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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/30/2005 10:18:23 AM EDT
Dax and I have been toying around with the idea of opening up a small gunshop that would specialize in transfers. We see the demand for such a place as I got charged $50 to transfer a $100 rifle in Rockville and the store wouldnt transfer anything that they themselves could order. Our mission goal is to by the end of next year or early 2007 have our shop up and running. We envision a small shopfront with a limited number of rifles and pistols on-hand, but welcome any orders that you would want us to do for you and all transfers for under $40+MSP for restriced firearms. We are testing the waters right now for any interest, and wether or not it would be profitable for us to even start this endeavor. It would be a part-time shop as we both work 40+hours at Giant Food but we would try to be open at least 4 days a week in 6 hour shifts. This is in the pipe-dream stages right now but hopefully if enough people express an interest and we get enough capital scrounged up by the end of next year and find a decent place for the shop we can make it a reality.

Joe
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 1:53:24 PM EDT
I think that there is plenty of room for more quality shops in MD as the the good ones are few and far between. If you did it as a part time gig and didn't have to make a living off of this solely, you could probably make out pretty well.....you'd just be tired as heck. Rob up at Christian Soldier is a good example of someone who runs a good shop but still keeps his "day job".
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 6:18:51 PM EDT
I had a similar experience at an unnamed store in silver spring which i will never do business with again. Wanted me to wait 8-10 weeks for a lower and refused to do a transfer if i didn't purchase from them.

FWIW, if you advertised transfers well and provided great service at a good price, I believe you would do fine as far as getting business. You probably won't make enough (or anything) on transfers alone for the business to be worthwhile. I think most places view restricted transfers as an unprofitable pain so discourage them by pricing them in such a way that it makes it cheaper and easier to pay retail (hopefully in their store).

I would like to see some alternatives to current places in MontCo.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 6:32:17 PM EDT
Marketing is KEY....

Always remember that your customer sets the price....it's not the other way around as most retail shops would have you believe. Please be respectful to people..even if they are an idiot, remember they could be in Barnes and Nobles looking at Anti-Gun books but they are in YOUR SHOP looking at guns. Think your prices over very hard...remember since it would be a part time gig I would make myself the CHEAPEST in the State and use the volume to drive my income. The more people know your are cheap and will get what they need NOW instead of when you feel like it....that makes long term customers. I would try and run it from a house to start instead of dealing with a retail facility.

Please do not get sucked into the Maryland Firearms Dealers bullshit....it's simply a few screwballs trying to create a monopoly on states firearm sales and transfers. They also will make you have specific prices for transfers and the like...stear clear...

Try and have fun at it...because I can tell you from experience...being in the hobby and dealing with people constantly regarding the hobby will weigh very heavily on you. Do not be surprised if you begin to lose interest in the hobby altogether.

Good Luck! and keep us posted..I expect to see you guys in the FFL very soon :)
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 7:04:09 PM EDT
Montgomery needs an alternative to Atlantic and Gilberts.

Someone who was involved in the gun community and charged reasonable prices could do well. I am certainly tired of those stores. Wal-mart also stopped selling guns in Germantown, Galyans stopped selling handguns when they became Dicks. I'd try to send some business your way.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 7:04:17 PM EDT
Here are a couple of ideas of other things that you may want offer to edge the business along.
*boresighting- there are some people with guns that just don't know about it.
*assembly of an AR15- The customer buys the lower and picks out an upper from your on hand
selection and you put it together for them.
* Gunsmithing- Of course this requires a qualified Gunsmith
* Dare I say, but AIRSOFT
* Tactical Gear- get some of that cheap UTG Tactical gear for the Airsoft crowd
* TAPCO dealer

My understanding is that most gun dealers don't make their money off of the guns they sell, but make it from all of the related items.

Damn, I just gave you guys almost everyone of my good ideas. I better get at 5% for this if you two are succesful. Oh and last of all, I would look somewhere other than Mont. Co. start your bidness.
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 7:27:00 PM EDT
The days of basement or garage FFLs are pretty much over.....Im too young to have remembered them really but man do I wish for them again. As for where the store would be located, it would be within 20-30 minutes of Rockville because of logistics trying to coordinate our full time jobs with the "hobby" As of right now I'm a floating receiver for Giant Food going from store to store in Montgomery County but I'm trying to get my own store to receive at. This would mean I would be free from 2PM on which means the shop could be open at conveniant hours for everyone else....nothing better then getting off work and on the way home picking up a firearm Dax works in the Pharmacy and has different hours every week so setting a steady schedule for the shop would become an issue that we would have to solve before opening. As to becoming a liscensed dealer for a certain brand or company, that would be a great deal for us because it would increase sales and with that comes more goodies and so on and so on. Colesteele hit on some other ideas that we were considering such as assembling custom AR upper receivers and the dreaded AIRSOFT. I hate airsoft with a passion but somebodies gotta keep the mall-ninjas armed for the upcoming zombie invasion I know this could work because alot of people were as fed up with this state as I was, it all comes down to getting the capital set up and then maybe we can do something to help out(while turning a little profit) More info will be provided as we delve deeper into getting things up and rolling.

Joe
Link Posted: 8/30/2005 8:12:28 PM EDT
I hope this works out for you. Maryland is seriously lacking in the gun shop department.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:36:25 AM EDT
Don't forget the other expenses you'll incur, such as licencing (state, federal, and local) and insurance. Insurance could be a killer. Also, you'll need the OK from the Fire Marshal (more $$$). Then add the rent and utilities and you'll have an idea of what amount of sales you'll need to break even. Not to sound negitive, but I never hear people mention these thing when talking of opening a buisness. You'll probably have do a lot more tha 24 hours a week just too stay in buisness.

I started a photography buisness many years ago. I did well, but doing weddings every weekend just took all the fun out of my hobby. I gave it up after one year. Food for thought.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 8:05:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By colesteele:
*assembly of an AR15- The customer buys the lower and picks out an upper from your on hand
selection and you put it together for them.


Uhh you might run into problems with the BATF if you aren't paying the right taxes to MANUFACTURE firearms. It's one thing for a person to do it for themselves - it's another if you PAY someone to do it for you.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 8:11:30 AM EDT
Its not manufacturing "firearms" just to put an upper together as far as I know. Now assembling a lower I think would run into problems. The taxes and insurance are the main detractors from starting the business but as I said, this all depends on us scrounging up enough capital to even get off the ground.

Joe
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 11:06:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By -Mil-Surp-Phreak-:
Its not manufacturing "firearms" just to put an upper together as far as I know. Now assembling a lower I think would run into problems.

There's the ~11% Federal Excise Tax (FET) tax that must be paid. The manufacturer pays the 11% tax on the weapon as it leaves his facility (~$10 on a lower, ~$70 on a complete AR, etc). No one except manufacturers can pay the FET tax, so they're the only ones that can legally assemble the rifle from parts for sale. Every FFL other than the manufacturer must sell them as-is. Of course, an individual can assemble all the rifles they want since FET only applies to FFLs.

That's why LEO weapons are ~$70 cheaper than civilian weapons, they dont have the FET paid. If you want to get in real trouble as an FFL, let the ATF find out you're selling no-FET-paid (or lower FET paid) weapons to civilians.

Kharn
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 11:37:19 AM EDT
Yeah but building custom upper receivers doesnt apply to that because it isnt the firearm.....the lower receiver is what is defined as the firearm so uppers can be built, changed, and customized without having to have a Manufacture's Liscence.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:22:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -Mil-Surp-Phreak-:
Yeah but building custom upper receivers doesnt apply to that because it isnt the firearm.....the lower receiver is what is defined as the firearm so uppers can be built, changed, and customized without having to have a Manufacture's Liscence.

If you buy stripped lowers from your supplier, and they leave your facility with an upper attached, you're violating the FET.

Kharn
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 12:57:53 PM EDT
I didn't mean to sound hostile or anything Kharn but I was just talking about the uppers not the lowers. Atlantic has both uppers and lowers for sale but not at the same time which is what I meant, not slapping an upper on a lower and sending them on their way.
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 2:41:58 PM EDT
Montgomery County is severly lacking in good shops. Atlantic Guns, Gilbert Guns, and Potomac Trains and Guns are lousy places. Last time I checked, Atlantic charged $75 for a transfer. I would definitely patronize your store if it was a reasonable drive from Mont. County (assuming I haven't yet fled to Virginia). While I suspect that Montgomery County is partially to blame for the high prices, Atlantic and the rest know that we don't have many other alternatives. But I'm confused--why couldn't you just do transfers out of your residence? Is there a law restricting that?
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 2:51:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2005 2:52:09 PM EDT by -Mil-Surp-Phreak-]
As far as a "garage FFL", my roomate doesn't want to be involved with the shop at our house and Dax lives with his roomates in an apartment so thats out of the question. Dax and I have been buds since kindergarten and the gun shop was an idea we started tossing around this summer to maybe make some extra cash and to get more involved in the firearms community in Maryland. I dragged him into working at Giant just so at least one of my friends worked with me and now I'm dragging him into the gunshop business as well lol. What else are friends for? lol

Link Posted: 8/31/2005 2:54:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/31/2005 2:56:01 PM EDT by -Mil-Surp-Phreak-]

While reading back on some of your all posts, it just dawned on me that some of you guys might seem to think that Dax is a girl LOL. Dax is a dude and has been one of my best friends since we were 6 lol. WOW lol. He posts by the handle GDaxLemos. Hes gonna shit bricks when he reads this later on lol.

Joe
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 4:42:43 PM EDT
The shops in my area charge $30 +MSP
Link Posted: 8/31/2005 5:03:20 PM EDT
How much would you charge to put my upper on my lower, I can't figure it out.

Seriously though, I wouldn't put too much effort into competing with what's out there at a low price or already well handled - I assume you can buy airsoft off the 'net for cheap. Fulton does ar gunsmithing. Not to say you can't do it too, but I'd look for things where you are setting yourselves apart- cheap xfers, cheap firearms, more black rifles etc in Montgomery area is definitely a plus. There may not be a high % of gunowners in Montgomery as compared to TX, but there's still like a million people here overall. Who cares if 990,000 of them don't buy guns, there's 10,000 who think Atlantic charges too much.
Link Posted: 9/6/2005 7:01:37 PM EDT
OK as co-owner of said yet to be found gun shop...... We're looking for all info on state laws, mandates blah blah blah and anything else anyone can help out with.... i really havnt' found any local guidelines for running a shop but if anyone can shed light on the laws and requirements for the business end of the shop[
Link Posted: 9/7/2005 4:46:20 AM EDT
I live in Howard County and I wish we had some good operations starting up in this county or in a neighboring county.
Link Posted: 9/8/2005 6:32:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/8/2005 6:32:22 PM EDT by pathfinder74]
Why not open up a range instead? There are even less of those around here.

Good luck with it. Definitely do your homework. I would recommend paying Forest as your legal advisor.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 3:04:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pathfinder74:
Why not open up a range instead? There are even less of those around here. .



You gotta be kidding me. Do you know what a hassle it is to open a range in Md??? My club is searching for property now just as a back-up in case we lose the current property, which we have been on for close to 30 years. As the County Commishners rotate in and out of office, we seem to lose the older gun friendly guys, replaced by younger, uninformed folks that could care less about the shooting sports (much less EBR's). Chances of finding property, zoning, and the blessing of the County/State Gods are next to zero. The minimal acreage required would be more than they could afford.
If your talking an indoor range, there's the same hassles, plus the enormous EPA regs regarding lead removal (can only be done by a "certified lead removal specialist"), very costly ventilization system that eats electricity and filters, a ton of money for the bullet trap, and the insurance is worse than the original thought of a gunshop.
I don't mean to sound confrontational Pathfinder, but this is something that I have a good amount of experience in. There's a reason you don't see more ranges opening, and why others have closed.
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 7:05:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By X_Ring:
I don't mean to sound confrontational Pathfinder, but this is something that I have a good amount of experience in. There's a reason you don't see more ranges opening, and why others have closed.



Whatever fuckface. Just kidding. I remember hearing a lot of those reasons for not opening one in the past. Its a sad thing though, when you have to rely more and more on people with large amounts of private land to hold shooting events like Bulletfest or State Parks like Elk Neck, MD. Considering the state we live in I wouldn't be at all surprised to see some Dem yank that away from us.

That defeatest attitude just creates a lot more safe queens when you have fewer and fewer places to shoot. But I totally agree... it's a huge ongoing expense that most people can't afford to front. We just need to start doing group buys of bulk lottery tickets in the MD HTF.
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