8 Minute Read

Firearms eCommerce [2024]

Any business that wants to thrive in today's market must have an eCommerce platform to sell their goods or services —  and the firearms industry is no different. Despite the numerous challenges this vertical faces, it’s a booming market.

According to a study conducted by the Columbia Law School, about 72 percent of US citizens believe in the right to bear arms, as stated in the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution. Considering the rich history of the US, that comes as no shock, and neither does the fact that about 4-in-10 adults live in a household that has a gun or a firearm of some sort.

There is a great demand for firearms, like pistols, rifles, handguns, etc., for both domestic and law-enforcement use. We have Men Gone Huntin’ and the Men in Blue, both practicing their right to bear arms. Many suppliers are ready to fulfill the demand in retail stores nationwide.

With 58 percent of all gun owners willing to make their purchase online when given the option, the online marketplace is too lucrative and convenient for both sellers and buyers to miss out on. However, when searching for an eCommerce platform, finding a reliable option to sell firearms can be rather daunting. Retailers need a 2A-friendly online commerce solution that’s transparent with its terms and restrictions.

Diving Deep

A creator of guns is a gunsmith, a maker of one is a gun manufacturer, and one who sells firearms is a distributor. Whichever you aspire to be, it’s essential to understand your best options in the online firearms market. After all, the sale and purchase of firearms is highly regulated.

One must be familiar with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulations, their local municipality, the Federal Firearms License (FFL), and their chosen gun-friendly online marketplace policies. The seller must identify and verify the buyer's identity and ensure they meet the basic requirements, like being the right age and performing background checks.

The political climate for gun control in 2024 is in a state of intense scrutiny, with people's opinions ever-changing and the nation divided by the topic. Many platforms have excluded the sale and purchase of firearms or imposed heavy restrictions on them, succumbing to the political demands of the time. Despite the majority of the population favoring the 2nd Amendment, the landscape of this market is in a constant state of flux.

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What are the best options available for firearms eCommerce?

The online marketplace for the firearms industry has three platform options: Open-Source Platforms, SaaS (Software as a Service) Platforms, and Firearm-Specific eCommerce Platforms. Each has its own set of pros and cons.

1- Top 12 Benefits of B2B eCommerce in 2023 (3)

Open Source Platforms

An open-source platform is highly versatile as it offers infinite customization options. Consider it like a house of Legos; you can select each piece to build your masterpiece as it fits your needs.


1. Highly Customizable: You can individually select your preferred 2A-friendly host, select the right payment options that work best for your customer base, and implement processes that support your business and allow you to comply with regulatory or legal norms. eCommerce for firearms and ammunition retailers is highly regulated, so flexibility is key. Flexibility allows you to add and replace elements per your requirements without disturbing the entire infrastructure.

2. Scalable: As your business expands, scalability is required to accommodate increased traffic. By design, open-source platforms allow a development team to scale websites as per requirements.

3. Third-Party Integrations: Partnering with a third party for shipping or payment services is often necessary to improve workflow or increase business profitability. Integrating third-party tools and services is essential. 


1. Support: Open source platforms have a large developer community and numerous user forums to rely on, but, more often than not, no active support team exists that can provide help immediately. 


2. Complexity of Customization: The open-source platform’s customizability can also be a double-edged sword, as you may spend considerable time and money on customizations. 

3. Long-Term Costs and Security: A retailer must possess or have a team with expertise in developing, configuring, and maintaining an open-source eCommerce platform. The client and seller's security is paramount, considering the nature of firearms. That increases the cost of human resources and acquiring the right hosting environment, payment gateway, firewall, CDN, SSL encryption, and more. 

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Saas (Software as a Service) Platforms

SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms offer buyers software and hardware management so you can focus solely on business growth instead of the technical implementation of your eCommerce website.


1. Hassle-free Management: The greatest advantage of SaaS platforms for the guns and ammunition marketplace is convenience. These platforms are super user-friendly, and you can more easily manage your online gun store without much technical knowledge. 

2. Active Support and Updates: The service provider is responsible for performing updates and security patches and keeping your site up and running. They are responsible for updates and typically have a customer support team you can contact in case you or your clients encounter technical difficulties. 

3. Scalability: SaaS platforms are designed to offer their clients scalability according to their needs. Organizations, from local startups to national corporations, have relied on services offered by SaaS providers to upscale or downscale according to business requirements.

4. Lower Cost: SaaS platforms typically operate on yearly or monthly subscriptions, and the cost increases with add-ons, special features, and increased revenue. However, the cost is generally lower than building an open-source eCommerce site since maintenance, upgrade, and security costs are included in the licensing.


1. Limited Customization: The firearms industry is a unique niche, and there can be situations for special requirements, regulatory considerations, or unique compliances that a SaaS platform may not easily support. This may require a retailer to invest in third-party apps that can be integrated with your SaaS platform or make compromises. 

2. Regulations, Compliance, and Terms and Conditions: It is essential for a business to thoroughly go through the terms of service when partnering up with a SaaS platform to make sure they comply with all the regulations and laws concerning the sale and purchase of firearms of any kind online. 

3. Long-Term Costs and Dependency on the Service Provider: The initial cost of setting up your eCommerce for firearms may be lower on a SaaS platform. It is worth noting that transaction fees paired with the SaaS platform’s subscription-based model vary, are subject to change, and can add up to a significant amount.

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Firearm-Specific eCommerce Platforms

These eCommerce platforms are specifically built to sell firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition. Firearm-specific eCommerce platforms include solutions tailored to the nuances of the vertical, trying their best to make the overall experience of buying and selling much smoother. 


Firearm-specific eCommerce platforms often have tailored features catering to the needs of firearms businesses, such as FFL integration, tools to support compliance, and specialized inventory management for guns and ammunition. Some pros of these platforms include:

1. Compliance Focus: Designed to adhere to specific legal and industry regulations for selling firearms, ensuring business compliance.

2. Specialized Features: Includes functionalities like age verification, background checks, and proper shipping methods required for firearm sales.

3. Industry Integration: Integrates with industry-specific tools and services, streamlining operations unique to the firearms market.

4. Niche Customer Base: This strategy attracts a niche customer base interested in firearm-related products, potentially leading to better-targeted marketing.

5. Tailored Support: Offers support and expertise tailored to the unique challenges faced by retailers in the firearms industry.


It's important to acknowledge the inherent challenges these specialized platforms can pose. While they cater to the firearm industry, offering tailored solutions, they also have certain limitations and complexities. Consider the following:

1. Technological Adaptation Constraints: Based on these platforms need to comply with stringent legal requirements, integrate specialized systems, and maintain a niche focus, it can impede their agility in embracing cutting-edge technological advancements prevalent in broader eCommerce landscapes.

2. Payment Processing Limitations: These platforms might restrict payment processor options, limiting choices available to retailers.

3. Reduced Flexibility: They may offer fewer integrations or third-party apps than mainstream eCommerce platforms, limiting customization and scalability.

4. Narrow Market Reach: Due to the niche focus on firearms, these platforms might have a smaller customer base than broader eCommerce platforms.

5. Higher Costs: Some firearm-specific platforms might have higher initial setup costs or ongoing fees due to the specialized nature of their services.

Platform Picks

An eCommerce platform should be evaluated based on business requirements, growth plans, and system integration considerations. Evaluation criteria should weigh specific needs and priorities against feature sets and costs to make the best choice for your unique firearms business.

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BigCommerce (SaaS)

Rated by many as the best firearms eCommerce platform, BigCommerce has emerged as a rising star in the online gun marketplace. They offer integration with 3rd party applications for special requirements within the vertical. With their easy onboarding procedure, you can quickly get a website up and running. The platform offers up-to-date SEO practices to improve visibility, 24/7 support in case of technical issues, and themes that work across desktop and mobile devices. 

Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source

Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source offer a versatile platform that empowers firearm eCommerce businesses with various customizable features and benefits. Leveraging the Extension Marketplace, users access various third-party extensions and templates, streamlining site customization and reducing administrative burdens. Adobe Commerce and Magento offer a thriving community for collaboration, education, and industry insights. Moreover, the Community Forum provides direct access to a comprehensive knowledge base and handy templates, ensuring expert guidance and resources for business growth.

AmmoReady (Firearms-Specific Platform)

A big player in the game with a reputation as a customizable, gun-friendly website builder, AmmoReady is the preferred choice for many firearms retailers. It offers the ability to have all stock on display and provides shipping integration directly with FFLs or a third party. With enticing pricing, AmmoReady is preferred by new sellers and small-to-mid-level companies with limited monthly orders. 

Gearfire (Firearms-Specific Platform)

Since 2012, Gearfire has been at the forefront of eCommerce solutions for the shooting and outdoor sports industry, offering an expansive inventory worth up to $1 billion without the need for stocking. With user-friendly features, Gearfire requires little to no development skills, instantly transforming websites into 24/7 selling platforms and ensuring accessibility and convenience. It seamlessly integrates products from 13 partnering distributors, allowing businesses to retain control over terms and pricing. Responsive design options, versatile templates, dedicated support, customizable pricing, and access to exclusive industry data make Gearfire a comprehensive, value-driven solution.

Fun Fact: The largest firearms manufacturer in the world is Remington Outdoor.
Founded in 1816, this firearms manufacturer creates Rifles, Pistols, Ammunition, Handguns, Shotguns, and more.

Smart Solutions, A Standout eCommerce Partner

At Smart Solutions, we're a team of experts committed to bringing your firearm eCommerce aspirations to fruition. Our collaborative effort isn't just about delivering solutions; it's about crafting a tailored experience that resonates with your unique objectives and aspirations. Rooted in authenticity and reliability, our brand philosophy revolves around driving your business forward with actionable strategies and steadfast support. 

Our agency specializes in optimizing eCommerce strategies and ensuring business success through expert development, strategic consulting, and ongoing support. We don't just offer advice; we deliver actionable insights based on genuine ROI-driven strategies.

Working alongside top technology partners, Smart Solutions offers clients the support and resources to design, build, and implement an eCommerce solution or help improve an existing implementation with our strategic support services. We’ve partnered with over 200+ clients and look forward to continuous growth to support the 2A community.


Q. Is Shopify firearm-friendly?

Answer: The answer to that question can get murky as it is both yes and no. While Shopify's legal documents don’t state what firearms you can sell, they have a list of items you can’t. For those interested, you can review the Shopify Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), but to give you a brief rundown, Shopify restricts several firearms and gun-related parts. Some examples are noted below.

  • An automatic firearm that has not been rendered inoperable
  • A semi-automatic firearm that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds
  • Firearms without serial numbers
  • 80% or unfinished lower receivers
  • Magazine capable of accepting more than 10 rounds
  • Bump stock

You can technically use Shopify as an online shop for firearms, and it can be rather restrictive, complicated, and pulled out from under you with 24 hours notice.

Q. Is BigCommerce gun-friendly?

Answer: Considering the ever-changing political ideologies, BigCommerce has not actively advertised its love for the 2nd Amendment, but they are, indeed, gun-friendly and an excellent gun-friendly eCommerce platform. Being a SaaS eCommerce platform, they offer numerous 3rd party integrations, including FFL integration and multiple high-risk payment processors.

Q. Does Amazon support gun sales?

Answer: Despite being the world’s largest online retailer and a major player in providing cloud service, Amazon does not allow the sale and purchase of firearms. Amazon’s Acceptable Use Policy includes an extensive list of items and activities they do not tolerate on their platform, including handguns, rifles, pistols, explosives, knives, and ammunition.

Q. Can you buy guns on eBay or Amazon?

Answer: You cannot buy guns on Amazon. They state this clearly with no intention of changing their stance since laws across states vary widely. eBay, too, does not allow the selling of guns or firearms but provides a list of allowed firearm items and equipment like choke tubes and barrels (with the exception of shotgun barrels and rifle barrels that are less than 18 inches and 16 inches, respectively). Be sure to review the list of banned and allowed items on eBay.