If there is a technical college near where you live I would enroll in a machinist program. This should expose you to a variety of skills needed in the industry. Also, you will acquire some formal credentials, so if the gunsmith thing does not work out you have a fall back plan.
A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.
- Milton Friedman