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Readers' Choice: Praco Gun & Pawn offers wide variety

Readers' Choice: Praco Gun & Pawn offers wide variety

From the H.O.T. Readers' Choice Awards 2021 series
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Praco Pawn

Praco Gun & Pawn owner Brad Burney (left) and general manager Brian Shaw oversee the business. Photo by Ken Sury.

Praco Gun & Pawn has a long history in the Waco community as a reputable pawn business with a wide selection of new and used merchandise.

Praco specializes in firearms, jewelry, gold, musical equipment, electronics and tools. While “Gun” is in the business’ name, owner Brad Burney said they actually deal with a lot of musical equipment and jewelry.

The business was started by the Prather family decades ago. It was later purchased by John Bivona, who owned the store when Burney worked there while attending Baylor in the early ’90s.

Burney purchased the operation from Bivona in 1999 and moved it to its current location at 2201 W. Waco Drive.

“This is a fun business to be in,” he said. “I get to meet and work with a wide variety of people. I grew up in the firearms industry and guns have always been a passion of mine.”

Praco has a good-sized staff and is looking to hire more. Burney said they have a number of longtime employees, including Craig Marlar in firearms sales, who was already on staff when Burney purchased the store 22 years ago.

Burney said the store weathered COVID fairly well, though the selling and trading of firearms dipped. However, more people were coming to purchase firearms and ammunition.

He said he would joke that once people stocked up on toilet paper at the start of the pandemic, they’d go and buy guns and ammo in order to defend it.

“Being a pawn shop, we see a lot of different and interesting items come through here,” he said.

Old guns, old guitars and truly unique items are among the interesting merchandise he’s seen over the years.

“You never know what’s going to come through the door,” he said. 

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