Can a 16 year-old Work at a Gun Shop

Can a 16 Year Old Work at a Gun Dealership?

Now that you have researched the laws in your state and have obtained a work permit if it is required (for information on work permits in your state click here), you are ready to look for a job. You think you would do well with a retail job and have a lot of experience and knowledge about guns that has been passed to you by your family. While the idea of working at a gun shop is appealing, you may wonder if that is a possibility for you at 16 years-old.

It is possible to obtain a job at a gun shop at 16, however opportunities will vary, depending on the state as well as the individual retailer.

This blog post will cover:

  • Laws regarding employment at a gun shop
  • How to get hired at a gun shop at age 16
  • Other opportunities for 16 year-olds

Laws Regarding Employment at a Gun Shop

Federal law says the following: “an individual less than 21 years of age may sell handguns and ammunition suitable for use in handguns. However, a person less than 18 years of age must have the prior written consent of a parent or guardian and the written consent must be in the person’s possession at all times. Also, the parent of guardian giving the written consent may not be prohibited by law from possessing a firearm. Moreover, State law must not prohibit a person less than 18 years of age from possessing the handguns or ammunition.”

Basically, federal law says that a person under 18 may sell firearms if:

  • They have written consent from their parent or guardian on them at all times (assuming the parent who wrote the consent is not prohibited from having a gun)
  • The state law must not prohibit someone under 18 from being in possession of handguns or ammunition.

In addition to following the law of the state where the business is located, businesses may have their own minimum age requirements.

How to Get Hired at a Gun Shop at Age 16

If you are interested in working at a gun shop, you will first want to find out if this is a possibility for you in your state. You can research this online, though getting the exact information can be challenging. You might find it easier to contact a gun shop or two in your area to learn about whether they are open to hiring 16 year-olds.

If you have experience with guns, you may already have a particular gun shop in mind. It is a good idea to visit a shop where you are comfortable and where they know you, and ask for further information on employment opportunities for those under 18. This will give you a chance to get the information you are seeking, while showing a potential employer who may already be familiar with you, that you are interested in employment.

You can also call gun shops in your area and ask if they are hiring. This may sound scary, but it can be a simple phone call. When your call is answered, you can ask if they are hiring. If the answer is yes, you can follow up with:

“Great, do you have a minimum age requirement for employees?” If they answer that the minimum age is 16, you can respond with:

“What is the best way to apply?” Some stores may be looking for you to complete an application, others are seeking a resume and some want both.

Make sure to find out who you should submit the resume or application to. It is a good idea to ask for the individual’s email address so that you can send your information directly. Once you send your resume or submit your application, wait a few days and then follow up with the person you sent your information to. You can start with something like this:

“My name is Jennifer Job and I wanted to follow up to make sure you received the resume that I sent you on Tuesday.”

The contact may or may not remember receiving your resume, however your call will prompt them to look for it.

Once you have learned whether they have received your resume, you can take this opportunity to ask when you should next follow up. For example:

“Great, I am glad you have received it. When would be the best time for me to follow up with you to answer any questions you may have?”


“Since it sounds like it has not gone through, I will send it again (and then confirm the email address). I will do that right now. I will follow up to make sure you got it and answer any questions. When is the best time to contact you tomorrow?”

If you are told that they are not hiring, you can follow up with, “when do you anticipate having an opening?”

Businesses may know that an employee is planning to leave, leading to an open position. They also know that there are certain times of year where their business increases and during those times having additional staff is helpful. Depending on their answer, you can plan to call back at the designated time or in a month to see if anything has changed. For more information on following up on a resume or application, click here.

Should you know that state law does not prohibit 16 year old’s from working in a gun shop where you live, another way to go about seeking work at a gun shop is to go to each store where you are interested in working and introduce yourself. Dress professionally and bring a copy of your resume with you. This will show your interest in employment there and will give you the chance to make a good impression.

When you arrive at the shop, introduce yourself and ask to speak with the manager. If the manager is not available to speak with, you can ask if there are any open positions. Should you be told that there are none at this time, inquire as to whether any openings are anticipated in the next month or so.

If the store does anticipate openings, ask about the application process. If you can leave your resume or complete an application immediately, go ahead and do so. Ask the person you are speaking with (if not the manager) who the hiring manager is and how you can best contact them. You will want to follow up with this person to make sure they got your resume or application and see if they have any questions.

If there are openings, it is in your best interest to have met with a manager who can see that you present and communicate well. This will help you to stand out from the applicants who have only submitted their application or resume.

For more information on applying for a job in person, click here.

Other Opportunities for 16 Year-Olds

As discussed above, there are multiple factors as to whether you can be hired to work at a gun shop at the age of 16. In case this is not a possibility for you, there are other opportunities to consider.

For example, you can look for a job at a sporting goods store that has a section for guns. As you get older and have gained work experience, you can apply to work in the other section. Any retail experience that you obtain over the next few years will make you more attractive to other retailers, including gun shops.

At the age of 16, there are many other employment opportunities open to you. Click here for more information on jobs for teenagers who are 16 and up.

You may find it challenging to obtain a job at a gun shop at the age of 16, depending on where you live and the employers in your area. It is important to not get discouraged. Your efforts at applying for a job and regularly following up will pay off over time.

So, what do you think about whether 16 year olds can work at a gun shop?  Do you agree with what was said above?  Comment below to let us know!

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