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AirCavBob 08-29-2013 07:02 PM

Soon to be new FFL
Iíve been reading the threads here going back to around when the world went crazy late last year and have gleamed a lot of useful information thus far, very useful and thank you. My intended situation is to open small in my current office which is zoned correctly and I have my landlordís approval. I have my own small real estate brokerage and we deal primarily in foreclosed homes so we have very little walk-in customers as all our clients are out of state. I have one vacant room that is 11X10 and it will be the store per say. It is securable and the safe is in the storage room. I plan to fund the shop with around a 10K loan from the real estate business, the two will be separate, I have an LLC for the RE and just formed an LLC for the shop and have obtained an EIN, both documents I sent in with the application and the $200 check which has been cashed. Not concerned about the clearance as I have CCH and NFA stuff and Iíve been a good boy since my last Form 4. I plan to register with the popular online sites and auction sites to get my name out there for transfers. As for inventory, I plan to try and get aligned with the recommended distributors and then see what the offers are and go from there. I may also stock ammo or more than likely will. As for accessories, Iím going to do a wait and see there at first. Next July I plan to send in my SOT app and money and get started in retail NFA as well. The plan to wait is so I donít spend 500 bucks for nothing since Form 3ís are taking so long.

I do want to be able to take credit cards and that is one area I could use help on please. Recommendations there would be very helpful, lowest fees, non anti gun like Cube. And the ability to not only swipe but also take orders over the phone.

As for tracking sales to I can pay the state for doing nothing for me except taking money from customers, I plan on a simple cash register, new or used, I figure I have time to shop the local want ads and Craigís list and use stamped invoices to start with.

Security wise we do have a number of windows in the front lobby and Iím wondering if having a gun shop inside will be a magnet to the dregs of society and if I need to consider having internal bars installed. Whatís the thinking there please?

In a nutshell the above and additional insurance will be my only startup costs unless someone sees that Iím missing something. I have been in contact with the NRA insurer and have that ready too.

Oh, one other thing, I have snagged the domain for my new company and already have email in it and have registered with the ATF for notices.

Any insight from those who have been there and were or are still doing is would be helpful. I also plan the register with the FFL forum once I do have my FFL.

Thanks in advance,

BAllen Sales LLC

Sniper03 08-30-2013 03:19 PM


I certainly appreciate your devotion and thoughts to the new business venture. Being in the industry for years and still at the present. The only thought that comes to mind is, normally it is a slow start as you begin to build up the business regarding exposure to the potential customers. In time you will have repeat customers and referrals by word of mouth which is based on customer satisfaction and service. And as stated some items can be effectively sold on the internet. You need to do some research on the products that you will have readily available for sale and those that will be ordered for the customers. A word of caution: Reasonable delivery on items ordered for customers is essential. It will make it or break it. Obviously the ones that will turn the capital invested the quickest. Secondly if you are not making 30% on items you will go broke. Which brings me to the next consideration. To develop a rapport with quality vendors will also take time. And unfortunately for the good vendors for example, Yankee Hill, RCBS, Federal (ATK), Remington, Springfield, Sig and others you will find to get favor from them it takes a significant purchase of product to increase your profit margin and also to get reasonable (time) deliveries on product. In this industry the big dogs suck up a lot of product which delays deliveries to the smaller guys. I guess if this seems it is trying to discourage you it is not the intention. Only from experience to advise you to be successful it will take a significant investment, time and persistence. With the correct selection of products it can be very lucrative if operated effectively. Good luck on your new venture and if I can ever be of any assistance do not hesitate to contact me or some of the other fine folks here on the forum.


AirCavBob 08-30-2013 08:08 PM

Thank you Sniper03. Good info there.

DropZone889 08-31-2013 09:25 AM

I became a member of in interest in getting my FFL and I get newsletters and emails about Approved credit card processors that deal with firearm sales and the give a break on the fees to the members, u may wanna check them out, I think it cost $20 to be a member I believe. There are coupon codes I hear out there as well to save on member fee.

AR10 08-31-2013 10:40 AM

The SOG catalog that comes in the mail every ten days makes good bird paper if you have a feathered friend.

I was an FFL for a bunch of years, and I always dreaded the pair of suits that camped out at my business once a year or so, going over my books. I am sure you will enjoy that also.

I would rather beat my toes flat with a ball peen hammer, than be a FFL dealer again.

Something calming about buying a gun retail, filling out paperwork, once, that I never have to see again, or reconcile.

AirCavBob 10-03-2013 03:19 PM

Well, I had my interview Monday. It lasted two hours. He pretty much went over all the laws of an FFL and we skipped Class III and importer. Young guy, nice but very professional and down to business. He said it should take four to six weeks to receive my license. Learned a lot in that two hours.

boddah4 10-05-2013 08:12 PM

In regards to the payment via credit card... I listened to Gun Guys Radio podcast this week and they had a guest that talked about his company that does this for firearm companies. I cannot remember the name of it right now though.

boddah4 10-05-2013 09:19 PM

I just look and it is MacMillan Merchant Solutions. The guest said they have the lowest rates available.

By the way I am in no way affiliated with them, just passing along information

1911love 10-06-2013 01:52 AM


Originally Posted by boddah4 (Post 1393398)
I just look and it is MacMillan Merchant Solutions. The guest said they have the lowest rates available.

By the way I am in no way affiliated with them, just passing along information

Same people who make the stocks IIRC. They recently sold their firearms business, but are keeping their stock business and merchant services.

Missouribound 10-10-2013 03:03 AM

When I filed for a business license in Missouri, I was flooded by mail regarding credit card acceptance, insurance, mailing services...etc. Do you have your business registered new as an FFL or as an existing business? I'm surprised you haven't been inundated with the same mailings and email.

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