Pair of guns linked to outlaws Bonnie and Clyde to be auctioned Jan. 21 A pair of vintage guns believed to have been owned and used by the notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde will be sold at auction Saturday, Jan. 21, by Mayo Auction & Realty in Kansas City, Mo.
News-Antique.com - Dec 05,2011 - (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – A pair of vintage guns believed to have been owned and used by the notorious outlaws Bonnie and Clyde – a .45 caliber Thompson sub-machine gun and a 12-gauge Winchester model 1897 shotgun – will be the centerpiece lots in a firearms consignment auction planned for Saturday, Jan. 21, by Mayo Auction & Realty, beginning at 10 a.m. (CST).
The auction will be conducted in Mayo Auction & Realty’s spacious gallery facility, located at 8253 Wornall Road in Kansas City. Many antique weapons and other pieces of militaria will cross the block, representing several conflicts. But Bonnie and Clyde promise to be the headliners.
Several signs strongly suggest the highlight guns were, in fact, toted and used by Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, said Robert Mayo of Mayo Auction & Realty. “The consignor’s great-grandfather, who was in law enforcement at the time, was given the two guns by another peace officer who had seized the weapons after a raid on the pair in Joplin, Mo., in April of 1933.”
The raid occurred at the height of the duo’s crime rampage that cut a wide swath across middle American during the Great Depression. The raid did not produce any arrests (the two had a knack for staying one step ahead of law enforcement), but it did yield a cache of weapons and a camera. When the film was developed, there were pictures of the couple with some of their guns.
One of the photos shows Bonnie “disarming” Clyde in a staged mock arrest, pointing a Winchester model 1897 rifle at his chest. It is identical looking to the gun being offered Jan. 21.
“The fact is, these guns are highly collectible and would draw attention in any sale by their own history and merit,” Mr. Mayo said. “The Winchester model 1897 is a coveted rifle, and the Thompson sub-machine gun is only legal to own by special permit.” He said the winning bidder for the “Tommy gun” (the gangster nickname for the Thompson weapon) will have to go through a permit approval process with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF).
The guns have been in the family of Mark Lairmore and his sisters, the consignors, from Springfield, Mo., ever since the unknown Depression-era police officer gave them to their great-grandfather, also named Mark Lairmore. He has since passed away. From 1973-2011, the weapons were displayed in the Springfield (Mo.) Police Museum, also known as The Calaboose.
“They were the major draw of the museum and I don’t think they were all that anxious to give them up,” Mr. Lairmore said. “But my father and grandfather have also passed away, so the sentimental reasons to hold onto them are no longer there. I feel it’s time for someone with an appreciation of antique guns and the history behind these guns to own them and care for them.”
Mr. Lairmore said there was “no doubt it my mind whatsoever” that the guns belonged to Bonnie and Clyde.