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How to Get Into the Gun Selling Business

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Many gun owners wish to get into the gun selling business because of their love for guns and the profitability of the firearms industry. Whatever your reason for wanting to get into the gun selling business, the following steps will help you do so.

Educate yourself. You should possess a deep knowledge of guns if you want to get into the gun selling business. You should also be adept at using and cleaning guns. Read gun magazines and online gun forums to stay up-to-date on new products and market trends. You should have a current knowledge of what guns are popular and what new guns are being manufactured.

Visit gun shows. Gun shows are a good opportunity to meet other gun owners, learn about what products are selling well and talk to gun sellers. While at a gun show, visit different booths and speak with the sellers on how to get into the gun selling business. Ask them if they have any employment opportunities at their stores.

Learn about the business side of things. To get into the gun selling business, you should have both a knowledge of guns and a knowledge of how to run a business. You may want to take a couple business classes at your local community college to learn the basics of how to run a business. You should also hone your customer service skills since good customer service is key to running a successful business. (See Resources.)

Find a job at a gun shop. Visit gun stores in your area and ask if they are looking to hire new employees. You should also visit recreational stores that sell hunting equipment. Apply for any available positions. If you are unable to get hired, ask if you can work as an intern to gain experience.

Obtain a federal firearms license (FFL). If you wish to open a firearms business, you must acquire an FFL from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). To receive a license application, contact the ATF's Distribution Center Order Form via email or via phone at (703) 455-7801. (See Resources for website information.)

You must pass certain eligibility requirements for your application to pass ATF standards. These requirements include: you must be 21 or order and have a place to set up your firearms business (a building or store). Additionally, you must not be prohibited from using firearms and you cannot violate the Gun Control Act.

Open a gun shop. First, secure any business and commercial licenses you need to operate a gun store in your area. Check your county and state laws concerning how to open a gun shop and follow through on any requirements. Second, make sure your store is secure. You will need to purchase the proper gun storage to keep your merchandise safe. Third, consider selling ammunition, accessories and services like repair and refinishing to boost your sales.


If you open a gun shop, make sure to renew your license every 3 years. If you want to open more than one store, you must obtain a license for each business location.