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    Have you considered selling firearms and related products?
    Hello all. One side income stream ideas I heavily researched last year, and am going to look into again when things settles down, is firearms sales. As many know, there is a record number of guns being sold in the United States. From 2002 to 2011, there was a 54.1% increase in NICS checks, which are performed whenever a firearm is transferred. That's quite a bit of growth.

    From what I've read, the big hurdles are zoning (not a problem here), obtaining a business license (again, a non-issue) and regulatory oversight (a bit more onerous time-wise). Anyway, I am just curious if anyone has gone into business selling these items. How did it go? What was the cash flow like? Did you find the regulatory and fee situation problematic or manageable?

    Thanks much.


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    This is something that I personally would never consider. I suspect that you would have to apply for permits to sell something like this. I live in the UK and this would definitely be the case here. Also, if it were a home based business you would have to think where to store the products you were selling. I have children so I certainly wouldn't want to keep things like this in my own home.


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    Quote Originally Posted by lizzief79 View Post
    I suspect that you would have to apply for permits to sell something like this.
    I don't have any idea what the licensing is in the UK, but here in the States, you absolutely have to have a license. To deal in Title I items, you need an 01FFL which is $200/3 years with a $90 renewal fee every three years. To deal in Title II items, you need to add a $500 Special Occupancy Taxpayer (SOT) fee. A business license, the last I checked, is also required, but that is no big whoop to obtain here.


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    I worked for a company that manufactured and sold consumer-based and military-grade optics, some of which were rifle and gun scopes, Tiny Dots, Laser Sights, etc. Since our main head quarters was in Canada and most of our distributors and retail shops were in the USA, it was super tough shipping items across the boarder because they require that you have a specific license and the tax is super high. This changed along the way, because prior to a certain year, everything was a lot easier to ship across, but then the US government had the bright idea to limit firearm related items cross border, that we eventually stopped selling optics to the USA.


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    No, I have no interest in getting into a business where the regulations are being tightened and changed constantly. Even if the first few hoops are easy to jump through, I really don't think the overall business is that easy. I'm also not convinced that the increase in NICS checks actually means the sales have increased that much. It just means that more *legal* transfers might be taking place.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessi View Post
    No, I have no interest in getting into a business where the regulations are being tightened and changed constantly.
    Agreed with that. The regulatory burden is what causes me to doubt getting into this side business.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jessi View Post
    I'm also not convinced that the increase in NICS checks actually means the sales have increased that much. It just means that more *legal* transfers might be taking place.
    Its not a good indicator, necessarily, of new gun sales. However, every transfer through a dealer results in a NICS check, which means income, either in the form of a sale or a legal transfer. Either the item is in inventory (a regular sale) or is being transferred through the dealer (e.g., an interstate transfer). The average fee I've seen for transferring service is $20-60 for a Title I item and significantly more for a Title II item ($100 isn't uncommon).


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    I don't think it's very profitable. It's also a big headache, especially for a person who doesn't know a thing about guns.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Lithium View Post
    It's also a big headache, especially for a person who doesn't know a thing about guns.
    No worries on the latter part. I know a good amount about firearms and the current market.

    Someone unfamiliar with the market or the incredibly Byzantine regulations, though, agreed, that would not be a good idea.


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    The profit margin in gun sales themselves is VERRY little. The money you make with a gun shop comes in the form of transfer fees and "gun gear". It's a nitch market with gear and you must do your homework.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelcityk9cop View Post
    comes in the form of transfer fees
    ^ This is where I would be looking to make the side income. Where I am, there is basically only one FFL that will handle transfers in the area, and he is often away due to his day job. Well, unless you want to drive 40-60 minutes round trip to the next town over. A lot of folks are buying guns via the Internet these days, but to legally transfer them out of state, they have to go to a licensee. Though I have more commercial space than I need, I don't see any real value added having a large inventory at this point though.


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