Newsletter Archives for the V.G.C.A.

V.G.C.A. NEWS October, 2001

This Month's Topics:

Secretary's Subtleties Communication Needed President's Corner

October Meeting. Please do not forget that the meeting this month starts at 7 p m on Thursday, 25 October. Tracy Hill is the scheduled speaker for this Joint NRA-VGCA Program Mr. Hill is the author of one of the most complete works on the Thompson submachine gun

September Show. It was a sight to behold More than 2000 people came, looked around, and bought firearms. Once again, there were numerous comments from the attendees about the quality of the show. We had a lot of volunteers help with all the things involved in making a show successful, but we can always use a few more. We had a prospective member helping with the cleanup after the show. Unfortunately, I don't have his name or the names of the others who pitched in because that piece of paper is in one of my many briefcases, not all of which are with me right now

Show Awards. First place went to John Gebhardt for "The Spencer Repeating Rifle 1860-1868". John always has a fabulous display and this obviously was one of his best. Second place went to Pete Roberts for his display of "45 ACP Revolvers in War and Peace". Third place went to Joe Cusumano for "U.S. Rifle, M1917 Enfleld".

There were also two Judges Choice awards: First place went to Paul Gagnon for "Engraving and the Colt Single Action" and Greg Innocent took second place for his "Rare New England Half-Stocked Plains Rifle".

Secretary's Subtleties. This show was run tighter than any previous, and it worked. We didn't have anyone sneaking in the side doors, and the only two reports of something being stolen were quickly solved. The crook was caught, made to return the items he took from two tables, was kicked out, and was told not to ever return to a VGCA Show.

We also caught someone who habitually sneaks into local shows just before closing. He was caught coming in after closing on Saturday and was quickly removed.

Unfortunately, we had a member quit because he was questioned when it was thought that he came in through the side door next to the snack area. We have more than 325 members now, and it is not possible for everyone to know everyone else. Please be considerate of the Security Volunteers if you are questioned at future shows. Better yet, volunteer to work Security and see what it is like.

Communication Needed. This is from an email I received with minor editing. This week, the U S Senate passed S. 1438, the Department of Defense (DOD) annual authorization bill, which contains a provision that is of grave concern to hunters, sport shooters, and collectors. Section 1062 of this bill provides the Secretary of Defense with the authority to require "demilitarization" of any "significant military equipment' that has ever been owned by DOD. This would include all firearms (such as the venerable M1, M1 Carbine, and Model 1911; all Civilian Marksmanship Program rifles, even "sporterized" surplus bolt-action Springfields; firearm barrels; ammunition; and gun powder.

"Demilitarization" is the term for rendering such items permanently inoperable, and Sec. 1062 allows for this action to be carried Out either by the owner or a third party, with the owner paying the cost, or by DOD. However, if DOD determines that it should perform the demilitarization, it can also determine that the cost of returning the demilled item is prohibitive. It could then simply keep the item and reimburse the owner only for the fair market scrap-value of the item.

Furthermore, this new authority would require private citizens to determine for themselves if an item they own is subject to demilitarization and face criminal penalties for noncompliance. DOD would be under no obligation to notify law-abiding citizens that items they have lawfully owned for years, and perhaps that their families have owned for generations, are suddenly subject to forced demilitarization. This becomes extremely significant when one considers that U. S. military surplus has been regularly and legally-bought, sold, and traded for centuries

Countless Americans own items that could be subject to Sec. 1062. It is likely that millions of law-abiding Americans would be affected, and they could unknowingly become criminals overnight without having done anything or having ever been informed.

DOD already has the authority and responsibility to demilitarize any item it sells as surplus, so there is absolutely no reason to seek new authority to confiscate and destroy lawfully sold and lawfully owned items that are now the property of private citizens. Be sure to contact your U. S. Senators at 202-224-3121 and your U. S. Representatives at 202- 225-3121. Urge them to strike Sec. 1062 from S 1438, the "National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2002'. The 24 members of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the 60 members of the House Armed Services Committee especially need to hear from you. To find out if any of your lawmakers are on either committee, you can use NRA-ILA org's "Write Your Reps' tool.

President's Corner. I have good news and sad news. The sad news is that longtime member Mike Ross of Littleton, Colorado died a few weeks ago after a long illness. A collector of assorted rifles and handguns, Mike will be missed by his family and those of us who knew him.

Now the good news. We had a great show. The quality was just superb, as was our control. My thanks to all who chipped in with their time before, during, and after the show. It's guys like you who keep the VGCA at the forefront of shows in Northern Virginia. Thanks again to all, members and nonmembers, who made it happen