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Old October 2, 2021, 09:17 AM   #1
thallub
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Is The NRA Firearms Museum Being Looted?

The former curator of the museum thinks that may be the case:

"I fear the NRA National Firearms Museum is toast. Believe they may have already sent part of the collection off for auction. When I went in to pick up my personal belongings (which was one heck of a process) – they would not let me, our museum registrar, or our FFL person into the galleries for even a goodbye photo. Interesting that they wouldn’t let an employee of 35 years (and the individual entrusted with the keys to every vault in the HQ) enter the galleries, but had allowed some VIP tours through previously. "

https://nraindanger.wordpress.com/20...-being-looted/
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Old October 2, 2021, 10:15 AM   #2
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Aren't (or perhaps "weren't") many of the firearms in the NRA museum privately owned, and on display under loan to the NRA museum? It would be pretty venal if the NRA was selling off (or certain people absconding with) firearms the NRA doesn't even own.

Note: I am NOT in any way suggesting that it would be okay for highly-placed people to appropriate museum-owned firearms for their own collections. That's bad ... but stealing otherpeople's guns would be even worse.
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Old October 2, 2021, 10:18 AM   #3
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Would you expect anything less given the caliber of people in charge?

Gotta pay those annual $1/4 mil clothing bills for Wayne, after all. And donations doubtless have tanked.

He's going to ride this horse until that sucker's not good for anything but soap.
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Old October 4, 2021, 04:22 PM   #4
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Why am I not surprised?
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Old October 4, 2021, 07:52 PM   #5
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Napoleon Bonaparte's fowling piece, Frank Hamer's Colt, TR's rifles and Annie Oakley's guns were all at Springfield MO Bass Pro when we visited there several years ago. Please say it ain't so.

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Old October 5, 2021, 06:14 AM   #6
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Based on possible bankruptcy and legal issues I would suspect removing property owned by other individuals from the museum would make sense. I would hate to see these items seized by some court/governmental agency and damaged or worse destroyed. However, these items should obviously be returned to the owner and not gifted/sold to someone else.
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Old October 7, 2021, 06:39 AM   #7
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Dunno if appropriate but, if not, the mods can do as they wish.

Off our sister forum:

[Begin quote]

Folks: I am the above referenced museum curator for the NRA National Firearms Museum. Suffice it to say that it is very bad at NRA HQ. I believe that the museum has been allowed to remain closed, now for more than a year and a half, due to major problems. I'll give you folks some background - feel free to skip to the end if you wish.

When I was furloughed in early 2020, the understanding given to the many dozens of staff displaced was that it was a temporary situation and that when COVID rules in the state of Virginia eased - we would all return to work. Bear in mind that the staff furloughed were all over the HQ and were responsible for many daily functions. Our mailroom, for example, was reduced to two staff and NRA departments now have to go down to it to retrieve their mail daily. Certain divisions, like the museum, had only one "essential" staffer allowed to remain. For some reason I was not selected as the essential staff despite having seniority and wider ranging program responsibilities. The individual selected was only responsible for the NRA Gun Collecting program and had little experience with the collection record database. Our Registrar and our FFL person were also furloughed.

Initially the furloughed museum staff had been permitted to use the NRA email system and a VPN (virtual private network) was established to allow me and the Registrar to continue inputting and updating collection records. Then that came to an abrupt halt, as NRA realized that furloughed staff were not allowed by law to continue working - even on a volunteer basis. Now skip forward a year.

Furloughed Museum staff had received little to no information on NRA matters and the NY bankruptcy trial was in full swing. Only glowing pieces in the NRA magazines stating - "all was well" but no mention of staff return. I had completed 35 years with the Association by that point and was nearing early retirement age, so I decided to retire. When furloughed, we had all received notice that we would need to contact NRA Security to return to our offices to retrieve personal belongings. So I did and was told - no problem, come by on this date and time.

Then things went strange. I was told by the "essential" museum staffer that no - I could not come into my office and I would have to provide a list of what material and personal belongings I had. Fortunately - all my personal loans had been logged through our Director, who had retired prior to COVID. The loan contract files were in the Registrar's office and I explained what to do. On the appointed day, I showed up and was directed to the Multi-Purpose Room (in the other tower of the complex) and some of my personal loans were there. Not everything, by any means. I signed for what was there and asked to return in a month for the remainder. I and the Registrar also offered to come in to help locate the missing items.

Fortunately, I had both the Registrar and the FFL person to assist in packing up these loans in both of my cars. The Human Resources Director had intervened and I was allowed to go into the second floor offices and pack up my personal belongings inside my office. If I had been forced to list all my books - it would have been another volume.

At the conclusion of this, I wanted to get a farewell photograph with my Registrar and FFL person in the museum galleries downstairs. Nope - denied by the essential staffer.

I knew that there had been a "VIP" tour that had gone through the galleries recently and pointed that fact out. No matter.

To cut to the chase - several of my personal loan items could not be found, despite having been securly stored in the museum conservation lab and in exhibit cases. It took three more months to get a check from NRA for these missing items. Why so long? The essential staffer refused to answer emails or telephone calls for a three week period and I finally went up the food chain. At that point, I also noted that the essential staffer had not been answering Facebook inquiries (I still had access to the Museum Facebook page). That evidently didn't sit well with the essential staffer as I was removed from the Facebook page and he also unfriended me on Facebook. Oh well. Folks further up the line also slow-tracked my reimbursement and I had to finally contact the NRA Secretary to get any response.

So if you've managed to read through all this. Here's the part that should make your blood boil. At one point in the retrieval of my items, I got a call from an auction house that I knew. They had been unable to reach the Museum essential staffer and wanted to know what the status was on a shipment of museum guns going off to auction. When I went on furlough - we had no such shipment planned. Any deaccessioning of the collection would have to be conducted through established policy and approved by the NRA Gun Collectors Committee. And also ask yourself - where would this money be going?

So have museum guns been removed from the collection? Don't really know. All I know is that to this date - I have not been permitted inside the museum galleries. Those of you that have met me or know of me will recall that I have a near photographic memory for the collection and I really didn't need the collection database to identify or locate any collection item. I fear the reason that neither I or the Registrar were allowed into the galleries was that we would immediately recognize that part of the collection was gone.

The NRA National Firearms Museum remains closed even today, despite just about every other Virginia museum reopening. I sent the essential staffer and his superior information on reopening I had gleaned from visiting other museum, but no response. If you read the Facebook questions being posed on the Museum's page - you'll see a lot of other folks are puzzled why the doors are still shut.

The HQ roof is leaking badly and the NRA legal library on the 6th floor had to be moved to a small building next door. The lower level where the vaults are located has flooded in the past. I have no idea how the collection is faring. In the past, I had a team of volunteers that regularly mornings would go through cases waxing firearms and checking for any problems. When we didn't work in the galleries, we worked down in the vaults. Sadly I recently got a call from a museum lender that had asked from a historic piece back.

He told me his pistol was rusted. That would not have happened when I was on watch. There are millions of dollars of guns just in the galleries.

I am a 4th Generation NRA Life member and was proud to work for the Association for 35 years. Now, not so much...

[End quote]

https://www.thehighroad.org/index.ph....894779/page-3
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Old October 7, 2021, 09:11 AM   #8
4V50 Gary
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Thanks FoghornLeghorn for posting that from THR.

For those who don't know about the museum world, in Europe they have James Bond type museum robberies with thieves armed with SMG and speedboat getaways or Entrapment with a beautiful Catherine Zeta Jones. It's the heady stuff of movies. Here in America 90% of museum theft is from in-house trusted people including directors, curators, conservators, docents, volunteers, etc. All boring but equally damaging to the institution.
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Old October 7, 2021, 04:38 PM   #9
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That post is more damaging to the NRA's reputation than anything I've read so far, disgusting.
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Old October 11, 2021, 12:48 AM   #10
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I was worried that something strange was going on over there. Grateful that I was able to see it back in 2016. Damn shame about the NRA. I've been a member for almost 25 years and I find the whole mess to be disgusting.
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Old October 11, 2021, 09:33 AM   #11
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I wonder where our Wayne apologist are now? Unfortunately, the cancer in the NRA has grown to a point where I do not think it can be saved without something miraculous happening.
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Old October 11, 2021, 10:49 AM   #12
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It seems the institutional rot we are seeing spreads to all corners.
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Old October 11, 2021, 03:29 PM   #13
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One leads by example... hence the State of the NRA in 2021.
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Old October 14, 2021, 09:14 AM   #14
Mike Irwin
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I know Doug Wicklund personally. I worked with him when I was on staff at American Rifleman.

If he's worried, the rest of us should be EXTREMELY worried.
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Old October 14, 2021, 11:55 AM   #15
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waaay back when I was in the Army we had a saying used when people would complain about the Army. We'd say "its not the ARMY, its the people in it!"

And this also applies to the NRA today. Its not the NRA, its the people RUNNING THINGS NOW that are hurting both us and the organization by their actions.

I don't care if it is ignorance, incompetence, or is intentional with greed as the driving factor, the result is a once fine thing is being send on the road to ruin.

My point is that there are specific individual PEOPLE who are doing this, and we need to identify THEM and hold them personally responsible, not the organization as a group.
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Old October 14, 2021, 02:45 PM   #16
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Quote:
My point is that there are specific individual PEOPLE who are doing this, and we need to identify THEM and hold them personally responsible, not the organization as a group.
The challenge is that the organization as a group has apparently (at best) turned a blind eye to all of this.

Quote:
I know Doug Wicklund personally.
He has shown true courage, exposing this could not have been easy.
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Old October 14, 2021, 07:16 PM   #17
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Doug Wicklund is good people and has a lot of integrity. That's probably why he was furloughed unlike the other two.
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Old October 14, 2021, 08:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mainah
The challenge is that the organization as a group has apparently (at best) turned a blind eye to all of this.
The organization as a group is the members. And most of us are not turning a blind eye, but the senior executives and much of the board of directors is hiding the truth from us. The sad part is that the proper role of any board of directors is to ensure that things like this don't happen, and that the hired staff (like Wayne LaPierre) don't subvert the organization into a personal piggy bank. Aided in large part by the changes in the by-laws a few years ago, the board of directors (those that are left) have made themselves into part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
My point is that there are specific individual PEOPLE who are doing this, and we need to identify THEM and hold them personally responsible, not the organization as a group.
We have identified them. The problem is that the current by-laws make it effectively impossible for the members to have any control of their organization.
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Old October 15, 2021, 01:04 PM   #19
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How does this not fall under any number of theft statutes which would warrant an investigation by the primary LE agency in either the jurisdiction of the NRA facility or the auction house? Has no one, as of yet, been identified as a rightful complainant?
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Old October 15, 2021, 02:42 PM   #20
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The problem is that the current by-laws make it effectively impossible for the members to have any control of their organization
Worth repeating. That is the source of my frustration. I am one of those who has dropped paying dues, because it is the only means of protest I can identify.
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Old October 15, 2021, 11:09 PM   #21
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During the early 30s there was a nation in Europe who made the mistake of electing some really bad people. After those people got in power, they changed the rules so only they could be in power.

Any potential dictator recognizes that and takes steps to ensure their continued rule. If the NRA leaders don't know that bit of history, they seemed to have discovered it on their own.

The opposing side (and you know who they are) seek to have the entire NRA disbanded /dissolved. I see that as the wrong solution. What is needed is replacement of the guilty parties in the NRA administration. Unfortunately those same folks seem to have buggered the bylaws to make that nearly impossible from inside the organization.

It may come down to having to have an outside agency remover them (such as he govt finding them guilty of criminal acts). I'd like to see that done, leaving the NRA as an organization alone and functioning to replace those people.

However that doesn't seem to be the choice we are getting. What I'm seeing is "some people in the NRA did bad things so the entire NRA has to go away".

I don't see that as even remotely fair.

or ethical
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Old October 17, 2021, 06:57 AM   #22
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"It may come down to having to have an outside agency remover them (such as he govt finding them guilty of criminal acts). I'd like to see that done, leaving the NRA as an organization alone and functioning to replace those people."

Rather than getting the govt. involved (God forbid), I wonder if 3 or more of the 5 million dues-paying members can launch a class-action lawsuit against the internal organization offenders?
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Old October 17, 2021, 07:29 AM   #23
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Concur w/44AMP. The changes in the bylaws have left the membership voiceless and people recommended to the BoD are all pro WLP. The looting continues.
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Old October 17, 2021, 07:40 AM   #24
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You folks keep feeding that monster if you want to but I am done with it.
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Old October 17, 2021, 10:15 AM   #25
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Quote:
Rather than getting the govt. involved (God forbid), I wonder if 3 or more of the 5 million dues-paying members can launch a class-action lawsuit against the internal organization offenders?
Wake up and smell the coffee, friend, filing a lawsuit IS getting the govt involved.
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