Google Bans Guns in Shopping – Good News for Stocking Gun Dealers

This screen capture from 2011 is what used to come up when you searched for a specific gun on Google and clicked the Shopping tab. Google would try to guess at what you were looking for and match it to the SKUs in Googlebase, which was the engine for Google Shopping. We have rubbed out the first two here because they are the kinds of the internet bottom feeders.

This is what you get when you search for a new gun on Google now and click Shopping. Nothing.

We attempted to put all of our GA listings in Google Shopping in July of 2011. We were taken down within a week. If you sell on GunsAmerica you will see that the system asks you for a manufacturer SKU number when you select NIB as condition. This is for Googlebase, but it will be no more.

by Paul Helinski

This week Google announced a major change in the way it runs Google Shopping, which is the “Shopping” tab on the left when you search. Guns and gun stuff will no longer be allowed. Google Shopping will now comply with the rules for Google Adwords, which has not allowed advertising for guns for several years now. Google is an anti-2nd Amendment company. This is not a new angle for Google. Like all of the Silicon Valley do-gooders without a clue, Google is clueless.

At this point, who cares? As we explained in our Monday Memo that goes out to our stocking gun dealers here, this past week the Supreme Court said it was ok for the government to force you to buy something you don’t need or want. We aren’t going to cure America’s ills here at GunsAmerica, and 2nd Amendment freedom isn’t the worst of our freedom that the government has co-opted in the last several years. But we can explain what losing Google Shopping means for the gun industry, our 2nd Amendment freedom as it stands today, and for tomorrow.

Believe it or not, for long term 2nd Amendment freedom, losing Google Shopping for guns is not a bad thing. It means that less internet bottom feeders will be able to easily steal sales from the shelves of stocking gun dealers. As a consumer this may be difficult to swallow, but if you understand the big picture it becomes very clear that profitable stocking gun dealers mean gun freedom for all of us, and the internet has been for the most part the enemy of the stocking gun dealer for quite some time. This is a slightly long explanation, so if you are standing in line at Subway reading this on your phone, you might want to skim to the end.

Guns are unlike any other consumer product in the United States, except maybe prescription drugs to some extent. You can never just click “Buy It” on a gun, plug in your credit card info, and have a gun shipped right to your door, like you can with a pair of sunglasses, a TV, a cellphone, or guitar. Guns have to be sent to a Federal Firearms Licensee dealer in your state, and they transfer the gun to you. This came about through the National Firearms Act of 1968. Prior to that, you could order guns through the Sears catalog, buy them at Montgomery Wards, or even your local hardware store. Since 1968, every gun that is sold over state lines has to go through a dealer in some way, and anyone doing business in guns at all is required to have an FFL license.

That makes FFL gun dealers, when you think about it, our lifeline to 2nd Amendment freedom. Without people who go through the rigmarole of applying for a license and getting themselves set up, we would have no place to buy a gun. Stocking gun stores are the most invested in our freedom, often risking millions of dollars in inventory on the floor that could be banned individually or in bulk at any time. Think about that. As much as we treasure our 2nd Amendment freedom, how often do we think of gun dealers as anything but another business making money from us? The problem is really that they don’t even think of themselves that way, but it is true. Without gun dealers, we’re screwed.

Guns, on their best day, are a very low margin product. It is not uncommon for the markup portion of the sales price of a firearm to be less than 10%, and 25% is considered exorbitant on most guns. Compare that to traditional retail markup which is usually 50%. Electronics and some other products have been shaved over the years, thanks to the internet, but guns are still considered very low margin in comparison to most retail. Most gun shops are “mom and pop” stores, run by the owners, and even the big multi-stores, like Carter’s Country in Texas are surviving from ancillary sales far more than from the guns themselves. There isn’t a lot of money in guns, and there never really has been. Historically, gun margins were kept very low by what, since 1968, became “tabletop” or “basement” dealers, who didn’t have a store and sold guns on the side at extremely low margins. At their peak, there were over 300,000 FFL licensees in the US, and the overwhelming majority of them were tabletop dealers.

Now, rewind back to the Clinton era, when the Brady Bill was passed. This implemented the national background check, which we call the NICS check. It also changed the fee for an FFL from $30 to $600. The result on the national population of FFL gun dealers was a decline from 300,000 FFL licensees, to 50,000 licensees. Just to demonstrate just how fickle and uninvolved the tabletop dealers were, the changes in the requirements for being a dealer were:

  1. A new phone call you had to make.
  2. A change in the fee to roughly the profit on 5-7 guns.

The internet gave a new lease on life to the tabletop gun dealer. Suddenly, the whole world opened up, and you could sell as many guns as you wanted to strangers, as long as they had a receiving FFL called a “transfer dealer” on the other end. A few smart entrepreneurs realized that they could put up the entire manufacturers catalogs on their websites and take orders, and the consumer would never know that they were not a gun shop at all. So that is what they did. A few actual gunshops with internet savvy programmers even got involved, and, with no real margin and no inventory to maintain, they could beat the price of the stocking dealer but at least a few percentage points. For gun buyers that was enough, even if they saved little in the long run, and what we call the internet bottom feeder was born.

GunsAmerica started in 1997 and was the first fully automated buying and selling site for guns online. Initially only collector guns, and just used guns in general came onto GunsAmerica, but slowly, especially after Ebay banned guns in 1999, and other fully automated gun auction sites came along, new gun sales crept onto the internet here too, and this was led primary by the remaining “tabletop” or “basement” dealers, while the gun shops languished, trying to just understand how to send email, never mind sell guns online. To this day there are gunshops struggling to survive on purely brick and mortar operations, ignorant that they could be selling pretty much every used gun and most new guns in their store to you folks online. Meanwhile consumers buy guns behind their backs and ship them in for transfers, and the gun dealers have simply never woken up to the reality of the internet and how it has changed the whole world of retail.

This has put the mom and pop stocking gun dealer in a very difficult situation. Without even realizing it, stocking gun shops have become the “catalog showroom” for the internet. Savvy consumers, which now is almost all consumers, go into the gun shops to fondle the guns, then they look for a cheap price online. Everyone reading this is a GunsAmerica subscriber, and many of you have actually stood in gun shops and checked internet prices right in front of the store clerk. I have witnessed this myself on several occasions in both the Bass Pro here and two local gunshops. The buyer is standing there, holding the gun in the store, and simply buys it online and ships it to the very store he is standing in. He doesn’t pay sales tax in most states, so that often covers the modest “transfer fee” that the dealer manages to squeeze out of the sale he never made.

Everyone thinks that “record gun sales” have meant a huge profit for gun shops, but what it really has meant is a huge profit for a select handful of internet entrepreneurs selling hundreds of guns each per day for extremely small margins, far below the prices that the gun dealers are able to sell for. Several of the major industry distributors have even set themselves up to drop ship guns for some of the more well placed discount websites, though one of them claims to have halted the practice after we called them out on it in our dealer newsletter several weeks ago.

Some would argue that the “transfer fees” for stocking gun dealers are a good thing. A recent article in a major gun industry publication claimed just that, but the article was written by the PR director for one of the major gun auction sites. This was conveniently left out of the bio on the writer, and it was treated as legitimate research. Gun dealers have been misled into thinking that the internet bottom feeders are a good thing and that the transfer fees are pennies from heaven. Ask any stocking gun dealer who is not himself heavily involved in internet discount sales and they will tell you that this is completely wrong. Gun shops have become indentured servants to the internet. Those guns on the floor were meant to be sold with real margins, not left to sit while several of that model comes in from online sales as transfers.

I suggested back in a lecture at our booth in SHOT Show 2009 that the dealers modify their transfer fees to better reflect retail margins on guns, and the fake PR research article did mention my ideas (without credit of course). We have also tried to expose all of the distributor inventory to consumers through the stocking dealers with our Guns On Demand system, but getting the industry behind it has been no small task. Meanwhile, partially do to Google Shopping, which is now thankfully coming to a close, the stocking dealers have been left out in the cold, while the industry publications, trade groups, and even their own distributors convince them to continue losing sales to low margin internet bottom feeders. You can only manipulate transfer fees so much, because there is always going to be a new tabletop FFL who will take the transfers for less. Managing whole catalogs of even Guns On Demand inventory is time consuming for a a mom and pop store with limitted resources. Now that the industry has seen what one dogooder anti-gun keystroke decision at Google can do, I hope they will wake up and protect the dealers from having to compete with internet bottom feeders that have no inventory and no overhead.

You won’t find a Gibson guitar for sale on the internet for under what is called “Minimum Advertised Price,” or MAP. You won’t find Oakley sunglasses under MAP (shout out to former Beretta GM Christopher Merritt). You won’t find a SONY television under MAP, and you certainly won’t find a Motorola phone under MAP. All of these industries are protecting their dealers with MAP. It isn’t that the dealer can’t sell for less. They just can’t advertise for less. It isn’t price fixing. It is perfectly legal. And every other major retail industry has had to deal with this since the advent of this amazing communication tool called the internet.

Why isn’t the gun industry enforcing MAP you might ask? We have no idea. GunsAmerica has been beating this drum since 2007 after extensive research involving a few major manufacturers, and personal advice from the CEO of one of the biggest companies in the gun industry. Some manufacturers have indeed caught on. You can’t post a new Barrett for $20 under MAP on GunsAmerica without getting a call from them, explaining that Barrett enforces MAP and that if you want to sell Barrett firearms, you have to raise the price. We just experimented with this using a dealer here and indeed, they got the call. But what about the other manufacturers? Hopefully they will come around soon.

Google Shopping was a major doorway for consumers to find the internet bottom feeders. It was painfully easy to load up Google Shopping with XML data feeds from the distributors, which in turn listed every gun for sale from that distributor in Google Shopping from your online store. We loaded all of the GunsAmerica listings into Google Shopping for our sellers briefly in July of 2011, but they banned us for no reason, probably because they knew this was coming and they would have shut off thousands of sellers who would make a stink, not just the handful of savvy internet mavens they shut off this week.

It is difficult as a consumer to support higher prices, we know. In fact, since we have been beating the drum about stocking dealers the biggest question most people ask is why GunsAmerica even takes this position. We are of course a purely online gun buying and selling website. The answer is that GunsAmerica has since the beginning run on passion for guns, shooting, and 2nd Amendment freedom, not a drive to make more and more money. Guns and 2nd Amendment freedom is a big picture that is the cornerstone and foundation of all of our Constitutional freedoms, G-d given freedoms really, guaranteed in America by the US Constitution. The 2nd Amendment was 2nd for a reason. Gun rights aren’t about hunting. Support your local stocking gun dealers and you support the 2nd Amendment. We saw back in the Brady era how fickle the tabletop dealers are. If the next administration, (and don’t be fooled, Romney is no friend of the 2nd Amendment), passes any new tax or rule on gun dealers, all of those remaining tabletop guys will give up their FFLs, as will the internet entrepreneurs. Then the only ones standing will be the local stocking dealers, and if they go out of business in the meantime, then nobody will be left standing, and like they have had to deal with in Washington DC, there will be no place to buy a gun.

So as much as we condemn Google for their anti-2nd Amendment policies blah blah blah, there is nothing new under the sun here people. Retail giants Amazon and Ebay haven’t allowed guns for over a decade, and Google Adwords have really never allowed guns. The real question is why is it that GunsAmerica is the only ones talking about this, about MAP, and about protecting the stocking gun dealers? It is the same reason you should invite your friends to subscribe to GunsAmerica. There is only one gun website that does not take banner advertising from internet bottom feeders , or “training” scams, or anything else that takes advantage of the gun buying public and threatens our long term 2nd Amendment freedom. Stand with GunsAmerica, and stand for liberty.

{ 218 comments… add one }
  • BLANCHE DUNCAN September 14, 2015, 10:26 pm

    Valuable writing , For my two cents , if your business was looking for a weapontrader Firearm Bill of Sale , I discovered a template version here Firearm Bill Sale printable.

  • Alaska fishing May 19, 2015, 12:21 pm

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn’t fail me just as much as this one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read through, but I genuinely believed you would have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

  • sofort sex kontakte January 15, 2015, 7:47 am

    Thnks for any other informative blog. Where else coild I am
    getting that type of info written in such an ideal
    method? I have a project that I am juxt now working on, and
    I have been at the glace out foor suuch info.

  • sextreff January 4, 2015, 1:18 pm

    each time i used to read smaller aricles which lso lear their motive, and that is also happening with
    this post which I am reading at this time.

  • sextreffs bayern January 2, 2015, 8:55 am

    You made some really good points there. I lookked on the webb to find
    out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this weeb site.

  • Jim December 15, 2014, 11:27 am

    The huge flaw in this article is that “shall not be infringed” was violated in the ’68 law. There shouldn’t be a restriction on where and how one buys a firearm . . . Like we are required to get our books from a licensed bookstore???

  • echte sextreffen December 3, 2014, 9:39 am

    Very good post. I will be facing a few of these isues as well..

  • Avi July 28, 2014, 8:47 am

    I normally purchase through one of our local gun shops. They’re pretty good guys, been here a million years and will go above and beyond to get what you need.

    On the other hand, there’s another shop right up the road that’s the polar opposite – I asked the sheriff’s opinion on building an SBR about a month ago, just do I’d know what to expect, and all I got was attitude. “You’ll go to prison for the rest of your life. Only dealers can do that.”. When I explained NFA regulations, he laughed and stated, “What the **** ever. Some of you people think you know everything.”

    Seems snobbery and elitism is the case – along with hideously inflated prices – with some local dealers. I fully understand why most folk prefer to deal with internet dealers.

    But calling them “bottom feeders”? Way to be classy there. I will no longer do any business with Gunsamerica, and will spread the word about the author’s piss-poor attitude.

  • Charles December 11, 2012, 8:58 pm

    I do not purchase anythinbg through Google anymore anyhow. I do not like arrogant Califonians telling me what I can buy, where and with what. Ebay has the same stupid policies and I don’t buy from them anymore either. So Califonian egotistical, overbearing, idiots find another way to make a living because you are not getting my money!

  • jason stanley December 11, 2012, 6:30 pm

    thats fine and dandy google doesnt support gun sale but type in porn i bet ya get thousands of pages. i will no longer use google for guns or porn……………………………..

  • Chuck Hill December 11, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Frankly I am quite capable of finding reliable, upstanding gun sellers on the internet without the “assistance” of clueless, panty-waist dweebs like Google. If I were a mommy shopping for little girls’ underwear I might find “Google Shopping” useful. As to “shopping local” for a gun, that’s basically a joke where I live. There is exactly one gun store within 100 miles of my home, and his hours are “now and then” and his prices are full MSRP at a minimum. And if he doesn’t like a particular kind of gun or brand of gun, he refuses to get that gun or buy from that manufacturer. I do have a reliable, competent and helpful gunsmith, with an FFL, about 55 miles away. He works with folks like and others and his transfer fee is quite reasonable. And again, I can find folks like gunbroker without the help of the hopolophobic imbeciles at Google.

  • Bob December 11, 2012, 12:28 am

    Our local gun shops mark everything well above MSRP. I try to buy local but I am not paying a premium price for nothing. Lots of the local shops order through Davidsons. Yet if you have a problem with the gun they say it’s your problem in spite of the sign on the wall that says lifetime warranty bring it back to us.

    Every time I buy a gun I buy ammo and accessories. So mom & pop make $40 for the FFL and what ever profit they make on everything else I buy for the gun if they have it in stock. I usually spend $100 on ammo and accessories for every gun I buy.

  • Dan528 December 10, 2012, 9:27 pm

    Some of you are right about the LGS being way out of line on price. This has come about from the “Walmart Syndrome”. Before there were online stores selling guns is just like before Walmart existed. Everybody wants to save money, I do too. But at what cost? What kind of service is at Walmart? How many people work at Walmart and can hardly support their family? Is that what you support? What kind of service, advice, experience will you get from your “online” gun store? Very little. You pay for what you get. If you have never been in business for yourself then you probably don’t understand. If you get rid of the bottom feeders, yes you are going to pay more but you will get normal competition between “brick & mortar stores AND the experience of qualified professional dedicated to our 2nd amendment rights. What if the “online” gun stores never existed? Would you not have bought a gun because it was too expensive? No, you would have never known that a “better deal” was costing you so much. Sometimes progress is not what we need. Sometimes you do have to look at the bigger picture and understand what you are protecting and how to protect it. Who out there is willing to take a huge pay cut in their job that they invested years of commitment and gained the knowledge to do the job in a professional manner just so somebody can save a dollar because they don’t think they need your knowledge or experience and just want your product or service cheap? Not me. I will pass on rendering my service to the young idiot and work hard to service the mature consumer that knows what our country was built on and I would guess the one that don’t understand this are the ones working at Walmart.

  • Bob Clevenger December 10, 2012, 3:26 pm

    The main problem is that so-called “stocking” gun shops rarely stock anything that isn’t overwhelmingly popular. I \f I want to buy a gun, I have to buy it from a dealer who actually HAS it.

  • LG December 10, 2012, 2:23 pm

    It seems that this debate over Google’s arrogant attitude has partially turned into a discussion of greed of between the general gun buying public and so called mom and pop gun shops. I recently wanted to sell a Walther G43/K43 with two magazines and the proper Zeiss scope, also a Yugoslav RPK unfired with a new in the bag drum magazine. The Walthers are commonly listed on Guns America between 4 and $5000, in comparable or worse condition than mine. I figured the RPK to be worth with the drum magazine between 1200 and $1500. I was offered by mom and pop, after a lengthy wait , no doubt while they were checking how much money they could amass on the back on the donkey (me), $650 for the Walther and $250 for the RPK. Now who is greedy ? So my sympathy to those mom and pop stores, not meaning to ALL mom and pop stores, is inversely proportional to their GREED. Yes they are entitled to a profit, but not to steal.

  • T December 10, 2012, 1:17 pm

    I can see both sides of this, but, I also have been to the mom and pop gun shops and for used guns they jacked the prices to match the new ones so they know your better off to buy a new one…I went to a few to buy a used rifle scope and they had 20 year old scopes laying in a bin with price tags on them for $200..What warranted that?…I know not all do this but with prices going up with everything else people naturally are looking for the best deals….And to say taking one more ability to that is a positive, I can’t see it!…Taking one more freedom of choice in the short term to justify a maybe in the long term doesn’t solve anything…..Our problem is the Anti-Gun atitutudes, not the way we purchase them……

  • R.P._Alaska December 10, 2012, 1:05 pm

    I buy Guns off the internet, And I also have Ammo shipped to Alaska. (Not many companys do this) because the Gundealers up this way, will “Rip You a New-One” when you go Gun & Ammo shopping up in this part of the country. I don’t mind them making a little money Off Me…but that said, I sure don’t want to be the main person that they make a living off of! Before anyone “Wets there Shorts” Come on up this way and Buy Guns & Ammo for the next 10 years and THEN get back to me!

  • john busby December 10, 2012, 12:51 pm

    Thanks for a very enlightening report. I will consider everything when I buy my next gun. Thank You again

  • DaveGinOly December 10, 2012, 12:23 pm

    I have found that I can sometimes go around to a half-dozen local gun shops looking for a particular gun or gun product, only to be told that they can’t get it (some FFLs don’t do business with certain dealers, and some gun manufacturers only distribute through those dealers), never heard of it (and sometimes don’t have the initiative to see if they can get it for me), or that they’ll offer it above MSRP (MSRPs are often found on manufacturers’ sites). This is when I buy from online.

  • hogdog December 10, 2012, 12:12 pm

    I was wondering about the tax thing on the web.If they tax our sales or purchases will we be dealing with over fifty different state taxes.How much would you say it would cost to deal with that many states and the set up costs .WOW Think about it!!!

  • Harold Geeting December 10, 2012, 12:09 pm

    Mr Paul Helenski might want to recheck his facts if any are actually present. The Brady Bill presented during the Clinton Administration went a little further than Mr Helinski portrayed. The “table top bottom feeders” had to:
    1. Have a commercial address (not at your home anymore)
    2. Initially had to send a certified letter to local L.E. plus BATF for each purchase.Wait three business days before transfer. Generally charged a $15 per transaction fee to do that.
    3. After the NICS was set up get registered with NICS and then call each transaction in to a NICS operator.
    The local Gun Stores I have delt with are rude, overpriced and poor service. It is no wonder people order firearms on line at discount prices and pay a transfer fee for the service. The Store Front Stores have cut their own throat with price gouging ie Winchester 380 ammo for $45 per box when walmart sells it for $15 and lack of service. Bass Pro overcharges but at least they offer customer service for the price.

  • mike December 10, 2012, 11:11 am

    I have never read one opinion and have seen so many answers so correctly and succinctly expressed.
    Guns America an online gun store is loosing it’s following to Gunbroker and Auction Arms. I suppose I am a bottom feeder.
    It cost me just as much for my FFL as my local gun shop I buy collectable firearms at online auctions. I send many to my local
    gun shop to use their gunsmith. My local gun shop advertises online as well as sales in his store. I guess he is ahead of the curve.
    He does it all. he is about 4 times higher than I am for a 5 minute call to the FBI for a background check and two minutes to log a firearm in and out. He sells in his store, he sells online (which a heck of a lot of gun stores do) and he can provide gunsmith services. I guess he is one in a million because he makes a ton of cash.
    He knows I buy and sell online and he welcomes me into his store and sends me referrals
    when he is snowed under. I can shop all over the U.S. and if I don’t have a lead I will find one for my customer. I have to be a super salesman to make customers happy and wanting to come back.
    Apple sold through venders who promised to sell X amount of products or they lost their license. (Apple is made in China) then Apple started selling in their own online stores and cut out the middle man. Walmart builds in cities everywhere and where do the brick and mortor stores go. They go out of business because they can’t compete with a giant retailer who buys from china and gets it shipped on the biggest ships in the world who go back to China empty because they have so much profit. Where is our governments trade relations?
    Ebay has been doing the google thing for many years, the only items that can be sold on ebay are firearm accessories. Try buying a firearm with paypal. If they find out you are buying a gun they will freeze funds. It is not just google it is the half time football announcer that is allowed to condemn firearm sales because some thug of a player shoots his girlfreind and then himself in front of his coaches. What has been said about not using google is right but the list goes farther than google.
    “Don’t Tread on Me”

    • Ricsplace December 10, 2012, 6:54 pm

      Mike, you know from whence it comes, so to your post, A Big AMEN !!!!

  • Ronhart December 10, 2012, 11:02 am

    Google creates a void in firearms advertising and more pro-gun entrepreneurs arise to provide us with new buying and trading opportunities. I use and which don’t require FFL dealer documentation as long as there is no interstate transfer of a firearm. If an interstate transfer is needed, the “mom and pop” gun shops will still get my business.

  • brian riggs December 10, 2012, 10:59 am

    i agree with most of your article, except the part about gun shop mark up. most of the gun shops i have seen run about a 30% mark up, which is why i will never support them. i will only use them to look at guns, and get a feel for if i like a gun, then i will go the the local gun show and but the same gun for about $100.00 less. the shops that i have been to are all liars, and cheats, but i guess that goes for most businesses in florida, as i had the same problem when i bought a harley a few years ago and they marked it up 30% over msrp

  • MikeA December 10, 2012, 10:51 am

    Your opinions are as old as this article. It must be nice to make a purchase without worrying about the price.

  • LG December 10, 2012, 10:46 am

    When they came for Ruby Ridge
    I said nothing I was not at Ruby Ridge

    When they came for Waco
    I said nothing I was not a Davidian

    When they came for Katrina
    I said nothing, I was not in New Orleans

    When they come for me
    There will be no one to say anything ….

  • Bad Dad December 10, 2012, 10:36 am

    I no longer go to an “stocking gun dealer” stores. Why not? Well, they just don’t have any interesting guns. What they have I can look at in a catalog. The interesting guns, the trade-ins, all get listed on the internet where they can get top dollar. Every stocking gun dealer I can think of within a 200 mile radius lists all the good stuff on auction sights. That also goes for bullet moulds, barrels, grips, stocks and any other collectable stuff they get their hands on. Why should I waste my time driving hundreds of miles to see stuff I can look at in a catalog?? I only go to gunshows these days. I can buy Garands, ’03s, contender barrels, and lots of other stuff that is not on the shelves of my local gunshop because he sold it to somebody in California or New Jersey for more money than it will bring in our local market. Ya, he made the quick big buck, but at what cost to him. When he has to close his doors maybe he will figure it out.

  • Roger December 10, 2012, 9:48 am

    Well if there is a minimum price, then should there be a maximum price? Either you want the free market or you don’t. Buying magazines after the crime bill went into affect cost me double. Try to buy certain Kel-Tec products for example (KSG, RFB, PMR) or for that matter any other “hot” gun and get it for retail not going to happen when the dealers get an extra $200-$500 per gun. When things work for the dealer they are all for the free market when it works the other way they are all against it. There are probably some dealers who have set standards and obide by them, but many will gouge a customer on a short supply item as well as whine about low internet prices. Find a good dealer who “shoots straight” with you and can provide real information that may not be on the internet, and prices fair across the board.

  • Kitchentable December 10, 2012, 8:15 am

    Talk about “spin”. You’ve managed to go on and on about how a giant of the internet banning gun shopping and that driving up prices of guns to Joe Consumer is a good thing for 2nd amendment fredom!? Man, get a grip! Any gunshop can sell their wares on the internet just as well as your so-called “bottom feeders”. I’m supposed to feel sorry for some dinosaur because they won’t join the modern world and use what is available to them for sales? All buisness adapts to changing conditions and the times or it fails. Higher prices to the consumer is a good thing!? Sounds like you should go to work for Barack and Hillary to me.

  • John December 10, 2012, 8:03 am

    If a dealer that accepts your internet purchase for a $25 fee cannot survive, he needs to find another line of work.
    He is receiving $25 for some of his time, there is no additional overhead or costs that he does not already have.
    The $25 is essentially free money. he just made $25 for not having to invest any of his own money on inventory.

    Dealers now a days are just getting some sort of strange ideas in their heads.
    I recently sold a handgun and met the buyer at the shop he uses, a place fairly close that I had never been to.
    The place charged him $40 for the transfer here in PA.
    Most any other dealer does private transfers for $20-$25 here.
    Needless to say, I’ll never again walk into that place.

    What’s the article talking about with the $60-$300 NICS fee?
    Here in PA, it is a per call fee, no annual fee is paid.
    You make a call and every 14 days you submit payment for the calls made.

    Does it suck for a dealer to not sell a gun because the customer bought on from the internet?
    But when a dealer does not stock something someone wants especially when talking used what’s the customer to do?

    In the good old days, you browsed Shotgun News. What did you do if you wanted a gun from there?
    Yep, had it shipped to a dealer.
    Same difference, just on a much larger scale.
    How about when you buy from a local trader paper?
    Does GA think that’s bad for shops also?
    What about the private sellers at gunshows that have to use a dealer for transfers?
    Does GA think gunshows are bad ideas that hurt dealers?

    That all said, I rarely buy over the internet, I have a good supply of local dealers where I can find pretty much anything I want, but to harp on people that are buying from the internet and still paying the dealer pure profit money for the transfer is comical.

    I also find this article amusing on another front, GunsAmerica sells guns over the internet, right?

  • Tom C. December 10, 2012, 7:52 am

    This problem depends on where you live. If I wanted to buy a Kimber rifle for example I would be out of luck unless I was willing to drive 200 miles or so. Of course I may be able to order one from a local dealer but I would not be able to see it before I bought it. I want to see a rifle before I spend a ton of money on it. Nice wood is a large part of the decision making process for me. I can do that when ordering from the internet. Thinking you are going to save a bundle of money when buying off the internet simply is not true. I have bought rifles off the local market and sold them at a later date on the internet for a large profit. It comes back to supply and demand. What is in demand is determined by where you live. What the internet does do is allow customers to find firearms on the internet they can not find locally. I see rifles on the internet I would never see in a gun shop locally. I have bought every gun off the internet from a licensed store front dealer. I see nothing wrong with shopping on the internet. Time for dealers to quit whining and change with the times.

  • Jimbo December 10, 2012, 6:55 am

    I got disinterested in reading this article after a few paragraphs. What’s he talking about? Sounds like he is criticising gun buyers for trying to find the right gun at a reasonable price. I live in New York State. We have to itemize internet or mail order purchases over $1000 and pay sales tax on them. Since most of my gun purchases have been over $1000, there is no advantage in going to the internet for a gun. Yet this is how I find most of my guns. Why? I go to a local dealer who stocks guns. He tries to steer me to a brand or model I don’t want. He tries to sell me features I don’t want. He’s vague about pricing, just like car dealers. He says he’s going to order the make and model I want. I offer a deposit, but he says he doesn’t need it. So I wait for the gun to arrive… Weeks go buy, and I keep calling. Finally, he says he’s not going to order the gun. I should be buying the brand he HE likes. According to him, it is “just the same”, or so much better.

    So I’ve taken to finding my guns at Guns America, Gun Broker, Guns International, or Cabelas, and I have them transferred through a guy who doesn’t stock guns and charges me $25 for a transfer.

    Oh,… I think there is probably more than enough profit margin on guns. Just buy a good SxS or premium O/U shotgun! I don’t know what some of these guys (internet or “brick and mortar”) base their prices on. I see 10 year old used guns with dings and scratches being sold for 95% of the price of the same new, warrantied gun. They’ll auction the same gun over and over for YEARS at the same price. That must cost something! You’d think they’d catch on to the fact that there are no buyers who want the gun at that price! Most gun dealers are already asking for a 3% markup on credit card puchases, while other merchants charge no fee.

  • Aubrey Nabb December 10, 2012, 6:21 am

    Gonna ban guns–but will allow pervert ads–really neat outfit. Don’t see a need to use google anymore.

  • jyork December 10, 2012, 5:57 am

    I personally purchase my weapons from my local FFL dealer. First reason, local purchase helps local attempting to earn a living and support a family. Second reason, establishing a rapport with the local dealer ensures I will always have a steady source of professional information in regards to firearms and a rapid resolution if any problems occur with a purchase (hasn’t happened to this point). If the licensed FFLs upped their transfer fees to match the in store competitive pricing, then maybe the internet entrepreneurs would have to open legitimate storefront FFLs businesses or find another way to use the internet. Common sense, in todays economy, says a person will take a chance on an internet purchase but as I said, I prefer my local dealer.

  • jimmy groover November 30, 2012, 12:32 pm

    great article.i have survived 25+ years in the firearms business and have witnessed the changes you have written any ffl that has been through an atf compliance and still does transfers for 20-30$ is beyond sense common or otherwise.the manufacturers do not care one bit about stocking dealers and never have..we are just a layer between them and atf lawyers etc.i make more money off a small pawn business than the 1000+ firearms i sell every year.internet sales have 0 atf contact because they never physically have the firearm.the dumbass that transfers it will. a week long atf audit by three inspectors will give you a new outlook on easy fees if you are really in one dealer said if you are not there to make money then you must enjoy abuse from some of the most clueless people on earth. thanks for putting this out there. jimmy

    • John December 10, 2012, 8:31 am

      Not every internet seller is a drop shipper like Buds.
      Some are private sellers and some are brick and mortar gun shops and many are pawn shops just like you.

      Doing 10 $25 transfers a week may seem like chump change to you, but to other dealers it gets guys in the door and nets them $250 in pure profit they otherwise wouldn’t have made.
      The guy comes in and may become a potential future customer, may buy some ammo, a holster or a scope while there.

      Using your logic, any money advertising is a waste. I say that doing internet transfers and taking the guys money is the best advertising, the customer is paying you and you still get them in the shop.

      • Ricsplace December 10, 2012, 6:37 pm

        You hit the nail on the head. I recently was in search of an old J.C. Higgins 12 GA. pump that was similar to the one my dad bought for me back in 1960 when I just got into High School so I could go bird hunting with him up in Washington state. None of my local gun shops had this gun in stock. So, what did I do? I went online and after a few weeks, I found it on one of the auctions sites. I won the auction and had it delivered to the local gun shop with the lowest FFL charge. I had a choice of FFL charges of $60, $45 and $25. I of course (I guess I am a ‘bottom feeder’) choose the $25, at a shop I had never been too. To end the story quickly, I picked up the gun, bought a shotgun case from them, made new friends and am going back for ammo when they get their new stock in.

  • Joe November 3, 2012, 1:55 am

    How can you spout defending the second amendment and liberal bs about leveling the playing field for sellers in the same breath. “I like guns, but not freedom in the market.” If someone wants to make a bulk purchase and sell under msrp, how is that bad. More people buy guns because they are cheap, more guns get made because more people buy guns and more people get jobs making guns to keep up with demand. I don’t see a down side unless your a greedy gun dealer who won’t part with his or her huge margin. Joe M. hit the nail on the head. adapt or get out of the way. Thats the way its been and it worked great until people decided that it wasn’t fair that people who weren’t as smart or hard working didn’t make it. I bet you think they shouldn’t keep score at kids sports events either.

  • Joe McHugh September 4, 2012, 7:39 pm

    Paul, nobody said that competition is easy. However, competition is good for everyone, the manufacturer, retailer and customer. All of these parties know in their hearts that this concept can be easily proven. The manufacturer must continually improve or change his products or other manufacturers will replace him. The retailer must offer the best value for the customer’s dollar or other retailers will replace him. The customer must search for the best value or he will be wasting his money needlessly.
    If the manufacturer and the retailers fail to find a way to compete they need to find other endeavors. Calling certain people “bottom feeders” will be of little consolation when you lose your business because you could not adjust to reality. The sooner people understand that competition is a good thing the sooner they will have the chance to prosper.
    Monopolies are the European model. Government monopolies are the Marxist model. If the Mom and Pop businesses can’t adapt, they will not be good role models for their kids.

  • supreme hats cheap August 17, 2012, 9:28 pm

    I was very pleased to find this site. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoyed every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out the new stuff you post.
    designed with simple and elegance style which will highlight your noble qualities,this leather one is very suit for the city white collars! Enjoy the online.supreme hats
    Also you can see the discount bag here, are slide pockets and large zip pocket inside features dual multipurpose.

  • Shoal Creek August 17, 2012, 12:27 pm

    In my area, I have found that the local gun shops actually beat internet prices by a good amount. Most brand new Remington Model 700’s are locally priced $100-$200 less than many online sites, and about equivalent price to used 700’s on gun auction sites. I picked up a brand new Savage 111 that was made 2 years ago. Because it had been sitting on a store shelf for those two years, I got it at a clearance price that was 45% of its original retail and less than 40% of Savage’s MSRP. I was seeing used 20-year old Savage 110’s in local classifieds that cost more. Also, if I buy a gun locally, I often get tons of benefits, such as custom cutting the stock to a length I like, a high quality recoil pad that looks like it belongs on the gun, and even custom made detachable magazines that hold as many rounds as I like–all for a lot less than I can get them online.

    I have a brother (in another state) that is a gunsmith and custom gun maker. He sells mostly online. His niche is the high-end custom sporting and hunting market. His prices are approximately 4-5 times higher than the local gun shops; however, the quality of his guns are much higher and, in his niche, his prices and quality still beat the competition.

  • Jim July 28, 2012, 4:22 pm

    We are one of the so called bottom feeder dealers I guess. We stock a small amount of inventory but most items we let the distributors stock for us and sell at lower prices. We also have a manufacturers license and our builds are the same quality as anyone else puts out for 1/3 to 1/2 less. We still make a decent profit and sell more guns. Transfers? Bring em on, I will fill out paperwork and make phone calls all day long for $20.00 a pop. OUr customers know this and will ask for a quote on a gun before ordering somewhere else. If we can’t beat the price then it’s because they have found a somebody selling below cost and we will still make some $$$ on the transfer.
    Google? Screw em. They kicked us out of the system last year and we could care less. There are tons of online selling services out there and we will spend our ad dollars with them. We don’t need some limp d**k do good pansy in CA passing judgment on the products we sell anyway.

  • Jim July 25, 2012, 5:50 am

    Not to get into the concept of price fixing, but what is a fair price for a transfer? Seriously, I hope to get my FFL in about two more weeks, and I want to know. I guess as to the other parts of your description I will be a bottom feeder. But, if you will tell me how you come up with a fair transfer fee I will try my best to abide by it. I do agree with you about the MAP thing. It appears to me that by your description, the country was built and defended by a lot of bottom feeders. Many people start out on a shoestring without an inventory in a home business. You make it sound bad if you are not one of the ones that Obama said would not make it without government help. I am serious though is a fair transfer fee.

    • Robert December 10, 2012, 7:21 am

      Really? Call 5 in your area. Here it’s $25 at an FFL guys garage, and $45 for most others. I called.

  • DIYinSTL July 24, 2012, 1:42 pm

    Another way to look at this, Paul, is if Glock can manufacture their pistol for under a hundred bucks why don’t you feel cheated when you have to pay well north of $500? And with demand so high, the internet is frequently the only place to find a mid-quality piece. (Like when no major store stocked the P220 Carry SAS GEN 2 that I wanted but found a used one on

  • Captain America July 24, 2012, 3:28 am

    If you buy anything that requires your name being put on a govt list you are a fool peroid.

  • Chris July 23, 2012, 6:55 am

    This whole internet vs local argument reminds me of how it was when we still made products here and were just starting to see China enter our market. Then (and now) people started going with the lowest price instead of paying a bit more for a local shop. What has that gotten us?

    Sorry but I’ll support the pop shops over an online sale any day because I can actually go there and talk to someone. If a gun needs service they can do it or recommend someone who will do it well.

    Back to the original point. Google banning guns in market has no effect on the 2nd Amendment rights (which was originally only meant to allow rifles in case of a need for a civilian militia to defend the country). I’m a gun owner, tend to have more liberal beliefs and also tend to vote democrat. Time to stop being swayed by savvy politicians who use fear to get what THEY want, never what WE want or deserve. (holds true for Democrat and GOP alike).

  • Richard Head July 19, 2012, 6:23 am

    If you have cable or satellite service and you’re not going to use Google because of they don’t list firearms in Google Shopping now, then go cancel your TV service, go put your face into a corner and think about what you are doing wrong, because Time Warner is very much anti-2A.

  • supreme hats cheap July 18, 2012, 4:49 am

    Your Blog is very good, I like it! Thank you for you sharing!Your blog is really helps for my search and i really like it.I just cant stop reading this. Its so cool, so full of information that I just didn’t know.

  • supreme fitted hats July 17, 2012, 5:09 am

    Happiness depends on our attitudes to life,Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing. I like the information you provide.

  • Gadalf July 15, 2012, 6:17 am

    Oh, those hard working little mom & pop stores, huh. Well, some are and some aren’t. Some are just as sketchy as what you call “bottom feeders. Take here in Honolulu, PRH (that’s the People’s Republic of Hawaii) for the uninitiated. One of those mom & pop stores you so rave about won’t even do transfers (they just push whatever they have in stock or on display; usually, a lot of used consignment guns). They’ll special order for you, but they’re obviously not thrilled about it. As for the other outfit, it’s principal owner is on his way to the local federal country club for tax evasion. But, who cares. He was a big blowhard who wouldn’t go the extra inch for a customer, let alone a mile. If you didn’t like what he was selling and wanted something else, he would simply berate your opinion and move on to one of his cop buddies or the next poor schmuck who wandered in no knowing what he was in for. Thanks, but if a local stocking dealer has what I want and is willing to take the time to talk with me about it…or, maybe special order or do a transfer for me…I mean, I am supposed to be the customer, right? I’m supposed to be receiving some service if you want the sale, right?…then, I’ll go with that dealer. If they’re no that interested in taking care of my needs, then, also fine. I’ll go to the Internet, or whereever else I’ll be treated honestly and decently. I’ve got news for you; whether you sell guns or golf balls, ammo or anti-freeze; if you want my business, you’d better get up, dress up, and show up with the products sevices and proper customer respect that I and all the buying public demand and deserve!

  • Sevenstizzle July 12, 2012, 5:52 pm

    I buy my guns online and locally, bought my socom 16 from buds for 1490.00 plus 20$ transfer fee free shipping
    My lgs had the same weapon for 1699.00 plus tax no bs why would I buy it from there?
    There is just no reason. I too do not understand the logic behind this article. And yes I was in my boxers at midnight when I did so, and?. Why should I feel bad for that. This whole article is on some goofy shit.

  • Larry July 12, 2012, 5:42 pm

    Firstly, I recently purchased a PPS 43C for just over $300.00 online whereas, one of my “favorite” gun shops had the EXACT SAME firearm for over $800.00. So, I am absolutely non-apologetic about my purchase/savings! That being said, I do purchase other items from said gun shop but will NOT let them take advantage of me as with said purchase of the PPS 43C.

    Secondly, could/would anyone be gracious enough to send me some web-sites that are known to them that happen to sell ammo at rather “affordable” prices? I PROMISE that I would be MOST grateful!

  • Ed July 11, 2012, 1:44 am

    I’m interested in using the “bottom feeder” internet business model as a stepping stone to becoming a stocking dealer. Why are you hatin’ ? Don’t we need both types to further the best interests of our 2nd amendment?

  • FreedomFirst July 10, 2012, 11:15 pm

    If people at my local gun stores weren’t such jackasses, I’d consider paying a little more and buying from them. Too bad they are, so I order online and ship to a local pawn shop that has a FFL (but very few guns themselves).

  • C.B. July 10, 2012, 10:41 pm

    I was just on Google and they have guns guns and more guns for sale
    Whats going on

  • Aronk76 July 10, 2012, 7:57 pm

    The logic behind this entire article is full of S#!t. In my area most guns shops are overpriced or don’t carry the particular item I am looking for. I will simply find the best price online and order from them, if necessary I with have my local shop do the FFL transfer. By the author’s logic it should be illegal to load your own ammunition because your local shop/manufacture is losing money on the ammunition sales.

  • Jeremiah July 10, 2012, 7:20 pm

    The one issue I have with your article is this. You can buy items under MAP on a semi regular basis. Amazon even sells TV’s and such for under MAP, they simply require you to put the item in your cart to see the price. While I agree with your premise, I think you are also missing something. Anyone that thinks a store like Bass pro should be allowed to sell a firearm for 100$ more than anyone else is not someone I trust. With internet sales becoming harder to come across (although your site and Gunbroker are not actually going anywhere), the consumer, especially the new consumer is at the mercy of those stores that are over charging. I can think of more than one person that bought a rifle at a Bass Pro or a Cabella’s and then found out that they could have gotten it much cheaper somewhere else (like walmart, or a hole in the wall local store, or the internet) and was so upset it soured them to the whole experience. Just some food for thought.

  • MIKE July 10, 2012, 6:15 pm

    I’m a third generation owner, we’ve been in business since 1953 — sold guns prior to 1968 and still continue to sell guns — the customer is the life blood of our business, it is our responsibility to be price competitive and it is our business to service our customers and let them know that we appreciate their business — that means that sometimes profits are high and sometimes profits are low but as long as we let our customers know that we appreciate their patronage we will be here as long as we desire. I think that’s about the bottom line and the essence of success — I spend my hard earned money where i’m appreciated and get good customer service therefore I figure folks do the same.

  • ted July 10, 2012, 3:07 pm

    Ain’t it great to be a American. We the people have a choice to be or not to be. I choose to do what i want and that
    will maybe be use some other site other then Google. But i will never give up my guns or ammo with out a fight.
    When American Business people find out where their bread and butter is and what Americans want and don’t want.
    They might quit listening to the political correct crowd. Same bunch sending our jobs and kids jobs overseas.
    And we seem to fall for the same old same old bull crap every election time about what they are going to do for the Country. BULL!! Look and observe the past. Democrat and republican Both party’s take turns raping us and we take it with a smile. Guess what we deserve everything we get. WAKE UP AMERICANS or some day you or your children may not. We The People still have time to change back to the country we love and respected. And by the way when was the last time you saw a poor or middle class person able to even run for President? Try to register and see how fast they laugh you out of the office. GOD BLESS AMERICA whats left. Patriot

  • JM July 10, 2012, 9:19 am

    The writer of this article seems to be living in a time warp. To deride internet sellers and call them “bottom feeders” is like a local hardware store calling Home Depot and Lowe’s bottom feeders. (I patronize all three.) The internet is a legitimate sales channel, just as much as bricks-and-mortar. Having said that, I do prefer, when possible, to buy from my LGS, simply because I like to see exactly what I am getting in terms of finish, trigger pull, etc. And I’ve found some LGS’s around here that are reasonble in their prices. (I’ll pay a few bucks more for the privilege of seeing the gun before I buy it.) But for a used item, or a rare item, or simply if there is a great deal out there, I’ll use the internet. There’s room for both sales channels, and neither one is “better” or more deserving than the other. BTW, for what it’s worth – I rarely patronize Gunsamerica, because I’ve found that the merchants on that site are generally overpriced compared to merchants on other sites like Gunbroker. But I do like the blog!!!

  • Doug July 10, 2012, 9:13 am

    Bottom feeders? Really? How about market leaders and free thinkers?

    The ‘marketplace’ is evolving and not just the firearms marketplace.

    Your article is like a plea to abandon the automobile and stick with horses because the buggy whip industry is in trouble.

    The stocking dealers need to become more efficient and competitive to compete on the open market. Your restricted distribution chain idea is as anti-american as Google’s restrictive ‘shopping’ list.

  • Don July 10, 2012, 8:57 am

    When I became interested in shooting back in 2008 I went looking for a gun dealer. I found a small local store and attempted to get to know the staff. I asked them for recommendations on where to shoot and was told that they know someone at a local police department. They weren’t offering to let me join them, so I asked if they could recommend anyplace else. They mentioned the name of one place, but had no details to offer.

    I looked at the 30 handguns they had on display, but found nothing of interest. I had something in mind, so I asked if they could order it. I was told that I would be better off ordering online and they would do the transfer. I never again attempted to purchase a gun from them, but I did several transfers. Despite my repeated visits, I never felt like they cared to have me as a customer. I eventually went elsewhere when they raised the transfer fee. I just didn’t feel like they deserved any further support from me.

  • jay July 10, 2012, 7:43 am

    Infowars gets it right more than most.You people are asleep.go ahead and vote for your Savior Mittens Romney.He will protect your guns and strike down Obama care……….yeah right.

    • Roy July 23, 2012, 1:11 pm

      Its not about voting for Romney, it’s about getting the current administration out of office whom are systematically chipping away at our personal, religious, and constitutional rights and freedoms! Who is asleep here?

  • Denali Dan July 10, 2012, 3:19 am

    I am a disabled Vietnam Veteran, believe in God and my Constitution. I have never purchased a gun on the internet. I have looked at a few used guns to get a feel for the price, and have checked MSRP where available from distributors. I prefer to feel the weapon in my hands and see the craftsmanship, or lack there of, for myself. If my dealer says he can get me a deal by pre-ordering, it works for me and the dealer. I have in the past experienced a dealer that was as high as $1000.00 over MSRP!!! I have also found a dealer that was located in multiple states, Alaska being one, and the cost of shipping to Alaska??? $250.00!!! I can ship one through UPS or USPS for $50.00 including insurance when an FFL is not required. I purchased the gun at the cheaper of the two store fronts, but still a stocking dealer. I might have been able to find a better deal on the internet but 100.00 – 200.00 in fees for the transfer and shipping just isn’t worth it to me.
    It is Google’s right to refuse ads for guns and accessories, and it is my right to use someone else if I feel the need.

  • Kenton July 10, 2012, 1:31 am

    This article reads like a political piece where facts don’t matter. Why is it wrong for the government to force you to buy health insurance but okay for them to force you to buy guns through dealers??? The answer is not black and white for either of them but many shades of gray!

  • jason July 10, 2012, 1:26 am

    Type “Glock” into bing and click on the shopping tab. Guess what? I just dumped google and switched to bing.

  • DrJerry July 10, 2012, 12:27 am

    Well the article has me convinced. I will buy from dealers and not off of some web auction site like GunsAmerica! Besides, the last gun I bought from GunsAmerica was listed as new and turned out to be used when I contacted the manufacturer. I guess I was dealing with one of those bottom feeders the article talked about . . . wait, come to think of it, the dealer also had a store . . . hmmm, not sure where to go now.

  • Ken July 9, 2012, 9:10 pm

    Funny thing google has not have their sorry asses fined off. It was their sales rep who set the middle east on fire. He used company facilities to set about the overthrow of a country friendly to the US. The only reason they would not want us to have guns is so we can easily be overthrown. Go back to a Nova special and see what they said about policing themselves. They had too much 4 years ago, now they are way too powerful.

  • J Spence July 9, 2012, 8:06 pm

    As a small firearms dealer in a rural county of TN I have found that most buy off the internet for one of two reasons. Reason 1. Can’t buy it anywhere else as the large volume dealers get the “pick” of whats new and allocated to the sales reps of the wholesalers. Reason 2. Avoiding State Sales tax (which is a violation of state law in TN), I do transfers for a fee $25 per firearm plus $10 background check. I also make it very clear its state law that they declare their internet purchase AND pay TAXES on it. I don’t like taxes anymore than the next person but will not break the law to avoid paying them. I’ve had more than one case in which a “savy” internet buyer could have bought the same weapon from my shop, and paid the taxes, for less than what they spent on the internet. Auctions have a way of “sucking” people in who think they have to have something at that particular moment. In reality it actually takes 1to 2 weeks longer to get that prized firearm than if you just come by and let me order it for you (all wholesalers ship 2nd day air and have a copy of my FFL on file). Don’t get me wrong as I have bought and sold firearms on Gunbroker and the old AuctionArms, but they are collectibles that can’t just be “picked up” anywhere or collectibles that are traded in that will not sell in my marketing area. One last thing, BATF does monitor internet sales and, based on my dicussions about internet sales with them, are not fond of them at all…..just sayin……

  • Jonathon July 9, 2012, 7:19 pm

    Articles like this hurt the Second Amendment (SA) cause by separating SA supporters into camps. You only need to skim the comments on this page to see how divided we are on this subject. I, for one, believe this article to be attempting to coat-tail a popular news story to further its own highly-opinionated/poorly-researched opinion… and I feel it does so in a way that is very anti-American.

    Why? Because it is our responsibility as the voting public to uphold our rights. This doesn’t stop at the SA. It also goes on to the rights of corporations like Google. It is their freedom to choose which products they want to feature in their ads and shopping listings. We should be celebrating this freedom, not condemning it. The more we attempt to regulate corporate freedoms, the more we open ourselves to being regulated. That sort of thing doesn’t belong in a democratic society. Move to a communist state.

    Of course we don’t have to take a government approach to changing Google’s policies. Nor do we have to like the choices that Google makes.

    I’d never, even if I had the power, force anyone to like or use Google. By all means, switch your search engine, know and use your privacy options, switch browsers, use proxies, buy Google stock and vote in their elections, and cut into Google’s bottom line by installing ad blocking plugins and blocking ad servers’ IP addresses. Don’t forget to tell Google why you refuse to use their services.

    But before (or while) you do, it may help to be informed. This article mostly spouts opinions and didn’t bother to do five minutes of research or otherwise provide references or positive alternatives to what it opines as problematic.

    This article and some responders confuses correlation with causation. Some have looked at the fact that Google isn’t allowing gun ads and the fact that they’re based in Silicon Valley and have assumed some sort of anti-gun, liberal agenda is going on behind the scenes. Yet nobody has researched Google’s reasonings behind not offering gun shopping listings.

    Here it is, straight from Google: “We’ve created this policy to comply with legal regulations.” —

    Need proof? Visit Italy or Germany’s version of Google ( and, respectively) and you’ll find that Google Shopping offers gun listings there. Try it at Greece’s Google and you’ll find that they don’t offer any shopping at all.

    So what we’re looking at is not some liberal agenda, but regional red tape. The ATF makes it difficult to sell guns online and Google has decided not to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars on lawyers to get the licensing and protection they’d require in order to list guns. Again, that’s their freedom to choose. Again, if you don’t like it when someone exercises their freedom of choice then move to another country.

    It’s the same reason why not every gun store offers silencers or fully automatic guns. It takes time, money, and lawyers to cut through the red tape and offer such good and services. Likewise, I could get a pint of Guinness with my McNuggets in Ireland, but can’t get any Jack Daniels at a drive-thru here in the States. We have stricter alcohol regulations here in the US.

    My advice: stop complaining about Google in ways that divide us. Start raising awareness of ATF regulations, vote for change, or move to a more gun-friendly country.

    GunsAmerica shouldn’t write articles like these. It is obviously dividing SA supporters into pro- and anti-internet camps. We need to unite, not find divisions in our own ranks. Our opinions will differ from time to time, and that is part of what makes American so great, so it’s best that we carry some level of tolerance. This Google crap and internet complaining are battles that GunsAmerica would have best left untouched. It doesn’t make or break the SA.

    As for online shopping as a whole, I will always go for the shop with the most value. Sometimes “value” means talking to a friendly sales rep at a brick and mortar store or being able to walk down the street and own a product the same day. Sometimes that means going with cheap online prices, despite the risk of maybe needing to return a product. I’ll always put my hard-earned dollars towards one shopping venue at a time. Only one place wins, depending on my needs. All the others lose. This is nothing new. Gun retailers are just going to have to get over it. The internet has affected all industries, even service industries, this way and those that adapt survive. This isn’t an affront to the SA, it’s just the best and worst of good ole American free market consumerism.

  • we the people July 9, 2012, 6:02 pm

    I love those bottom feeders haven’t bought a firearm in a local shop in 2 years last time I was in a local gun a customer said to the owner hey since I spent twenty five hundred dollars with ya can you give me a break on some ammo the owner said no without a hesatation. That was it all done for me! Paul Helinsky your a long winded blow hard. BIG STOCK GUN SHOPE FORGOT THE I’m gonna continue to find the best deals for ME! Its funny that artical was posted here on G.A. HAAA! Where anyone can sell a firearm.But remember folks your not a 2nd ammendment supporter if you don’t pay the most you can for your firearms whatever!

  • Joey July 9, 2012, 5:17 pm

    Google doesn’t take their own medicine. They’ve long banned Adwords on sites that cover firearms or firearm-related subjects — which includes most any outdoor sporting site. They also ban outdoor store advertising — even mainstream outdoor brick-and-mortar stores like Academy, Dick’s, Cabelas, or Bass Pro. However, if you note the Adwords that appear on Google sites (like Gmail), you’ll see loads of firearm related ads. So — it’s okay for Google to do it, but not okay for you to do it.

  • Reata July 9, 2012, 5:00 pm

    So, decreasing competition is good for consumers, and industry? Really? It sounds like the writer is absent minded when it comes to simple economics. Gu-s Ameri-a just took a back seat to Gunbroker, and Auction Arms. We should all buy a gun this week from one of them. Did you guys really think this through before it went to print? The gun industry has boomed here in Texas for the last five years, locally and on the web. I think the writer works for The White House. Oh, and we should all have to pay the same price for fuel, no matter where we live. No competition. Its bad for all of us.

  • Maine Concealed Carry Class July 9, 2012, 3:47 pm

    well the point here could be made about censorship to slowly widdle away at the 2nd?

  • Pete July 9, 2012, 3:39 pm

    I agree with your comment about being forced to buy something, but with one exception. If we want / expect the freedom NOT to have to buy health care insurance, then we must expect that when we are sick, that we are ready, willing and able to pay the full cost of our health care. And the law needs to be set up that way – that people without insurance, who can not pay up front – are turned away. Federal law currently forces hospitals that accept Medicare / Medicaid patients to treat emergency room patients regardless of ability to pay. The consequences of the way we did things – before the Afordable Health Care Act, is that the cost of non-paying patients is passed on in the form of higher treatment cost rates for people who can afford to pay and have insurance.

    So basically, your freedom not to insure results in people who have the money for health care and are covered by insurance – paying for your health care. Now tell me how that is fair? Why should your freedom not to insure take away my freedom not to have to pay your health care bills? All I can say is that there are a lot of dumb people out there, or maybe they just don’t give a darn – because it should be pretty obvious what happens when you refuse to pay.

    Some people can’t afford health care insurance, but the ones that can and choose not to, are as Justice Scalia says – gaming the system. Well I am sick and tired of having my insurance premiums jacked up sky high because people choose not to insure.

    So you think it is your right not to insure? Fine, just pay your costs, or pray for healing when you or your family get sick – but don’t you dare seek out free health care at an emergency room or any place else – because it costs me money and you are violating my freedom NOT to have to pay your bills!

    Any body with half a brain understands that health insurance costs will be lower, the larger the pool of people with insurance. You give up being individually responsible for only your own bills (which you never really were because uninsured people get treatment and you pay for it through your premiums), but you gain lower insurance premiums. But this only works if people can not get away with gaming the system. All it requires is that insurance companies be forced to pay the vast bulk of premiums for health care costs of their customers – and this is what the AHA does.

    • WP July 9, 2012, 7:39 pm

      Hmm… I think you are missing one fine point: This isn’t a question of health care this is a question of economic freedom. If the government can force you to buy health care they can force you to buy whatever they want. The house industry is in a slump? Guess your buying a house. Tax payers just bailed our GM? Your buying a new car. Solyndra goes under taking half a billion dollars with them? Your buying solar panels to keep them afloat.

      If the government can tax you to force you to commit an act, you are no longer free. I would even take it one step further and say the general lawlessness of this administration is terrible. Choosing not to enforce laws (immigration and DOMA) just because you do not like them is outside the purview of the Executive branch. The Executive branch – execute is write there in the name. They don’t make the laws they enforce them. Personally, I can’t wait until a President of the United States realizes s/he can throw away all tax laws by simply not enforcing them. That’ll be a day to see.

  • slfree July 9, 2012, 2:41 pm

    As so many before me have noted, this article is BS. (bacon sandwich) Lets hear it for the stocking dealer who charges me up the wazoo. Dealer prices are so out of touch with the real costs that they created the so called bottom dwellers. Just a reaction to being sold a lie.

  • July 9, 2012, 2:23 pm

    I read this and all I heard was wahhhhhhhhh!!!


  • John July 9, 2012, 2:23 pm

    What you did not mention is that Google also banned knives, and all gun accessories as well as anything they consider “Weapons”.

  • Tim July 9, 2012, 2:20 pm

    The idea that competition is bad for the firearm business is ridiculous. Firearms are just like other products. My best friend owns a retail business that sells electronic cigarettes. There is no way that he can compete with internet vendors on price. Instead, he competes on quality, convenience, and above all, customer service. As a result, he has a very profitable business. In ANY retail business, if you provide customers with value that they cannot get online, you will make money despite internet competition.
    The internet will not destroy our ability to buy guns. It will not force all gun shops out of business. In my area, gun shops have been expanding, not going out of business.

  • Randall July 9, 2012, 1:29 pm

    I am in full supprt of my local brick and mortar stores and I do buy from more than one dealer. I like to spread the wealth around. We are all looking for a good deal but at what price? I am fortunate to have a dealer who has better prices than Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shop ,Gander MT or any other chains.They also bet alot of the internet prices.
    I will only buy from the internet that my dealer can not get or is a hard to come-by item.
    Here is what I see if you only buy from the internet and the brick and mortar stores start failing and closing what will stop a law being passed that all internet sale would be banned.

    Everone wants a cheap price but at what cost? Look at all our jobs lost here because people want better prices so most everything that was manufactured here is now made in China. So now we wonder why there are no jobs!!

  • John July 9, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Biggest issue I have at least with the multiples of gun shops around me is that they all want you to pay MSRP or maybe $10 less than MSRP. I understand they need to make a profit, but not like that. I have found one good shop around me and if I need something, I always call them first. They don’t always have what I need and it takes me an hour to get there, but at least they don’t try to gouge you on the price.

  • AL, Orange Park FL July 9, 2012, 1:24 pm

    I’m with GunsAmerica, I reload and have to bump from one site to the next to the next to find what I want then I have to pay high shipping charges hazmat fees and wait 2 weeks to get the items I need/want. I’ve asked many a gun shop why no reloading gear and the same answer from EVERY one, can’t compeat with the internet!
    I go to look at a gun I want it then I look for scratches, the action is it clean or chopy, does the mag drop properly when released, does it load as it should etc etc. You can not do that on the internet you get what they send and if it doesn’t work as desired you send it back right, well gotta tell ya all the rig-a-ma-roll with “sending it back” is more than I’m willing to do. I buy from gun shops when EVER POSSIBLE, and if I had the money I’d own a shop and supply it with everything possible and advertise you’re not going to get it cheap but you’re going to get what you came for and all the supplies you need is right here. Period.
    The internet is changing folks and the government is behind those changes and will stop us all from having what we have vai the 2nd. Amendment. Shop at your local shop KEEP them in your area by supporting them with your purchases, like back in the 70’s and 80’s, with buy American, buy from your local shop.

  • will July 9, 2012, 1:21 pm

    I don’t see a problem with a FFL making money using the internet and having low overhead!!!!!!!!!!! That is supposed to be the American way. Not this Walmart , Gander Mountain box store Monopoly. Every American should be entitled to making a fair dollar and every American should get there moneys worth when buying a product! Allot of guns come with NRA sign up information , so the notion paying more at a gun store is protecting our rights is absurd. We are just paying there light bills and the Owners are getting rich while the employees make 10 dollars an hour. I think Guns America sounds like a bunch of whiners because there hands aren’t the only ones in the cookie jar!

  • Steve July 9, 2012, 1:02 pm

    Yeah… My concern is, take away any competition and let’s see what happens to the prices. Forget MAP. Let’s get it on with 30% or more mark-ups. Everybody is in business to make money. I never bought a gun online, but I use online pricing as a baseline whenever I make a purchase. Jeez I have to tell you, there are gun shops out there who treat you like a second rate citizen. So, smile at me and sell me a gun. Say, “Thank you and, we want to see you again.” Make me WANT to come to your store. Don’t be like most businesses and drive me to the internet.

    • will July 9, 2012, 1:26 pm

      You are exactly right!

    • Sarge22853 July 9, 2012, 6:11 pm

      Well said, and unfortunate as it might be, so true. Note: I have not shopped for anything using “goggle shopping,” nor do I intend to. I don’t have the answer, but goggle has the right to accomplish their business model as they see fit. I purchase mostly new weapons on line and used weapons at local “gun stores” and “mom and pop” operations. I also frequent “gun shows” (oh my). I pay the prices I think and find are reasonable to me (I refuse to get an FFL). Of course any “gun smithing” I do myself or have the gunsmithing done locally. I even re-load cetain calibers. I am sixty-six (66) years young and still a Marine … some folks say I’ll die that way, so be it. Nuf said.

  • Zzzoney64 July 9, 2012, 12:59 pm

    Whoever shows up to try and take my guns away, will be hunted and put six feet under, and I will not rest until I get to you nor will my friends. If you try to undermine my or my friends’ U.S. Constitutional rights, your compromising your ability to stay alive, because we are American Patriots and soldiers and will defend our rights by life as oath keepers. You have been warned, there will be no warning shots. Have shovels will travel.

  • Robin 'Roblimo' Miller July 9, 2012, 12:59 pm

    One thing transfer fees do is make it easier for local stocking dealers to compete on price. I own three firearms. One of them came from a chain store. I bought the other two from a local mom & pop (literally; owned by an old married couple) gunsmith and sales joint. On all three buys, the local over-the-counter price was less than the cheap-as-soil online price once you figured in shipping and and the FFL receiving fee.

    Also, please remember, if you’re one of the health-insurance whiners, that one of the first things the federal government REQUIRED you to purchase was a gun – check out the Militia Acts of 1792….

  • Jon July 9, 2012, 12:58 pm

    Very disappointing for a promoter of guns and rights would view Google’s new policy this way. Consumer’s drive demand. Multiple retailers of the same product compete for business which is always good for the consumer no matter how you try to spin it. Who are you to decide who should be able to buy and sell products to consumers? You knock a business model that just flat out makes more sense in today’s age and can keep operating margins low enough to pass the savings on to customers. As a retailer, I can see how it is much more beneficial to you. But, for you to try to defend why it’s so good for everyone, is just flat out dishonest.

  • kenyanaher July 9, 2012, 12:54 pm

    I would rather my local stocking dealer stay in buisness BUT, I refuse to put his kids through colege on my one gun sale. So, if he wishes to charge $100 or more over MSRP, fine I won’t be buying from him. That is why I look online. Just about all of those bigcity nerdy types are democrat subversive gungrabbers and all of those clowns that run google are those kinds.
    How can we avoid Google. That should be your next article for those of us who work at other things and don’t know as much about these intertubes.

  • Rico July 9, 2012, 12:48 pm

    I switched my home page to bing as soon as i read this

    He that is not with me is against me

  • Wolfman July 9, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Claifornia Liberal Politicians Know What Is Best For You. No Guns, No Ammo, No Long Knives, No Martial Arts Self Protection, We Create Laws To Protect You From Yourself

  • Len July 9, 2012, 12:27 pm

    “This has put the mom and pop stocking gun dealer in a very difficult situation. ”
    Again: an ugly head of protectionism… Farmers, ethanol producers, and … “mom and pop stocking gun dealers”…

  • Len July 9, 2012, 12:21 pm

    “Clinton era”??!! The “assault” weapon ban WAS DEVELOPED BY BUSH SENIOR!!

  • Lavan July 9, 2012, 11:54 am

    Enough economic chatter. It won’t be solved here. What COULD be solved here is finding a search engine that can outdo google. I’ve tried. I hate google but hate yahoo worse and yahoo mail is as porous as a sieve to hackers.
    Who ELSE uses dogpile? It looks pretty good but only damn google has the heuristics that REALLY WORK.

  • Wes July 9, 2012, 11:47 am

    What are you talking about when you say the FFL fee went from $30.00 to $600.00?? The fee to apply for an FFL is only $200.00 intially which includes the background check AND initial license fee for a three year license. Then renewal is $90.00 every three years to renew. How do I know? I have one and recently renewed. I guess I am a bottom feeder too since my transfer fees are half those of local stocking dealers, but since I am not in business to sell, but rather repair guns, I use it as a tool to establish relationships. The closest thing to a “mom and pop” operation around me is a local store that has been in business since the 50’s. They even wholesale to us “bottom feeders”. So I don’t think the 2-5 transfers I do per month is really hurting their business. They sometimes refer transfers to me which they don’t want to fool with.

  • steve July 9, 2012, 11:47 am

    I own a business and I sale locally in a brick and mortor and I sell over the internet. The internet is the way to go now. People like to shop at home. You can like it or not it just the way it is. You are going to follow the money if you want to stay in business.

  • Just1Spark July 9, 2012, 11:46 am

    I love to watch old hangers on try to stop evolution, and the mental gymnastics they use to try to explain why ‘getting further restricted is actually good for you’. lol

  • Len July 9, 2012, 11:45 am

    To the moron who wrote this article…
    Most gun shops don’t make there money selling guns. You talk about Bass Pro Shops? Hey buddy it’s a fishing store, the guns are an added bonus. Same thing with ALL major gun stores like Gander Mountain, Cabela’s, ect, ect, ect. I’m an ffl and I make my money on accessories. ALL of my guns are sold at dealer cost. Why do I do this? So people don’t have to pay an arm and a leg. The big picture here is if things keep going the way they are, noone but the rich will be able to afford firearms! There was a time that I dreamed of having a Weatherby accumark but I could never afford it becuase I had responsibilities to take care of. Well, today I have that accumark and I’m doing everything I can so that noone else has to be in that situation. How many of you out there have had your eyes set on on a firearm that you just can’t afford? Probably everyone at one time or another, but you have to pay bills, buy groceries, diappers and so on. It shouldn’t be like that! There was a time that guns were cheap like gas used to be, but we all see what happed to gas prices. Internet sales in my opinion is a great thing becuase it levelled the playing field. Now customers don’t have to worry about getting raped on prices at there local dealer. People shouldn’t have to drive 100 miles to get a good deal on gun to protect or feed there family. I’m a firm believer in own constitutional rights and I believe that EVERONE has the right to bear arms weather you’re rich or poor!!! To you dealers who are going under, lower your gun prices and make your money on your scopes, holsters, lasers and other accessories. Low gun prices will bring tons of customers into your store. It worked for me! Thanks

    • Randall July 9, 2012, 1:12 pm

      We have a store here that does that .They sell guns cheaper than Cabela’s or Bass Pro Shops.
      I limit myself to purchacing on line guns that I can not get at my local brick and mortar store .

  • yep July 9, 2012, 11:28 am

    This is the way it is. I don’t care who you are(that includes the author of this article). If you are a buyer you want the cheapest price possible and if you are the seller you want to get the highest price possible. The rest is BS, rich people don’t stay rich by paying to more than they have to and poor people need every extra dollar they can get.

  • joseph A July 9, 2012, 11:21 am

    I do support some of the local gun shops but some are nuts with there pricing. I do buy from the net dealers when looking locally and no one has or is willing to order a gun i am looking for or have it at above the list price (MSRP) , you know who you are, just because they feel it is some thing our group would like I do have a hard store that accepts transfers at a cheep rate for us but we support him with ammo bus and targets and anything else we can to keep him open. but i agree that google is a government pawn in this they have consistently tracked people from the beginning to see what we are doing, they suck !

  • Leslie July 9, 2012, 11:20 am

    Our online gun business is family owned and operated. The author probably lumps us in with “internet bottom feeders”, he has a right to his opinion but I feel that I must defend our business and others like us. We used Google shopping but only listed items we regularly stock. We deal in a lot of used guns but those were not listed in Google shopping because most did not have UPCs. We saw Google shopping as another outlet to get our name out there and to drive traffic to our website. We do also sell on Guns America and other auction sites for that same reason.

    I agree with other commenters that “stocking dealers” and brick and mortar stores need to come to terms with today’s retail environment. Remember also that many gun buyers don’t have a big gun store near them, have little time to shop and appreciate the 24/7 convenience of internet shopping. Also many customers are searching for items that are special orders in most stores anyway.

    I am upset by Google’s decision because it harms our business and the consumer. Google shopping was an easy way for gun buyers to compare prices and find new stores. I used it to check competitor’s prices.

    Today Google is banning guns from its shopping feature and Ads. What is to stop them from banning guns from their regular search? The “slippery slope” could end with no gun sales on the internet at all. And that would mean no more Guns America.

  • Average_Casey July 9, 2012, 10:53 am

    This article, like most of the gun industry forgot left handed people. Internet bottom feeders as you call them are typically the only way I can find left handed rifles because mom & pop stores don’t carry stuff for me because there are less of us and then often say something stupid like “just shoot right handed.” Google screwed me for finding rifles now. Also, Minimum Advertised Pricing is basically price fixing, which isn’t capitalism, it’s socialism companies just got their lawyers together to figure out how to do it legally. Last time I checked, competive markets were better for everyone, you get better products and better stores which is the way it should be. The good stores will stay in business, while the crappy ones die. Unless you think all stores should stay in business, including the ones that are operated by jerks.

  • Dennis July 9, 2012, 10:52 am

    I appreciate your position and somewhat agree, but I have to comment that you weaken your whole postion when you talk about “the foundation of all our Constitutional freedoms”, yet in the same sentence seemingly bow to the pressures of the politically correct when you don’t spell out the word God…this very much weakens your personal convictions in my mind.

    • J July 9, 2012, 12:11 pm

      LOL @ people who get butt hurt over this god thing.

  • WP July 9, 2012, 10:45 am

    Maybe I misread the article but I don’t think the article called any customer of a gun shop an “internet bottom feeder”. I believe the article was referring to the dealers who sell firearms for cut rate prices as “internet bottom feeder”. So to all the customers getting offended please consider re-reading the article.

    • Administrator July 9, 2012, 10:58 am

      There is always a noise floor of prozac fueled confusion amount internet commenters. We let them through sometimes in hopes that someone will point their bumbleheaded ways to them. thanks.

      • Jon July 9, 2012, 1:47 pm


  • Amazed101-506 July 9, 2012, 10:31 am

    I’m a bottom feeder too. My local shops either have crap for selection, are rude and know nothing about what they sell, or want WAY too much money for something. One particular store here in Colorado is a big outfit, not a national chain by any stretch, but quite a large store none the less. Anyway, they have a lot of guns. Real nice stuff from the low end all the way to Les Bear and Wilson combat quality items. Their prices however? Entirely too damned high, and they’re rude to boot. Times are tough man, and if I manage to save enough nickels to get a new toy I need the best deal I can find. I consider myself to be thrifty, and disciplined. I’m not 12 with allowance burning in my pocket and buying the first thing i see regardless of it’s price. If I’m an internet bottom feeder, than so be it.

    • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:54 pm

      The article is not talking about buyers.

  • David July 9, 2012, 10:05 am

    I live most of the time in an area that doesn’t even allow a firearm to be discharged (The Florida Keys) and we only have 3 “real” gun shops in a 160 miles and only 1 (Key West) very expensive, highly restrictive indoor range. Luckily for a long time gun collector (55+ years since my dad gave me his old shotgun) and 2nd amendment supporter one of the local shop owners is savy enough to still make money and the customer still gets a deal. If he has access to the firearm you want he will match the internet price. he gives you the internet price by juggling the local sales tax ,price of the weapon his shipping and transfer fee and takes the sale away from the dreaded “internet bottom feeder”. If you are willing to wait until he has a larger order together to save on his shipping he passes that along too. This way he is actually using every firearm seller on the internet as advertisement. Unless I’m out of town and want something NOW I always buy through him. Even when I’m on the road and find a handgun I want that he can’t get I have it sent to him, it’s waiting for me when I get there and he still gets $ for his transfer fee. His margin may not be as great on every single weapon he sells, but he only has to keep a small inventory on the shelf and still makes money and can rightfully claim he will not be undersold, which is good advertising. By the way I sick of Google trying to rule the world and after reading this piece will be changing my search engine and some online accounts today.

  • CG July 9, 2012, 9:53 am

    Am I supposed to feel sorry for a business category that doesn’t keep up with technology and maintain an Internet presence ? Let the market determine who wins or loses. Consumers will ALWAYS look for the best deal, note the success of Walmart selling cheap ChiCom goods… Educating the consumer is what is needed not railing on small business that decides to expand it’s market by being on the Internet. Certainly this is a contentious issue: price regulation vs free market via MAP. Are you looking for a level playing field through price regulation on a wholesale level? I believe that’s there already. No? Ex: S&W doesn’t have different wholesale prices for different dealers? If manufacturers do, then they’ve poisoned their own well. BTW my choice for purchasing is at major gun shows (OGCA, Goodman, Show of Shows, Knob Creek), most shows I go to within 100 miles of my home have tables & tables of brick and mortar stocking dealers. Thanks for the interesting article….

    • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:49 pm

      If you are selling in any serious manner on the internet, it really requires a full-time employee. Your local gun shop may already employee 5 or more people. If the internet sales go well, the shop owner may decide it’s not worth having a real store and the expense that goes along with it. Ultimately, the loser is you. As for Walmart, that’s the last place I want to go to buy anything. I’m not against internet sales, but I will pay a little more to shop local.

  • WP July 9, 2012, 9:46 am

    I use the internet retailers to keep my local shops honest. I realize the local shops have over head the internet retailers may not have but I get a little ticked off when my local shop wants $150.00 dollars over what I can buy it on the internet. That just seems excessive to me. Even if the shipping/FFL transfer comes out to $50-60 I still come out ahead by close to $100.00 dollars. (Yes this has actually happened.)

    I don’t mind someone making money off me but I don’t want to be taken advantage of.

  • Ray July 9, 2012, 9:32 am

    Where I believe in the freedom of choice in business for anyone, I so tire of these companies coming out with some purpose against guns/ 2nd Amendment. I feel strongly when they enter the realm of advertising their contempt against freedom that it empowers us the US citizen to practice our rights to boycott these business types. The tides are changing ever so slowly but changing still and in the future these companies will find themselves on the wrong side of history. They will be seen as they are, anti-American.

  • J-Greer July 9, 2012, 9:28 am

    I’m new to buying guns. I’ve lived in Europe(w/ the US Army) for many years. Gun ownership there isn’t a right, its a hassle. No one can easily own ANY gun in their house. You must be a member in good standing of a local shooting club, where many people keep their guns & ammo. In England, non handguns, just like DC.
    Yes, I’ve considered a local gun shop then bought on line; primarily for price. But I still buy other supplies and my range time is paid to them, so I do support local.
    As far as Google?
    I find much better answers to my questions, using

  • Ryan July 9, 2012, 9:27 am

    What needs to happen is to let the retail stores by directly from the manufacturer rather than be held hostage by distributors that play favorites and only get small amounts. The big retailers have no problem with this since they are their own distributor, but the middle man is killing the mom and pop shops. And making it hard to compete with the margins of their big box retailers.

    • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:36 pm

      There you go!

  • jdmcomp July 9, 2012, 9:27 am

    I do not agree. The internet is fast becoming the new Sears catalog. The ability to compare prices and find somewhat odd items that will never make it to my stocking dealer is essential to me. The ability to find the exact gun I want and make the purchase through my local dealer does not disadvantage my local dealer. He sells the same way. The buyer benefits through competitive pricing, the very nature of our free economy. The internet is just he new mail order, which had been around more then 100 years before the internet existed. Do not hate the medium. As for stocking dealers, you have to dismiss the big box stores also by your accounting. The small, really local gun dealer no longer stocks much as he cannot afford to and has too many choices to have a broad offering. We all need the internet and we unfortunately need the search engines that find what we want. If you want to attack anything, challenge those who actually run Google, buy some stock and show up at the annual meeting challenging the attitude. Fight for what you want, but don’t whine.

    • will July 9, 2012, 1:29 pm

      You are right! Every American deserves a right to make money not just box stores! Guns America is way off on their standpoint! They sound like big business!

  • Steve Dubya July 9, 2012, 9:26 am

    Mentioning “and 2nd Amendment freedom isn’t the worst of our freedom that the government has co-opted in the last several years.” in an article about Google shopping canceling gun ads ? Seems like we are trying to link the 2 . Would is be perhaps better if the government demanded that a private company engage in advertising a product they do not want to advertise ? 1st Amendment applies to Google just as much as it applies to all of us.

  • Hank July 9, 2012, 9:25 am

    So, how do we notify Google we’re dissatisfied and intend to stop using their services? Can’t seem to find any way to contact them, even through their own homepage.

    • joseph A July 9, 2012, 11:33 am

      easy cancel your search engine account, and any other related to Google

  • Chuck July 9, 2012, 9:23 am

    There are lots of places to buy online. Whether people agree or not it is Google’s right under the constitution
    not to sell guns or gun related items. Quoting some paranoid nut job about a Google affiliation with the CIA & NSA is
    why I will spam this newsletter for the future. That kind of nonsense is what leads a lot of people to fear or
    be concerned about 2nd amendment rights. So long gunsamerican. Got some good deals through you but I don’t
    care for idiot speak.

    • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:32 pm

      Free speech so long as you like what is said?
      You won’t be missed.

  • M. Hunt July 9, 2012, 9:16 am

    Much of what you say makes sense from a business perspective, and I agree with you about the cluelessness of Google in this case. But why bring the ACA into this? Are you going to start railing against compulsory auto insurance, helmet laws, abortion restrictions, and other government restraints on our freedoms next?

    And Infowars. Really?

    • Thomas Garcia July 9, 2012, 4:26 pm

      This is clearly an attack mounted by gunsamerica on google’s first amendment rights. *eyeroll*

      Private businesses have rights too and they’re allowed to do shit like this. This isn’t an attack on your rights, google isn’t pushing an anti gun government movement. That’d be an attack. This is them not allowing guns in their house. Like some of us don’t let certain things in our houses.

      You don’t have to use google and are welcome to vote with your dollars. But calling them anti-american because they don’t sell guns is kind of Anti-American…

      I really love gunssamerica, but the opinion section of this blog isn’t helpful, it’s divisive fecal-stirring. As a long time member of the growing left leaning 2nd amendments movement, I don’t see this post as anything but self serving. Stirring paranoia amongst gun owners only serves on purpose… to drive sales.

      • Steve Z July 9, 2012, 5:54 pm

        If it requires “PARANOIA” to protect my rights as per the constitution than LETS GET STARTED.
        and by the way a business can-not have rights as it is a thing, only people have rights. I know
        some people don’t think that way but I can see no reason why an inanamite thing needs any rights.

  • Steven July 9, 2012, 9:06 am

    Maybe Al Gore is smarter than he looks. Inventing the internet as a way to weaken the gun industry.

    • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:29 pm

      He only needs to be smarter than those willing to follow him. (So not smarter than he looks!)

  • Brian Harrison July 9, 2012, 9:05 am

    Thank you for explaining to your constituency, in stark, truthful terms EXACTLY what is going on in the firearms world. The only thing I might add is that you might owe an apology to all the carp, suckers, bullheads & catfish for aligning them with the folks who are ruining the firearms trade and subsequently damaging the 2ndAmendment. As the manager of the firearms dept. in a “mom & pop” store it is a battle we face every day.

  • Nic July 9, 2012, 9:02 am

    as much as I am dismayed at Google for their infringement of 2nd amendment rights, I am almost more dismayed by the author of this for referring to me as an ‘internet bottom feeder’ for my choosing to buy some of my guns online. I would sooner buy online from a privately held company than buying from the corporate giants like cabela’s or bass pro shops. Some of my guns have even been purchased off sights such as Guns America. Saving money on line alows me to buy MORE guns and spread more business around to more dealers. Perhaps I should stop using the Guns America sight also. Unsubscribe me from this news letter please.

    • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:26 pm

      I believe you may have misread the article. The author is referring to sellers who do not maintain a brick and mortar store, not those buying from them.

  • Jack Tilton July 9, 2012, 8:48 am

    I can’t wait till some day your life will be saved by someone with a gun. You’re just another communist like Hanoi Jane Fonda. I used Google every day but no more ever and when the gun carrying military that keeps you safe all shut off Google I hope your ass grows together.Google is a no good communist company that will feel the effect of going and phuck you

  • Steve July 9, 2012, 8:39 am

    ebay finally caved, and allowed firearms related items to be listed, after their listings went to crap when they stopped allowing anything firearms related to be listed. I suspect that google will take a similar approach after a huge chunk of us stop using it. As far as saving money? If I can buy it cheaper somewhere else I will. I’m a retired Marine Corporal and my income is fixed so it is in my best interest to do so as well as being a firm supporter of capitalism.

    • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:19 pm

      I want to get a good deal, but I will pay a little more to get something locally. It’s nice that you’re retired, but I would imagine you’d like some real business in your area, not just empty buildings.

  • Frank July 9, 2012, 8:36 am

    I would like to buy new guns locally but the shops in my area add 10% or more to retail. There is a good gunshop about an hour away and they price things fairly. They are so busy they had to move to a bigger location. So yes, I will support a dealer who sells at retail but there are damn few around where I live.

  • bluz July 9, 2012, 8:36 am

    So what search engine does GA suggest we all use to do our little gun searches? I usually find all the links I need from the gun forums. I use the internet to buy mostly gun accessories like uppers and scopes which can ship right to my door. I like that most do not collect sales tax and shipping is kept reasonable. Shipping usually makes or breaks the sale. I am blessed to have a local dealer that has been doing free transfers, I try to buy something from his store every so often just for offering this service. I try to buy all ammo online, it’s usually half of what the stores charge. The economy is down as is most people’s wallets. I think we all try to save where we can.
    I do believe it is good to keep the mom & pop stores open, the bad part is when we try to sell back a gun we’re not in love with anymore. $.25 on the dollar on a tradeback is really a slap in the face to people. I’m sure we’ve all seen the widow coming into the local shop with recently departed hubby’s guns. She is lucky to receive $.10 on the dollar for her trouble while all the store customers are biting their lips and not saying a word. In the mean time I’ll try to cut back on my Googleing and use something else.
    NRA lifetime benefactor member.

  • Scott July 9, 2012, 8:23 am

    Interesting article, but I still don’t understand your argument in support of MAP. The local gun shops in my area are doing very very well. I have asked them in the past of their feeling of internet gun sales and none of them having any complaints. I am disappointed in Google’s decision, but am not surprised as far as them not being a pro gun / pro 2nd amendment company. Most companies like them are very liberal and scared of guns, but it won’t stop me from using their services.

    The one thing about this entire article that ticks me off is the fact you chose to not spell out GOD’s (G-d)name in full. Why would you do that? That’s more disheartening to me than anything else stated here.

    • Atheist Gun owner July 9, 2012, 11:35 am

      Really? That’s the one thing that pisses you off? It’s a shame that so many gun owners (read republicans) are so wrapped up in their Christian beliefs that they get angry if they are not 100% conformed to by others. I do not believe in God but I do believe in the 2nd Amendment and love my guns. I bet you are a really fun person to hang out with!

      • Donald H. Conner July 9, 2012, 7:20 pm

        Clearly you have never had a gun pointed at you and the guy with it DESPERATELY WANTS TO AND WILL KILL YOU IF HE POSSIBLY CAN, EVEN IF HE HAS TO TEAR YOUR JUGULARS AND CAROTIDS OUT OF YOUR NECK WITH HIS TEETH. Too bad you weren’t in Nam. You’d have a different point of view. Charlie and the NVA were damned good soldiers, and their single mission in life was to kill you. USMC Oct. ’64. I never did meet or even hear of an atheist in the bush or battle. EVERYBODY was praying to God they’d get out of that place and go home alive at the end of their tour, especially when they got short. Go soak your head in cold bucket of water and breathe deep for 10 minutes.

      • Devout Atheist July 9, 2012, 8:44 pm

        Thank you! Now I know there’s at least two of us on here! And to the rest of the article….that’s called Capitalism and Free Trade along with the owners of Google using their business how they see fit. If they don’t want to advertise firearms or related products on their site that’s their prerogative. It doesn’t stop me from finding the best deal on vintage firearms…and I only pay a $20 transfer fee from my FFL working out of his home.

      • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:06 pm

        It always makes me laugh to see someone like you (read “I think I have all the answers”) get so worked-up when someone believes in something you don’t. What exactly would have been wrong with spelling out God? Why does everyone need to comfort your lack of belief by pretending they don’t have religious belief? I’m sure at Christmas you’re a real big fan of “Happy Holidays” and probably flip-out if someone says “Merry Christmas”. I can’t really imagine you’d be very much fun to hang out with, since it’s obviously your way or no way.

  • Varn July 9, 2012, 8:22 am

    Strange, I have used Goolge for years and I never really noticed this sort of advertising on the right hand side of the screen. Now that you mention it, I see what you mean. So, I did a search for guns and that part of the page was blank. Then I did a search for shoes and many ads showed up. I can safely say that I have rarely if ever clicked on any advertisement that has shown up on my monitor while on ANY web page. With google I refer only the search results and never these ancillary ads. So, I am not going to miss this feature at all. When I do a search I only look at the main items that come up in the google search results and never ever those ads on the right side of the page, which I just now noticed. I consider them a bother rather than and aid. (They take up screen space and I don’t really trust on-line ads unless they are stickly on a site that I searched for.) Maybe back many years ago when Google first started they did not have these ads so maybe that’s the reason I have just ignored them all these years and never even took real notice that they were even there. I tend to totally ignore ads that appear on MY screen from any web page (Yahoo, Google, etc.). How long have they been showing up on the google page anyway?

  • WD Jones July 9, 2012, 8:16 am

    It make me “ponder” why the dirt bag/s from Google spent so much time with the dirt bag in the White House

  • Eric Yoder July 9, 2012, 8:15 am

    I see some people commenting that they have dropped using Google and other anti-gun businesses. Please don’t forget to drop PayPal. They (PayPal) are vehemently anti-gun. As you know and was mentioned in this article Ebay is anti-gun but what you may not know is Ebay and PayPal are one company or owned by the same parent company or one owns the other. Either way they are one in the same. I was hoping to use PayPal when I started my business because they had better credit card processing rates but they quickly stopped me. So I not only closed my PayPal business account but my personal account as well. To hell with them. As far as Google goes, I like my Gmail so I’m keeping it. All should note that although “Google shopping” has banned guns, you can still search for guns under the regular search I’ve had no issue through that (at least for now).

  • Doug July 9, 2012, 7:48 am

    I am a current FFL holder that operates off of the internet. I have tried to open a storefront, but was unable due to money issues. Even if I could open the store, I face competion from a gun store(s) here that can sell at or below what I can buy the gun for at wholesale due to their shear buying power. As a small gun dealer, I am not sure where the people that you speak of get their inventory. My buying power does not allow me to purchase in such quanties to receive any type of special price. Therefore it is hard for me to sell (even on the internet) trying to compete with these entities. I have used Gunbroker, Guns America, and other avenues, but the price I have to charge is too high. I mean that guns (new) are listed on there at prices in which I have to purchase them at, which leaves me with no profit margin, actually I am in the hole, or break even, when you factor in shipping and handling.

    • chris July 9, 2012, 2:11 pm

      amen, When I was getting started I noticed the guns on gun broker and such where cheaper than my wholesalers prices. Then Wal mart sales ammo cheaper than I can get it wholesale. So what are we to do? I guess range fees will need to go up to cover the losses. If you are big enough to have a range. There is no other option. raise prices on the services that can’t be purchased on line. I want every one to shot and enjoy shooting but, I can’t fund everyone’s fun

  • Dr. Kenn Lewis July 9, 2012, 7:15 am

    I have purchased ALL my firearms from one or the other of my two local guns stores. They take care of me and my rights, thus I owe them my loyalty. Actually, if I “screw” them for a few dollars, I “screw” myself.

  • NOYDB July 9, 2012, 6:56 am

    I buy new guns from my local dealers. I buy used guns where ever I can find them, there is no used gun factory. Part of the “problem” is that gun owners are an independent and contrary bunch. It’s easier to heard cats than to get this crowd pointed in the same direction. As far as Google, Amazon, Evilbay etc goes, gun purchases just don’t happen often enough per person, for it to really affect their bottom line. Even though there are a lot of gun owners, most people may only buy a few guns in their lifetimes. They buy a gun and keep it for decades. Those of us that buy and swap multiple guns are a minority.

  • Ron July 9, 2012, 6:53 am

    Well… Arn’t these so called “bottom feeders” business people too. Isnt the Local gun shop going the way of the local Hardware store, after the Home Depot moved in. I understand Local gun shops are a part of our community, but so is the internet. My local gun dealer tried to screw me on my handgun purchase, which I ended up paying $40 more than he quoted me, then he told me I didnt give him the whole amount. I did, he found out later… Anyway my point is, This is America, people want a product for the cheapest they can get it, and if the local guy isnt doing it, and I dont feel like driving an hour to the next guyy, then Im going online. Times have changed man, if your not online with your product, your behind the ball. As for transfer fees, guess what, my LGS charges $50. He dont like the internet sales at all. I tried to bargin with him on some .22 ammo, told him I could get it cheaper online shipped to my door, he basically said “kiss my ass” wasnt gonna drop his prica at all. So whatever man, go out of business then. Im all for the local guy, but if they’re gonna be syynical and stuborn to the change of time, they’ll go bye bye, just like the Post Office.

    • Steve July 9, 2012, 10:47 pm

      The Post Office isn’t going bye bye because they haven’t kept up with the times. The government requires them to fund employee retirement for people they have yet to hire. Then they raid that money to use elsewhere. It’s typical of the shell game they use to try to keep things going. No company in its right mind would do the things the Post Office is made to do. They’ve certainly got plenty of problems, but what government run agency doesn’t? And, no, I do not consider the internet part of my community. It sounds like there was some confusion between you and your local gun dealer, but are you certain he was the one doing the screwing? Isn’t it possible you misunderstood the quoted price? He may have believed you were trying to screw him. It might have been best if you had simply said that you misunderstood the price and preferred to not buy the gun. I can’t help but believe you may have some financial difficulties if you need to bargain on 22 ammo. Not trying to make you mad but let’s face it, ammo doesn’t get much cheaper than 22.

  • David July 9, 2012, 6:39 am

    Unfortunately, the writer of this article is typical of the “old school” mentality present in the industry. One of the previous posters talked about the motorcycle industry, and having been an eCommerce consultant to the motorsports industry since 2000, I can tell you that the firearms industry seems to be going through the same “internet growing pains” that the motorcycling industry was in the early 2000’s.

    The message of this blog that consumers paying higher prices is a good thing is typical of those in the industry who are turning a blind eye towards the reality of how consumers are doing business in the modern era. It smacks of “the customer is here for the gun dealer”. This was prevalent in the motorcycle industry as well. FOr years, dealers lamented at the yearly dealer shows of how they were losing business to the Internet. They started reacting much in the same way that many local gun shops are reacting now. But look how many motorcycle dealers, seemingly successful dealers (many Motorcycle Dealer News Top 100 Dealers), at that, have closed their doors in the last decade because they failed to adapt to the change in the market place.

    The author makes a comment about MAP. The reality is you CAN find licensed dealers selling things below MAP. Companies like Oakley not only have its own discount site (, but also contracts licensed dealers to sell below retail (, Companies like Gucci, Prada, Christian Dior, all have MAP policies, but ALSO have outlets where consumers can purchase discounted products.

    Now you have local dealers who charge $60 for a FFL transfer when the product is bought online or flat out refuse to accept a firearm purchased from or places like buds. Meanwhile, their competitors (20 minute drive) ARE doing FFL transfers from everyone and anyone and charging $35, preferring to upsell the transferee on ammo or accessories and establishing that customer relationship. Is this indentured servitude? I think not, I think it’s savvy business and the ONLY way to do business. These gun shops are adapting to the market place and relying on personal relationships to maintain and even grow their businesses.

    So, I have to ask dealers, “what’s better? $35 in hand and sales on accessories and ammo, or no money in pocket because you don’t like to compete with ‘internet bottom feeders?'”

    The reality is the landscape of business is constantly changing, and retailers need to adapt and adjust, but must never forget their core values, that they are here to serve the consumer. The consumer is NOT here to support them.

    • Ryan July 9, 2012, 9:39 am

      Well said it’s time the industry get with the rest of business. No longer can you gouge the breathing customer just because of the convenience of the gun being in the store. Either change with the times or the times will change you and probably put you out of business. Time for the old fogies to put down the ” this is the way we’ve always done it” mentality. And start remembering that in any business it’s about the customer. I think a lot of these old timers forgot their manners along the way and set a bad example for the industry. And the new age customer would prefer not to have someone pressuring them to buy and decide on their own terms.

      • Marc Jax July 9, 2012, 11:17 am

        The message of the article is not that higher prices is better, it’s that brick and mortar dealers are the cornerstone of the 2nd Amendment’s existence. If these dealers fail or go out of business, there will be nobody to buy guns from, thus weakening gun ownership and making new gun buyers have more obstacles to owning a gun. If this happens, the 2nd amendment will fall.

        The fact that MAP was discussed in this article should tell you that the main idea is not for people to pay higher prices, but to level the playing field so that lower overhead internet retailers (Bud’s gun shop, Cheaper than Dirt) cannot run the brick and mortar guys out of business. In fact, those internet retailers NEED guys like Bill-Bob’s Gun store down the street in order to thrive.

        I wish people who read this blog had better reading comprehension. This is a great post.

        • Jon July 9, 2012, 1:29 pm

          “Believe it or not, for long term 2nd Amendment freedom, losing Google Shopping for guns is not a bad thing. It means that less internet bottom feeders will be able to easily steal sales from the shelves of stocking gun dealers.”

          My comprehension is just fine. *Please note this is the first reason mentioned (3rd Paragraph)

        • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:08 pm

          If my local dealer charging ridiculous prices go out of business I won’t have anywhere to buy a gun? I guess that’s why I can’t buy music any more now that all the local record shops have disappeared.

          Only one entity protects the 2nd Amendment – Supreme Court

          • Stevetard July 10, 2012, 7:03 pm

            You can’t download a gun or ship one direct to your house genius.

          • Steve July 11, 2012, 9:55 pm

            No, but I can have them shipped to the range I’m a member of which handles transfers, genius.

            Local Dealers do NOT defend my rights, they’re a profit making business, period.

    • Slim July 9, 2012, 12:09 pm

      Adapt and overcome… Or die.

      That said, I do agree with the author that if you use a stocking dealer to get your hands on the merchandise to help you make your buying decision, you should buy from that dealer, or another stocking dealer that can offer you the gun you need at a price you like. Maintaining a storefront and an inventory in your town costs money. It’s a clown move to take the dealers’ time and money to make your selection using their stock KNOWING you will be buying an item they have in stock from a distant vendor who CANNOT offer you the same services cheaper. These same clowns probably get on the internet and complain about the service they got from the gun dealers who figured out they were clowns just there to steal their time.

      The derogatory “bottom feeder” rhetoric is just sour grapes that they weren’t the ones to jump on the internet bandwagon sooner.

      • fran mitchell July 27, 2012, 6:59 pm

        The NRA is giant ponzi scheme. They do not protect anyone. If they did, it could cost them money and decrease the profits.

        • fran mitchell July 27, 2012, 7:00 pm

          how much the annual salary for the NRA lobbysists?

        • Robert December 7, 2015, 6:11 am

          After saying this I know you have no clue at all about the NRA and what they actually do to protect gun rights. These battles are won and lost in the courts and who do you think is fighting those battles and paying for the legal cost genius?

          Uh, that’s right the NRA. I am a member and I send them extra $$ when ever I can because I think it will help to enable my grand kids to own and shoot guns in 20 or 30 yrs.

          Talk is cheap and accomplishes nothing so even if the NRA pisses you off, you should join and support them as they are the front line in the fight these days. When was the last time you filed a lawsuit against a city or local government who enacted a law against gun ownership or use? The NRA is involved in hundreds of present and ongoing legal battles and will continue to be as long as they get the support of their members, and, they will continue to get my support.

          Setting around and sniveling like you are doing does not accomplish a damn thing. Look in the mirror and ask yourself what you did to help in the fight for the 2nd amendment? I am not an attorney and I don’t sue people on behalf of gun owners but I provide support to the NRA so they can do exactly that and more people need to step up and do the same.

    • John July 10, 2012, 9:33 pm

      All it would take is for your local dealers to band together and refuse internet transfers, and then you’d be in a pickle. If dealers see that internet sales are cutting into their profits too much, it will come to that. Then the $20 you saved on the price of the gun doesn’t mean much when you jave to drive an hour to someone who is willing to do the transfer.

      • Steve July 11, 2012, 9:58 pm

        I’ve saved $150-200 buying online. Refuse transfers? Fine, I’ll keep doing them through my shooting range, which also happens to be the cheapest place already ($25). Dealers who think my ability to frequent their store is a privilege can go #$%# themselves.

        • Robert December 10, 2012, 7:14 am

          Free market! Aside from the fact that I live in Crook County near Chicago and local gunshops have little inventory (of what I want at least), it’s their attitude that keeps me out. I have never seen an industry with such arrogance and contempt for the average guy. I’m a photographer and experienced this from Helix Photo when i was in school. A couple years later, I was in charge of a huge studio with a huge budget and guess who I told to bite me?

          We bought our first gun at Bass Pro because they were nicer, helpful and patient. I paid $100 more than I should have. I’m more edumacated now, but still sore from the snotty shop owners. I’ve also been a service business owner for decades; great service and attitude win over price up to maybe 20-25%. If gun shops can’t stock what I want for a good price in that range, and give me attitude to boot, I’m gone. Bottom feeder? I know what Internet gun shop to NEVER buy from!! I’m a savvy consumer that expects courtesy and fair prices. I said fair, not rock bottom. I understand volume sales vs potential benefits from a friendly local shop, and I’d pay more for that good relationship, but when local shops treat you like non-LE scum, I’ll be my own best expert.

  • scott July 9, 2012, 5:58 am

    What are these guys thinking? Isn’t their motto don’t be evil? I get that it is a free resource and they can do what they want, but really? I believe the freedom of speech is just as important as the right to keep and bear arms. Maybe ill find a gun friendly search engine.

  • Miles Stoneman July 9, 2012, 5:44 am

    The same thing is true of bicycle stores. If everyone only uses the brick and mortar store as a catalog showroom, then someday there’ll be no one left to fix your bike or install that cool new bling you just bought. My local gun store is my ONLY place for gun sales. I don’t buy guns from the internet or even WalMart. Thanks for writing this.

  • adrian July 9, 2012, 4:22 am

    “Several of the major industry distributors have even set themselves up to drop ship guns for some of the more well placed discount websites, though one of them claims to have halted the practice after we called them out on it in our dealer newsletter several weeks ago.”

    Could you please post a link about this article? I can’t find it anywhere on your blog. Thanks.

  • SC July 9, 2012, 3:57 am

    I’m ok with MAP but what about MaximumAP…..Try buying a KSG shotgun or any other firearm that’s popular for MinimumAP……Can’t have it both ways….

    • George July 9, 2012, 10:57 am

      This is why we need the so called bottom feeders. There is NO reason we should have to pay more from this local store than we can buy a “gun” from an online retailer. As stated before, the “guns” I buy are NOT stocked by any local dealer. They dont bother with the expensive assault rifles. This IS free market, love it or move out of the country!

      • Neon July 9, 2012, 12:20 pm

        Bottom feeders, you mean the public trying to engage in getting the best price for a product? It’s a relatively free market still and I hope it remains so. Google on the other hand is engaging in censorship. But what the hell, they have aided and abetted other countries and their totalitarian regimes in doing the same. So this is nothing new for Google.

        Google has about 68% of the search engine market. We as consumers can have a small part in their success or failure by using other search engines and there are many. On those other search engines it can take a little more work but I found some of them actually have better results in certain categories than Google. I think It would be better for all if Google had a lower share of search engine traffic, say 49% or less. That would bring back competition and probably eliminate stupid restrictions on constitutionally protected items and other lawful commerce items.

      • Steve July 9, 2012, 10:24 pm

        Spoken like someone who has never run a business. Of course there are reasons you should pay more at a local store. Do you really believe that someone running a retail store, with a mortgage or lease payment, utilities, maintenance (’cause someone has to sweep and clean the restrooms), employees (and the related taxes and withholdings paperwork), and a myriad of other costs, can really afford to sell for the same amount of profit as a guy sitting at a computer in his spare bedroom. Have you asked them to order a nonstocked gun for you (the same thing the other guy will likely do, unless you believe he stocks all those expensive assault rifles in his bedroom)? Don’t get me wrong, I buy plenty of items online, I mainly take issue with your misinformed idea that there is NO reason for a price difference. I DO, by the way, own a business, though not selling guns.

        • Zagreus July 12, 2012, 12:33 am

          These online businesses don’t exist in the ether they have warehouses, distribution centers, employees, sales personnel (who do you call), secretaries, CEOs, janitors, etc. They use shippers which are used for each customer (hence more shipping personnel per sale) not just single bulk shipments as to a brick and mortar store. They just aren’t in your town or state. They pay taxes in the state they are in just not sales tax. What the heck is everyone talking about here? What we need are less taxes! I find much more variety and a chance to shop a national market much to my liking. I will have the opportunity to buy more of whatever than a local store might carry. Say I want a rare model, or a historical item that local brick and mortar store doesn’t have. Nationally I would think that more sales happen now that we have the net than we did when we were in the dark ages. I also agree that local prices are not usually the lowest, selection is less, and I can’t remember the number of times I have received false advice, and bad service. I have I must admit had very good local service too. With this article to ban e-net sales makes we wonder if these same people would have banned catalogues in the day? I will continue to look for the cheapest price available anywhere and any legal way I can isn’t that capitalism?

    • John July 10, 2012, 9:25 pm

      That’s a supply and demand thing, anything Kel Tec other than the 9’s, 380’s, and 32’s is VERY difficult to get, hence they are scarce

  • Slim July 9, 2012, 3:56 am

    Gee. You guys make it sound like the stocking gun dealers are a bunch of toothless, redneck morons.

  • Ian July 9, 2012, 2:31 am

    I’m guessing those “internet bottom feeders” (online dealers who make up a substantial portion of your clientele) will be happy to see that you hold such a low opinion of them.

    I don’t believe in paying a penny more than I have to for anything. I will continue to buy what I like from where I like, and have no qualms about doing so. If the “brick and mortar” stores can’t be competitive on pricing, then they need to go above and beyond on customer service and service after the sale if they wish to stay in business. Too many “mom and pop” stores skated by for years with crappy prices and worse customer service because they were the only game in town. They can’t get away with either of those anymore.

    BTW, Bing has a shopping search feature that appears to be as useful or slightly more so than googles was. Barring that, I’ll go back to my old standby of searching for the item I want, and opening up the first few pages of results in tabs and sifting through until I find the best price.

    • John Thomas July 9, 2012, 10:05 am

      I totally agree. Arguing that artificially higher prices are a good thing is ridiculous. If a local dealer provides terrific service, their higher prices are justifiable, but otherwise, its just a transaction and I want the best price. It could wind up being the difference of being able to afford an extra firearm in the arsenal, or certainly more ammo.

      • Thomas July 9, 2012, 4:28 pm

        It is a good thing, for profiteers.

    • Jon July 9, 2012, 1:07 pm

      Totally agree. The spin of this article would make you believe if walmart stopped selling ammo we’d all be better off anyway because Academy “is better”. No excuse for Gunsamerica (or the writer) to have this completely idiotic view.

    • Bill July 9, 2012, 1:53 pm

      Thank you! I agree completely, I don’t mind paying slightly more to support a local business but sometimes it’s ridiculous. A co-worker of mine was just told by a local gun shop that a 3rd gen G26 price tag was $679!!! Those are between $500-$550 all day just about anywhere. Like I said, I’d pay maybe $570 or $580, but $680? That’s a quick way out of business.

      • Wetworx July 9, 2012, 2:36 pm

        +1 to this! The attitude of so many LGS owners is ridiculous. Generally speaking, I don’t get the level of (poor) service in any other industry. So, I really don’t have any qualms about ordering online and saving myself the money.

        • Armyvet July 9, 2012, 5:02 pm

          +2 I agree completely. This is insulting to gun buyers and fails to hold b#m dealers accountable. Many have failed completely to adapt to their new competitive environment, continuing to operate with a 1980s business model. Others have adapted like bud’s, running successful st
          ores and online businesses. They are business people and they are responsible for learning to do what they must to thrive

      • John July 10, 2012, 9:23 pm

        The price on Glocks is below MAP, so I can’t mention it here, but ANYTHING over $500 on a Gen 3 17/22, 19/23, 26/27 is ridiulous

      • Robert December 7, 2015, 5:46 am

        Here is the deal with gun prices such as the glock 3rd gen G26 price tag was $679!!!

        Lets say the dealer can get 5 of those in and he knows he can sell all 5 at 679.00 WTF should he sell for less to you? What does he owe you? answer NOTHING…. In that case buy from an online retailer who will fill your order for less. The local dealer is maximizing his income from idiots the same way car dealers do. Know what, if it were you in his shoes and it was profit going in your pocket you would be selling your limited inventory at max profit also.

        This is America, we can buy from whom ever we wish and the local dealer has the right to sell at what ever price level his local customers are willing to spend and he knows it. That is what pays his bills and puts his kids through collage etc. Stop whining about it and buy online like you should under the circumstances.

  • Quim July 5, 2012, 10:37 am

    Guns are like new cars or airline tickets, everyone pays a different price.

  • Tim July 3, 2012, 1:58 pm

    I have bought on-line and at my favorite gun stores. Both are useful. I buy locally those guns I desire and they stock or can order. I use the internet for firearms the local dealers cannot obtain… their suppliers are out of stock. I also use it to local firearms that are no longer made whether new or used. Thankful to have these resources.

    • Mongo July 9, 2012, 6:33 am

      We’re lucky to have some very pro-2A gun shops here in New Hampshire, but there are some guns they just don’t carry. They won’t special order either, because they do so much business over the counter. I work with a small dealer that (do you call a 1 man shop “bottom feeders”?) charges a reasonable transfer fee. I buy from internet stores that carry military surplus rifles I can’t find locally. There’s nothing wrong with making the best (sometimes only!) deal you can online. Google, on the other hand, is just wrong. Try Startpage, they don’t record your IP address.

      • Donald H. Conner July 9, 2012, 7:01 pm


        Thanks for the heads up on Startpage-never heard of it before…but there are thousands of search engines out there–some of them so obscure that unless you are in that particular micro-fiche of knowledge, it’s unlikely you’ll ever even hear of them. I had a favorite that said it had over 3000 search engines available through it. Stuff so arcane that probably, unless you already have a substantial knowledge base in the area, it’s just a puff of smoke in the wind for practical purposes. So, if you others out there have information on other search engines that cater to our needs, give it up.

        Why buy on the internet: I looked for a Marlin 1895 .45-70. MSRP is ridiculous for something that might cost $200 to make. Went to the local Scheels in West Des Moines, Iowa and nothing but full price. Just as I was leaving, the salesman called out to me that he just put one out after somebody had done the paperwork. Long barrel and barrel length magazine and perfect condition used. Price $400. I said you gave the guy $300 didn’t you and he affirmed that. So they made $100 in 15 minutes.

        Now why in the hell should I pay MSRP for somebody to unbox a gun and record it and shelve it? Same reason I went to Enterprise for a then new 2003 Impala, 12,001 miles on it. A new one was over $20,000. I saved $4000, which for the average working, or especially disabled, stiff like me that isn’t chicken feed. Just broken in is all 12,000 miles is. I was in Operating Engineers Local 150 and I do know something about engines big and small. Not everything, but something.

        Sorry guys, but you’ve got this upside down and inside out. Capitalism is about getting the best deal you can at a price you can afford. Drive out all the “little guys” and watch the prices skyrocket. Think they won’t? Whenever a group gets a monopoly on an item, be it goods or services, the prices go so high you need a Manitowoc crawler crane with 400 feet of boom just to reach them.

        And screw Google. At 22:30 last night I was finding all kinds of guns–not on the shopping sight, but still there; on the standard site. Who cares what they tell the FBI or CIA!? If they’ve got time to worry about regular people buying guns, then they have altogether too much time on their hands, and while they are f’ng around, Hezboallh(sp?) and other creepy-crawlies are getting up just that much more steam and time to raise hell again. Smahrt, ein’t thay?

        Now GA, give me the straight s–t!!! Did they (or are they) pay/paying you to put this crap out, are you just plain crazy, or worse, stupid? We’re all grown up out here, and we know how monopolies work–they’ll eat you alive and smack their lips doing it. Scheels here is a decent outfit, and the “little brick and mortar” stores are almost to a man rectal orifices full of arrogance and bull feces. On the other hand, the guys who charge you $25 or so to transfer are decent people making a few bucks on the side and they are not gunsmiths.

        If you need a handgun fixed send it to the maker or Cylinder & Slide, where I have dropped $3 or $4 k ( I don’t keep track-that’s like counting grains of sand on the beach) or the rifle or shotgun to the maker.

        Semper Fidelis. Semper Vigilans.


  • Administrator July 3, 2012, 2:26 am

    Then why does your IP address cone up as Langley VA “Todd” ?

  • Dag8r1 July 2, 2012, 9:43 pm

    Dropped them and anything associated with them. And any other company that isn’t pro- 2nd amendment. If you don’t stand with us you stand against us!!!

    • Antopnio July 9, 2012, 8:20 am

      We Americans, have to stay united and do whatever we can to make sure everyone that loves this Country and stand for freedom, go and VOTE in November. America can not sustain as the freedom’s Nation if this President get another 4 years. He and his cabinet are doing everything they can to set up his transition to a 2nd term, so he can finished his agenda as such. This health care bill is nothing more than way to take our ability to chose what is the best for us Citizens. He doesn’t care about who is uninsured? Unless they are on the Golf Course, which is his white house office lately. The word “IN GOD WE TRUST ” is no longer on the new $1.00 coin. that is how we slowly loose our tradition and freedom. Would be hard to take from the paper bill, so starting circulated the coin, people get used to it, than we eliminated the paper bill, and goes on with all the we stand for. Google ,since today, now is not my search engine and browser anymore. That is how we fix them.GOD BLESS AMERICA .

      • MH Snider July 9, 2012, 1:49 pm

        It has gotten to the point now that just voting will not fix anything, maybe and only maybe it will prolong what those in charge (the real people in charge) wish to do, take away all guns, no middle class, new world order, etc: I do not have the answers but I see the writing on the wall. Personally I think the only way to get rid of the crooks in DC and restore the constitution is via revolution. Just saying……………….

        But I very much doubt that there are enough people left in this once great country that are or would be willing to put it all on the line like our forefathers did to even attempt it. A lot of people say they will give up their guns when pryed from their dead hands but look at Katrenia, the government went door to door collecting regestered guns and pretty much everyone handed them over. It would be the same thing when the day comes the government comes knocking on everyone elses door. Say it can’t or won’t happen, yeah right. It’s already started. If you have a medical ID card for pot it is now against federal law for you to own a firearm, same with many others. Next it will be anyone who has children or drives a red car. It is going to happen unless we are willing to do whatever it takes to restore our constitution.

    • John Sitton July 9, 2012, 10:02 pm

      lets just hope and pray that Hillary Clinton does not sign the U.N. treaty on July 24th

      that will make it all legal beagle for the goverment to confiscate , yes, confiscate our small weapons, and weapons that we have write your senators, your reps, anyone hat you can to stop her from signing that treaty

      • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:03 pm

        Quit spreading paranoid nonsense. No treaty can supersede American law. Educate yourself

        • jay July 10, 2012, 7:38 am

          Yeah and obamacare was supposed to be rule against the rule of law of the constitution.obama is using executive order to subvert congress left and right.Hillary and obama will bypass the senate/congress to ratify that treaty. Why don’t you wake up to the TYRANNY !!!

          • Steve July 10, 2012, 5:33 pm

            Tyranny? Gun rights have only *increased* in recent years. The treaty is about international trade, nothing to do with US domestic sales. I’d love to put $5,000 cash against anyone who thinks this treaty is going to affect them. Wake up and realize there are people who make money from whipping up paranoia. You also realize its the Senate that ratifies treaties, right? I mean you seem to be a Constitutional scholar, so you should know that.

            Obamacare? Nothing to do with the treaty. And guess what, if the Supreme Court rules something Constitutional – then it is, they have the *only* opinion that matters. Not saying I agree with it, I expected it to fail.

          • anonymousgearhead July 10, 2012, 6:01 pm

            Actually, the US Constitution strictly states that any treaty with a foreign country has to be approved by the Senate, no Presidential Executive order can supercede that, and no treaty overrides our Constitutional rights. I believe the UN Arms Treaty is an attempt to take that, hoping that people just take the governments word for it.

            “This [Supreme] Court has regularly and uniformly recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over a treaty.” – Reid v. Covert, October 1956, 354 U.S. 1, at pg 17.”

          • Ric December 10, 2012, 9:57 pm

            Wake up and smell the coffee. Then get dressed and go to school. Your sophmoric rant is as incorrect as it is … let’s stick with wrong. By the way the Senate is part of congress, as is the House of Rep. Look up the definition of Exec. Order as related to Congressional ratification. If you have a reading comprehesion level above 7th grade you may find the Federalist Papers a enlightening read, and see what James Madison and Alexander Hamilton had to say on such topics.
            By the way, what is:

            “Yeah and obamacare was supposed to be rule against the rule of law of the constitution”

            supposed to mean? Lost me from the beginning. Since you are obviously trying to parrot some extremist silliness and not even getting it right, leave such discussions to the adults. At least the parrot would get it correct eventually.

        • Joe McHugh September 4, 2012, 6:58 pm

          Steve, you are the one that needs an education about treaties. This is how treaties work. The President or the president’s Secretary of State signs a treaty with another country or group of countries. The United Nations can organize this endeavor between countries as it is now attempting to do for the control of small arms held by private citizens in the signing countries.
          At the moment of signing that treaty becomes the law in America. It is the duty of the United States Senate to ratify any new American treaty. However, the treaty is in fact an enforcible law until the U. S. Senate acts on it. Now here is the fun part of all of this for Obama and his henchman Reid in the Senate. Reid does not have to bring the treaty up for a vote immediately. Even better for these elite socialists, the Speaker of the Senate, Reid, never has to bring a signed treaty up for a vote.
          So now you have a little better idea about how the liberals get around irritations like the Constitution and the conservatives in the Senate. Obviously, the Founding Fathers could not conceive of the possibility that such treachery could exist in the hearts of a president and senators. Obama called certain citizens “the enemy” on October 10, 2010 at a Latino speech. I, for one, am proud to be regarded as Obama’s enemy.
          Do I really have to bring up the importance of November 6, 2012?

        • Larry December 10, 2012, 11:29 am

          Steve,you sound like a reasonable person. But do you really have that much faith in our current political arena? Can you give me a circumstance that without a warrant, or even reasonable suspicion you can be arrested, held without bail and detained without charge?

          • Ric December 10, 2012, 10:06 pm

            Yeah, under Prez Abe Linclon during the civil war.
            If it were to be used as much on American citizens (not foreign nationals) today as then, I’m afraid there would be another Not-So-Civil war.

      • Bubba M August 31, 2012, 5:40 pm

        She did!!!

  • Gary Johnston July 2, 2012, 8:33 pm

    I have never used Google and never will!!!

    • Sam Matterhorn July 9, 2012, 9:41 am

      What do you use, Yahoo doesn’t show half what Google, nor Bing. I have checked them all, I find things that the other search engines just don’t show…. They don’t sell guns, but they still show sites that do. Even this morning it gave me link to a gun on

  • armedhippy July 2, 2012, 8:31 pm

    The same thing has been going on for years with motorcycle shops. Although its not protecting a constitional freedom, there was one simple answer-raise prices to those who brought products to be installed purchased from other sources.The same can be done with transfers.

    • Steve July 9, 2012, 11:01 pm

      Gun stores don’t protect any Constitutional freedoms – only the Supreme Court can do that.

      This opinion piece is full of flawed logic. I’ll buy at the best price. Period. The dealer I was using for transfers raised his price to $40 – and now I never go there (range does it for $25). Any possible extra business from me just went out the window. By the author’s logic, Amazon shouldn’t be allowed to sell music because it ran mom & pop record stores out of business. Guess what, no one sells buggy whips and wagon wheels any more either – its called progress. The Internet has changed many business models, and its changing firearm sales, get onboard or get left behind.

      • John July 10, 2012, 9:16 pm

        The difference, Steve, is that if all you do is buy online, that mom and pop dealer who receives your transfer will fold. Then who will receive that gun you got for $20 off by buying it online at midnight in your underwear? I am the manager at a mom and pop gun store, and it completely sucks when someone pulls that – buys a gun online without even checking our prices, especially since we’ve usually got the price beat.

        • Steve July 11, 2012, 9:51 pm

          I mainly buy older / used guns through auctions, so I need a dealer to handle transfers for me, since no one is stocking Poly Tech AK’s from 1988. The local dealer I was using asks list price on handguns, so when I bought a 1911 online instead I saved $200. I’d be happy to buy something locally for a $20 difference, maybe even $50, but for $200 I’m not going to do it. Especially since that dealer carries almost nothing, the store is tiny, smaller than a barber shop, and I can’t even buy ammo there.

          I do my transfers through a range that I’m a member of now, so I don’t need anyone else. There will always be shooting ranges and they will always handle transfers. Sounds cold hearted, but its not my problem to overpay in a futile attempt to maintain someone else’s old business model. Should we outlaw online bill paying so the Post Office employs more people?

          • DK July 13, 2012, 1:03 pm

            Steve, you sound just like the guy I work with who has no problem letting the gov’t outlaw semi-autos because he doesn’t own one. Get ready little boy, what’s done to us today will be done to you tomorrow.

          • Steve July 14, 2012, 10:39 am

            Government? This opinion piece has nothing to do with government regulation. “what’s done to us today”? What is being done to you? A website isn’t showing search results? This is infringing on your freedoms I guess? And the fact that Target doesn’t sell guns infringes on your freedoms too? Grocery stores don’t sell guns, I guess they’re infringing your freedoms too?

            Are you not paying any attention? I own multiple AK’s and 1911’s, and other guns. In fact I just setup a trust so I can create an MP5K-PDW SBR clone. I’m just not dumb enough to confuse price shopping with my rights. Google has no obligation (nor should they) to help you find a gun.

        • Robert December 7, 2015, 5:19 am

          “especially since we’ve usually got the price beat”

          Prove it, advertise that exact line and I will come in and call you on it and give you the chance to get my business. I do this with my 2 local gun stores. The never heard of Keltec and would not bother getting me a bitone PF-9. On the other hand they did get me a SA TRP Operator with full rail directly from SA for same as the internet price at buds, the local gun store got the order, I got the gun and I am happy. Point is, get this word out if you are ready to prove it, you will get the business. I live in a small town and my 2 local gun stores do many hundreds of thousands in business in gun sales because they do take care of us and we do appreciate it and buy from them.

          Now what they seem to suck balls on is ammo prices, and they don’t give a crap about even trying to compete there. I think they are missing out on an opportunity. They need to start an ammo club and you should automatically get membership if you buy at least 1 gun per year.

    • Lance July 18, 2012, 4:53 pm

      This is such a one sided artical I am a gun owner and plan to always own a gun. This is retarded due to the fact that you are saying people should support local gun shops that rape your wallet just so you can keep them open. My local gunshop does transfers for 25 dollars, they also sell guns that are instock for usually 50-75 dollars over the cost or you can order one through them for cost shipping and 25 dollars. They adapted to modern times if you cant then you dont deserve to stay open. Example if my local car dealer sells a truck for 37,000 dollars and I can get the same one for 32,000 dollars which one is everyone going to buy, dont be stupid and say your going to buy the 37,000 dollar one.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend