Business Issues

Notes on The Perils of Pauline and other regulatory gems.

by Wendell Dwight Deaner

I’m being a little facetious with the The Perils of Pauline reference in the deck but sometimes a small business owner seems to be tied to the railroad tracks while a laughing bureaucrat looks on and twirls his mustache. In the early 1900s, when Pauline was fighting her battles, regulations for opening and maintaining a business were relatively mild compared to today. After all, in those days the business of America was business. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) didn’t exist; neither did any significant Labor Relations Board. You were free to discriminate in hiring practices, stand your child workers on boxes for ten hours a day and pay your female workers less than their male counterparts. All that is gone today, and that’s a good thing, but what are we left with as far as regulations go? This article can’t address all those subjects but if you have any employees, or even if you don’t but have customers in your shop, you do need to be concerned with safety.

The federal government and all states have regulations that can sometimes be taxing (pun intended) for the small business owner. There is no way to cover each individual state’s regulations but I advise you to do your homework well when contemplating opening a business such as a gunsmith or shop. The Internet is full of information on this subject. Many states have official websites for those interested in starting a business. Local, state and federal regulatory sites have enough information available that is actually specific for gun-related businesses to get you started. The County Clerk of the Court where you plan to operate should also be consulted.

I am going to touch on some of the safety measures any shop should observe and, in a general way, some of the regulations you may encounter. First this disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I am not a physician. I don’t even play one on TV. This article is not the regular how-to that I usually submit or even a guide, rather, it should serve as a suggestion for you to think about what you may encounter when starting your business and hopefully keeping it in operation.

Read more in our December 2014 issue. Back issues are available.

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