Dropshipping Firearms and Ammunition – Everything You Need To Know!

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There’s no denying the fact that gun people love their guns and are willing to spend big bucks on them. The best part is once they have them, they love to accessorize. Think of all the ammunition, scopes, storage, targets and safety equipment.

If you know anything about firearms, you’ll know firearm-related products aren’t cheap, which is great if you plan to sell them!

Firearms and ammunition

In this article, I’ll guide you through the need-to-know information so you can decide if starting an online firearms dropshipping business is something worth pursuing.


Disclaimer

I am not a lawyer and any information I provide in this article is not official legal advice. Always seek the advice of a lawyer for the official laws regarding firearms. The advice I provide is from my own knowledge and research and shouldn’t be taken as official legal advice. Laws regarding firearms change regularly and I will do my best to update this article as I find out new laws have changed.


Can you Dropship Guns?

Firearms, ammunition and accessories are big business. According to IBIS World online firearm and ammunition sales is worth 2.2 billion a year in the US alone.

So we know there is a lot of money to be made selling firearms and accessories, the real question is “can you actually dropship guns?”

Dropshipping firearms and ammunition is not only possible it can also be very lucrative. However, you must abide by the laws of each state regarding licensing, background checks, shipping restrictions and any other regulations they have in place.

Although you can dropship guns, don’t expect it to be as easy as dropshipping other products. You can generally have a Shopify store full of general household products up and running in a day. Dropshipping guns may take several weeks of work before you have an established and legal online gun store.

Do you need an FFL to Dropship Firearms?

You will need to acquire an FFL (Federal Firearms License) if you plan to dropship firearms. This is essential for selling firearms as well as purchasing firearms from the various firearm distributors. Each state will have different laws regarding issuing FFL’s to a home address. There are exceptions to this law which you can read about here.

For more info on obtaining an FFL from a home address, check out this article.

The laws of Each state in acquiring an FFL to become a reseller will differ. Be sure to comply with the laws of each state accordingly.

The penalties for selling firearms without a license can be fines of $250,000, 5 years imprisonment or both. It may be worth consulting a lawyer before proceeding if you are not 100% sure of the laws.

To apply you will need to head to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives website. There you will have an application to fill out which will be sent off and reviewed. They will then do all the relevant background checks before conducting an interview with you.

Can you Sell Firearms on Shopify?

A common misconception is that you can’t sell firearms on Shopify, this simply isn’t true. You can sell firearms and ammunition but there are restrictions you should be aware of.

  • Shopify will require you to possess an FFL to be able to sell firearms on their platform.
  • You will not be able to use Shopify payments and you will need to find your own gun-friendly payment processor.
  • There are restrictions as to which firearms can be sold on your Shopify store. You can check out which firearms go against Shopify’s policy here.

Some options for firearm friendly credit card payment gateways:

One important thing to be aware of with dropshipping firearms is that you cannot ship firearms directly to your customer’s home address. You can only ship the firearms to a licensed FFL dealer only.

The easiest way to do this is to use Shopify’s checkout section to have your customer fill out their local FFL dealer. You can then contact their local Federal Firearms Licensee and get a copy of their FFL and have the item shipped directly to them.

Your customer will then need to pick up the firearms from the licensed dealer which they will need to pay a tranfer fee. It is currently illegal to ship a firearm directly to a customer’s home address.

Ammunition needs to be shipped separately to firearms but can be shipped directly to a customer. All ammunition must be specially labeled with hazardous or dangerous materials.

Is it Worth Dropshipping Guns?

Dropshipping guns is a reasonably unsaturated market and provides great opportunities for those wanting to put in the hard work. The main reason for this is the high barrier to entry. You really need to know all the laws for each state when it comes to licenses and shipping regulations and for most people, this is far too much work.

If you just want to make a quick dollar, dropshipping guns aren’t for you. If you want to build a long-term sustainable business and put in the extra work initially, dropshipping guns may be worth considering.

Dropshipping is considered a semi-passive industry, once you make a sale your supplier does the rest of the work and ships the products for you. With dropshipping firearms, after a sale is made, you will need to contact the customer’s local firearms dealer, get a copy of their license and ship the item to them.

This is far more work compared to selling regular dropshipping products. This may sound like a lot of work but remember one thing, firearms are expensive. This means profits will be higher.

You may make a $10 profit from a sale if you’re dropshipping cheap products from China. Your average profit margin per sale selling guns may be $200 a sale. Take all this into consideration before deciding.

I would recommend anyone who plans to dropship firearms should already have a passion and a decent amount of knowledge in the niche for many reasons.

  • You already have a decent understanding of the laws.
  • You can assist customers with making a purchase.
  • You can assist customers with issues they may have after making a purchase.
  • You understand the gun culture making it easier to relate and communicate to your customer.
  • It will be easier to build a brand with social media as you know how gun owners think.
  • Having a passion for something makes staying motivated much easier.
  • Creating a blog writing content based around firearms will help with SEO

Instead of a store selling firearms of all types, you may want to niche down to a specific type of gun or a specific type of customer.

You could sell a specific type of gun whether it be handguns or rifles, you may want to only focus on accessories for guns. You could focus on selling to hunters, target shooting, law enforcement or home protection.

Why would you want to do this? Because it would help you to stand out within a reasonably large niche. This way you would be perceived as more of an expert from your customer base as you focus solely on this niche. This builds trust and also enables you to charge higher prices for your products.

An important thing to be aware of is many firearms suppliers will require you to sell your products at a MAP (Minimum advertised pricing). This is a very common agreement among brands and essentially means you can’t sell the product for less than the amount stated.

So you can’t expect to undercut your competitors by providing the best possible prices. This only causes price wars among retailers which in turn devalues the brand.

Summary

Dropshipping firearms will require you to adhere to the laws of each state which will be more complicated than selling regular products. It may be worth seeing a lawyer before proceeding if you are serious about it.

The beauty is that guns, ammunition and accessories are expensive so it may well be a worthwhile venture. With high ticket items, you make higher profit margins and you can do all this without purchasing the product first and with zero inventory.

If you’re looking for an alternative to firearms, dropshipping alcohol is an option worth considering. I have an article on the best way to go about it if you’re interested.

Over time if you had specific products that were good sellers you could always have the option of purchasing that product in bulk and shipping it from your home. This would save you money and simplify the shipping process.

If selling firearms is something you’re considering don’t half-ass it and make it a side hustle. It’s best to go all in and make it a full-time venture.

I have a huge list of niche ideas for dropshipping if you’re interested.

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