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Is a Tommy Gun legal in the US?

The answer to whether a Tommy Gun is legal in the US is not a straightforward one. The legality of owning and carrying a Tommy Gun or any other firearm is governed by numerous federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and licensing requirements.

To begin with, the Tommy Gun, also known as the Thompson submachine gun, is classified as a machine gun under federal law. Under the National Firearms Act (NFA), which was enacted in 1934 and amended in 1968, machine guns are regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), and their ownership and possession are subject to strict rules.

To own a Tommy Gun legally, you must first submit an application to the ATF and pay a $200 tax stamp fee, which applies to all NFA-regulated firearms. You must also pass a background check, undergo fingerprinting, and receive approval from local law enforcement. Furthermore, you must always keep the gun registered with the ATF, and you may not transfer it without approval from the agency.

However, some states and municipalities have additional restrictions on owning and carrying Tommy Guns or other machine guns. For example, states like New York, California, and Illinois have outright bans on civilian-owned machine guns, while others like Florida and Wisconsin allow them only for certain purposes, such as law enforcement, military, or licensed collectors.

While it is technically possible to own a Tommy Gun in the US, it requires strict compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations, along with a significant investment of time, money, and legal expertise. Moreover, it may not be allowed in certain places or situations depending on the applicable laws and the owner’s licensing status.

Can you own a Tommy gun in the US?

The ownership of a Tommy gun, also known as a Thompson submachine gun, is legal in the United States under certain conditions. The National Firearms Act (NFA) regulates the ownership, transfer, and possession of fully automatic firearms, including the Tommy gun. Since 1986, the sale and manufacture of fully automatic firearms have been prohibited unless the gun was already registered prior to May 19, 1986, and approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).

Therefore, individuals can own a Tommy gun if it was manufactured and registered with the ATF before May 19, 1986. The process of acquiring a machine gun requires extensive background checks, fees, and detailed documentation. The owner must complete an ATF Form 4 application and pay a $200 tax stamp fee per firearm.

The application is then submitted to the ATF for review, and upon approval, the approved tax stamp must accompany the firearm at all times.

It is important to note that the ownership and possession of fully automatic firearms in the United States are heavily regulated and may vary state by state. States such as California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York have additional restrictions on machine guns, and individuals should consult with local authorities before purchasing or possessing a machine gun in these states.

Additionally, any violation of NFA regulations can result in severe criminal penalties, including federal prison time and hefty fines.

Owning a Tommy gun or any fully automatic firearm in the United States is legal but heavily regulated by the NFA. The process of acquiring one can be challenging, and individuals should ensure they comply with all federal and state regulations before purchasing or possessing a machine gun.

Can a civilian own a Thompson machine gun?

The short answer to whether a civilian can own a Thompson machine gun is technically yes, but it is not as simple as just walking into a store and purchasing one.

The Thompson machine gun, also known as the Tommy gun, is a fully automatic firearm that was primarily used by law enforcement officers and military personnel during the 1920s and 1930s. The gun gained popularity during the era of prohibition when it became a weapon of choice for organized crime groups.

Despite its infamous reputation, the Thompson became an iconic symbol of American firepower during World War II.

Given its historical significance, the Thompson machine gun has become a popular collector’s item among firearm enthusiasts. However, due to its status as a fully automatic weapon, it is heavily regulated under U.S. law.

To own a Thompson machine gun, a civilian must first obtain a Class 3 Federal Firearms License (FFL) through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). This license allows individuals to legally sell, manufacture, and transfer NFA (National Firearms Act) firearms such as machine guns, silencers, and short-barreled rifles.

Once the individual has obtained a Class 3 FFL, they must then locate a Thompson machine gun that is available for sale. Since the production of the Thompson machine gun was discontinued in 1944, original models can be difficult to find, and they can come with a hefty price tag.

Before purchasing the firearm, the buyer must submit a form 4 application to the ATF, including fingerprints, a recent photograph, and payment of a $200 transfer tax. The transfer process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on how quickly the ATF processes the application.

In addition to these federal regulations, some states and localities have additional laws regarding the ownership and transfer of machine guns. It is essential to research state and local laws to ensure that the ownership and transfer of a Thompson machine gun are legal.

While it is technically possible for a civilian to own a Thompson machine gun, the process involves obtaining a Class 3 FFL and complying with numerous federal, state, and local regulations. It is not a simple or cheap process, but for those who are dedicated collectors or enthusiasts, it is a legal way to own a piece of history.

When did Tommy guns become illegal?

The Tommy gun, officially known as the Thompson submachine gun, was invented in the United States in the early 1920s. The gun was originally designed for military use during World War I but saw more widespread use in the 1920s and 1930s during Prohibition-era gang violence. The gun quickly became a popular choice for gangsters and was used in several high-profile crimes, including the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in Chicago in 1929.

The passage of the National Firearms Act of 1934 greatly restricted the ownership and use of automatic firearms, and the Tommy gun was included in these restrictions. Under the act, people who wished to own a Tommy gun had to register with the government, pay a tax, and undergo a background check. The restrictions effectively limited ownership of the weapons to law enforcement agencies and military personnel.

In 1968, the Gun Control Act was passed, which further regulated the ownership of firearms. The act prohibited the importation of machine guns for civilian use and required those who owned automatic firearms to register them and pay a transfer tax. The restrictions effectively made the Tommy gun illegal to own for most civilians.

Today, the ownership and use of automatic firearms, including the Tommy gun, is highly regulated and limited to military and law enforcement agencies, licensed dealers, and collectors. Despite their historical significance, the guns are not commonly seen or used in modern times.

What is the average price of a Tommy gun?

To provide a general idea, a standard Thompson M1 or M1A1 model without modifications, manufactured during the 1930s, can cost anywhere between $20,000 – $30,000 or more. However, the prices can significantly increase depending upon the number of original accessories and whether the gun has a historical significance, leading to prices of up to $100,000 or more.

On the other hand, a replica or non-working version of the Thompson gun, which is sometimes used for display or theatrical purposes, can range between $500 – $3,000, depending on the quality of the replica and whether the gun is fully automatic or not.

It’s important to mention that obtaining a real Tommy gun (or any firearm) is subject to strict regulations and legal processes, including background checks and obtaining permits or licenses from the government, which may add to the overall cost. Additionally, since the weapons’ value tends to appreciate, as vintage weapons become older and rarer, they become more valuable with time, making the historic firearms market notoriously volatile and difficult to determine.

What caliber does a Tommy gun shoot?

The Tommy gun, also known as the Thompson submachine gun, was initially designed to be chambered in .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), which was the standard American military cartridge during the 1920s and 1930s. This cartridge was developed by John M. Browning in 1904 and was primarily used for the M1911 pistol.

In addition to the .45 ACP, the Tommy gun was also manufactured in other calibers such as 9mm Luger, .30 Carbine, .22 Long Rifle, and .38 Super. However, the .45 ACP remained the most popular cartridge for the Tommy gun, and it became an iconic symbol of the gangster era in the United States.

The .45 ACP cartridge is a slow-moving round with a heavy bullet that has a larger diameter than most other pistol cartridges. This characteristic gives the .45 ACP excellent stopping power, which made it a popular choice for military and law enforcement agencies. The round’s large size also allowed the gun to be relatively easy to control during rapid fire, making it an effective weapon for close-quarter combat.

The Tommy gun was designed to shoot .45 ACP, which became its standard caliber. While it was also manufactured in other calibers, the .45 ACP remained the most popular and iconic cartridge for the Tommy gun.

How much does a ww2 Thompson cost?

The cost of a WW2 Thompson submachine gun can vary greatly due to a number of factors such as the condition of the weapon, its historical significance, and the demand for it from collectors. A genuine World War II Thompson in good condition can cost upwards of $20,000-$25,000, while one in mint condition or with a special provenance could easily fetch over $30,000.

It is important to note that the ownership and sale of automatic weapons, including Thompson submachine guns, is heavily regulated in the United States under the National Firearms Act. This means that individuals must have a special license and pay a $200 tax to the government for the privilege of owning such a firearm.

Therefore, the legal possession of a WW2 Thompson submachine gun can add to its price.

Another factor that may affect the cost of a WW2 Thompson is the model or variation of the gun. For example, a Thompson M1928A1, which was the model most commonly used during World War II, would likely be more valuable than a later model such as the M1. Additionally, a Thompson with specific features such as a Cutts compensator or a drum magazine may be more expensive due to their rarity and desirability among collectors.

The cost of a WW2 Thompson submachine gun will depend on several factors, including its condition, history, rarity, and demand from collectors. Whatever the price, owning a piece of history such as a Thompson submachine gun can be an exciting and interesting investment for those interested in military history and firearms.

What guns can civilians not own?

In the United States, there are certain types of guns that civilians are not allowed to own. These are known as “prohibited firearms.” The list of prohibited firearms is regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA), which was enacted in 1934 to regulate firearms that were considered particularly dangerous or intended for criminal purposes.

One type of prohibited firearm is a machine gun. A machine gun is a fully automatic firearm that can fire multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger. These guns are highly regulated and require a special federal license to own. In addition, they are subject to strict laws regarding their manufacture, transfer, and possession.

Another type of prohibited firearm is a short-barreled shotgun or rifle. These guns are defined as having a barrel length of less than 18 inches for shotguns and less than 16 inches for rifles. Like machine guns, they are highly regulated and require a special federal license to own.

Silencers, or suppressors, are also prohibited firearms for civilians. These devices are designed to reduce the noise of a gunshot by trapping the expanding gas from the muzzle of the firearm. However, they are heavily regulated and require a special federal license to own.

Finally, destructive devices are another type of prohibited firearm. These include things like grenades, rocket launchers, and other explosive devices. These are highly restricted and are only permitted for use by certain law enforcement or military personnel.

It’s important to note that while these guns are prohibited for civilians, there are still many other types of firearms that are legal for individuals to own. However, it’s crucial to follow all federal, state, and local laws and regulations surrounding the ownership and use of firearms to ensure public safety.

What was the cheapest weapon of WW2?

During World War II, there were various weapons utilized by different armies to gain an advantage over their enemies. However, determining the cheapest weapon of this time period would depend on several factors, including the cost of manufacturing, availability of resources, and effectiveness in combat scenarios.

One example of a weapon that could be considered relatively cheap is the Soviet Union’s Mosin-Nagant rifle, which was widely used by the Red Army during the war. This weapon was first introduced in 1891 and underwent several upgrades over the years, with the final version being the Mosin-Nagant M1891/30.

While the cost of producing the rifle was somewhat higher than other weapons, such as the German Mauser, the Mosin-Nagant was able to be mass-produced due to its simple design and use of readily available parts.

Another contender for the title of cheapest weapon could be the British Sten submachine gun. The Sten was first produced in 1941, and its development was driven by Britain’s need for a cost-effective weapon that could be manufactured quickly and easily. To meet this challenge, the designers of the Sten utilized a combination of stamped metal and welded components.

This allowed them to produce the weapon at a significantly lower cost than other submachine guns used during the war, such as the U.S. Thompson.

It’s worth noting that while the Mosin-Nagant and the Sten were relatively cheap to produce, their effectiveness in combat scenarios varied. The Mosin-Nagant, while highly reliable and accurate at long ranges, had a slow rate of fire compared to other rifles, and the bolt action design required the operator to reload after each shot.

The Sten, while a potent close-range weapon, had design flaws that sometimes caused the weapon to jam or misfire. However, both weapons played a significant role in their respective armies’ successes during the war.

The cheapest weapon of World War II could be attributed to weapons like the Mosin-Nagant or Sten, which were designed to be produced quickly and inexpensively. Still, it’s worth mentioning that cost-efficiency doesn’t necessarily equate to superior performance. The true value of any weapon lies in its ability to hit its intended target effectively and efficiently.

Why did the military stop using the Thompson?

The Thompson submachine gun, also known as the Tommy Gun, was a popular choice among military forces during World War II. However, by the late 1940s, its use had started to decline, and by the 1970s, it was no longer in use by the military.

There were a number of reasons why the military stopped using the Thompson. First, the gun was heavy and bulky, making it difficult for soldiers to carry and maneuver in combat. Additionally, it was expensive to produce, making it difficult for the military to maintain a large supply of the gun.

Second, the Thompson was not very accurate, and its recoil made it difficult for soldiers to maintain control during prolonged firing. This made it less effective in combat situations where accuracy was crucial.

Third, the Thompson had a limited effective range, making it less useful in long-range engagements. As the tactics of warfare changed, with an increasing focus on long-range combat and precision shooting, the Thompson became less useful.

Fourth, the development of new, lighter, and more accurate firearms, such as the M16 and M4 carbine, meant that the Thompson was no longer the best choice for military use. These newer firearms were more reliable, more accurate and had a larger range, making them ideal for modern combat situations.

Finally, improvements in body armor made the .45 caliber round less effective, further reducing the usefulness of the Thompson.

While the Thompson was a popular and effective gun during World War II, changes in tactics, technology, and combat situations meant that it was no longer the best choice for modern military use. As a result, the military has moved on to newer and more effective firearms, leaving the Thompson as a relic of the past.

Why is it called a Tommy gun?

The Tommy gun, also referred to as the Thompson submachine gun, is a legendary firearm that was widely used during the early 20th century. The name “Tommy gun” has become almost synonymous with the weapon itself, but few people know the origin of the name.

The Tommy gun is named after its inventor John T. Thompson, who created the weapon back in 1918. Thompson was an American inventor who worked for the United States Army’s Ordnance Department during World War I. He was tasked with developing a lightweight automatic weapon that could be used in close-quarter combat situations.

Thompson designed the weapon in just a few months and named it the “Annihilator” after testing it himself. However, this name did not stick, and it was soon referred to as the Thompson submachine gun. It wasn’t until the late 1920s that the weapon earned the nickname “Tommy gun.”

The Tommy gun was not an immediate success when it was first introduced. It was only after its use by notorious gangsters such as Al Capone during the Prohibition era that it began to gain notoriety. The weapon was often used in drive-by shootings and bank robberies, adding to its reputation as a weapon of choice for criminal activity.

Despite its associations with organized crime, the Tommy gun was also used by American troops during World War II, proving itself to be a reliable and effective weapon in battle. Its popularity has continued into the present day, with the Tommy gun remaining a symbol of power and toughness.

The Tommy gun gets its name from its inventor, John T. Thompson. The weapon earned its nickname in the late 1920s after becoming a mainstay of Prohibition-era gangsters. Although its name has become synonymous with criminal activity, the Tommy gun remains an iconic piece of military history and a symbol of the toughness and resilience of the American spirit.

How much is Al Capone’s Tommy gun worth?

Al Capone’s Tommy gun, or Thompson submachine gun, holds historical significance and is associated with one of the most notorious gangsters in American history. The value of Al Capone’s Tommy gun can vary depending on the specific gun and its condition, as well as its provenance and historical significance.

Al Capone was known to have owned and used multiple Thompson submachine guns, but the most famous one is the one he reportedly used during the 1929 St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. This gun was recovered by law enforcement and later donated to the Chicago Historical Society, now known as the Chicago History Museum.

According to some sources, this specific Tommy gun was sold in a private sale in 1990 for $100,000.

There are other Thompson submachine guns that are associated with Capone and have been sold at auction or private sales for varying amounts of money. In 2018, a Thompson submachine gun that was reportedly owned by Capone was put up for auction and sold for $130,000. In 2017, another Tommy gun that was believed to have been owned by Capone sold for $225,000.

It is important to note that the value of these guns is not only tied to their association with Al Capone but also their rarity, condition, and historical significance. The Thompson submachine gun played a significant role in American history, especially during the Prohibition era. As such, there are many collectors and enthusiasts who are willing to pay a premium for these guns, especially those that are linked to famous figures like Capone.

Al Capone’s Tommy gun can be worth a significant amount of money, especially if it can be definitively linked to the notorious gangster. However, the specific value of each gun can vary depending on several factors, and it is always best to consult with a reputable appraiser or auction house when determining the value of collectible items like this.

How much does an authentic tommy gun cost?

The cost of an authentic Tommy Gun, also known as the Thompson submachine gun, can vary greatly based on several factors such as its condition, rarity, and historical significance. These firearms were originally produced in the early 1900s, and their production continued until the 1970s.

On average, a well-maintained and fully functional Thompson submachine gun can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 or even more. However, the price of an authentic Tommy gun can increase significantly if it has any special historical significance, such as it being used by famous personalities like Al Capone or John Dillinger.

Such guns, with their prior ownership and provenance, are highly collectible and are often sold at auctions.

Another factor that affects the price of an authentic Tommy gun is its condition. Rifles that are in good condition and have been well-preserved through the years can fetch a higher price compared to guns in poor condition. Some models of Tommy guns are rarer than others, and this, too, can affect their price.

Additionally, the rarity of a particular model can be influenced by its production numbers, barrel length, caliber, or any other special feature that distinguishes it from other variants.

It is worth noting that the purchase and ownership of a Tommy Gun are strictly regulated in many countries, including the United States. In the US, the National Firearms Act and other gun laws govern the ownership of the Thompson submachine gun. The laws require that a person wishing to own a Tommy gun must comply with a set of regulations that includes obtaining proper licenses, paying fees, and submitting to background checks.

The cost of an authentic Tommy gun varies based on several factors, including its condition, rarity, and historical significance, with average prices ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 or more. However, due to various regulations and laws concerning these firearms, ownership and purchase must be done with caution, and potential buyers would do well to consult legal experts and firearm dealers before making any purchases.

What is Al Capones revolver worth?

Al Capone’s revolver is a valuable item for collectors, as it has a significant historical association with one of the most infamous gangsters in American history. However, the actual value of Al Capone’s revolver can vary depending on several factors including its rarity, condition, provenance, and authentication.

Al Capone’s revolver is believed to be a Colt Detective Special revolver, which was a popular and reliable firearm during that time. However, to estimate its value, it is essential to establish its authenticity.

One of the most crucial factors that determine the value of a historical item is its provenance. Provenance refers to the documentation and history of the firearm, which includes its previous ownership and its use. If this revolver can be traced back to Al Capone as its genuine owner, its value is likely to be much higher than a similar weapon that cannot make the same claim.

Additionally, the condition of the revolver is crucial in determining its worth. If the weapon is in excellent condition, it is likely to be more valuable than one with significant wear and tear. The rarity of the gun also determines its value. If Capone used a unique or limited edition revolver, then it would be worth more than a standard issue model.

Finally, there is a significant market of firearms and gangsters memorabilia collectors who are willing to pay exorbitant prices for items that are undoubtedly associated with Al Capone. Thus, the actual value of Al Capone’s revolver is challenging to determine since it is subject to negotiations between the seller and potential buyers.

While several factors determine the value of Al Capone’s revolver, such as its provenance, rarity, and condition, it is challenging to predict a fixed price tag without actual auction or sales data. Despite this, its value lies in its historical significance and its association with one of the most notorious gangsters in the world.

How many bullets does a Tommy gun hold?

The number of bullets that a Tommy gun holds can vary depending on the specific model of the gun. The original Thompson submachine gun, designed in 1918, had a magazine capacity of 20 or 50 rounds. Later models, such as the M1928A1, had a standard magazine capacity of 30 rounds. There were also drum magazines available for the Tommy gun, which had a capacity of 50 or 100 rounds.

In some cases, the drum magazines were used to increase the overall firepower of the weapon, but they could also add significant weight and bulk to the gun. It’s worth noting that the Tommy gun is a relatively old weapon design, and while it was once a popular choice for law enforcement and military personnel, it has largely been replaced by newer, more advanced firearms.

Today, the capacity of modern submachine guns and automatic rifles can range from around 20 to 100 rounds, depending on the specific model and configuration.


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