JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) – A Tommy gun and a 1897 Winchester shotgun seized during a raid of a Joplin hideout of the legendary outlaw couple Bonnie and Clyde will be put up for auction later this month in Kansas City.
The weapons are owned by the great-grandchildren of a Tulsa, Okla., police detective named Mark Lairmore, who was given them by a police officer who was involved in the April 13, 1933, raid, The Joplin Globe reported Wednesday.
The guns have been on display at a Springfield museum since 1973 but Lairmore’s great-grandchildren, who live in Springfield, decided to put them up for auction.
“My father and grandfather have also passed away, so the sentimental reasons to hold them are no longer there,” one of the owners, also named Mark Lairmore, said in a statement released by the auction house, Mayo Auction and Realty. “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.”
Two law enforcement officers died during a shootout at the Joplin apartment where the couple and members of their gang were holed up. All the members of the Barrow gang escaped. After the raid, police confiscated guns, a camera and personal items from the apartment, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Robert Mayo, the owner of Mayo Auction and Realty, declined to estimate how much money the guns might bring at auction.
“These guns are highly collectible and would draw attention in any sale by their own history and merit,” he said. “We are expecting specialist collectors and anyone interested in the mesmerizing tale of Bonnie and Clyde from around the world to be interested in getting their hands on them.”
(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)