Rat-a-tat-tat you dirty rat. The FBI’s Norfolk office is straight up gangsta’ and they’ve got the hardware to prove it.
For the last 75 years the Norfolk branch has retained three very interesting relics of the past: Tommy guns. The nostalgic firearms are normally tucked away in the building’s massive gun vault, but every once in a while the “Chicago typewriters” are shown off at local gun ranges, repots HamptonRoads.
“Every agent wants to see them,” said Agent Mike McMahon. “But very few have ever shot one.”
But McMahon recently brought two of the three Tommy guns to the Chesapeake Police Department’s firing range, giving local FBI agents an opportunity of a lifetime.
McMahon says the bureau has updated their firearms throughout the years, from the Tommy gun to the MP-5, and now to the AR-15. But the gangster gun of old still reigns supreme when it comes to the cool factor.
“It starts with a ‘C’ and ends with an ‘L.’ It’s cool,” said McMahon. “A gun from the days of Pretty Boy Floyd? Are you kiddin’ me?”
Unfortunately, the FBI retired most of their Tommy guns in the 1970’s. They were swapped out with the more potent MP-5, but the bureau quickly realized that the $2,500 submachine guns were expensive to repair, and later updated again to the AR-15, which costs only $1,000 and is able to penetrate through body armor.
“Would you like to try it?” McMahon offered to one of the police officers at the range.
The answer was an immediate affirmative, and moments later a burst of fully automatic gunfire sang through the air.
So why did McMahon dust off the outdated Tommy guns and bring them out the firing range?
“We’re doing it today because we can,” said McMahon. “And because it’s fun.”
(This article was submitted by freelance writer Brent Rogers)