Best FFL tools

Firearm dealers have long fought the perception of being hobbyists and tinkerers who just happen to be running businesses. The reality is FFLs and the small businesses they run are at their core, the very fabric this country was founded upon, with patriotic values that support our economy. We are here to help you, the FFLs of America, navigate the sea of technology and services that are at your fingertips to protect and grow your constitutionally protected business.

Our goal is to give you a comprehensive roadmap of tech companies in the firearms space that support our industry and provide you with solutions to your daily operational needs. Additionally, we cannot forget the importance of you being compliant. Yes, technology helps in a significant way. However, you cannot just assume you are compliant, and there are services out there that are dedicated to ensuring you are! 

FFL Point of Sale Systems

Point of sales systems can elicit a wide array of emotional responses from users. We get it. But, if you want to sell guns, you need a system to facilitate those transactions. POS systems are at the heart of any retail business, being able to easily and efficiently allow your patrons to make purchases is a key factor of running your gun store.

Celerant Technology

Celerant  offers several different product suites, each suited to assist different sizes and styles of FFL businesses. We’ll break down each of the Celerant offerings and help you figure out which one might be right for your shop.

Cumulus Retail

As Celerant’s lighter retail software solution, Cumulus Retail is designed to help independently owned retailers more efficiently run their business, in-store and online, while enhancing digital marketing strategy.

  • “Always On” Hybrid POS: Ensure your store is never down and continue processing sales with a mobile point of sale, even when the internet is lost.
  • All-in-One Retail System: Expand your sales channels with eCommerce, mobile apps, online marketplaces and more, all in one connected system.
  • Scalable Retail Software: Start small with a POS system meeting your needs now, add on as you grow, with a seamless upgrade path to Stratus Enterprise.
  • Vendor Integrations: Save time with catalog imports and automated ordering, while offering more products with online feeds and drop ship.
  • Personalized Marketing: Take email marketing to the next level with triggered emails within your software based on past purchases and preferences.
  • Professional SEO Services: Rank your website higher on search engines with professional and ongoing search engine optimization services.

Stratus Enterprise Retail

Stratus Enterprise offers in-store and online retail software with enterprise power and simplicity. It allows independent FFL dealers to compete with big box retailers through cutting-edge innovative software.

Advanced retailers can effectively manage store locations, online sales, ERP, fulfillment and more with Stratus Enterprise, an all-in-one retail enterprise management system, capable of a wide range of retail functions.

  • Real-time Data: Make faster and smarter decisions with real-time visibility across your entire enterprise, with your entire operation using a singular database.
  • Omnichannel Retail: Provide an improved customer experience across all of your retail channels, with your stores, eCommerce, apps and more, all on a centralized system.
  • Hybrid Cloud POS: Ensure your retail stores remain stable during Internet outages, and quickly update all locations along with your main server as soon as connectivity is restored.
  • Advanced Features: Simplify your workflow, automate many of your complex retail scenarios, and manage all aspects of your advanced retail business with a singular system.
  • Business Intelligence: Cut costs and maximize profits with powerful analytics tools leveraging data from your point of sale, ERP and eCommerce into a cloud, data warehouse.
  • Customizable Software: Design or modify the retail software based on your business needs, from point-of-sale or reporting, to custom eCommerce and mobile apps.
  • Mobile POS System: Serve your customers from anywhere in your store and take your POS system to gun shows and off-site events, while managing inventory, customers and promotions centrally.
  • Distributor Integrations: Save time and eliminate manual entry by importing your vendor catalogs within the POS system, while sending your purchase orders electronically and automating your ordering.
  • Electronic A&D and e4473: Ensure compliance with a built-in digital bound book or integrations to third-party A&D solutions with integrated e4473 through Stratus Enterprise’s gun store software.
  • In-Store Kiosks: Capture more in-store sales for products you don’t stock by displaying distributors’ product feeds and sending special orders via a kiosk.
  • Advanced Firearms Functionality: Manage all of your intricate firearms retail needs such as manufacturing for Type 07 FFLs, buy/trade, rentals, repairs and more—all from one POS system for gun shops

Rapid Gun Systems

Rapid Gun Systems provides a comprehensive point-of-sale (POS) solution specifically designed for the firearms industry. This all-in-one system integrates sales, inventory management, and compliance reporting, streamlining operations and reducing administrative burdens. It features automated ATF compliance tools that help minimize record-keeping errors and reduce the risk of violating federal regulations. The system includes electronic Acquisition and Disposition (A&D) record-keeping, which simplifies the management of firearm transactions and reduces paperwork. Additionally, Rapid Gun Systems offers advanced customer relationship management (CRM) tools to track customer preferences and purchase histories, improving customer service and marketing strategies. It also supports e-commerce integration, allowing businesses to seamlessly connect online sales channels with in-store inventory, thus expanding sales opportunities and enhancing inventory control.

  • Comprehensive POS Solution: Offers an all-in-one point of sale (POS) system tailored for the firearms industry, integrating sales, inventory management, and compliance reporting to streamline operations.
  • ATF Compliance: Automated ATF compliance features reduce the risk of errors in record-keeping, making it easier to stay compliant with federal regulations.
  • Bound Book Integration: Electronic A&D (Acquisition and Disposition) record-keeping simplifies the management of firearms transactions, saving time and reducing paperwork.
  • Customer Management: Advanced customer relationship management (CRM) tools help in tracking customer preferences and purchase history, enhancing customer service and marketing efforts.
  • E-Commerce Integration: Allows for the integration of online sales channels with in-store inventory, expanding sales opportunities and streamlining inventory management.

AXiS by Gearfire

AXIS™ Point of Sale is a complete retail management system perfect for single and multi-store operations. More than a point-of-sale system, AXIS™ Point of Sale offers comprehensive retail management. It seamlessly integrates with eCommerce platforms, maintains ATF compliance, and promotes customer loyalty, all backed by dedicated customer support. Affordable and adaptable, AXIS™ Point of Sale is your key to efficient, profitable retail management.

  • Financing Available: AXIS™ is affordably priced for any budget, with options for $0 down or 0% interest.
  • Manage Transactions and Customers: Transact sales quickly and report on sales performance with QuickBooks integration.
  • Remain ATF Compliant: AXIS™ diligently updates with the latest regulations to reduce risks from regulatory changes.
  • Full-Spectrum eSuite: AXIS™ offers a built-in, ATF-compliant eBound Book, eNICS, e4473 and more.
  • Sync Online and In-Store Products: AXIS™ integrates with leading eCommerce providers, including Gearfire eCommerce Pro & Classic, Magento, and BigCommerce.
  • Firearm Specific Services: Manage shooting range and gunsmith operations with available AXIS™ add-ons.
  • Set Prices and Promotions: Drive customer loyalty. Manage special customer orders and drop ship products.
  • Dedicated Customer Support: Get help from U.S. based tech support and free AXIS™ Academy video training.

Orchid POS

Orchid POS is a specialized point of sale (POS) system crafted for the firearms industry, featuring tailored functionalities like serial number tracking and integrated bound book compliance. This system supports online sales directly linked with the POS, enabling seamless inventory management across both brick-and-mortar and online storefronts. Its ATF-compliant electronic bound book automates record-keeping for firearms transactions, ensuring accuracy and simplifying compliance. Orchid POS also includes built-in tools for customer engagement and loyalty programs, which help retain customers and boost sales. Additionally, it offers flexible hardware compatibility, allowing businesses to select the optimal setup tailored to their specific operational needs.

  • Firearms-Specific POS System: Tailored specifically for the firearms industry, providing features such as serial number tracking and bound book integration for simplified compliance.
  • Integrated E-Commerce: Supports online sales directly integrated with the POS system, facilitating inventory management across both physical and online stores.
  • ATF Compliant Bound Book: Electronic bound book record-keeping is ATF-compliant, automating the process and ensuring accuracy in firearms transaction records.
  • Customer Engagement: Built-in tools for customer engagement and loyalty programs help in retaining customers and increasing sales.
  • Flexible Hardware Options: Compatible with a range of hardware options, allowing businesses to choose the best setup for their specific needs.

Electronic Bound Book and 4473s

Since 2008, ATF has authorized FFLs to use an electronic bound book and electronic 4473 through official ATF Rulings.  There have been a few iterations of the rulings that govern these software solutions. The current ATF rulings you need to be familiar with are ATF Ruling 2016-1 and ATF Ruling 2016-2.

You, the FFL, are responsible for vetting the software you use to ensure compliance with the requirements in these rulings. You should read them and commit them to memory, so you know what questions to ask about your current or future software solution.

Fast Bound

Fast Bound offers an electronic bound book software that is compliant with ATF regulations, designed to streamline and ensure the accuracy of firearms transaction record-keeping. This software features an immutable audit trail for all transactions, which enhances accountability and supports compliance efforts during audits. It is engineered for easy integration with existing point of sale (POS) systems and e-commerce platforms, ensuring a seamless management experience for both inventory and sales. Fast Bound’s user-friendly interface is specifically designed to reduce training time and minimize entry and reporting errors. Additionally, it provides real-time reporting capabilities, allowing for immediate access to inventory, sales, and compliance data, which facilitates swift and informed decision-making.

  • ATF Compliant Bound Book: Fast Bound provides an electronic bound book software that is ATF compliant, simplifying the record-keeping process and ensuring accuracy.
  • Audit Trail: Features an immutable audit trail for all transactions, enhancing accountability and aiding in compliance checks and audits.
  • Easy Integration: Easily integrates with existing POS systems and e-commerce platforms, providing a seamless experience for inventory and sales management.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Designed with a focus on ease of use, minimizing training time and reducing errors in entry and reporting.
  • Real-Time Reports: Offers real-time reporting capabilities for inventory, sales, and compliance data, enabling quick decisions based on current information.

EZ Arms Keeper

EZ Arms Keeper offers a user-friendly point of sale (POS) system tailored for the firearms industry, emphasizing ease of use to minimize training requirements and reduce transaction errors. It features robust compliance tools designed to ensure adherence to ATF regulations, including automated background check submissions and meticulous record-keeping. The system’s advanced inventory management capabilities enable precise tracking of stock levels, reorder points, and supplier management, enhancing operational efficiency. Additionally, EZ Arms provides comprehensive reporting and analytics, allowing business owners to make data-driven decisions based on insights into sales trends, inventory status, and customer behaviors. As a cloud-based system, EZ Arms Keeper ensures that data is continuously backed up, accessible from anywhere, and eliminates the need for extensive in-house IT infrastructure.

  • Easy-to-Use Interface: Designed for simplicity, making it accessible for all employees, reducing training time and errors in transaction processing.
  • Compliance Assurance: Features designed to aid compliance with ATF regulations, including automated background check submissions and accurate record-keeping.
  • Inventory Control: Advanced inventory management tools help track stock levels, reorder points, and manage suppliers, improving operational efficiency.
  • Reporting and Analytics: Offers detailed reports and analytics to help business owners make informed decisions based on sales trends, inventory status, and customer behavior.
  • Cloud-Based: Cloud-based system ensures data is always backed up, accessible from anywhere, and reduces the need for in-house IT infrastructure.

Compliance Attorneys and Consultants

Just because you have software helping to protect your FFL doesn’t mean you can hit cruise control. Make no mistake, you should use all the software solutions that best fit your business to help your FFL’s compliance, but keep in mind that software is not able to prevent ALL errors. With that in mind, there is one more step you need to take and it is probably the most critical.

Working with an independent professional to review your compliance health is worth its weight in gold. Knowing you are operating within the regulations is significantly better than hoping you are or relying on previous ATF inspections to give you peace of mind. The classic rule (still true) is that previous ATF inspections are NOT a validation of how compliant you currently are.  The NEW rule is that previous ATF inspections are not even good indicators of what ATF considers acceptable—that is an ever-moving target under the zero-tolerance regime.

Industry experts are here to help you. They ARE on your side and exist solely to help your FFL operationalize its compliance with the federal Regulations. Not only will they tell you what makes you compliant, but they will give you the tools on HOW to maintain your compliance for years to come.

While there are a few different approaches companies in our industry use, the bottom line is this: you need to find the model that fits your needs and get them in your shop as soon as you possibly can.

FFL Guard

FFL Guard provides specialized legal compliance services tailored for the firearms industry, offering access to legal experts well-versed in firearms laws. This service aids businesses in navigating the complexities of ATF regulations and compliance issues, thereby reducing legal and financial risks associated with non-compliance. FFL Guard also delivers comprehensive compliance training for staff, enhancing their understanding of regulations and reducing potential violations. Additionally, it provides detailed support in preparing for ATF audits, including conducting mock audits and reviewing paperwork and procedures to ensure businesses are audit-ready. Moreover, FFL Guard keeps businesses up-to-date with the latest changes in firearms laws and regulations, ensuring that operations remain compliant with evolving legal requirements.

  • Legal Compliance Services: Provides access to legal professionals specializing in firearms laws, helping businesses navigate ATF regulations and compliance issues.
  • Risk Management: Offers guidance on risk management strategies to protect against legal and financial risks associated with non-compliance.
  • Compliance Training: Comprehensive training programs for staff on ATF compliance, enhancing the understanding of regulations and reducing the likelihood of violations.
  • Audit Preparation: Assistance in preparing for ATF audits, including mock audits and reviews of paperwork and procedures, to ensure readiness and compliance.
  • Regulatory Updates: Keeps businesses informed of changes in firearms laws and regulations, ensuring that operations remain compliant with the latest requirements.

FFL Consultants

Your go-to partner for comprehensive support in the firearms industry. FFL Consultants were founded to address the critical need for a reliable, available, and crisis-responsive FFL consulting service. A one-stop solution for supportive, knowledgeable, and confidential FFL consulting. Their consultants are well-versed in the complexities of FFL regulations and industry dynamics.

  • Critical Support: Their dedicated team excels in providing unwavering support to FFLs and Shooting Ranges across all critical areas of licensing, compliance, safety, security, and risk management.
  • Mission: Their mission is to be the trusted partner and provide unwavering support for FFLs (Firearms Dealers, Distributors, Manufacturers, and Shooting Range Operators) across the nation.
  • Vision: Their vision is to be the leading and most trusted consulting partner in the firearms industry. They aim to revolutionize the way FFLs and Shooting Ranges navigate compliance, safety, and risk management challenges.

NSSF Compliance Consultants – NSSF Premium Retailer Program

National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the trade association for the firearms industry, offers federally licensed firearms retailers (FFLs) the opportunity to work with experienced advisors who, as former ATF officials and industry compliance experts, understand what it takes to stay compliant with ATF rules and regulations.

Orchid’s On-Call FFL Compliance

Orchid’s compliance services are arguably the best part of their business.  Orchid’s compliance experts are standing by to answer questions on GCA / NFA laws, NFA firearm classifications and ATF variances and forms.

Their compliance team is headed by attorney Phil Milks, who leverages his experience working previously for Remington and NSSF to provide top-tier professional services grounded in firearms industry experience.  Phil is responsive, knowledgeable, and exceptionally good at providing practical and usable guidance fast, without the usual lawyer fluff.  He is a trusted ally and exactly the person you want, offering guidance and getting your back when things turn critical.

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Travis Glover May. 22nd, 2024

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