Both retail and online firearms businesses’ top challenge is securing relationships with banks. Due to the heavy regulations of the firearms industry, obtaining gun and ammo retailer merchant accounts is a complicated process.
Financial institutions consider this business type and industry high risk because the chances of chargebacks or fraud are greater than standard companies. The high risk label can likewise be stamped on businesses that move high-ticket products or carry items whose regulations are at the mercy of federal and local law.
The firearms industry continues to be under social and legal scrutiny as its popularity and accessibility climb, but that doesn’t necessarily need to prevent reputable and legal gun merchants from conducting business. Revitpay’s merchant services includes guidance on following firearm industry compliance for each state. Additionally, we provide access to reputable banks that specialize in guns, which can be tough to secure relationships with otherwise.
Gun retailers have seen record-high numbers of purchases in the last couple of years, prompting new and experienced sellers to create online storefronts. However, brick-and-mortar gun and ammo shops are benefitting from the consumer trend as well.
Recent Changes in the Firearms Industry That Impacts Merchants
Uptick in Sales
The 2019 pandemic and the violent protests that have prevailed since have caused more Americans to seek out self-defense than ever before. Using gun background check data to track sales, the FBI saw a 77% increase in the number of citizens getting their hands on firearms since early 2019.
In 2019 and 2020, Americans have witnessed devastating mass shootings across the nation, further fueling everyday people to purchase weapons as a safety measure. Although some claim that increased gun sales cause the escalation of violent events, others note that it’s quite the opposite. The individuals perpetrating gun violence may be motivated by the economic and mental stressors of the pandemic, which prompts the rest of the population to empty the shelves of gun stores.
Business for firearms merchants soars while other industries suffer, but recent breaks in supply chains are rendering some gun businesses empty-handed.
The Supply Chain Problem
The pandemic did more than cause millions to buy guns for the first time in their lives. The shutdown and slow recovery of metal production facilities left sellers without enough ammunition to accompany the fast-selling firearms.
The bullets available have multiplied in value and price due to the lack of inventory. The environmental initiatives that other industries have taken on meant they switched materials to the more eco-conscious copper. The fight over these metals is not helped by buyers who have purchased more ammo than needed.
The last few years have proved that the firearms industry constantly shifts with the dramatic fluctuations in demand, supply, and sales. Such impacts make traditional banks less comfortable with serving gun and ammo merchants.
Here’s Why Your Firearms Business is High Risk and How We Help
Fraud and Illegal Purchasing
Online gun purchasing has become a favorable way for buyers to select weapons specific to them and their needs. As with any online store, fraud will never stop hindering firearms merchants. Along with the typical fraudulent transactions, people who are legally restrained from possessing guns but purchase them online also impose a risk to merchants.
High Ticket Purchases
Now with the demand increase, gun and ammo prices are rising. Firearms are not as inexpensive as everyday products, which is why they’re “high ticket” merchandise, meaning costly. The financial institutions’ apprehensiveness comes from the consequences of expensive chargebacks.
Current and Future Legalities
During the Obama years, gun sales increased when Americans started worrying that the federal government will impose strict gun control, which would make it less possible to purchase firearms. Regulations change and are never consistent across states. Online gun retailers must comply with the local laws of where the customer resides to complete their transaction.
Federal Firearms Licenses (FFL) are for those who conduct business within the firearms industry and move guns and ammunition. Banks would have to make sure that the firearms merchant accounts they hold are using the correct licenses. For online gun retailers, the compliance is much more tricky than in-store. Specific programs and systems must be enable on your website so that it follows regulations.
Revitpay is a high risk merchant account processor that closely follows high risk industry trends so that they can help businesses follow compliance and grow. The solutions for the issues gun merchants face are hard to come by, but not with us.
We help with:
- Chargeback alerts will notify merchants when a client files a dispute against them which will hit as a chargeback to the account if nothing is done. The chargeback alerts will let you know a few days before the chargeback can process so that you can solve the issue with the customer.
- PCI Compliance, or Payment Card Industry compliance, refers to setting up your business so that its payment processes follow credit card brands’ security procedures.
- Connect with banks specializing in firearms; Our 50 years of combined experience has created for us a network of reputable connections. These specialized banks will work with your business through us and assist in setting up a legal presence.
- Guidance for a legal business to walk merchants through what they need to be able to process payments while following the federal and local laws.
- Both online and retail gun stores are welcome. Revitpay’s high risk merchant account processing extends to brick-and-mortar shops as well as those on eCommerce.
The economy, supply chains, and laws can cause unpredictable changes for the firearms industry. Our job is to make running your business easier. These barriers are not a deterrent for us and neither should they stop your company from thriving.
Curious about how we work? Contact us today for your personalized service.