Antique Gun Auction Slated

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The guns have been in the sheriff's gun locker for years. Sheriff Billy Sollie asked the Supervisors for permission to sell them, along with two World War II handguns.

"We've got two of what are commonly referred to as Thompson machine guns and two old police guns. In disposing of these we have them listed as surplus and then they can only be sold to federal firearms level three dealers. They can't be sold to the general public," Sollie said.

He said the purchaser can't use the guns. They are only for their display value. They really are something to be seen as Sheriff Sollie demonstrated to us later.

"This what's commonly called a Thompson submachine gun. It was originally built in 1921. It was overstamped in 1928. The Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department got it sometime around 1936. It's had it since then," said Sollie.

You've just had it in your gun locker since then?

"Every sheriff since then has had this gun or held this gun at some point in time," Sollie said.

The magazine holds 25 .45 caliber bullets. These two are typical of those you've seen in old films being carried by the FBI or a G-Man. There are also two World War Two M-3s, in the county's inventory. They are known more familiarly as Grease Guns.

"In some of the old war movies you may have seen these particular weapons used here. Paratroopers and others in a war utilized this particular weapon here," said Sollie.

Is that also rare?

"It's very rare but the Thompson, they're what the historians go after," Sollie said.

Sollie estimates the Thompson's will sell for between six and $10,000 each. The M-3s for two to $3,000 apiece.