Firearm collectors: have a spare $20,000 or so lying around? Interested in owning a piece of history that’s a blast to shoot, too? Then you should keep in touch with the St. Louis Police Department. The agency is set to auction off nearly 30 .45-caliber Thompson submachine guns that have been in a PD “basement bunker” for roughly 60 years.
Writing for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Joel Currier reported that the department plans to offload the iconic firearms to raise money for new sidearms for the entire police force. St. Louis Police Department Chief Sam Dotson stated that the Thompsons and other guns will be sold in the next six months, estimating that as much as $1 million could be raised as a result.
According to Currier, the entire collection (which includes two Colt-manufactured pieces from 1921 and 1927) was “appraised by a local dealer in May 2012 at $770,000.” The cheapest of the arsenal, an Auto-Ordinance/Savage from 1942, was estimated to be worth $14,000; the Colts are both valued north of $30,000.
Some gun owners may be familiar with Chief Dotson’s pro-gun control stance on the ownership of firearms. Examiner.com contributor Kurt Hofmann wrote that Dotson has gone on the record stating that gun control was one of his “top priorities” and has been a guest speaker at Moms Demand Action anti-gun rallies.
However, Dotson appears to be certain that the guns “aren’t going into the wrong hands” thanks to their exorbitant prices and the lengthy process of legally transferring a machine gun to an individual. The Thompsons are presumably fully-transferable pre-May 1986 items, though an inquiry to the St. Louis Police Department regarding their status went unanswered as of this article’s publication.