The answer is yes, Authorize.Net allows FFLs – if set up correctly
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of back and forth as to whether or not Authorize.Net allows legal, FFL to FFL, firearms sales and if so, what particular method or set of steps an online gun dealer must follow. The dust has now long settled and we find that the answer is a clear yes. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you are selling guns or ammunition using Authorize.Net, you must pair the AuthNet payment gateway with an FFL friendly merchant account as well.
If you are new to the business and would like to learn more about FFL e-commerce check out this helpful article we wrote on getting started as an online FFL.
Why so much conflicting information on gateways and FFLs?
Part of the confusion over Authorize.Net and firearms sales, even after they opened up their terms to gun dealers, is the confusion between the payment gateway piece and the merchant account. Many FFL dealers mistakenly thought they were declined for an Authorize.Net gateway, when in fact they had been declined by the underlying credit card processor they were simultaneously applying for.
Setting up a legal, FFL to FFL firearms site or ammunition page online correctly is not overly complicated but it does need to be done properly. Contact us anytime using the form below for some no-obligation help.
If you feel like processing hassles and integration challenges have been holding you back from taking the leap into the FFL industry, now is your time to really get going. There is much to know in terms of setting up, getting ready, and becoming able to process payments – so we created an article that deals with this explicitly. We encourage you to read it through and if you have any questions, or want advice, contact us today and we’ll put you on the right path.
FFL friendly gateways for WooCommerce, Wix, BigCommerce or Shopify
As an FFL, the fact that you can use Authorize.Net (or NMI or ePN) for a host of shopping cart options including perennial powerhouses, BigCommerce, WordPress-WooCommerce, Wix, and Shopify is great news for online FFL dealers. These “big 4” site builders and carts make up a huge portion of e-commerce sites nationwide. The ability to use Authorize.Net (again, when set up carefully but one of our recommended providers) really has opened up the options for FFL’s online. If you have already invested the time and money into your FFL, the time for gearing up sales and making sure your payment processes are ready may be now. If you need help finding 2A friendly credit card processing services, we are happy to help, please contact us anytime using the form at the bottom of this page.
How we got here
Before 2013, Authorize.Net was the “go to” gateway for online firearms sales. Then, due to a much-publicized update to their terms, they stopped taking in new e-commerce firearms dealers and entirely ended services they were providing for many others.
Some of the dealers affected were large enough to make waves nationwide on such media outlets as The Washington Times Opinion page and theBlaze.com. This caused a considerable amount of confusion and turmoil in the industry. This abrupt shift meant that, for example, small FFL dealers who had their financial plan ready and finally got their shooting sports website up and running were in for an unpleasant surprise. Because of Authorize.Net’s changes, these merchants had suddenly found that they needed a new gateway and, even worse, that their cart did not support many second amendment friendly gateways.
Luckily, online firearms dealers can now benefit from our long-standing relationships with leaders in the American FFL friendly merchant account business. This allows us to better help our clients to understand their options and recommend FFL friendly payment gateways such as Authorize.Net, NMI, and above all eProcessing Network. This last option works out very well for many businesses due to its compatibility with Gun Broker and Gun Auction.
FFL and Authorize.Net T&C in black and white
A review of Authorize. Net’s current terms and conditions and their service agreement shows that there is no longer any mention of guns, firearms, or weapons of any kind. As reported at the time by GunsSaveLives.net, the NSSF reached out to Authorize.Net directly and, seemingly based at least in part to their outreach, the terms and conditions were amended. We have been able to confirm this and have also been assisting online FFL dealers with new Authorize.Net gun friendly account recommendations for years now.
How to use Authorize.Net as an FFL
It is important to reemphasize that you need to have an Authorize.Net account set up with an FFL friendly processor. For example, Authorize.Net works with literally hundreds of processors, and most are gun friendly to websites, regardless of their FFL status. This is where we can help you find the right FFL friendly processor that connects through Authorize.Net, and that best suits your online business’s needs. Feel free to contact us anytime for a recommendation, and we can help you get set up and accepting cards right away.