A Pennsylvania police department is cleaning out its station -- but plans to keep a Tommy gun that, according to local legend, was purchased so the city's cops would have a “level playing field” if Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger ever came to town.
Sharon police Chief Mike Menster tells The (Sharon) Herald he'd like to display the gun, but doesn't think it's practical.
“It was bought for law enforcement use and they told us in a letter that it could only be used for law enforcement or sold in parts,” he told the paper.
The issue of whether to keep the gun came up because the department is clearing out some old records and such.
Menster says the gun was last fired in the 1990s, but still works as far as he knows.
He's been told a long-defunct bank bought the gun and gave it to the police department as a hedge against Dillinger coming to town.
“I’ve been told the Tommy gun was bought for the department by McDowell Bank, but I don’t know if anybody could confirm that,” Menster told the paper “The story goes that all the banks were worried about being robbed and they knew Dillinger had a Tommy gun so they wanted to level the playing field.”
Sharon is about 60 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.