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nevadampa30
03-29-2009, 1:42 AM
I am not sure if I am on the right thread but I will give it a shot. Mods, please feel free to move my post if I posted this inappropriately.

My goal: To open up a firearms dealership in Granada Hills, CA. (North of LA).

After several frustration on CA massive crazy gun laws. I am willing to open up the possibility for CA to arm up and practice our 2nd Amendment Rights.

I came from LV and was shocked on the craziness of the CA legislatures regarding gun control issues.

My main point is: I want to be a part where I can contribute to citizens and alike where they can practice their 2nd Amendment Rights by opening up a gun shop here in Granada Hills. There is a wide gap between the shops that I know in the San Fernando Valley region. To the East is IAC, to the west is Fort Courage and to the south is Turner's (so far these are the places I know of).

I am withdrawing all my 401K contribution to start this up. Anyways, my 401K keeps declining. So there's no need to keep it in there.

I need help if you can provide me instructions of what to do or what to apply for specially concerning the state, county and local city ordinances. The Fed's topic has already been taken for. The Fed's, by far, is the simplest to apply for, though the longest possible time to wait for response.

Any knowledge contributed is greatly appreciated. Thank you. :)

freonr22
03-29-2009, 2:05 AM
you are going to need 250-500k to start

Stanze
03-29-2009, 2:10 AM
You'll needs lots and lots of money and time.

After all that, you'll need another ton of money to stock inventory.:D

It'd be much cheaper and less of a pain in the arse to open a biz and sell/stock everything, but firearms and receivers.

If you just want to have an FFL to buy guns directly at wholesale, it's WAY cheaper and funner to just spend the money on your collection buying from existing gun dealers, shoot and enjoy it.

Opening a gun shop is just like any other business, but when it comes to guns you better do your homework or you'll be liable in ways you haven't even imagined yet.

Don't do it. Your future self will thank you.;)

GuyW
03-29-2009, 2:16 AM
Do you know how to make a small fortune in the gun biz?



















Start with a large fortune....

unusedusername
03-29-2009, 2:29 AM
I would reccomend talking with one of "the right people" lawyers. A few hours of good paid lawyer time can/could save a lot of time.

I'm in the early stages of thinking about the same thing, and the laws here are nasty enough that when it gets to the right time I'll pony up the lawyer money.

tenpercentfirearms
03-29-2009, 7:25 AM
I work a full time job and own a gun shop. It is a lot of work. Only right now are the mark ups actually decent on firearms, otherwise it is a whole lot of paperwork for only a 20-30% mark up. You would probably be better off opening a dollar store or something else that does not require mounds of federal and state oversight and paperwork.

However, if you still want to get into it, you don't need $250K to $500K to start. We started our successful business with probably only $20-30K, but that is because I had a business partner that already had a location.

Your first step is to find a location and make sure it is properly zoned. Once you find that and get a local business license, then you can proceed forward. Until you find that, don't bother doing anything else.

Then you will apply for your FFL, fictitious business license, retail sales permit, and Certificate of Eligibility. Once you have all of those items, you will submit those certificates to the CA DOJ and you will eventually get your CFD and you can start DROSing guns.

I didn't think it was as hard to get into as the people online make it sound, but it is a lot of work to keep a successful business going. Right now also might be a tough time to get items in stock too.

Give it a shot. I know I will never go out of business in Taft unless I just get tired of it.

CSACANNONEER
03-29-2009, 8:19 AM
Isn't Granada Hills within the Los Angeles City limits? If so, good luck! Even if the city somehow approves you, you will be constantly hassled by LAPD gun task force. They find it easier to go after legal gun owners than search for dangerous criminals. You will not be able to sell certain guns based on what the LA gun task force wants. Yes, this is true. You won't even be able to sell a GSG5 or WASR22 because, it looks evil! You won't be able to sell small guns, you won't be able to sell certain holsters either! You will have to keep a complete log of every ammo sale and, the list goes on. If you are serious about opening a gun shop, there is a recent void, close to you, that needs to be filled. The shop in Agoura closed last year so, for people in the Malibu, Westlake, Calabassas, Thousand Oaks, Newberry Park areas, there is no close shop. The closest is Simi Valley. If I were you, I'd look in to opening a shop in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles or Ventura County close to this area.

fnman
03-29-2009, 9:39 AM
Can you sell on the internet with all inside sales by apointment only, or do you have to maintain a storefront no matter what? Not having a storefront would sure keep the overhead down and it sure looks like there are alot of vendors online that only do online and shows.

jamesob
03-29-2009, 10:42 AM
you don't need a whole lot of money to start a shop. my buddy started one with only a small amount of money, i.e all of the fees needed. he started out in a seperate garage at his house and did transfes and special orders. he started that 2 years ago and now he has a nice little shop and some decent inventory. if you want to start off with a bang, then you will need alot of money.

383green
03-29-2009, 12:30 PM
I work a full time job and own a gun shop.

I'm curious about how you juggle the full-time job with the FFL business hours requirement. One of my friends and I have been scheming for a while about how to start our own business(es) in order to no longer work for somebody else(*). Implicit in our schemes is that there would most likely be a long period where we maintained our regular jobs to pay the bills while building up the business to where it could support us. Thus, I'd love to hear accounts of how people have successfully done things like this.






(*) We're both engineers, and we're tired of implementing other people's mistakes instead of making our own! ;)

MontClaire
03-29-2009, 12:38 PM
the first and the most important question you should ask yourself: are you a businessman or a hobbyist? because if you lack any business experience, this may turn out to be a financial wipe out for you. consider customer service skills you posses and a team that will be there helping you run the shop. You will be a target of lawsuits, theft, fraud and vandalism as well. consider this with cool head. many people lost their jobs but opening your own business without clear plan and experience will lead to the quick failure. good luck:thumbsup:

nevadampa30
03-30-2009, 7:33 AM
I work a full time job and own a gun shop. It is a lot of work. Only right now are the mark ups actually decent on firearms, otherwise it is a whole lot of paperwork for only a 20-30% mark up. You would probably be better off opening a dollar store or something else that does not require mounds of federal and state oversight and paperwork.

However, if you still want to get into it, you don't need $250K to $500K to start. We started our successful business with probably only $20-30K, but that is because I had a business partner that already had a location.

Your first step is to find a location and make sure it is properly zoned. Once you find that and get a local business license, then you can proceed forward. Until you find that, don't bother doing anything else.

Then you will apply for your FFL, fictitious business license, retail sales permit, and Certificate of Eligibility. Once you have all of those items, you will submit those certificates to the CA DOJ and you will eventually get your CFD and you can start DROSing guns.

I didn't think it was as hard to get into as the people online make it sound, but it is a lot of work to keep a successful business going. Right now also might be a tough time to get items in stock too.

Give it a shot. I know I will never go out of business in Taft unless I just get tired of it.


Thanks 10%. That was a much needed enlightenment that I need. I know there would be pessimist out there. But you have showed professionalism out here.

Can you sell on the internet with all inside sales by apointment only, or do you have to maintain a storefront no matter what? Not having a storefront would sure keep the overhead down and it sure looks like there are alot of vendors online that only do online and shows.


I believe that Feds doesn't issue license anymore if you don't have a store front. Even if you have 5'x5', that space would be sufficient enough for the Feds.


I would reccomend talking with one of "the right people" lawyers. A few hours of good paid lawyer time can/could save a lot of time.

I'm in the early stages of thinking about the same thing, and the laws here are nasty enough that when it gets to the right time I'll pony up the lawyer money.

This would be a great first step. Any "lawyers" that you can recommend in my area?

you are going to need 250-500k to start

Money if of no essence. I think I have enough deep pocket to start with.

the first and the most important question you should ask yourself: are you a businessman or a hobbyist? because if you lack any business experience, this may turn out to be a financial wipe out for you. consider customer service skills you posses and a team that will be there helping you run the shop. You will be a target of lawsuits, theft, fraud and vandalism as well. consider this with cool head. many people lost their jobs but opening your own business without clear plan and experience will lead to the quick failure. good luck:thumbsup:

I used to run hedge funds in LV. Would that consider me as a businessman? Thanks for the tip and for sure I need all the luck. :thumbsup:

bbguns44
03-30-2009, 8:15 AM
"Money if of no essence. I think I have enough deep pocket to start with."

In that case, you've got a lot of possibilities. Why not go into AR/AK
receiver manufacturing ? The margin on receivers is over 1000%. All
you need is a few machines ( available cheap from all the bankrupt shops )
and you can crank out AR/AK receivers. Guns are basically simple mechanical
devices. Buy a few parts & the rest is just small & simple metal parts.

DDT
03-30-2009, 10:41 AM
In that case, you've got a lot of possibilities. Why not go into AR/AK
receiver manufacturing ? The margin on receivers is over 1000%. All
you need is a few machines ( available cheap from all the bankrupt shops )
and you can crank out AR/AK receivers. Guns are basically simple mechanical
devices. Buy a few parts & the rest is just small & simple metal parts.

For an even more off the wall idea......

Get programmable mills and program in a bunch of receivers. Set it up like the carnival shops that let you press your own penny into a souvenir.

A customer comes in and watches their very own 1911 or AR receiver being made. Since they are there supervising the process (let them press the "start" button even.) The product can be considered a self-made weapon. Take it home and polish it up and assemble into your own little completely un-papered, legal firearm.....

You might even be able to set it up in a corner of your retail gun shop.

pro defensive greg
03-30-2009, 10:51 AM
full time student and ffl here,
i contemplated the internet only idea as well, and finally decided to have my store open for business about 30 hours a week. doj made me aware of a minimum number of hours i was obligated to be open. my personal advice would be run for the hills. keep in mind you'll be paying rent on a location that isn't open for business throughout the entire application process. The most depressing part was having to go from one bureaucracy to another, city...county...state...federal...well the federal was easy...but they don't give their final blessing until all the little ducks are in a row. you certainly don't need a bunch of money to start up...but there isn't much out there for you to buy at wholesale prices right now. i use about 6 wholesalers, and they are out of everything. i'd hate to see you go through 5 or 6 months of red tape and heartache to find out you have nothing to sell.
greg

GuyW
03-30-2009, 11:00 AM
For an even more off the wall idea......

Get programmable mills and program in a bunch of receivers. Set it up like the carnival shops that let you press your own penny into a souvenir.

A customer comes in and watches their very own 1911 or AR receiver being made. Since they are there supervising the process (let them press the "start" button even.) The product can be considered a self-made weapon. Take it home and polish it up and assemble into your own little completely un-papered, legal firearm.....

You might even be able to set it up in a corner of your retail gun shop.

I don't think so. Standing by a gunsmith working on your gun so that it doesn't have to be logged into his book because it was left at his shop, doesn't equate to self-done repairs. And loading some stock into a machine and pushing a button doesn't equate to self-made either.

And even if it did, BATFE would shut it down quick.

Someday we may be free, but not yet.
.

laguns
03-30-2009, 11:17 AM
Isn't Granada Hills within the Los Angeles City limits? If so, good luck! Even if the city somehow approves you, you will be constantly hassled by LAPD gun task force.

There are quite a few of us who can vouch for that. Sadly since they ran out for stores in LA they have taken to "harassing" folks outside of city limits as well.

As far as money needed, I started with $5000 and a smile, so if you know what you're doing you'll be fine. If not than extra money will only delay the inevitable.

Good luck

gunn
03-30-2009, 11:18 AM
Can you sell on the internet with all inside sales by apointment only, or do you have to maintain a storefront no matter what? Not having a storefront would sure keep the overhead down and it sure looks like there are alot of vendors online that only do online and shows.

I think it all depends on what city you live in. Some cities forbid "home based businesses."

Now, if you ran an ebay widget sales business in one of these cities, you coudl probably skim under the radar. However, since firearms requires permits on both the city and state level, you can bet that the local govt will shut you down/fine you quick if you tried to skip around their laws.

I second the recommendation to spend some time with a lawyer. If I was interested in opening up a shop, that would be my first step after identifying a possible "area of need."

-g

PS. I always thought the kitchen table FFL business wasn't too bad an idea if
you local govt allows it. Grossing ~$40 per 15-20 minute transaction in the evenings and handling maybe one gunshow a month would be a nice way to make a few extra dollars. I'm not sure I could do this fulltime, but it would be a decent semi-retired business - I'm sure the net is at least half that amount collected. Only downside? It would just take one bad transaction to really wipe out your profits.

xLusi0n
03-30-2009, 1:06 PM
So now we need permission to conduct sales from our own home? Ridiculous.

cannon
03-30-2009, 1:36 PM
Would you consider being outside of L.A. City? The taxes are higher there and the City is unfriendly to that business.

You could be in Burbank, Glendale, San fernando or Santa Clarita and still have the L.A. customer base without the harassment, higher costs and roadblocks.

GuyW
03-30-2009, 1:46 PM
So now we need permission to conduct sales from our own home? Ridiculous.

...for about the last 50 years....

Welcome to Amerika!

.

Midian
03-30-2009, 2:12 PM
For an even more off the wall idea......

The product can be considered a self-made weapon. Take it home and polish it up and assemble into your own little completely un-papered, legal firearm.....



Can you build a Frankenpistol and have it be totally legal? I was not aware of that.

DDT
03-30-2009, 2:16 PM
Can you build a Frankenpistol and have it be totally legal? I was not aware of that.

My understanding is that if you are responsible for 80% of the frame mfg. it is legal. In CA it has to clone a pre-existing model.

If I can program my own mill to make a firearm why can't I cause another person's mill to do the same?

tenpercentfirearms
03-30-2009, 4:19 PM
I am not sure why you need to consult a lawyer. What do you expect him to tell you? Just follow the law.

It is hard to juggle two full time jobs. If you plan on running a successful retail location, be ready to mark up your items. Selling guns is not as easy as some of these guys make it sound. You can spend an hour with some customers and even being a transfer dealer takes time and energy.

Probably the best thing about being an FFL is cheaper guns, not having to wait ten days and not having to DROS long guns. Other than that, it is a job. Be ready to put in the time.

MontClaire
03-30-2009, 4:28 PM
Not necessarily qualified if you ran hedge fund, especially in las vegas. I would work for a gunshop first ( maybe few month ) before I jump in. Good luck.

Bizcuits
03-30-2009, 4:39 PM
Open it in or near Sacramento, and I'll work for discounts on ammo and guns :thumbsup:

GuyW
03-30-2009, 6:06 PM
If I can program my own mill to make a firearm why can't I cause another person's mill to do the same?

If you have a CNC mill, why do you need someone else's? Besides, how many gun buyers know how to program a machine tool? No, the context of the statement as I understood it was merely an attempted work-around of the law by someone who would "push the button"...(this just isn't a safe work-around IMHO)

My understanding is that if you are responsible for 80% of the frame mfg. it is legal.

This is seriously off-base.

There are so-called 80% "receivers", which puportedly aren't finished enough to be a receiver legally. The point is that a buyer perform enough work themselves to an 80% receiver to make it 100%, and thus be able to call it "hoimemade", and finish assembling the gun.
.

nevadampa30
03-31-2009, 8:04 AM
Would you consider being outside of L.A. City? The taxes are higher there and the City is unfriendly to that business.

You could be in Burbank, Glendale, San fernando or Santa Clarita and still have the L.A. customer base without the harassment, higher costs and roadblocks.

I don't want to be in the way of business/es that are already there. In San Fernando, there is IAC and Dim is a very nice guy and I don't want to be in his way of business. In Simi Valley, there is FCA and Tim is very nice guy too.


Ohhhh...Ohhhh. My main reason is to fill up the void. The more you guys tell me not open up in L.A. city, the more I am inclined to take the risk. For me, risk is where the fun starts. It's my own little way of pis*ing off Villatarde.

Ford8N
03-31-2009, 12:58 PM
full time student and ffl here,
i contemplated the internet only idea as well, and finally decided to have my store open for business about 30 hours a week. doj made me aware of a minimum number of hours i was obligated to be open. my personal advice would be run for the hills. keep in mind you'll be paying rent on a location that isn't open for business throughout the entire application process. The most depressing part was having to go from one bureaucracy to another, city...county...state...federal...well the federal was easy...but they don't give their final blessing until all the little ducks are in a row. you certainly don't need a bunch of money to start up...but there isn't much out there for you to buy at wholesale prices right now. i use about 6 wholesalers, and they are out of everything. i'd hate to see you go through 5 or 6 months of red tape and heartache to find out you have nothing to sell.
greg


Could you please post where this is written the minimum number of hours. What does "open" mean to the DOJ?

zeleny
03-31-2009, 1:17 PM
I am a business consultant in another life. I am doing well with high-end firearms, within the five handgun annual sale limit mandated by the DOJ for private collectors. Some time ago I did a feasibility study for a gun business. I believe that there is room for a business dealing with such items. Some possibilities that come to mind are special variations on online brokerage of firearm sales, manufacture of specialty shooting accessories, government agency procurement, and training civilians for lawful use of deadly force and concealed carry. A pure retail play is a losing proposition. I would be happy to give more specific advice in a private channel.

nevadampa30
04-01-2009, 9:38 PM
full time student and ffl here,
i contemplated the internet only idea as well, and finally decided to have my store open for business about 30 hours a week. doj made me aware of a minimum number of hours i was obligated to be open. my personal advice would be run for the hills. keep in mind you'll be paying rent on a location that isn't open for business throughout the entire application process. The most depressing part was having to go from one bureaucracy to another, city...county...state...federal...well the federal was easy...but they don't give their final blessing until all the little ducks are in a row. you certainly don't need a bunch of money to start up...but there isn't much out there for you to buy at wholesale prices right now. i use about 6 wholesalers, and they are out of everything. i'd hate to see you go through 5 or 6 months of red tape and heartache to find out you have nothing to sell.
greg

So it is really required to open 30 hours a week? I am just thinking of a 4-8 PM M-F and 10-2 on Sat. times.:eek: