How to Apply for a Gun Range License

by Tara Dooley ; Updated September 26, 2017

Gun range licensing is monitored on a county level in most cases.

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Gun ranges, in most cases, are not licensed by the states, but by the counties in which they are located. However, if certain guns are allowed to be used, a federal license might be needed. If you are planning to open a gun range in an area, check with local law enforcement to see whether you will need to take any special classes to operate that type of business. Once you meet your personal requirements, you can start the business opening process.

  1. Contact your county's zoning department to determine where gun ranges can be located. You will need property approved for this type of business, or you will not be able to obtain a license. If finding the right property is a problem, petition your local zoning board for either an ordinance change or waiver.

  2. Contact the business licensing department for your county and municipality. This could be the tax office, county clerk or a business development center if it is a large city. States do not license firing ranges; it generally is a matter left to individual counties and towns.

  3. Request and complete a license application to operate a gun range. Business applications vary by city or county, but basic information required includes name, business address, contact information, and a description of the business operation. You might also need to provide proof of a license to carry a firearm if your state or county requires it.

  4. Contact your insurance agent to obtain liability insurance to cover the business and any potential harm that could come to a customer. Check with the licensing department to find out how much insurance is required to operate a gun range.

  5. Return the application to the licensing office along with identification, proof of insurance and payment. A fee usually is associated with a business license and is based on the type of business and varies for different counties and towns. Wait for your license to be approved; this could take several weeks.

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About the Author


Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.