Bradford’s Pawn And Gun: Giving Our Community Certainty

By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

North Alabama has seen many gun shops come and go or change hands throughout the years, but one has been a staple in the community for over 33 years: Bradford’s Pawn and Gun.

What makes owner Bobby Reasonover smile these days isn’t big sales numbers. “When someone says ‘I’m here to do business with you because my parents and grandparents have always come here,’ that’s what makes us happy.”

Bobby and Gayle Reasonover have been the face of the shop since 1987, in the same location on Marion Street just south of the Downtown Square. “We’ve seen many trends throughout the years in this industry. Our main goal is to be consistent: consistent customer service and consistent selection. To be treated like family is really what people want.”

Being consistent and treating customers like family is what has grown Bradford’s into one of the largest gun stores in North Alabama. With nearly 1,000 guns on display daily, there’s hardly anything you can’t find there with their knowledge and help. Bradford’s carries a wide range of brands such as Ruger, Glock, Kimber, and Remington; so there’s something for anyone’s budget.

“We’re happy to see an increase in new customers lately – first-time gun owners,” says Reasonover. “We take pride in being able to help find them the best fit.”

Being comfortable with a firearm is crucial. At Bradford’s, they strive to help find that fit, whether it’s a hunting rifle or self-defense carry pistol. “Buying a gun isn’t like buying a pair of shoes – oftentimes you’re buying security, a day at the range, or an experience hunting game.”

Bradford’s also stocks one of the most diverse and voluminous ammo selections around. “It’s rare that I don’t have the ammo a customer is looking for. On the occasion I don’t have it in stock, it’s special ordered and delivered within the week most times,” says Reasonover. He doesn’t like not having what you need. It’s just another reason why his customers keep coming back.

Gun and ammo sales aren’t all that Bradford’s can do for your shooting needs. They have one of the best gunsmiths in the area, Marty Bates. “We’ve had customers drive from Birmingham and from the Middle Tennessee area for Marty’s services,” says Reasonover. You don’t have to ask Mr. Reasonover, Marty really is the best around.

Marty has over 25 years of experience in gunsmithing. Not only does Marty handle all the customer repairs, he thoroughly inspects all used firearms before they hit the sales floor so you can rest assured you’re getting a quality preowned firearm.

While Bradford’s certainly has a huge reputation for guns and ammo in the community, you might be interested to know that during the store’s early years, gun sales played second fiddle to Bradford’s robust pawn service.

“We started the pawn shop in the late 80s because pawn shops was the primary place for small loans,” according to owner Bobby Reasonover. “And for many, it still is today.”

Many in the community depend on Bradford’s every week, especially during tough times in the economy, like we are experiencing right now. When people fall on hard times financially, oftentimes Bradford’s pawn service is their relief. Pawn shops have been around for thousands of years, dating back to the Greek and Roman Empires. Today, pawn shops remain a key component in local economies. Pawn shops are a good source for quick cash. By simply providing collateral (such as gold, diamonds, or firearms) for the loan, you can have access to quick cash.

Bradford’s pawn service provides fast cash to borrowers, says owner Reasonover. “Cash for things like rent, medicine, and other basics help many of our customers make it to the next pay period.”

Imagine trying to secure a $300 or smaller loan from a bank for a 30- to 60-day period. It simply wouldn’t be possible. You would be quickly shown the door. The cost of the paperwork alone would put a roadblock in the process. “We have pawn customers from all walks of life, employment backgrounds, and age groups,” says owner Reasonover. “Even after 30 years, it’s still satisfying every time we hear a customer say ‘I couldn’t have made it this month without you guys.’”
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner