Things to know before Owning a Gun Store

Thinking about buying or opening a gun shop?

That’s great, but here are some of the things you should consider before doing so, which are things you may not be able to find on the internet for one reason or another.

One of those reasons is due to the fact that a lot of the forums online are outdated, and do not reflect the actual environment that gun store owners are faced with nowadays.

Like the fact that a lot of the forums still claim that you could possibly make 20 percent or more profit on new gun sales, which sadly, just isn’t the case, and is more like 5 to 10 percent per sale if you’re lucky these days.

Please take into consideration that there do exist some outliers, like guns shops in small backwater towns that still use dial-up internet, or no internet at all, because in those instances the shops in those towns are still going to clean up.

If you live in a city, that actually shows up on Google maps, you’re bound to have tons of competition, especially from big box stores that get firearms at the lowest possible prices, so competing against them will always be a losing battle.

Then you have savvy gun shop owners that pop up, who make intricate deals directly with manufacturers, folks who obviously have deep enough pockets to by tons and tons of inventory, which they are willing to sell to the public at distributor prices.


Before I continue, please take into consideration that there are some major differences between actual gun stores and pawn shops.

Pawn shops could literally sit on ridiculously priced weaponry for years and still do just fine, because they make the bulk of their money selling other things that they get for very low prices.

With that being said, please do not get gun shops and pawn shops mixed together, they are two completely different things.


Now that we have that understood, also note that what has been written so far only pertains to local businesses, and has nothing to do with internet sales, which is a totally different monster, and at the moment is just a huge race to the bottom as far as pricing is concerned.

I will definitely cover online guns sales, but for right now, let’s focus on that dream of yours, of owning a shiny new gun shop, in that lovely town you grew up in.


First we will cover the not so positive points to owning a gun store, but if they’re your thing, then go for it:

  1. If you’re into people, and you don’t mind dealing with them, then owning a local gun shop is right for you.
  2. If you don’t mind selling a large amount of guns per year, with very little profits per sale, then go for it.
  3. If filling out paperwork, and accepting a massive amount of firearm transfers for next to nothing in fees to do so, then owning a local gun shop is perfect for you.
  4. If people haggling you, and sometimes being absolutely disconnected from reality as it pertains to the pricing of your guns doesn’t upset you, then you guessed it… a gun shop would be perfect for you.
  5. If you’re able to deal with people just talking “at” you for hours about their problems, and about how they used to own this gun and that gun, and when they are finally done, just leave without even purchasing a box of ammunition…. then owning a gun store is definitely right for you!


The items listed above are just a few of the things you’ll have to deal with while owning a brick and mortar gun store, and I mean a few, because there’s more points I could get into, but I don’t want this to be a an hour read, so let’s move on shall we.


Now we will cover some of the perks of owning a brick and mortar gun store, which mostly pertain to giving you access to certain documents, which will allow you to sell guns online:

  1. With a brick and mortar gun shop, you will be able to obtain your Federal Firearms License and business license, which will allow you to apply to any and all firearm distribution companies.
  2. Applying, and then later being accepted by these gun distribution centers will grant you with the ability to order guns, and other firearm related accessories from them.
  3. Now that you have your Federal Firearms License and business license, you are now free to sell firearms online as well via huge online gun websites such as Gun Broker.
  4. Depending on the city and state, and how their licensing works, you should now be able to legally purchase used firearms from individuals who visit your store as well.
  5. Buying and selling used guns is one of the only extremely lucrative parts of owning a gun store left to speak of, assuming you buy low and sell competitively… especially online.


The points above could’ve went on longer as well, but I will leave them there for now, just to make this article somewhat digestible.


Oh, and if you’re wondering why I didn’t mention gunsmithing, it’s because I personally think there is a lot of liability and risk involved with it, so I personally have not, nor will I ever partake in it. Plus, just to be clear, I really do not know anything about the business model, so it wouldn’t be right for me to discuss it anyway.


Finally, I want to discuss custom weaponry, which is something we specialize in, but has its own problems that come along with it as well.

Some of these problems include but are not limited to:

  1. Consistency issues with the firearms coming back from the factory.
  2. Things not being done correctly with the guns being customized, and having to send them back to the factory.
  3. Deadlines not being met, because the factory is experiencing climate related problems, equipment malfunctions, or employee issues.


So even the coveted custom firearms business has is downsides, but when everything falls inline, the custom gun business is the best one of all, so keep that in mind whenever you’re creating your business plan.



Oh, and as a bonus, please never pay too much for an existing gun store if you plan on taking it over, because in reality, all you are paying for is a name, and people don’t care much about a name, they only care about competitive pricing, and good selection… so be smart about your next move.

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