After serving multiple deployments overseas with the U.S. Army Special Forces, Josh Burns began building his own rifles at home.
In Sept. 2013, he and his wife Felicia, who also served in the military, decided they would make a business out of selling guns.
“This is his hobby that [Josh] masks as a business so he can play with guns,” Felicia told The Daily Signal recently while setting up their stand at the New Orleans Area Gun and Knife Show.
But starting their small business, Apocalypse Sports in Ponchatoula, La., wasn’t so easy.
What they found, is that because they sell guns, payment processors did not want to do business with them.
Problems With Processors
Felicia was in charge of finding a payment processor, which is a third-party outlet that handles credit card transactions between merchants and banks. In a world where credit cards are a primary method of payment, it’s one of the first things a start-up must do.
Felicia told The Daily Signal she was declined from three different payment processor companies—one of which, PayPal, froze their account.
For awhile, she only blamed herself.
“I just thought the whole payment [and] gateway system was a difficult thing to get around if you’re not a computer geek,” Felicia said, laughing.
Since this is my first start-up business, I didn’t realize that there were any different barriers to me selling guns than versus someone selling mascara or lipstick at a stand.
Felicia then came across TransNational, one of the few payment processors that does business with firearms and ammunition vendors.
From then on, she didn’t give the issue much thought.
“I’m not personally outraged,” Felicia said of her original dealings with payment processors. “It was frustrating—I just think it’s their loss.”