Start A Gun Shop Business

Opening a gun shop business is difficult.

Opening a gun shop is much more challenging than opening any other business. Government regulations overseeing the sale and distribution of guns complicates this small businesses operation, whether it’s obtaining a license to sell guns, ordering guns from distributors, or selling guns to consumers.


1. Obtain a Federal Firearm’s License from the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. Your application will have to prove that you are over 21 years of age, are not already prohibited from handling or owning firearms, have not already violated the Gun Control Act, and have not lied on any part of your application. You will also have to outline exactly what you plan to sell in your store, including whether you will offer ammunition and/or gun repair. Your FFL will be good for three years before needing renewal.

2. Choose a location. You will have to check with your city or county’s zoning codes to make sure it is acceptable to open a gun shop at your location. You can find out about zoning restrictions from your city‘s office of urban development.

3. Contact various gun manufacturers regarding wholesale purchases. You will want to have a wide variety of guns, and it may take time to get your purchases approved. If you meet with a guns dealer representing a manufacturer, be sure to ask questions about the guns and be well-informed about the stock you are purchasing. Customers will be hesitant to spend large sums of money on guns you are not familiar with.

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4. Purchase a security system for your store. Some states require gun shops to install security systems to prevent the illegal possession of arms. It is a smart business move and a service to your community to keep your guns under tight security and surveillance.

5. Market your new gun shop to local gun and hunting clubs, shooting ranges, and firearm instructors. Drive traffic in your store by offering quick, free seminars on aspects of owning and using a gun, such as gun cleaning and gun safety.