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The world of eCommerce has grown exponentially, spanning across diverse industries, including firearms. Online firearms, firearms accessories, and ammunition sales have soared at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.4%, reaching $3.1 billion. 

A survey in 2021 found that about 42% of American households reported owning one or more firearms. The industry is booming and set to grow even more. This growth translates to increased business opportunities for eCommerce retailers venturing into the firearms market. 

Expanding your business to online channels means managing shipping, payment, and financing solutions, all requiring unique considerations. Retailers in the firearms industry must adhere to general eCommerce best practices and navigate a complex landscape of legal restrictions and compliance issues associated with selling their products. 

This article explores the key factors to consider when choosing shipping, payment, and financing solutions for firearms eCommerce. Additionally, it delves into how Smart Solutions can effectively implement these features and functions while navigating the intricate web of legal complexities.

Shipping Solutions: Ensuring Legal Compliance and State-Specific Regulations

Navigating the shipment of firearms and firearm-related products involves traversing a labyrinth of state-specific regulations. What may be legal in one state could be entirely prohibited in another. Therefore, eCommerce retailers selling firearms must prioritize shipping solutions that capture and enforce these legal restrictions. This includes regulations pertaining to magazine capacities, silencer restrictions, and more. Below are key factors to consider when selecting a shipping solution in this intricate landscape.

State-Specific Regulations

Shipping firearms and firearms accessories is a more intricate process compared to the straightforward shipment of items like clothing. Due to their regulated and occasionally hazardous nature, many rules and regulations are associated with their shipment and possession. These regulations are governed by key legislations such as the US Gun Control Act of 1968, the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), and oversight from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). Understanding and adhering to these legal frameworks is imperative for businesses involved in the online commerce of firearms and related items.

Regulations differ from state to state, creating a complex landscape for businesses shipping firearms and accessories. Some states and localities categorize specific semi-automatic weapons as assault weapons, which are subject to extra limitations. Similarly, magazines capable of carrying more than a specified number of rounds of ammunition face restrictions, with Maryland, for instance, imposing a maximum limit of 10 rounds. 

Silencer laws vary by state. They are illegal in eight US states, including Massachusetts, New York, California, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Delaware. To prevent the unintentional shipping of illegal products to particular states, any shipping solution within the tactical vertical must be able to identify the destination state and verify whether the intended purchase aligns with its regulations.

Product Classification 

Firearms and their accessories are classified differently based on state laws. These classifications encompass rifles, shotguns, machine guns, sub-machine guns, revolvers, pistols, and craft weapons.

State laws vary for each category of firearms. Machine guns, for instance, may be legal at the federal level, but states often impose stringent regulations on them. This results from the National Firearms Act of 1934 (NFA), enacted as part of the Internal Revenue Code. 

The NFA law restricts the sales, transport, use, and ownership of short-barreled rifles, machine guns, shotguns, suppressors, and destructive devices like rocket launchers, modern artillery, and military explosives. While owning a machine gun is legal in 27 states, the state government prohibits ownership in 13 states, such as New York and California. This prohibition extends to shipping; there are no workarounds or loopholes, and shipping solutions must comply with regulations.

Any shipping solution in the tactical vertical needs to accurately categorize products and enforce all relevant state legal restrictions based on shipping address during checkout. Orders that include items restricted in the ship-to-state or orders that must be shipped to a dealer holding a Federal Firearms License (FFL) must be identified and processed appropriately. 

Real-Time Updates

Laws and regulations pertaining to firearms and firearms accessory sales are subject to frequent changes. Any shipping solution in the tactical vertical must be flexible enough to incorporate quick updates to reflect modifications in state-specific regulations. This adaptability is crucial to ensure the safe and smooth transportation of goods and any inadvertent violation of the law. 

Integration with eCommerce Platform

A shipping solution should seamlessly integrate with the eCommerce platform, ensuring a smooth customer experience from browsing to checkout. This integration streamlines the entire post-purchase journey, from when an order is placed to the delivery either at the customer's doorstep or to their selected Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealer.

Ultimately, a well-integrated shipping solution for online retailers in the firearm and firearm accessories vertical ensures compliance with state and federal shipping regulations. This enables businesses to offer a smoother, more efficient, and customer-centric shopping experience—leading to higher customer loyalty and contributing to sustained growth.

Payment Solutions: Navigating High-Risk Payment Processing

Payment processing is another critical aspect for online firearms eCommerce retailers. Given the high-risk nature of firearms and firearms accessory sales, traditional payment processors are hesitant to provide services to these businesses for potential liability, chargeback ratios, and possible "brand damage." Therefore, selecting payment solutions that are 2nd Amendment (2A) friendly and have experience in handling high-risk verticals is essential.

Opt for a payment processor with a proven track record serving high-risk verticals, particularly firearms. 2A-friendly merchant service providers understand this sector's specific challenges and compliance issues. They also have multiple acquiring relationships willing to accept businesses involved in firearms transactions. Choosing such a payment processor can help ensure smoother transactions, mitigating risks associated with the unique nature of the firearms market.

What to Consider When Choosing a 2A Friendly Payment Processor


Popular High-Risk Payment Processors 

Choosing the appropriate payment gateway for a retailer dealing with sensitive products like firearms can be challenging. 2A-friendly payment processors can provide valuable insights into the key factors to consider when choosing the right gateway. Identifying the best firearms merchant account solution requires thorough research. Do your homework and assess potential options based on how well they align with your business processes, goals, and budget.

#1 Gearfire Payments

Gearfire™ Payments is a game-changer for businesses looking to cater to the needs of modern consumers. Offering a comprehensive end-to-end solution covering everything from financing to payment processing. Gearfire empowers retailers to remove price barriers on high-value purchases and convert casual browsers into loyal customers.

Gearfire Payments' merchant services are a standout feature, accommodating online and in-store transactions. The absence of firearms restrictions, including Class III / NFA products, sets them apart. This inclusivity enables businesses to reach a broader customer base, providing a competitive advantage in the market.

The impressive technology behind Gearfire facilitates instant connections between firearms distributors and consumers nationwide, effortlessly expanding their outreach. Simultaneously, the system manages inventory, streamlining operations and ensuring businesses can focus on what they do best – serving their customers.

#2 Zen Payments

Zen Payments is a premier solution catering to the payment processing needs of high-risk businesses. With over five years of specialized expertise, they provide competitive rates, multi-currency support, same-day funding, and seamless integration. Their straightforward application process and impressive 99% approval rate streamline the journey for businesses facing industry-specific challenges.

Zen Payments offers tailored merchant account services for various high-risk sectors, making them a versatile choice. Testimonials from satisfied customers highlight their accommodating and attentive approach, exceptional service, and competitive rates, emphasizing their reliability and dedication to serving clients. For high-risk businesses navigating the intricate payment processing landscape, Zen Payments is a trusted partner.

#3 Orchid Pay

Orchid Pay™ stands out as an indispensable solution tailored for firearm merchants, having already served over 2,000 businesses. Offering a reliable and comprehensive firearm merchant payment solution, Orchid Pay caters to various FFL types, encompassing manufacturers, retailers, and eCommerce merchants. What sets them apart is their status as a NSSF Preferred Vendor, demonstrating their commitment to excellence. 

One key advantage of Orchid Pay is its ability to process credit card payments for firearms across diverse operational settings, eliminating concerns about potential disruptions from non-firearm-friendly banks such as Square or PayPal. Their service, including swipe, dip, or tap payment options, ensures streamlined and unrestricted payment processes for FFLs. With the added convenience of next-day funding and cost-effective pricing featuring some of the lowest rates in the firearms industry, Orchid Pay is a superior and flexible solution for firearm merchants.

#4 Allied Payments

Allied Payments is a highly reliable and specialized provider of firearm merchant services, addressing the intricate needs of the firearms industry. In a landscape where firearm-related transactions face increased scrutiny, Allied Payments serves as a lifeline to gun shops and FFL dealers seeking credit card processing services. The demand for such services is evident in the millions of background checks and substantial firearms, ammunition, and accessories sales. What distinguishes Allied Payments is its profound understanding of the stringent regulations surrounding firearms and the nuances of the 2nd amendment, positioning them as a beacon of support for businesses operating in this sector. 

Allied Payments offers a comprehensive suite of payment solutions, including various payment hardware and software options, payment gateways, and virtual terminals. Integration is seamless, enabling established businesses and startups to leverage their expertise. 

Allied Payments’ flexibility extends to compatibility with a wide range of firearms platforms, catering to gun shops, online gun shops, FFL dealers, ammunition vendors, firearms accessory retailers, and more. Their commitment to delivering cost-effective solutions is evident in transparent and competitive pricing models benefitting the merchant.

With a strong emphasis on integration, online transaction management, extensive reporting, and fraud control, Allied Payments equips firearm businesses with the necessary tools to thrive in a challenging industry. Positioned as a leader in firearms merchant services, they offer affordable rates and a commitment to exceptional customer service. Allied Payments stands out as a go-to partner for those in the firearms industry, and their dedication to excellence makes them a standout choice for businesses seeking firearms payment processing solutions.

Financing Solutions: Addressing Capital Needs in the Firearms Industry

Offering customers flexible financing options for significant firearms purchases can greatly enhance their buying experience. Several vendors specialize in financing solutions to assist buyers in acquiring firearms and related accessories.


With the “Hunt Now, Pay Later” motto, Credova is a prominent choice, providing a seamless financing experience for firearm purchases. Boasting an extensive network of over 7,000 dealers, Credova offers customers multiple financing options and a straightforward application process. Buyers can conveniently split payments into manageable installments, enhancing accessibility to high-ticket items while staying within their budget.

Gearfire Capital

Gearfire™ Capital, designed with consumers in mind, provides a convenient financing option, making significant purchases more accessible. Gearfire Capital is dedicated to streamlining the financing process for firearm purchases. Through various lending options, Gearfire Capital empowers customers to easily acquire firearms, gear, and accessories through flexible payment plans. The user-friendly approach of Gearfire Capital ensures that customers can choose the financing solution that best aligns with their individual needs. This benefits customers and opens up new sales opportunities for businesses. 


Using a “buy now, pay later” model, Sezzle allows customers to divide their purchases into interest-free installments. This flexible approach encourages more substantial purchases while enabling buyers to comfortably manage payments.

Smart Solutions for eCommerce: Navigating Complexities with Ease

To address the intricate challenges of shipping, payment, and financing in the firearms and firearms accessories vertical, Smart Solutions develops customized and tailored eCommerce solutions that meet business requirements and empower business growth.

Our eCommerce solutions include aiding businesses in finding appropriate vendors for their specific eCommerce needs. Being veteran-owned and operated, Smart Solutions ensures your eCommerce website complies with legal and regulatory standards. We guide businesses in understanding shipping options and facilitate access to payment and financing solutions tailored to the firearms industry.

Looking to develop an eCommerce website to expand your company's operations into the digital landscape? Smart Solutions is your partner. Our experience and expertise empower ambitious merchants to reach new heights of success by delivering solutions that drive online growth, enhance client experiences, and create a distinct competitive edge. Let's hop on a call to talk shipping and payment.