A gun shop (also known by various other names such as firearm store and gun store) is a business establishment that sells small arms, such as handguns and shotguns, to individuals in an open shopping format. Other items such as ammunition and accessories for hunting are frequently sold on the premises as well, even including souvenir t-shirts. Often having designs reminiscent of other establishments such as department stores displaying various items of clothing on racks and grocery stores displaying various foodstuffs on shelves, these firms operate under widely different gun control laws depending on the specific nation-state and locality involved. Some locations may only employ a single gunsmith in a small space while others might have many individuals working in a large space.
Although the advent of online shopping has changed the business of gun stores, the ability for customers to interact face to face with store dealers often is seen as having advantages, examples being personally guiding individuals buying firearms through the regulated purchase processes set up by local and national laws. Employees may also offer specific advice about firearm specifications. Various firearm-related websites exist that partner, either directly or indirectly, with physical stores.
In the United States, gun shops are required to have a permitting notice known as a Federal Firearms License. These licenses exist in order to administer federally mandated regulations such as bans on straw purchasing.