(IL) Sheriff wants to melt down Dillinger's Tommy gun


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Drizzt
December 27, 2002, 09:00 PM
Sheriff wants to melt down Dillinger's Tommy gun

December 27, 2002

BY MICHAEL PUENTE AND LUCIO GUERRERO

A Tommy gun stolen by John Dillinger after a brazen 1934 jail escape in Indiana could soon be molten steel.

Newly elected Lake County, Ind., Sheriff Roy Dominguez--no fan of Dillinger because he killed a cop--is thinking about throwing the infamous Colt Thompson submachine gun into a furnace at one of the county's steel mills. History experts say the gun could be worth $1 million.

"I see no sense in glorifying him or that gun...[the Tommy gun] was used in the commission of a felony," Dominguez said. "I would consider melting it down or find another way to properly dispose of it.

"By giving it notoriety continues the glorification of John Dillinger, which I think is wrong," said Dominguez, who takes office next Wednesday.

Dillinger made off with two Tommy guns after he broke out of Lake County Jail on March 3, 1934. One of them belonged to Lake County; the other was on loan from neighboring Porter County.

The guns were thought to be lost until a gun-tracking expert found both of them in FBI storage in Washington, D.C. Porter County got its gun back last year and Lake County a few months later.

Lake County's gun hasn't been on display much; it was only last month that outgoing Lake County Sheriff John Buncich publicly displayed it for the first time.

Tony Stewart, an expert on early American crimes and author of Dillinger, The Hidden Truth , points to the historical significance of the Indiana outlaw.

"Dillinger was a very important factor to the FBI's existence in the '30s. It's true, with Congress breathing down the bureau's neck, the FBI was in trouble. [Director J. Edgar] Hoover needed a big catch to save the bureau," Stewart said.

But Dominguez and other Lake County officials said they see no reason to preserve the gun.

"I don't think [having the gun melted] would destroy history," said Dominguez.

It has not been proved that Lake County's gun was used to kill anyone, but it is believed to have been used by Dillinger and his cohorts in the holdup of three or four banks following their Crown Point jailbreak. History buffs say the gun could fetch as much as $1 million at auction, but Lake County officials said they can't sell the gun.

Lake County sheriff's spokesman Loy Roberson said there is no documentation for the gun ownership and that selling it would violate the federal firearms act.

"You cannot get it titled. It doesn't have paperwork," Roberson said. "You can't sell something if you don't have paper on it. It belongs to the Lake County Sheriff's Department, but we don't have title paper on it."

The other gun stolen with the Lake County weapon is on display at the Porter County sheriff's office. The only catch: It's in the department's training room, which is not open to the public.

http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-gun27.html

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El Tejon
December 27, 2002, 09:03 PM
Another "victory" for gun control!:rolleyes:

Hkmp5sd
December 27, 2002, 09:03 PM
What an idiot.

blades67
December 27, 2002, 09:05 PM
Dominguez is an idiot. http://thefiringline.com/forums/images/smilies/barf.gif

Chaz
December 27, 2002, 09:44 PM
LOL!! Now That is a funny play on words.

Lake County sheriff's spokesman Loy Roberson said there is no documentation for the gun ownership and that selling it would violate the federal firearms act.

Ever here of loaning it to a museum, idiot? Why trash an american antique with such a history? A complete case of rectal-cranial inversion if I ever heard one.

WonderNine
December 27, 2002, 09:47 PM
Originally posted by Chaz
LOL!! Now That is a funny play on words.



Ever here of loaning it to a museum, idiot? Why trash an american antique with such a history? A complete case of rectal-cranial inversion if I ever heard one.

Exactly, it should go to a museum. In what way is that "glorifying it"?

God damned braindead sheriff.

Tommy.Gun
December 27, 2002, 10:24 PM
I for one am very upset...:mad:

gryphon
December 27, 2002, 10:35 PM
Some people collect Nazi memorobilia, not because they are paying homage or supporting the Nazi cause, but because they are parts of world history.

I wonder how people get elected sometimes. :mad:

Nathaniel Firethorn
December 27, 2002, 10:40 PM
Melt down that sheriff's badge.

- pdmoderator

Tommy.Gun
December 27, 2002, 10:49 PM
Melt down the sheriff... :eek:

Redlg155
December 27, 2002, 10:54 PM
Well..if the people in his country feel as strongly about it as we do they will hopefully voice their concerns. His is an elected position and he could very well find himself out on his ear.

Hmm..let see. The weapon belongs to the Sheriffs Dept, which in turn belongs to the County. I'm sure the County Commisioners will have something to say about the potential loss of a million dollars revenue.

A million dollars could provide for new patrol cars, equipment, and increased salaries for the officers. Even a Dare car or two and support for a local program.

Not being able to sell it because there is no document of ownership is a crock. They could permanently alter the weapon to a non firing status and then sell it as a historical artifact.

Or better yet, donate it to a museum.

Good Shooting
RED

2nd Amendment
December 27, 2002, 11:00 PM
I am always amazed at what gets elected in the PRI. is there something in the water over there, or what? Indiana? Pretty normal, cross the line and the whole damn state over there is just bizarre.

Gordon
December 27, 2002, 11:18 PM
Like it or not guys it COULD be dewated cosmetically enough to still be worth 6 figures to county, but oh what the hell they can always gouge the taxpayers for more $ and kill the nasty gun!:mad:

Blueduck
December 27, 2002, 11:37 PM
:confused: at the tone here...

For one he's a sheriff saying he's going to obey the law in that since it was not registered it can't be sold thats it. How many elected officials would be whining that the laws don't apply to his Department only the sheeple or that they should be given special treatment because it's a million dollars, or trying to just genreally weasel their way around the law?

Second with all the recent anger about the glorification of crimminals (Charlie Mansons CD, thug rappers etc.) it brings up an interesting point of exactly how much time has to pass before a murdering thug becomes a "historical figure". Think maybe one day your great grandchildren will be watching serials about the life and times of O.J. Simpson (that wascally OJ got away again!) or visiting the Washington Snipers museum...

Zorro
December 27, 2002, 11:42 PM
I thought Illinois had a BIG budget deficit this year?

So this Bozo wants to BURN! A Million dollars just to "Feel Good?"

It is amazing that retards such as this reach high office.

Kevinch
December 27, 2002, 11:45 PM
Stupid. Just plain stupid. Give the gun to a museum if you want, but don't destroy the history.

The guy is a jerk.

Sleeping Dog
December 27, 2002, 11:54 PM
This sheriff reminds me of the Taliban a few years ago, when they blew up some ancient statues of Buddha.

It's just pointless destruction. Melt down the gun, and WALLAH, there never was a Chicago gang scene during prohibition. Moron.

Regards.

4v50 Gary
December 28, 2002, 12:22 AM
Bozo should consider donating it to the Smithsonian. They don't want ordinary guns but guns associated with notable figures in history. That Thompson SMG is such a gun and it would earn Bozo a permanent place in the records of the Smithsonian.

Then again, he could give it to any of us.

444
December 28, 2002, 12:23 AM
Something I don't understand is why he doesn't just leave the gun alone. It has been around for what ? 80 years ? It isn't eating anything. Why not just put it in the arms room and be done with it ? Forget selling it, forget donating it. Just put it back where he found it and leave it alone.

PS, I don't really want an answer, I know the answer.


Someone earlier brought up a valid point. This is the property of the sheriffs department. The sheriffs department is a government agency. The governments of this country are supposed to be a goverment of the people. Therefore the gun belongs to the people. It isn't his gun. It isn't the sheriffs departments gun. It belongs to the people. Therefore he is talking about destroying public property paid for by the taxpayers of this country.

Hkmp5sd
December 28, 2002, 12:28 AM
Blueduck,

There is a quite a difference between Charles Manson, who is alive and in prison, writing and recording songs that are then distributed around the world on CD and a single piece of history from a guy that's been dead for 75 years. Bet you won't find one single website dedicated to rehabilitating Dillinger's record. There are several that claim Manson is innocent and are seeking his release.

Part of Dillinger's fame came from the equally egotistical Hoover. This gun is a piece of American history. The person wanting to melt it down probably has no idea on the legality of transferring machineguns. Since the FBI finally won the war with Dillinger, I'd bet the would LOVE someone to DONATE that specific Thompson to their museum.

This is just some arbitrary decision by some politician that temporarily has a badge.

PATH
December 28, 2002, 12:28 AM
You cannot talk sense to the senseless! Dollars to douhhnuts that the gun ends up melted down by that sheriff!:rolleyes:

Alan Smithiee
December 28, 2002, 01:02 AM
if it is illegal to be transfered, how did the FBI get away with returning it to it's proper owners?

lets see.. if someone returns a car that was stolen in 1920, do they need a title certificate? (did they even have title certificates back then?)

I'm sure even ATF would write some kind of waiver or permit or something like this.

maybe we need to do a write in to Ashcroft and Bush on this.. see if they walk the walk.

Bergeron
December 28, 2002, 01:52 AM
If the sherriff is that concerned about glorifing Dillinger, how about issuing the Thompson to officers to use as a duty weapon? The Thompson could then assist the officers and help them enforce the law, "restoring its honor."

Or maybe the sheriff is just an idiot.

WilderBill
December 28, 2002, 04:07 AM
Maybe???

Nanook
December 28, 2002, 08:34 AM
Just to clarify, guys, that sheriff is in Lake County INDIANA, not Illinois. That's what makes it even worse, you'd expect some nitwit in my home state to try a bone-headed stunt like that.
Wow, I'm defending Illinois, who'd a thunk it?

Blueduck
December 28, 2002, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by Hkmp5sd
Blueduck,

There is a quite a difference between Charles Manson, who is alive and in prison, writing and recording songs that are then distributed around the world on CD and a single piece of history from a guy that's been dead for 75 years.

Not to be contrary but...

So that means when Manson's been dead a certain period of time the knife used to slit Sharon Tates pregnant belly open is a "piece of history"??? Maybe Robin Leach's grandson can do the auction, or our children's children can go look at it in some museum:rolleyes:

Lots of Tommy guns out there, got way better things to worry about than what happens to that particular one. Would have been a lot more upset if the Sheriff had claimed the laws we have to put up with didn't apply to him or his department.

BigG
December 28, 2002, 09:59 AM
Somebody should steal it. What a bozo! :mad: Where's that barf icon when I need it?

Gordon
December 28, 2002, 11:45 AM
Don't they have Dillinger's phony gun and ,er private parts on display somewhere?:cool:

waterdog
December 28, 2002, 11:56 AM
My first reply here.

The people need to know their sheriff, is going to melt down a million bucks.

We need email addresses of the local media.

waterdog

444
December 28, 2002, 01:30 PM
"Lots of Tommy guns out there........................"

There probably are a lot of Thompsons out there. But there are not going to be any more. It is certainly possible to make a copy, you might not even be able to tell the difference, but it won't be a Thompson. I would be against melting down a Hi-Point, let alone a firearm with the history of a Thompson.
Using this kind of logic, it wouldn't be any loss to melt down firearms owned by Hitler or whatever.
I agree that there are plenty of things to worry about, but that doesn't mean we just let some of them slide. We certainly can worry about a lot of them at the same time.

Yohan
December 28, 2002, 03:39 PM
I agree- melt down his badge

Schuey2002
December 28, 2002, 03:53 PM
Gary hit the nail on the head..

That sheriff should donate this tommygun to the Smithsonian Museum so they can keep it as a part of American history. ;)

Hkmp5sd
December 28, 2002, 08:04 PM
Actually, they didn't split Sharon Tate's belly open. However, to answer the question, yes the knife used to kill her is part of history. So is the buntline .22 revolver they used to dispatch a few of them. So is the 6.5 mm Mannlicher-Carcano rifle used to shoot (in theory) JFK. If someone creates a museum to display these items, there is nothing wrong with that.

Should they level the concentration camps in Europe that are now open to the public just because we don't like what happened there? How about destroying the Alamo? Doesn't it glorify the slaughter of some American Patriots by the Mexican army?

This reminds me of the big argument a few years ago over whether or not the Smithsonian should display the Enola Gay.

These items do not glorify anyone. They are artifacts that remind us of our past.

A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.
- Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazurus Long

nygunguy
December 28, 2002, 08:11 PM
At least to a trained liberal. If you can't revise history, then do everything you can to make it go away.

HS/LD
December 28, 2002, 08:14 PM
That Sheriff needs a good old fashioned ass whooping!

HS/LD:D

Gordon
December 28, 2002, 08:44 PM
What about John Dillenger's private part ? I was told from reliable source FBI used to display it to other LEO's when you went to train at HQ's- kinda a guy joke. At same location was his phony wooden pistol LEO source told me 30 years ago. Seems there has ALWAYS been a macabre glorifacation of outlaws. :cool:

Blueduck
December 28, 2002, 08:52 PM
"History" is I guess the sticking point. To Blueduck: Enola Gay=History, Concentration Camps=History, Caracano used to assasinate a US president during one of the most important turning points of the most powerfull nation on earth=history.

Thugs gun used to kill innocent people because he thought he was too good to work for living=trash, not history. Whether it was Dillingers gun 75 years ago or some guys lorcin who killed a $5.25 an hour clerk robbing a liquer store two weeks ago, same thing. Like a certain sportscasters knife, these things just don't qualify as "history" to me.

4570Rick
December 28, 2002, 08:56 PM
The only thing worse than revising history, is destroying history. :mad:

sm
December 28, 2002, 09:37 PM
I'd rather have Dillinger's Tommy Gun in the Smithsonian -- than--the Klinton Library being built in my state.

Dillinger was at least honest about his exploits.

MountainPeak
December 28, 2002, 09:41 PM
I suppose something has to be done about the recent rash of Dillinger imitators. :rolleyes:

Phyphor
December 28, 2002, 10:49 PM
Originally posted by Bergeron
If the sherriff is that concerned about glorifing Dillinger, how about issuing the Thompson to officers to use as a duty weapon? The Thompson could then assist the officers and help them enforce the law, "restoring its honor."

Or maybe the sheriff is just an idiot.

I like that idea. Matter of fact, I think the deputy carrying that weapon would like that idea too. (Think of the look on a thugs face when said deputy hauls out Mr. Thompson and charges it...... )

And yes, the sherrif is an absolute moron.

Hkmp5sd
December 28, 2002, 11:02 PM
http://mywebpages.comcast.net/Elbarfo/dedhorse.gif

BigG
December 29, 2002, 12:31 PM
I read a Thompson SMG book once, have it somewhere. It said the original run of Thompsons only amounted to 10,000 units built by Colt's for Thomas Fortune Ryan's Auto Ordnance. Most of the 10,000 languished unsold until WWII when the US Gomt snapped up anything that woudl shoot. They were just too blamed spensive for normal people to buy at IIRC $200/per.

SO either a 1921 or 1928 is a piece of history that should be preserved for that sake alone, given how many were sent overseas. :(

Checkman
August 29, 2005, 01:22 PM
Okay so its been almost three years since this news article. Did Dillinger's Thompson get melted down? Does anybody know what has happened?

waterdog
August 29, 2005, 02:09 PM
Yeah, what happened?

waterdog

Joejojoba111
August 29, 2005, 02:25 PM
"What about John Dillenger's private part ? I was told from reliable source FBI used to display it to other LEO's when you went to train at HQ's- kinda a guy joke. At same location was his phony wooden pistol LEO source told me 30 years ago. Seems there has ALWAYS been a macabre glorifacation of outlaws. "

Actually they never caught Dillenger, the guy they caught was proven in the autopsy to have differences like eye color and heart defects (from birth)... But when you have a corpse on your hands, and lots of pictures, you make the story fit the circumstances. I bet dillenger couldn't a been happier.

Trebor
August 29, 2005, 02:56 PM
They could permanently alter the weapon to a non firing status and then sell it as a historical artifact.

No, not really. DEWATS are a thing of the past. The only way to turn it into a "non gun" is to cut the receiver in 3 places. Granted, they could then build the parts into a dummy gun on a dummy receiver, but the original gun is pretty much destroyed when the receiver is cut up. It would be like Washington's ax. You know, the one where the handle has been replaced twice and the head three times.

Trebor
August 29, 2005, 03:04 PM
if it is illegal to be transfered, how did the FBI get away with returning it to it's proper owners?

The gun was stolen BEFORE the National Firearms Act of 1934 required that all machine guns be registered. The police department couldn't then register it when the law changed because they didn't have it at that time. The FBI was able to return it because the last owner of record was a law enforcement agency. If it had been stolen from a private citizen, that person would have probably been SOL. (Unless it had been returned before 1986 when the NFA registry was closed)


I'm sure even ATF would write some kind of waiver or permit or something like this.

The ATF can't write a waiver. The NFA registry was closed in 1986. The ATF doesn't have the power to make an exception. That means that no new registrations for privately owned machine guns can be added to the registry. Congress would have to pass a law to allow it to be added to the registry. Fat chance of that. The Sheriff's department could get the paperwork for the gun that says a LEO agency can own it, but they can't transfer it to a collector. If they did sell it to another LEO agency, that agency also could not transfer it to a private party.

The Smithsonian would be the best bet, in my opinion.

71Commander
August 29, 2005, 03:31 PM
He hasn't taken over the office yet and he's making these kind of statements. :cuss: It's gonna be a long tenure. :banghead:

Tropical Z
August 29, 2005, 03:37 PM
That guy is really thick--yah lets go ahead and destroy history.That'll rewrite the books.

Henry Bowman
August 29, 2005, 04:03 PM
Given only two choices, I'd rather it be melted down and forgotten than for Babs Boxer or Di Feinstein (or some elected criminal in Chicago) to hold it up as a prop in support of their next gun-grabbing ban.

Daniel T
August 29, 2005, 04:07 PM
He hasn't taken over the office yet and he's making these kind of statements. It's gonna be a long tenure.

Actually, I'm assuming he HAS taken over the office, since this thread originated in 2002.

Checkman
August 29, 2005, 04:21 PM
I brought this thread back from the dead because I'm curious as to the Tommy gun's fate. Is it still intact or is ti gone? I'm betting it's been destroyed, but I don't know. Does anybody?

71Commander
August 29, 2005, 06:08 PM
Actually, I'm assuming he HAS taken over the office, since this thread originated in 2002.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/tucker13/brownbag.gif

JoeG52
August 29, 2005, 06:30 PM
Not maybe, the sheriff is just an idiot.

Monkeyleg
August 29, 2005, 08:10 PM
Reminds me of the scene from Schindler's list where the German commandant is addressing his troops:

"For six centuries, there has been a
Jewish Cracow.
By this weekend, those six centuries,
they're a rumor. They never happened.
Today is history."

If that IN sheriff has his way, somebody will be spit-shining his boots some day. Hope it isn't anyone here.

coonan357
August 29, 2005, 08:58 PM
yes sherriff domengiuz has taken office but no word of what ever happened to the tommygun . will try to find out . Mr El Tejon may be you could find out since you have freinds .

Rosstradamus
August 29, 2005, 09:11 PM
Blueduck, history is often ugly. Maybe you prefer Stalin's method of cleaning up historical loose ends? History as presented in the Soviet Encyclopedia was very neat and tidy.

And yes, I vote with most of the other High Roaders: That guy is an idiot.

Waitone
August 29, 2005, 11:05 PM
The sheriff's arrogance knows no limits. Here he is sitting on an asset that could bring a cool $1 million to his country. For some reason it has not occurred to him the government could use the money. So he feels free to engage in jihad against inanimate historical objects. Seems to me the good sheriff just placed a value on his prejudice. :scrutiny:

c_yeager
August 30, 2005, 02:05 AM
I was always taught that crimes, tragedies, and attrocities were the most important parts of history, as their remembrance enabled a society to prevent their reccurance.

And i dont fully understand why this weapon isnt transferable. Shouldnt it be treated like any other pre-NFA machingun? (i have no idea how these are treated though, but their must be a policy in place).

Trebor
August 30, 2005, 08:46 AM
And i dont fully understand why this weapon isnt transferable. Shouldnt it be treated like any other pre-NFA machingun? (i have no idea how these are treated though, but their must be a policy in place).

Yeah, there's a policy in place. The policy is that it can either be owned by a LEO agency or it's contraband. I believe that it either is already registered as a LEO weapon or it could still be added as a LEO weapon. The problem is that LEO NFA registrations aren't transferable to civilians.

That's why there is no real "Market value" for this gun. It's not worth "$1 Million" because no private owner could legally take possession. The only people that could purchase it would be a law enforcement agency or possibly a museum. I don't see either group paying $1 Million for the gun. Essentially, it's worthless.

The fact that the gun was manufactured before the NFA took effect is irrelevent. Under the law, it should have been registered when the NFA was passed. There was also an amnesty in 1968 that allowed weapons that had never been registered to be added to the registry.

Now, NFA registration works differently for LEO agencies than it does for private citizens. The NFA paperwork for a LEO weapon doens't allow it to be transfered to a private citizen. That's because the private citizen part of the NFA registry was closed in 1986. That's why no new machine guns can be manufactured for the civilian market. That's also why no old machine-guns that were never registered can not now be added to the registry and LEO guns can not be transfered to the civilian registry.

I may not be 100% on the details, but that's the gist of it.

saltydog
August 30, 2005, 10:44 AM
Not maybe, the sheriff is just an idiot.
He is worse than that. He is a "real" idiot! :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf:

Geno
August 30, 2005, 11:02 AM
There is no way that ANY law enforcement agency should be permitted to take "ownership" as in to keep and to employ of ANY person's firearm(s). Without exception! That potential permits some fool to seek out nice or limited firearm for malicious taking. I saw this very thing occur in northern Michigan to one of my students.

A DNR officer seized a young man's .22 LR (Kimber rifle). He did NOT take the rifle back to the office and log it...he took it home! He left it in his vehicle for a few weeks and then was actually seen USING it to hunt!?!?! When confronted by the State Police, he retorted that he "forgot that it was there." When they asked how could you forget it when was there hunting with it? He responded, "I'm giving it a safety check." The gun was seized from him and returned to the lawful owner.

Donate the machine gun as a piece of historical matter or keep it in the evidence room. We can not rewrite history and we should not. Nor should any LEO walk about with any citizenís (present or previous) property, be that citizen dead or alive.

Doc2005

Waitone
August 30, 2005, 11:11 AM
Was any legal action civil or criminal taken against the DNR ossifer?

miko
August 30, 2005, 12:09 PM
That guy is not an idiot, or stupid or anything like that.

He is a typical government official. It's not his property worth $1 million plus sentimental value that he wants to melt down.
He will not gain a penny by preserving that gun. In fact due to other intrusive government regulations he faces a hassle if he tries to sell it to make money for his department.

He is exercising power and imposing his personal values at no cost to him. Sounds like a very rational guy to me.

miko

c_yeager
August 31, 2005, 06:29 AM
He will not gain a penny by preserving that gun. In fact due to other intrusive government regulations he faces a hassle if he tries to sell it to make money for his department.

A number of historically significant police departments opperate their own museums at a profit. He could easily sell it to one of those departmens, or even start one at his department.

Chrontius
August 31, 2005, 10:11 AM
If the sherriff is that concerned about glorifing Dillinger, how about issuing the Thompson to officers to use as a duty weapon? The Thompson could then assist the officers and help them enforce the law, "restoring its honor."

+1 Insightful

Also, the idea of using it to draw revenue at a police museum is a good one.It may be a bit late for it, but 'paying his debt to society' seems like a good thing to bring up.

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