It’s no secret that the Pawn Stars staff sees some bizarre items come into the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, but most of them are at least legal. One item, in particular, had Corey Harrison a bit nervous as soon as the seller revealed what it was. When the woman set down the tear gas baton, Harrison was afraid to touch it and leave his fingerprints on the device. To some extent, he was joking, but the gesture hinted at his genuine fear of making a transaction for an illegal weapon. In order to clarify whether the pawnshop employee even could purchase the item, he called in a military and firearms expert to examine the piece.
International Military Antiques shop owner Alex Cranmer soon joined the Pawn Stars and the seller at the counter, eager to shed a little light on the history of the tear gas baton. Cranmer was an expert in all-things-militia dating from 1645 to 1945. He was a frequent consultant for the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, so Harrison trusted his opinion on the piece. According to Cranmer, some tear gas batons “were easily converted to shoot shotgun shells.”
Cranmer revealed that the maker of this particular baton was Federal Laboratories. In the 1930s, this company manufactured riot equipment for law enforcement and “companies with labor issues.”
Watch the Pawn Stars expert demonstrate how the tear gas baton works in the clip below.
‘Pawn Stars’ Expert Explains How the Baton Could Be ‘So, So Illegal’
Back in the 30s, the tear gas baton served the purpose of two weapons – tear gas and batons, obviously. The versatility made the device the choice weapon to use in prisons, asylums, riots, and more. Though the baton was an alternative to firearms at the time, it could still be just as damaging – and, with its potential to fire a shotgun shell, perhaps even more damaging.
Arms expert Cranmer demonstrated how the user would load a canister of tear gas and mentioned that there was even a safety device.
“Is it legal?” Pawn Stars employee Harrison asked, voicing the question on everyone’s mind.
Cranmer’s answer was unsure, at best.
“If you can get off one round, ATF says it’s a sawed-off shotgun, essentially, which is so, so illegal,” the Pawn Stars expert explained. “I just wouldn’t take the risk.”
For the seller, that means there was no deal.
“Unfortunately, it’s just too gray of an area to deal with,” Harrison said. “I’m gonna have to pass.”
Harrison offered his condolences to the woman before wiping his and Cranmer’s fingerprints off the item.
As the seller left with her tear gas baton, the Pawn Stars shop member told her, “Just don’t get pulled over on the way home.”