Longport Nj 1921 Sale Update
Posted 06 July 2005 - 08:02 AM
LONGPORT - It turns out that unloading a classic Thompson machine gun takes a little more than stashing it in a violin case and putting it up for sale on eBay.
Nearly a year after the borough decided to sell the classic weapon - given to the borough police department in 1930 - plans are still under way to conduct an auction.
"We had to deal with some regulations from the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms," said Commissioner John Stroebele, who is handling the sale. "Basically we have to sell it to a licensed gun dealer with the proper certification to handle collectible weapons. So that means we have to do a little marketing to those dealers in New Jersey and also some surrounding states."
The machine gun is a 1921 model, one of the first mass-produced versions of the famed Tommy gun. Still, only about 15,000 were made.
"I have heard people say that it could be worth as much as $60,000 to $70,000." Stroebele said.
Pricing antique weapons, however, is a tricky business and much depends on the weapon's condition and how often it has been fired. The last time the borough had the weapon appraised in 1978, it was valued at $10,000. Thompson models listed on Internet sites today usually bring a price in the $20,000 to $35,000 range.
The gun came to the borough's police department in 1930 as a gift from one of the owners of the Thompson company to then-police Chief Richard DePamphilis. Though it has been in the borough's armory ever since, it has never been used in action.
The Thompson is one of the most famous American guns ever made. U.S. Army General John T. Thompson designed the two-handled metal gun with a 50-round drum during World War I. He teamed up with retired U.S. Naval Commander John N. Blish to develop an ultra-light automatic rifle. The 1921 version was a popular gun on fixed-wing attack planes.
Though many U.S. police departments used the gun, the Tommy is usually thought of as the weapon of choice for prohibition-era gangsters. To showcase the weapon, the borough is creating a brochure with pictures of the weapon taken from different angles to be sent to gun dealers.
"From there we will try to set up an auction," Stroebele said. "It's hard to say how long it will take, but hopefully we'll have something in the works by the end of August."
To e-mail Michael Pritchard at The Press:
Posted 06 July 2005 - 09:18 AM
|QUOTE (ftc3906 @ Jul 6 2005, 08:02 AM)|
| "We had to deal with some regulations from the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms," said Commissioner John Stroebele, who is handling the sale. "Basically we have to sell it to a licensed gun dealer with the proper certification to handle collectible weapons.|
Is there really an ATF reg. that transferable machine guns sold by a P.D. have to be sold to a dealer or does Commissioner Stroebele have this wrong?
Is it possable that this is a pre-86 DS?
Posted 06 July 2005 - 09:50 AM
Unless it's a two digit 1921A in 99% condition with matching C and L drums, it's not getting that kind of money.
Posted 06 July 2005 - 11:04 AM
Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:54 PM
I also love the comment "popular" on fixed wing attack airplanes. Yeah OK this reporter did his homework NOT..
Posted 08 July 2005 - 04:18 PM