Challenges to Running a Firearms Related Business Online You May Be Unaware Of

There is no question that starting a business in the firearms industry comes with its own unique challenges and obstacles, but here are a few things that you may be unaware of that set restriction for online gun businesses specifically.

  1. You must use a compliant payment gateway.
  2. Must comply with third party media hosting restrictions.
  3. There are more restrictions on digital advertising with firearms.

Payment Gateways

With the growing internet marketplace, a lot of gun businesses are excitedly beginning to move online. Unfortunately, a vast majority of the leading online and mobile merchant account providers are now refusing to process firearm transactions. This has left many dealers understandably frustrated. There have even been numerous complaints of holds being placed on large payments that were processed completely legally.  Even though online firearm businesses are profitable, many financial institutions refuse to work with them and tag them as high-risk merchants due to the industry background, possible high chargeback ratios, and potential legal issues. 

Here at Gun Shop Commerce, our platform is integrated with payment processing options that we know are friendly to firearm businesses such as Authorize.Net and HPCI.

Third-Party Media

There has been an ongoing battle over firearms in the digital world. Many big tech companies have been implementing rules and restrictions that are biased against gun enthusiasts and businesses.  Most notably YouTube has recently updated its policies to ban videos that offer instruction on how to make firearms, silences, and bump stocks. It also prohibits content in which firearms are sold directly or through other websites.  This means there is a lot more red tape to produce videos and other promotions for your firearm business that does not plague other industries. 

This industry also has more than a few documented instances of anti-gun bias by social media companies when it comes to posts and comments. There are reports from companies that they have had posts removed from Facebook simply for including a link to their website that sells firearms. Many popular social platforms have their own policies and community standards that tend to be biased against these gun businesses and the firearm industry as a whole.

Google itself assigns a "non-family safe" category to any firearm-related content within it's Google Shopping function which flags products as adult content. These tech giants, for years, have been arguably infringing on Second Amendment rights. Buying and selling guns is a constitutionally protected right and should not be infringed upon!

Digital Advertising

As mentioned before it can be difficult for firearm companies to advertise on social media to target their audience, but even using Google Adwords can be a challenge. For them, firearms are considered "Dangerous Products or Services."  As part of that policy, they state that "ads for gun parts and associated items that increase the safety of a gun" are allowed, but "ads for functional devices that appear to discharge a projectile at high velocity, whether for sport, self-defense, or combat" are deemed not allowed. They also note that even "ads for any part or component, whether finished or unfinished, that's essential to or enhances the functionality of a gun" and also not allowed. For more information on advertising in the gun industry online check out our article here.

So in knowing starting a firearm business online comes with a unique set of challenges, we are here for you. Here at Gun Shop Commerce, we will always help our clients navigate the digital world.  We will guide them on ways to sell, promote, and provide information on products and services in the most effective, efficient, profitable, and legal ways possible.