What To Do During An ATF Audit
August 5, 2015

FFL / Gun Store Security

Like it or not, your store is a target. Many of your would-be thieves are amateurs, but you need to protect yourself against the professional thief, too. This blog is dedicated to sharing a few ideas that I’ve learned from our gun retailers about gun store security. I expect that every gun retailer will find a useful nugget or two in this post.


  • Evaluate your structure for weaknesses. Everyone focuses on doors and windows, but consider your roof too. Air conditioning outlets are a favorite point of entry.
  • When was the last time you re-keyed your locks? Do former employees still have keys? If so, that’s a risk worth eliminating.
  • Is your exterior lighting appropriate? Is vegetation overgrown and creating blind spots?
  • Do you regularly walk completely around your building to do a security check or do you take the same path from your car to your store each day and never see the other 3 sides of your building?
  • If your building is not free standing, how easy is it to access your store via the business next door? Is there a drop ceiling that would allow an easy hop over?
  • Consider your firearm storage when closed. Is your safe capacity adequate or have you out-grown it but not addressed that issue?


  • Of course you have an electronic burglar alarm, but when was the last time you changed the codes? If it has been a while, you probably have too many former employees who know the codes.
  • Test all components of your alarm system at least quarterly.
  • Did you invest in cellular back-up alert in case your phone line is cut? If so, when was the last time you tested the backup?
  • Test your video system. Go back to footage from several nights ago to make sure the video is solid. Bad/Old tapes or full hard drives are all too common.


  • Wipe down all cases at night. This leaves a clean surface to capture fingerprints if something happens at night.
  • Don’t leave the display keys in the cash register. Better yet, leave your cash drawers open at night so that a thief knows there is no cash in the drawer.
  • Do not be known for keeping a lot of cash on-site. Getting lazy with making cash drops creates security risks you don’t need.
  • Do not announce your vacation on answering machines, Facebook, or your website. This sounds silly, but it happens all too often. Why give thieves an invitation?

Did you find something in the list that made you cringe and say, “Oh man, I gotta fix that?” Don’t be embarrassed – just get to it right away. Onward!

Bart McCleskey, President

PS – If you found this post helpful, please share with other gun store owners to help ensure they’re protected.

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