Antique guns in good condition tend to be really valuable, as do collectibles associated with Prohibition Era gangsters. When an item meets both of those criteria, a bidding war typically ensues, which is why the grandchildren of Mark Lairmore may be in line to make a whole lot of money. Their grandfather worked as a police detective in Joplin, Missouri as the American public gleefully cheered on outlaws such as John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson and the Barker Family.
On April 13th, 1933, the Joplin police descended upon a rented apartment over a garage after a complaint had been lodged over a noisy card game. Authorities were shocked to find Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker, Buck Barrow and his wife Blanche. A firefight ensued that killed two officers and led to the gang fleeing. Following the raid, a ton of personal keepsakes from the outlaw couple were taken into custody, and their Tommy Gun and 1897 Winchester shotgun found their way into the hands of Mark Lairmore. He held on to them for the rest of his life, and the two firearms were eventually put on display at a local museum. A few months ago, the grandkids decided to sell the weapons, and they’re now scheduled to go up for auction on January 21st in Kansas City.
No one really knows how much the guns might fetch, but the Joplin Globe is estimating they’ll each bring in at least a few thousand dollars. I think that figure might be a little low, but we’ll have to wait and see how many eager collectors show up.
In a perfect world, these guns could have been the focal point of the greatest Pawn Stars episode ever, but the auction will still be pretty exciting. If only I had thousands of dollars sitting around for an impulse purchase.
Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.
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