Gus stores can vary from a single FFL licensee selling used guns at a gun shows or online to sophisticated multi-store, multi-channel businesses that have many requirements. The best gun store POS systems should not only improve the efficiency of your operations, but also help you better manage your regulatory requirements.  To help you select the best POS system for your firearms business, we have assembled a list of the top 10 features for gun stores.

1. Serial Number Tracking

Its critical to track the serial number of regulated items such as guns and firearms.  Top POS systems for gun stores allow you to add serial numbers of guns to the product record at the time the gun is acquired.  Serial numbers should be able to be scanned using a bar code or entered manually the serial number in the POS software.  When running a gun shop, you will need to add serial numbers when receiving products in a vendor shipment, add serial numbers to store transfers, display serial numbers on printed receipts/invoices and sell and return serialized items at the front register.  Your FFL POS software should also include a Serial Number History report to search for serial numbers and view the transaction history for each serialized item. 

2. Electronic A&D Bound Book with 4473

The best POS systems for gun stores and firearms dealers include an electronic A&D book integrated with the POS. The A&D book automatically records every gun sale, allows you to view the history of any firearm, produces ATF-formatted reports and can be backed up daily. These electronic bound books include 4473 forms that can be completed by a purchaser using on any device, including iPads, while processing NICS background checks in minutes.  FFL solutions enable you to scan driver licenses to detect fraudulent IDS and prevent dispositions when data entered by a purchaser is invalid.  Some POS systems include their own electronic bound book, while many modern cloud-based FFL POS systems integrate with best of breed cloud FFL electronic bound books, such as FastBound, for ATF compliance.

3. Firearm Vendor Catalogs

Gun stores carry items from a variety of distributors and vendors.  POS systems for firearm dealers make it easy for FFLs to import products from a variety of vendors catalogs.  Integration with vendor catalogs can consist of live feeds allowing a FFL to view real time stock levels and receive pricing updates, a accessible repository of item data that can searched and used to pull product information into your POS system, or a simple and reliable data import tool that allows you to import firearm vendor product data via CSV files.  These tools allow you to import product data without entering the product information manually.

4. Work Orders for Repairs and Gunsmithing

The ability to manage an in-store repair or service department is a key feature for leading gun store POS systems.  This will help manage gun smithing, modifications and repairs of firearms.  These work order features allow you to check in a customer owned item, add parts and services, assign to an employee and collect a deposit with ease.  Customer owned items checked in for gunsmithing should be displayed in the customer record, including service history for each item.  Your gun store POS system should also include a service calendar to help with scheduling your work orders.

5. Special Orders for Out-of-Stock Items

Gun stores often get requests from customers to purchase guns and accessories not carried in stock.  Top gun store POS systems manage sales of items not in stock via a special order that links the item ordered from the vendor when received to the customer order.  Special order items should be listed on a separate inventory screen so that they can be quickly added to vendor purchase orders.  Special order items should also be tagged through the ordering and fulfillment process, so that they can be treated differently than standard items.  When receiving a vendor shipment with special items, the best POS system software for gun stores should trigger an alert and link the special item received to the original order, allowing you to inform the customer that the special item is now available for pick-up.

6. Integration with Firearm Ecommerce Site

Leading POS solutions for gun stores allow you to integrate your firearms store with an ecommerce website.  This can be either a fully custom design or a ready-made gun shop ecommerce template that can be used with popular ecommerce platforms, such as WooCommerce (free ecommerce site based on the WordPress software).  These ecommerce solutions let you display your store inventory online and even manage shipping to your customers. It’s critical that your gun store POS system syncs inventory levels between your store and website, allowing you to update prices from your store system and pull customer data and online sales into your firearm POS system.

7. Inventory Management with Reorder Levels

Inventory management is critical for gun stores.  The best POS systems for gun stores offer real-time stock information across all store locations – including open stock, committed stock and items on order. Given the high cost of labor, it’s important to streamline backend operations.  One way to do this is by automating your ordering process from vendors by auto filling purchase orders by reorder levels with one click.   This will automatically add all items a vendor’s PO where the current stock is less than the minimum targeted stock levels or reorder point for the product.

8. Mobile POS for Gun Shows

Cloud-based POS systems for gun stores allow you to operate a mobile POS register to quickly scan items into the register using barcodes – or add items with one touch. You should be able to discount individual items, groups of items or the entire transaction – and do price checks and check inventory quickly and easily. The cloud-based architecture of the best gun store POS systems allow you to access your POS register any place and at any time. These FFL POS systems allow you to ring up sales or take orders at gun shows and other environments requiring a gun store mobile POS system.

9. Firearm-friendly Payment Processing

Many mainstream payment processors do not work with firearms merchants or are not competitive on rates.  That it’s while it’s important that your gun store POS system integrated with a firearm friendly payment processing.  Key features and benefits of a firearm friendly payment processor includes: no restrictions on products that you sell, even Class III / NFA items; rates that do not change over time; competitive pricing; no early termination fees; dedicated customer support; integration with POS and ecommerce platforms and support of a variety of POS hardware.  Leading payment processors for firearms dealers includes Gearfire Payments.

10. Trade-ins, Consignments and Management of Used Guns

Managing trade ins and consignments can be tricky, but the best POS systems for gun stores can manage both these processes. Be sure that you can set up consignors as vendors, and generate sales and inventory reports by each consignor. For trade ins, you must be able to quickly create the item in the POS system and issue the trade in on in cash or a store credit.