Customes All Shook Up

The Elvis Presley museum in Liverpool is fighting to prevent a collection of the King's guns being returned to sender by Customs officials. The Fingerprints of Elvis museum at the Albert Dock is borrowing six of Presley's beloved pistols for an exhibition, but now has to persuade the Home Office to allow them into the country. Restrictions have been tightened up since handguns were banned and now the museum faces a lengthy wait before finding out if the weapons can leave the US for the first time. The collection includes the golden Beretta that Elvis was so desperate to have he bought the house it was kept in, as well as the Derringer that remained in his boot as the paranoid Presley took to the stage in his later years. The museum's curator, Gerry Goldman, said getting permission was not a formality. He said: "It's not going to be easy. I have spoken to the firearms department at Merseyside Police who have been very helpful, but since the new legislations after Dunblane they are not able to licence handguns. "The only way of getting them in legally is getting special dispensation, but there are a number of issues we have to satisy the Home Office on. "One issue is to make sure we're totally secure, and the other is how they get transported here." The guns were bought at auction by a private collector in the US for around $150,000 (£100,000). They include the Smith & Wesson .38 that he used to shoot at his sports car when it refused to start. There is also a WWI Colt matching the one he presented to President Nixon, the Derringer he took on stage with him, and a Smith & Wesson magnum engraved with Elvis' motto "Taking Care of Business", along with his prize Python 357 Magnum. Mr Goldman said: "Elvis had a passion for guns. Along with martial arts and religion, they were one of the great passions of his life and he would just buy hundreds at a time. But there are only a few special guns with a particular meaning, or that he used frequently."
Source: Google / Updated: Sep 30, 2003 
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