The Best Way to Sell Guns: A Look Into Gun Shows and Gun Retail Stores

The Best Way to Sell Guns: A Look Into Gun Shows and Gun Retail Stores

If you’re looking to sell firearms, knowing how to set up shop will be crucial to your business’s success. You can either set up a physical store or you can showcase your goods at a gun show. Today, we will look at the benefits and challenges of both.



Gun stores remain profitable

Operating a firearm retail business still has the potential to be profitable in the United States. A startup could cost between $10,000 and $50,000, and a well-operated gun business could return a six-figure annual income.

IBIS World reported in 2019 that the demand for guns rose over the past five years, due to consumers’ fear of the government implementing stricter gun restrictions. This pushed them to purchase more guns and ammunitions.

Personal experience

When buying a firearm, most people still prefer the gun shop experience over shopping online. People generally enjoy the fact that the person behind the counter is knowledgeable about guns and is probably a gun owner themselves.


Dealers can be sources of trafficked guns

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) said that dealers were connected with over 40,000 trafficked guns confiscated between June 1996 and December 1998.

This was primarily due to oversight of violating dealers. The ATF may conduct only one unannounced inspection per year. Serious violations of firearms laws have been classified as misdemeanors rather than felonies. The weak penalties limit the effectiveness of anti-trafficking efforts.

It can be difficult to set up shop

Unlike other retail businesses, a gun shop can be harder to establish.

You’ll have to apply for a Federal Firearms License or the FFL. The ATF then runs a background check on you, and ask details like where you’re planning to sell. In California, for example, gun shops must be at least 500 feet away of schools, liquor stores, residential areas or other gun stores.

Opening a gun shop can be lucrative, but it comes with strict rules.


Gun Show


Buyers have more options

In a gun show, hundreds of gun stores converge in one place to hawk their products. Shoppers can browse through hundreds of guns from different dealers at the same time, instead of driving to various gun stores.

Thousands of people attend the more than 4,000 gun shows held in the country each year. It’s estimated that 4 to 9 percent of annual firearm sales came from gun shows.

Little to no regulations

Many US states have little to no regulations on selling firearms at gun shows. These include Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.


The ‘gun show loophole’

While the Gun Control Act of 1968 requires anyone in the business of selling guns to have an FFL, if a supplier is selling from their private collection, they may not be required to have a license to sell at gun shows. An ordinary citizen, who does not fit under the definition of a dealer, faces no requirements under the federal law. Some of them boast the hassle-free “no paperwork” deals to set themselves apart from licensed competitors.

In Pennsylvania, a seller without a federal license can sell several types of guns, even without undergoing FBI checks. Historically, gun shows have resulted in many arrests, like the sales of guns to convicted criminals and the possession of prohibited firearms like machine guns.

No selling of firearms

In some states, gun shows are regulated, or at least have some kind of regulation. Check this helpful guide to see if your state is bound by gun show regulations.

In New Jersey, while it doesn’t explicitly prohibit gun shows, its state law restricts the sale of firearms at gun shows. No retail dealer is permitted to conduct a retail business in a mobile or temporary facility. Regarding ammunition, however, NJ allows the display, trade or transfer of ammunition between collectors at gun shows.

If you’re looking to stock up on gun or ammunition supplies, visit our gun shows in Phoenix. We, at Arizona Gun Sales, are just as passionate about guns as you. We host local gun shows that feature high-quality vendors and unique collectibles that will help you find the product you need.

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