If you love the idea of creating a business based around hunting and shooting, you may be wondering how to open a gun store and how to sell a gun. Opening a gun store can be lucrative, but knowing what you’re getting into is essential before you shoot your shot.
Whether opening a brick-and-mortar store or an online gun shop, you’ll need to process credit cards to take customer payments. Processing payments for the firearms industry is more complex than it sounds because most mainstream payment processing providers aren’t willing to work with businesses in high-risk industries such as gun stores.
That’s where Zenti comes in.
As a specialist credit card processor with years of experience working with high-risk businesses, Zenti understands your challenges. They offer competitive rates, tailored solutions and knowledgeable support staff always willing to go the extra mile. Create a Zenti account today.
Table of Contents
- Is a Gun Store a Profitable Business?
- What’s the Average Markup on Guns?
- What Are the Expenses of Running a Gun Store?
- How to Open a Gun Store: 8 Key Steps
- What Are the Legal Requirements to Own a Gun Store?
- What’s the Most Important Factor in Opening a Gun Store?
- What Are the Average Start-Up Costs for a Gun Store?
- Work With a Payment Processor That Has Your Back
Is a Gun Store a Profitable Business?
The answer to this question is yes.
As a firearms dealer, you can sell guns and ammunition, which are always in demand. You can also sell related products like hunting and shooting supplies and self-defense products. Services you can offer include gun ownership safety classes, gun repair services and target practice facilities.
However, running a successful gun store requires more than just making sales. You need to create a safe and welcoming environment for your customers and have a good understanding of the laws governing the sale of firearms. Moreover, you must prepare to deal with the occasional unruly customer.
But owning a gun store can be worth it if you’re up for the challenge. The firearms industry is worth approximately 28 billion USD in the United States.
What’s the Average Markup on Guns?
The markup on guns is typically 10% and above. Of course, you can mark some guns up more than others, and it’s essential to remember that not all guns are created equal. For example, higher-end firearms can fetch a higher markup.
What Are the Expenses of Running a Gun Store?
Any owner knows that many expenses come with running a small business. For a gun store, the most significant expense is undoubtedly inventory. Guns aren’t cheap, so you’ll need to have enough money to cover the cost of stocking your shelves.
Other expenses include rent, liability insurance, utilities and employee salaries. But as long as you carefully manage your finances, these costs should be manageable.
Of course, generating enough revenue to offset your expenses is the key to success in any business. In the gun industry, this can be challenging since there’s a lot of competition. But if you offer competitive prices and good customer service, you should be able to build a successful business.
How to Open a Gun Store: 8 Key Steps
There are eight key steps involved when considering how to open a gun store:
Create a business plan
The first step is to create a business plan. This document will outline your store’s purpose, goals and strategies. It will also be helpful when it comes time to seek financing from investors or lenders. Having a business plan also makes measuring your store’s success easier.
Decide on your business structure
The first step in opening any business is deciding on your business structure. This decision will affect factors like liability, taxes and the paperwork you’ll need to file. Are you going to operate as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC or corporation? Each option has its pros and cons. For example, a sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common structure but offers no personal liability protection.
Decide on the type of gun store you want to open
There are two main types of gun stores: retail and online.
If you open a retail gun store, you’ll need to find a suitable location for your store. The ideal place for a gun store has high foot traffic and is easily accessible by car. You’ll also need to ensure that your store complies with all local zoning regulations.
You could open your shop near businesses catering to gun owners, such as shooting ranges and gun clubs. Once you’ve found a suitable location, you’ll need to build out your store according to your chosen concept.
If you open an online gun store, you won’t need to worry about finding a physical location for your business. However, you’ll need to build a website and set up an online payment system. You’ll also need a reliable shipping partner to ship guns safely and securely.
Find a credit card processor
Credit card processing can be a pain, with hidden fees and lengthy contracts.
Traditional credit card processing solutions are outdated and don’t meet the needs of modern customers. You’re stuck in a contract with high cancellation fees, and you must pay for a new terminal every time your business grows.
Zenti is different, offering free set-up, no hidden fees and no cancellation fees. Plus, Zenti’s processing solutions can meet the growing needs of your business. We’ll get you up and running within 24 hours.
Find the right suppliers
Finding the right suppliers is crucial because they will directly impact the quality and price of the firearms you sell. Do your homework and take the time to find reputable suppliers who can provide high-quality guns and associated products at a competitive price point.
Choose your inventory
If you’re opening a retail gun store, you’ll need to decide what types of guns you want to sell and what other products (ammunition, holsters, etc.) you wish to carry in your store. If opening an ecommerce gun store, you’ll need to find reliable suppliers for the guns and other products you want to sell on your website. Conduct market research to find your niche’s most popular shotguns and other weapons.
Create a security plan
Because guns are such valuable items, it’s essential to have a solid security plan in place to protect your inventory. A security plan is critical when opening a retail gun store. You’ll need to install a robust security system with surveillance cameras, alarms and safes.
While gun shop robberies are relatively rare, they can still happen. A common method thieves use is to ask to look at a weapon up close. Then, once you hand over the firearm, they’ll make a quick getaway. To prevent theft, only let customers handle firearms under your supervision. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the door if anyone tries to escape quickly with a weapon.
Market your business
Your business plan should include a detailed marketing plan outlining how to promote your gun store. This plan should include information about the demographics of your ideal customer base.
Suppose you’re opening a retail gun store. In that case, some effective marketing tactics include signs around town, handing out flyers in high-traffic areas and running ads in local newspapers and magazines.
If you want to know how to open a gun store online, some effective marketing tactics include SEO optimization for your website, pay-per-click advertising and social media marketing.
No matter what type of gun store you’re opening, take advantage of free marketing opportunities, such as listing your business in online directories and participating in local community events.
What Are the Legal Requirements to Own a Gun Store?
There are both state and federal laws that regulate gun stores.
What are the federal regulations for opening a gun store?
To sell guns, you must obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL) from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The process for getting an FFL is relatively straightforward, but there are a few requirements you need to meet.
First, you need to be at least 21 years old. You also need a clean criminal record with no felonies or domestic violence misdemeanors on your record. You must also prove that your business premises comply with local zoning regulations.
You must also comply with many other regulations, including keeping accurate records of all firearms sales and conducting regular inventory checks.
Perhaps the most crucial rule for gun dealers is that they aren’t allowed to sell firearms to anyone who isn’t legally allowed to possess them. This includes people who have been convicted of a felony, are under 21 or are subject to a domestic violence restraining order. Breaking these rules can result in severe penalties, including losing one’s gun dealer license.
What are the state regulations for opening a gun store?
At the state level, requirements vary from state to state. However, most states will require applicants for a gun dealer license to be at least 21 years of age and have no felony convictions. Some states also require that applicants complete firearms training courses or have experience working in law enforcement or the military.
What’s the Most Important Factor in Opening a Gun Store?
As any business owner knows, there are many factors to consider when opening a new store. Location is often one of the most critical decisions, affecting foot traffic and customer accessibility.
When considering how to open a gun store, security is another essential factor to consider. It’s necessary to have a robust security system in place.
However, for a gun store, there are even more additional concerns to consider because they must obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Getting a permit can be lengthy and complicated, and it’s often necessary to have a secure location with adequate security before the ATF issues a permit.
What Are the Average Start-Up Costs for a Gun Store?
Start-up costs for a gun store in the United States average 13,936 USD. These costs can vary depending on whether the store is online or brick-and-mortar, location, inventory type and security measures in place.
It’s essential to factor in the cost of obtaining a license from the ATF.
Work With a Payment Processor That Has Your Back
When thinking about how to open a gun store, finding the right payment processor is crucial.
The firearms industry is high-risk, meaning most payment processors are unwilling to work with gun stores. This makes it difficult for gun stores to find a payment processor to approve their accounts. Zenti, however, is specifically designed to work with high-risk businesses and can work with you to get your gun store up and running.
Here are some things to remember when choosing a payment processor for your gun store.
What’s a payment processor?
A payment processor is a company that helps businesses accept and process payments from customers. To do this, the payment processor will typically set up a merchant account for the business. A merchant account is a particular type of bank account that allows companies to accept credit and debit card payments from customers.
Why is the firearms industry considered high-risk?
The firearms industry is considered high-risk for several reasons.
- There’s a higher incidence of fraud in the industry.
- The government regulates firearms, which adds an extra layer of compliance that businesses must deal with.
- Because of the potential for gun violence, many banks and other financial institutions are hesitant to work with companies that sell firearms.
What are the benefits of using Zenti?
Using Zenti as your gun store’s payment processor has several benefits.
- Zenti has experience working with high-risk businesses like gun stores. They are familiar with the compliance requirements and can help you navigate setting up your merchant account.
- Zenti offers competitive rates and fees, saving you money compared to other processors.
- Zenti provides excellent customer service and support, so you can be confident that you’ll always have someone to help you with any questions or issues.
If you’re ready to open your own gun store, Zenti can help. We have years of experience providing the best service possible to high-risk businesses. To get started, contact Zenti today.