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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Apr 26, 2013

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In the wake of shootings across the nation, many large lenders, such as AIG, have ceased to offer personal loans for firearm and gun purchases.

One gun store that was abandoned by their lender is Hyatt Gun Store in Charlotte, N.C.

Justin Anderson, Director of Internet Sales at Hyatt Gun Store, told that the business faced a number of obstacles on the financing side of the business back when the store partnered with an AIG subsidiary.

“When you look at retail in the gun business, everything is significantly more difficult,” said Anderson. “Just on the basics between having to have a federal firearms license, to compliance, to credit card processing. We pay the highest rate for what we do.”

Most of the store’s customers got unsecured personal loans for rifles rather than handguns.

Despite the loss of AIG’s lender, the Hyatt gun shop has not seen a rise in customer demand for personal loans to buy guns.

“Most people either use credit cards or they pay cash,” said Anderson.

Innovating in the face of change, the store now offers layaway financing based off of 90 days.

Also innovating in a changing market is a new company that only offers firearm personal loans to trusted members of law enforcement.

Jeff Amershadian, Managing Director at Law Enforcement Finance, told that officers usually borrow around $2,000.

Unlike gun stores, Law Enforcement Finance only offers financing for guns and equipment to law enforcement officers. The company offers financing on handguns, tasers, long guns, scopes, and other equipment or firearm accessories.

Amershadian explained that for the time being the program is only offered to local, state, and federal officers.

“It’s just structured for officers only,” said Amershadian. “Eventually it will be for stations. We did it to help out due to shortfall budgets and difficult financial times. Right now, they’re just not given proper equipment. It would be beneficial to pay $80 to $90 a month rather than thousands up front.”

Aside from offering reliable financing to members of law enforcement in need of robust equipment, the company pays special attention to due diligence.

“We verify that each person is a law enforcement officer,” said Amershadian. “Some individuals tried to get financing that just weren’t officers. We have not had anyone impersonate an officer. We verify each one is employed.”

Amershadian noted that demand in the industry increased in recent months due to the Newtown School Shooting and the subsequent threat of a potential assault weapons ban. However, there has been a gradual return to normalcy now that recent proposed firearm laws have been defeated.