Yes, it's fun to watch a pawn shop show where the guy comes in with a pirate’s old hog leg made out of wood, or the blunderbuss of a collecting oil magnate and tries to shop that around. It’s neat to see the involved parties argue over whether the firing pin is actually silver-plated, or whether the little burn mark on the stock proves authenticity.
But the reality around pawning firearms is not quite as colorful as all that.
Having said that, pawnshop owners see a lot of different guns in the course of their jobs. Being able to understand the market helps us to provide customers with what's fair, and to be able to move and unload inventory when we need to. Part of the job is being knowledgeable about gun value in terms of collecting, utility and yes, current regulations.
Vintage and Modern Guns
Old muskets aside, we do see a lot of different varieties of guns, and some pretty clear classifications or categories. In some ways, guns are like cars – their designs are dated.
For instance, you often see 1970s pistols in a pawn broker’s window. These guns are old, and may not be in fully serviceable condition. By today's standards, they look quaint – like glorified cap guns, or primitive artifacts of an age gone by. In fact, the pawn shop guy may field questions about whether one of these small items is actually a toy, or whether the ingrained dirt will come out in the wash.
By contrast, you can also see guns that are almost brand-new – some have only been used once, and some have never been used at all. They have – so to speak – been driven in directly from the factory floor.
You're not going to see any dust on the bottle with these new firearms. What you are going to see is significant value, because these modern designs are able to hold value over time. With that in mind, it’s also part of our job to be realistic. One of the big realities in the pawn shop world is that every seller thinks their stuff is worth top dollar – and every pawn shop owner has to look out for his or her bottom line, too. That means some friendly negotiations are usually in order.
We deal in a lot of things at Pawnderosa Pawn, and firearms are one of them. We understand the safety challenges and the requirements for safe dealing. We also know the market and what items bring online and on the street. Come in and see us, and we’ll talk.