Al Capone-era machine guns handed in during Plymouth weapons amnesty

Machine guns associated with Al Capone-era gangster movies have been handed over to police during a weapons amnesty - in Plymouth.

Officers in the coastal town were left speechless by the surrender of two automatic weapons renowned for their use by bootleggers during the US Prohibition.

The first weapon was a Thompson 45 calibre machine gun invented in 1922, while the other was a successor to the British stun gun produced in the 1940s.

The arms formed part of an impressive haul for officers from Devon and Cornwall Police during a week-long weapons amnesty.

Police have now expressed concerns over the kinds of guns languishing in private hands.

Officers said they were stunned by the find. Credit: SWNS

Officers said the Thompson machine gun had been slightly remodeled with a straight magazine as opposed to the round drum seen in gangster films, enabling it to be used by US forces in the Second World War.

While the weapon was popular with marines it was never used by British troops.

Dave Penman, police enquiry officer in Plymouth, said: "Whoever had this weapon either had it left to them by an American soldier or they were a serious collector.

"If it hadn't been handed in and someone had been found in possession of it, they would have faced prosecution.

"There's no way you can legitimately and legally possess such a weapon."

Also turned in were a pair of Webley revolvers and a German Luger pistol with swastikas on its side.