A gunsmith designs and builds firearms for clients, as well as repairs existing weapons. This position requires extensive knowledge of firearms, and it may be a full-time or part-time position for an employer or as an independent agent. When gunsmiths design a new weapon, they may work completely from scratch or they may customize existing weapons for their clients; throughout the design and development process, gunsmiths must talk with their clients to ensure they are meeting the customers' needs. Additionally, gunsmiths make repairs or modifications to existing weapons. This can include, for example, mounting a scope, adding gun sights, repairing a weapon so it is in working condition or improving accuracy. In all of their duties, gunsmiths must be able to safely handle firearms and ensure that the weapons they produce or repair are safe to use.
A high school diploma or equivalent is typically the minimum educational requirement for this position. Additionally, gunsmiths may complete a postsecondary program in gunsmithing (at, for example, a trade school). Employers may also require or prefer previous experience as a gunsmith. Additionally, most gunsmiths buy their own tools, which can be expensive. Licensing from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) as a firearm dealer is needed as well.
Inspect, clean, diagnose and maintain small arms weapons.
Perform repairs and upgrade weapons.
Train users on weapon handling, maintenance and firing.
Maintain inventory of current weapons, ammunition, parts, tools, cleaning equipment and other items.