Thanks to the gun banners, it looks like another valued historic artifact is doomed to the kettle.
He bought it for two packs of Chesterfield cigarettes. He sold it for a $75 Target gift card.
But World War II Navy veteran Bruno Filippelli never knew the Japanese rifle that collected dust in his closet for 60 years was a bona fide wartime treasure.
He turned it over to West Palm Beach police Saturday during the city's gun buy-back program, and the rare and valuable firearm — better suited in a polished museum or with a wealthy weapons collector — now lies alongside 450 other submitted shotguns, handguns and assault rifles in the department's evidence storage room.
"I feel like an idiot," said Filippelli, 79, four days after selling the rifle and just a few hours after discovering its worth.
And police say they're not giving it back. In fact, the gun could soon be melted down and destroyed with the others.
The controversy over the rare gun erupted when a picture of Filippelli turning over the rifle appeared in the Sunday edition of The Palm Beach Post. A Palm Beach police officer recognized the rare rifle, researched the gun and then delivered the bad news to Filippelli Wednesday.
"He told me, 'If I was you, I never would have turned it in,' " Filippelli said.
The gun, an Arisaka Type 99 pressure test rifle, is one of less than 100 ever produced. There are as few as 50 left, including about 20 in the United States, according to gun experts and dealers. The type of rifle was never used in the field. It was designed to test the chamber pressure and bullet velocity for the Type 99 rifle, which Imperial Japanese forces widely used throughout World War II.
Actually, I doubt the cops will melt it down. Being as corrupt as any other government agency, the West Palm Beack police department will probably sell it to a collector (or museum) for a ton of money and use the proceeds to further infringe on America.
Fuckers. A pox on all of them, including any police departments that run these scams.