Why getting your C&R License is the best $30 you’ll ever spend
If you’re a collector of guns, you undoubtedly appreciate them for more than just the ability to go “bang”, or defend you or whatever singular reason you originally were interested in firearms. Collectors, which is very much what I am, learn to love the history behind the firearms they run into. There are guys who knows more about Mosin Nagant rifles than gearheads know about their hot rods and guys who can quote which manufacturers produced what firearms in what calibers and in what years with the same vigor and accuracy as any sports nut could of their favorite team, or it’s players.
In this way, I think we’re all historians in our own right and we get to carry on and share the wonderful and rich history that goes with our collections. Knowing that I own a piece of history that likely was carried through the rice fields of Vietnam or the trenches of World War II or even pre-WW1 rifles and handguns to ruled the Wild West gives me incredible pride and appreciation for the craftsmanship and the story these pieces tell. If you have no other interest out of your collection than the historical relevance, you should seriously consider getting your C&R license. It’s easily the best $30 I’ve ever spent.
The important thing about a C&R to note is it’s not the same as getting an FFL03, which is what you would use to transfer a modern firearm. FFL03s are reserved for those dealing in firearms. The C&R license allows you to buy them direct and to hold them, but you can only sell something from your C&R collection if you’re using the money to immediately buy something else for your collection. For instance, if I bought a crate of 10 Mosin Nagant 91/30s and had them shipped to my house but a month later I wanted to sell two of them to buy an VEPR hunting rifle, I could do that. I would need to record the activity and that the two Mosins left my collection. I wouldn’t make a habit of this, though. The ATF has the right to inspect your collection or your log book at any time and they don’t look favorably on someone buying and selling regularly. For every 10 C&R items I buy, I might sell one to buy another one. The point of a C&R is to have Curios and Relics, collections that you look to sustain and grow over time.
For information on getting your C&R License, please see the ATF’s website on the matter. They are constantly updating it as things change: