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The Sheriff in a rural northeast Ohio county will be auctioning off a piece of history in early September.

The Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office will be auctioning off a Thompson Model 1921 machine gun that was purchased by former Sheriff Abe Laird on May 13, 1934

New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County is just South of Akron, Ohio and is not the kind of place that often makes an appearance in the national news. While some towns might recoil at making the national news because their police are selling a machine gun, the folks in Tuscarawas are happy to have the attention because they know it will just drive up the cost of the gun!

And that’s a good thing.

The Sheriff’s office is auctioning the gun off in an effort to raise funds to help the department purchase new firearms for their officers.

The proceeds from the sale will go for a good cause — providing new guns, weapon-mounted lights, holsters and magazine pouches for every member of the department.

The auction will be held at 7 p.m. at the Tuscarawas County Justice Center, 2295 Reiser Ave. SE, New Philadelphia, conducted by Steve Cronebaugh Auction Services. Other items for sale will include two 37-mm tear gas launchers and several rifles and shotguns.

If you’re interested in purchasing the Thompson sub machine gun, plan to have plenty of money to spend. The weapon was recently appraised by Tracie Hill of Newark, a national expert on the gun. He fixed the value at $37,000.

But it could possibly go much higher.

“I will be shocked — and I mean absolutely shocked, because we’re having serious conversations with very wealthy people — if it doesn’t bring $50,000,” Tuscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell said.

One potential buyer will be flying in from Wyoming for the auction.

The weapon was exhibited last Friday in Newark at an annual meeting of Thompson enthusiasts. “To these enthusiasts, the moment they saw it, they’re like, are you kidding me?” the sheriff said. “This is almost the Holy Grail of Thompsons.”

So, go out and buy a machine gun… it’s for a good cause!

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