Firearms Payment Processing

Accounts Wizard
November 11, 2021
Firearms Payment Processing

Firearms Payment Processing | High Risk Merchant Accounts

After the Coronavirus pandemic, most businesses globally have adapted a remote working model. With endless Ecommerce stores on the rise, finding a good payment processor with the perfect pricing still remains a task. Credit card payment processing is easy to find for normal merchants and retailers. However, if your business is deemed high risk, then things may be different. 

Adult store owners, travel and tourism, marijuana and CBD, expensive subscription services, firearms, and guns industry, etc., are common high-risk businesses, and most payment processors have certain terms and conditions for working with them. 

There are certain processors like Wizopay, which offers firearms payment processing at affordable rates and provides many other benefits. In this blog, we will take an in-depth look at everything associated with firearms payment processing, issues faced by the industry, choosing the right processor, and applying for a merchant account. Read further to know more.

What is a Firearms Merchant Account?

Research showed that there are over 300 million firearms currently in circulation, and as consumers are moving to e-shopping, firearms merchants’ demand for credit card processing portals is increasing. When a payment provider opens a firearm merchant account, the dealer’s account is tied to top card providers like American Express, Discover, Visa, Mastercard, etc. The payment processor will handle the account on behalf of the dealer and offer payment services and transaction data reports. 

A firearms merchant account can help accept both online and retail point-of-sale payments. The payment getaway builds a secure link between the concerned payment provider and the merchant’s online store for card-not-present transactions. Hardware and software used for payment authorization are provided by your payment processor, and different processors have their own prices, services, and terms and conditions. 

Issues Faced by the Firearms Industry during Payment Processing

It is not easy to be an online firearms dealer, and there are many issues they face while looking for a trustworthy credit card processing company. 

  •  Risky nature of the business: Most payment providers consider firearms high risk because of strict government rules and political turmoil. Providers are very cautious and charge high fees to open firearms merchant accounts. Some providers also fear that working with gun dealers may affect their reputation. Some companies feel safe while working with land-based stores but consider it risky to partner with online gun stores
  •  Government rules and regulations: The Gun Control Act of 1968 made it mandatory for firearms dealers to have Federal Firearms License (FFL) issued by the ATF. This is highly regulated, and payment processors also need to provide additional underwriting before opening a firearm merchant account. Also, payment providers and their partner banks took a stance against the Second Amendment and hesitated in serving firearms dealers.
  •  Political stance against firearms: Recent political issues and public, school shootings have led to an agenda against firearms. Legal ramifications, tight rules, age restrictions, etc., make it difficult for firearms dealers to find payment processors. 
  •  Bad credit history: Most gun dealers are unable to show a good credit history and end up being rejected by merchant account providers. Dealers need to show good credit history and prove their secure income and loyal customer base to the payment provider. 
  •  Chargebacks and fraud: Online gun and firearms dealers are highly prone to chargebacks and fraud. The merchants are almost powerless in case the customer files an unnecessary chargeback with his issuer bank. Dealers lose their sales money, profit and have to pay for chargeback settlement. 

Requirements and Documentation for a Firearms Merchant Account

Before setting up your gun retail store or online shop and opening a merchant account, you need some valid documentation for verification purposes. 

You need a Federal Firearms License (FFL) issued by the BATFE Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. The FFL is necessary for both interstate and local transactions. Based on your business, your type of FFL license will vary. 

To receive an FFL from the BATFE, you should pass the following requirements:

ü  Your age must be 21 years or older than that

ü  No prior history of Gun Control Act violation

ü  You must have a licensed location for opening a store or collecting payments

ü  You must not be prohibited from possessing, handling, or using firearms and ammo

Once you receive a valid FFL, you need to follow these standards:

  •         Your business will not be prohibited by local or state law and will be conducted under your FFL license. 
  •         Once your FFL application is approved, you have to comply with all requirements within 30 days of the date of approval. 
  •         You need to send a form to your area’s Chief Law Enforcement Officer. 
  •         All safety devices, firearms, and guns should be kept in a safe and secure location.
  •         You cannot conduct business until you have met all local and state law requirements. 

After this, you can conduct business freely and apply for a merchant account. Here are two things that you still need to know.

The National Firearms Act restricts certain types of weapons. If you want to sell, import, or manufacture such firearms, you must pay a Special Occupation Tax.

You must have proof of BATFE rules compliance to open a merchant account. Before selling arms to a non-licensed person, you need to do a NICS background check with the FBI. This ensures you do not sell guns to anyone who is prohibited from using firearms or has a prior criminal record. 

If you stay compliant with all rules and do business properly, you will surely get a merchant account easily and can receive payments without any hassles. 

Firearms Businesses Eligible for a Merchant Account

Those payment providers with a friendly stance towards the firearms industry offer merchant account services to land-based gun shops, online gun stores, and FFL dealers. However, they are not limited to these and offer services to other related businesses also. 

Top providers like Wizopay are open to serving Ammunition providers, Tactical Supply stores, Firearms manufacturers, accessories, and component providers, Military Supply Stores, Gun Clubs, Shooting Ranges, Non-Firearm Weapons, CCW Classes, Training Services and Classes, Firearm Lifestyle, and Apparel stores, Pawn Shops, Police Supply stores, Guns America, Gun Broker, Armslist, etc. 

All merchants and dealers associated with the guns industry can apply for a merchant account and take advantage of high-quality, secure payment services. Payment providers will reduce fraud and minimize payment risks for your arms store. Firearm dealers in the following situations benefit the most from high-risk merchant accounts.

  •         Startups with no previous processing history
  •         Gun show and trade vendors
  •         Survival gear, military training, and hunting supply dealers
  •         High-volume, expensive firearm retailers
  •         Arms dealers rejected by Stripe, PayPal, Square, and other popular payment providers

Firearms Merchant Account Transaction Authorization Process

Once payment is made at POS or online through a credit card, the authorization process starts at the merchant location and goes through multiple financial organizations. The payment processor works in tandem with the customer’s credit card issuer bank and the acquiring or merchant’s bank. 

The payment getaway captures the credit card information and other transaction details used for the payment and enters them in a secure file. This file is sent to the issuer card’s bank network by the merchant’s bank. The issuer bank runs many security checks and confirms the authorization. If the transaction is approved, the merchant receives a transaction. In case of rejection, the merchant receives a response code with reasons explaining the rejection. 

The merchant then finalizes all payment authorizations and tells the total sum to his payment provider. The next morning, the money is sent from the customer’s bank and reaches the merchant’s account within 48 hours. 

Software and Hardware Available for Firearms Merchant Accounts

When you partner with a high-quality payment provider, you can choose from multiple credit card processing solutions for both online or land-based stores. Choose the one that suits your business the best and get started as soon as you can. 

  1.  Retail – Point of Sale Credit Card Terminals: Land-based gun stores can choose between traditional countertop wired terminals, wireless terminals or integrate their merchant account with existing payment systems. It will become convenient to receive face-to-face debit and credit card transactions. Retail gun stores should go for point-of-sale payment terminals and get a high-speed internet connection. 
  1.  Virtual Terminal: Virtual terminal or payment gateways will let your firearms business receive credit card payments through a telephone order, mail order, phone, or by entering details into a computer. You do not need extra terminals or other equipment to receive payments from your customers. This method is prone to chargebacks and consumer fraud, and payment providers offer chargeback management and other safety features. 
  1.  Mobile Payment Processing: Through mobile payment processing, your business can receive payments from customers anywhere, even without an internet connection. You will get an attachment that plugs into smartphones and allow you to receive payments. The card swipers are compatible with Apple and Android smartphones. Ammo dealers and retailers who sell at gun shows usually use mobile payment systems. 
  2.  E-Commerce Payment Processing: Most online firearms dealers use popular e-shopping carts like Shopify to set up their online stores. Top payment providers provide easy integration with E-Commerce platforms like Weebly, Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, Joomla, 3DCart, Drupal, and many more. If you want to use an existing payment gateway, you will get the necessary API codes. Your sales will boost if you make the payment process convenient for your customers. 

How to Apply for a Merchant Account?

If you run a firearms store, then opening a merchant account won’t take long. You must have the necessary documents and license before you send your application. Follow these steps:

  •         Go to your preferred payment provider’s website and fill in the application form online. 
  •         Upload your FFL license and other documents required
  •         You will receive a quote based on your needs

Once your account is set up, you can accept payments from customers safely

Firearms Payment Processing by WizoPay

WizoPay offers reliable and trusted payment processing for high-risk firearms dealers and online stores. If you are on the lookout for a payment provider, feel free to get in touch and open a merchant account here. We offer the best services for your business.

  • Fast and hassle-free approval for your firearms merchant account
  • Industry-leading prices with free equipment and assistance with integration
  • Chargeback prevention and online fraud management program
  • Unlimited transaction processing with no hold options
  • Fair, transparent pricing and no hidden charges or fees
  • 24/7 technical support by our experts

WizoPay is able to  integrate and work with many top firearms POS and retailer software, including GunBroker, AIMsi, Elliott Firearms Software, Firearms Management Systems, Gun StoreMaster, Epicor FFL Manager, Rapid Gun Systems, etc. Your merchant account can also be integrated with CRMs like 

WizoPay aims to make your business a success and protect it from fraud. You will experience ease of receiving payments from your customers anytime, anywhere. Use the Secure Merchant Portal and access your account anytime. 

Track and Manage Payments through WizoPay Secure Merchant Portal

You can access your firearms merchant account any time of the day through the Merchant Portal and keep an eye on everything. 

Chargeback Management: Manage chargebacks better and work on reducing them. Receive custom alerts and secure the necessary documents for chargeback investigation. The merchant portal will tell you what to do at the right time. 

Accept payments anywhere: Have unlimited access to the virtual terminal and receive payments anywhere on the go. 

Check online reports: Check reports for deposit data, sales volume, transactions, etc.

Track transactions and revenue: Track transactions and sales revenue whenever you want. 


Guns and firearms are related to violence and crime, which makes life hard for firearms dealers, both retail and online dealers. With the rise in online shopping, gun dealers are finding it difficult to open merchant accounts because of the risks involved in the industry.

In the above blog, we read why is the firearms industry considered high risk and the process behind opening a firearms merchant account for payment processing. You need a valid license and other documents for opening an account, but once it is approved, you will have access to top payment processing features. 

Receive money from anywhere, manage chargebacks better, and reduce customer fraud. Whether you own an established gun store or are a firearms startup, there are many friendly payment providers like WizoPay who can help you out. Open your merchant account with the right provider and streamline your firearms payment processing. 


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