Best Gun Shop

Trader's Guns and Ammo

The brilliant turquoise enamel siding of this downtown Alton institution will hit your eyes like the lights of heaven after you've been shot with one of the snub-nosed pistols for sale inside this gun and pawn emporium. Of course, before you walk away with one of the firearms for sale here, owner Mike Byrd will have to run a background check on you through the Illinois State Police to confirm you're not some kind of psychopath. That they know of. Yet. In the meantime, look at some of the unusual pawned items Byrd has for sale (such as the Princess Di commemorative coins) or all the stuffed animal heads on the walls. There are plenty of those, some so old the glass eyes have cataracts. Byrd's dad opened the shop back in '69, the year a car accident kept him in a coma for three months. (The good news is it kept him from being shipped off to Vietnam.) While you continue waiting for that background check (it will take at least 24 hours to make your purchase — 72 hours if you're buying a pistol), ask Byrd his thoughts on the Second Amendment and Chicago politicians. Your records will arrive long before he's finished talking.

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