Jump to content

1921 Thompson Possible Pd Acquisition Advice

Recommended Posts

I met with my uncle today, who retired in January after 4 terms as County Sheriff in a county in the Western U.S. I have never spoken to him about the weapons used by his former department, but we got onto that subject today. He said that after being sheriff for a while, he was in the evidence room, and noticed a wooden box. He asked a deputy what it was. "That's our Thompson" was the reply. Turns out the county experienced a murder in 1928 at the hands of some "Bonnie and Clyde" type bandits, and the sheriff at the time decided to purchase some additional firepower. The county acquired the 1921 Thompson in 1928. I don't know if it's an "A" or an "AC" yet, but I will find out soon. My uncle says that the new sheriff used to work for him, and that he had a big part of his being elected, so he will have no problem getting a picture of the gun for me, as well as the serial number and additional information.


He's interested in getting me a chance to purchase the weapon from his former department. Now here's where I need some advice. He says that they had attempted to sell the weapon to a dealer in the recent past for $5K, but there was some kind of a problem that developed. He does not remember exactly what the problem was, but I'm thinking that the only paperwork that may exist for the weapon is the original 1928 sales paperwork from A-O. I told him that the gun could be worth $25K at this time, depending upon condition and accessories, and NFA transferability.


So, I know that if the PD registered the weapon with the Feds prior to 1968 that there will probably be no problem getting a transaction rolling for a transfer. I want to be sure that all NFA rules are followed in doing such. The question I have is this; If the PD never registered the weapon because they were not required to do so when purchased in 1928, is there any way for the PD to get this Thompson into the NFA registry as a transferable weapon?


Any advice is greatly appreciated.


David Albert






Link to comment
Share on other sites

david if it is in texas i hope you know bush......otherwise not!! buying and having a receipt from p.d. for 1928 mean's nothing...the time was 1934 and 1968,hopefully somebody at the time did something>>otherwise good luck.and have a safe and happy summer.


p.s. ole helmer finally got around to me...good time's!!


take care,ron

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Thanks, I was afraid that would be the case. Hopefully I'll find out in a few days what the previous problem was, and if there is any paperwork that exists after 1928. At the very least, I can probably get a chance to go shoot it with the County Sheriff.


Yeah, Bill is doing well, and is a really nice guy! We're going to meet here this summer to go over some stuff. I'm glad he got back with you via e-mail.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

QUOTE (dalbert @ Apr 19 2005, 07:43 PM)
Yeah, Bill is doing well, and is a really nice guy!  We're going to meet here this summer to go over some stuff.  I'm glad he got back with you via e-mail.



Unfortunately, Ron is correct, if the gun wasn't previously registered by the Sheriff's Department, there is no way to do so now. That probably is why the dealer couldn't obtain possession previously.


I trust Bill Helmer had made his move to Texas successfully? I wish him well. I had many good times with him when he lived in Chicago.


Keep us posted on the status of the Sheriff's gun.

Link to comment
Share on other sites



Thanks for the info! Bill is back in Texas and doing fine. I look forward to meeting him soon.


First Sergeant,


I appreciate the NFA Branch phone call suggestion. That will probably be my first step once I get the info. My uncle will be back home in a few days, and he sounded enthusiastic about getting the pictures and info as soon as he could. He said the gun was in "perfect" condition. (I know "perfect" is very open to interpretation.) He said they took it out shooting once while he was sheriff, and that he was very impressed by the high cyclic rate. They shot it, cleaned it, oiled it, and put it back in the wooden box. From the details I heard, I doubt that the weapon has been used much over the years, and it has apparently been stored in the box, away from other weapons.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...