How to start or buy a Gun Shop business

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How to start or buy a Gun Shop business

10/25/2007 - by: Acquireo Team - Director of Marketing,

A Gun Shop is a unique business that is heavily regulated by both the federal government and state and local laws. This niche retail business is one that takes prior knowledge to run well. The shop owner must be able to answer a variety of questions. Selling guns, rifles, shot guns and offering a repair service can be a profitable business for a small shop. Most of these shops do not need a prominent place of business, as this is a niche retail business. This is the kind of business that could be run from a ranch or a small farm.

Finding a business for sale

Contacting business brokers or doing a search on the Internet can help in finding one of these Gun shops that is for sale. There is not a huge number for sale as the business is unique and can be run by a gun lover for a long time past retirement. A person that has a passion for guns and is a frequent gun show visitor may be the ideal person to own such a business. These shows may also be a way to get a lead on a store that is for sale.

Starting a Gun Shop from scratch

A shop could be started almost anywhere near a city with a reasonable number of residents. The need for walk by traffic is always nice to have, but people will go out of their way to travel to a well-stocked Gun Shop. The owner or someone on the staff must be knowledgeable about all types of guns and weapons. Also the people in the shop must know how to get a gun repaired for the customer. If they cannot do it for the customer, they must know where to send the gun to get it repaired. A new owner must be conversant with the laws on selling guns. They must have the Federal registration and follow the rules for reporting sales to the letter. This is a very stringent requirement. The local state and city rules must be followed and again they are enforced. A well-stocked gun shop is going to take some money to buy inventory. Contacting well-known gun companies will also be a good way to find out more about running a Gun Shop.

Another suggestion for learning the business is to work for a while in an existing shop to learn the business. If you decide to buy an existing shop, the old owner could stay for a while to help you learn the operation of the shop.

Contact name manufacturers for more information

If you want to own a Gun Shop you could find some useful information by contacting some of the name manufacturers about their products and the sale of them. Some will offer solid information on the sale of their products. The more knowledgeable you are about various guns the more confident the customers will be when shopping in your store. Buyers in these products lines are asking questions to see what you know and validate what they think they know. Knowledge is what a Gun Shop customer is looking for from a store owner or the staff.

Buying an existing business

Like most other businesses there are strong advantages in buying an existing business. The first and probably the most important advantage is the existing business will have a client base that has a history with the store. If the old owner will stay awhile and introduce you this is even better. The existing owner may be willing to help finance the business by taking back some of the purchase price in paper. Usually when this is part of the transaction, the price will go up some. The customer base also means that the new owner will have an immediate cash flow from the business. If you have the mailing addresses of the customers or an e-mail address, the change of ownership is a good reason to contact the existing customers. If you have extensive gun knowledge, it may be wise to mention that in the letter or e-mail that is sent to the customers.

Also a mailing to possible gun owners may be wise to let them know the business is under new management. Lists can be purchased by zip code and would be worth the effort. An existing business has the advantage of reputation and being located at an address for a certain length of time. If the business will be moved to a new location, the customers should be made aware of that fact.

The rule in buying a business is that an existing business has a better chance of success than a new startup business. The built in customer base makes a huge difference in the success rate of a purchased business. If the buyer can find the right deal this is the way to go, if the price is right or the terms.


Gun shops are a unique business and are not as readily started or sold. Other types of retail businesses are usually rather easy to locate and buy. These businesses are often run as a matter of passion as well as a way to make money. The owners are very careful whom they will sell to, as they want to do right by their customers. Money alone may not be the final answer. That is not seen as often in other types of businesses.

The other different factor in a Gun Shop is the stringent rules that must be followed first to be licensed and then to sell to the public. ATF inspections can be very tough if the owner has not really done a good job of following the rules.Paper work is the big hang up in this area. It must be done to the letter. Local and state laws can also enter into how the business must be run. A potential owner should be very aware of all of these requirements when going into this business.

If you are looking for existing gun shops for sale,we have some businesses right here:

author: Acquireo Team

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