in the CFLC program by completing and mailing/faxing a CFLC Enrollment Application, pdf to the address listed on the application form. Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter with a telephone/fax number that can be used to request Firearms Shipment Approval numbers. However, the service availability is limited to Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

  11. Who obtains the Firearms Shipment Approval numbers, the shipper or the receiver of the firearm?
    • The FFL who intends to ship the firearm must obtain the Firearms Shipment Approval number from DOJ. He or she then provides the Firearms Shipment Approval number to the recipient of the shipment. The firearm cannot be legally shipped without a Firearms Shipment Approval number.

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  13. Once I am issued a Firearms Shipment Approval number to ship/transfer a firearm, what do I do with it?
    • You must provide the Firearms Shipment Approval number to the FFL who receives the firearm. You should also maintain a copy of the Firearms Shipment Approval for your records.

  14. Do I need to notify DOJ if the number of firearms that are shipped changes, or the shipment is cancelled after a Firearms Shipment Approval number has been issued?
    • Yes. After logging in to California Firearms License Check (CFLC), you can modify or cancel a Firearms Shipment Approval from the CFLC Application Main Menu page. You can also obtain a Firearms Shipment Modification/Cancellation Form, pdf on the BOF website. If you do not have Internet access, you may contact BOF at the telephone number provided on the CFLC Enrollment Verification Letter. The completed form should be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to the contact information listed on the form as soon as possible to enable BOF to reconcile the shipment information upon inspection of the CA FFL's shipment records. If the modification/cancellation form is not completed in a timely manner, BOF may contact the FFL shipper to verify the shipment change/cancellation.

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  16. I ship/transfer firearms to the same FFL dealer on a regular basis. Do I need to obtain a new Firearms Shipment Approval number each time I ship firearms to that dealer?
    • Yes. A Firearms Shipment Approval number is required for each shipment/transfer of firearms to a California FFL.

  17. My company often ships a large number of firearms in a single drop shipment. Do we need a Firearms Shipment Approval number for each individual firearm, or just one number for the entire shipment?
    • Only one Firearms Shipment Approval number is required for each shipment, regardless of how many firearms are in the shipment.

  18. Do I have to retain Firearms Shipment Approval numbers for firearms I receive?
    • If you are on the Centralized List of Exempted Federal Firearms Licensees (CLEFFL) you must retain the Firearms Shipment Approval numbers for three (3) years. (Pen. Code, § 28470.)

      California firearm dealers licensed pursuant to Penal Code section 26700 are not required to maintain firearm shipment approval numbers.

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  20. Can I view or reprint a Firearms Shipment Approval that I obtained previously?
    • Yes. Directions on viewing or reprinting a Firearms Shipment Approval can be found on page 40 of the CFLC User Manual or by visiting the CFLC information page on the BOF website.

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