Photo of the Day: The Dillinger gang’s arsenal

The Dillinger gang's arsenal

The Dillinger gang’s arsenal of Tommy guns on display, c. 1934. (Photo: ATF archives)

On Sept. 25, 1925, Chicago bootlegger Frank McErlane used a Thompson sub-machine gun in his attempt to assassinate a competitor. The Chicago Tribune dubbed his gang “The Machine Gun Gang.”

By 1934, “Tommy gun” violence between gangs had grown to such a degree that Congress passed the National Firearms Act to impose criminal, regulatory and tax requirements on weapons favored by gangsters: machine guns, silencers and sawed-off shotguns.