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Starting A Gun Shop Business: What You Need to Do First

by Nathan Zachary
Starting A Gun Shop Business: What You Need to Do First

Nowadays, one of the most controversial topics in the US is gun control. Still, starting and running a retail business that trades, sells, and buys guns still has the opportunity to be profitable. 

Aside from selling guns, most gun shops also sell hunting-related products and ammunition. They also often offer a shooting range on-site and a gun repair service.

Starting a gun shop can be an exceptional idea. This is particularly true if you’ve got a natural interest in ammunition and guns. 

Opening a gun shop can be an ideal chance for you to do what you are passionate about and make a living with it. 

So, what should you do first when starting a gun shop business? Here are some things to consider:

Hiring Employees

When you run a gun shop, you’ll need employees for help. Ensure that you choose individuals with the right licensing and experience.

Keep in mind that not all people can work in a gun shop. You’ve got to conduct background checks for every employee. You have to examine their immigration status, mental health history, criminal history, and more.

Aside from salary expenses, your budget will also have to include other employee-related expenses. Paid time off, unemployment insurance, and worker’s compensation are some common costs that your business has to cover.

Acquiring Legal Documents

Before you can start a gun shop in the US, you will have to go through a series of background checks. In addition to that, you’ll also be required to acquire several permits and licenses.

A couple of the legal documents that you would require for a gun shop include:

It does not matter if you’re only selling rifle cabinets, you’ll still need a couple of these documents.

Getting a License

Another important step you should not forget is getting a license. You’ll need an FFL, short for Federal Firearms License. 

You can submit your application and pay the fee. Usually, it will cost around $200. After submitting the application, the ATF will have to conduct a background check on you.

This means they’ll examine all aspects of your life to guarantee that they can trust you with the major responsibility of selling and purchasing guns.

The ATF will deny your FFL if you’ve ever been convicted of a felony or violated a firearms law. 

Should You Start from Scratch or Franchise?

When it comes to gun shops, you don’t have to worry about purchasing a franchise. The reason for this is that there are minimal technicalities involved. 

Another ideal option is to start your gun shop business from scratch since it enables you to exercise a lot of freedom over your store. 

When it comes to pricing, you can easily copy marketing and business strategies that fit your needs. 

Starting from scratch will also help you avoid the high expenses associated with purchasing a franchise. 

Purchasing an existing business is another option you can consider if you do not like starting your gun shop from scratch. 

You might be lucky enough to find a person selling their gun store for a particular reason. However, before you purchase their business, make sure you do your research. 

Perhaps you’ll find an old baby walker manufacturer store that you can buy and transform into a gun shop.

Create a Business Plan

Before you can start your gun shop business, you need to create a business plan. Doing so will help you focus on a couple of vital elements of the business. This includes:

If you need financing, the bank will also need you to have a business plan. Keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase a lot of items for your business, such as connect led light strips, inventory, and more. Thus, you’ll need financing.

Find the Right Location

To lease or buy a store, you’ll either need funding or a loan. According to reports, the initial start-up costs for a gun store are around $10,000 to $50,000.

The cost will greatly rely on commercial retail expenses in your city. Though you can’t operate a gun shop without a license, applying for FFL will require you to tell where you plan to sell your guns.

Thus, you will have to find the right location first.

Particular countries limit where you can open a gun store. Thus, ensure you know your local laws before finding a location. 

For instance, new gun stores in California cannot be within 500 feet of liquor stores, residential areas, day-care centers, schools, or other gun shops. 

It does not matter what your business is. Whether you’re operating a glass drinking bottles wholesale or a gun shop, location is extremely important. 


Getting the FFL (Federal Firearms License) is the most difficult part of starting a gun shop business. However, if you follow the tips above and get the right documents, you’ll be operating your gun store in no time.

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