Well, it looks like gun buyback programs are good for something.
A buyback conducted by the Los Angeles Police Department last weekend pulled in 791 firearms. One of them was a 1911 with a rather famous lineage.
This story from the LA Times reports that a military surplus .45-caliber 1911 pistol that was once owned by and registered to the legendary entertainer Sammy Davis Jr. was one of those nearly 800 guns turned in. The program gave a $200 Ralphs grocery story gift card in exchange for each firearm during the event held in South Los Angeles.
The thing is, the buyback program is anonymous, so it’s going to be difficult to track down who turned in the gun or how it got from Davis to its most recent owner, but the LAPD says they will do so through registration records.
Davis was a singer, actor, stage performer, and a member of the Rat Pack along with legends like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. He passed away in 1990 at the age of 64 of throat cancer.
According to guns.com, Davis was a known firearms enthusiast and an accomplished trick shooter. He occasionally wore his custom 1873 Colt SAA on stage with his highly-tooled one-of-a-kind Western rig, and would show off his quick-draw abilities for the crowd.
He also starred in a number of westerns in which he got to shoot on-screen.
Check out one of his quickdraw routines here:
From the photos on guns.com, it doesn’t look like the previous owners of Davis’ 1911 took very good care of it, as there appears to be a good amount of rust on the slide and the front of the frame.
“Only in Los Angeles would you find a gun whose registration might have been held by Sinatra, members of the Rat Pack,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in the story.
Guns.com says the LAPD told them “the original owner will be contacted and given the option to have the gun returned. In the case they don’t want them or the person (owner) is not living, then the gun will be destroyed.”