“While you may have had possession of this equipment for 20, 40, 60 or 100 years,” the email states, “it still belongs to the U.S. Military.”
The email arrived with an inventory attachment where all weapons are to be listed and the document sent to the Department of Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars. “This form will then be bounced off of the central database of all Texas VFW Posts at U.S. Army TACOM to verify serial numbers of each item that has been issued. This is a very extensive list and goes back to before the VFW was founded. So if you have a cannon from the Spanish-American War — it’s on the list.”
Many VFW halls around the country have decommissioned military weapons on their properties along with uniforms, statues and flags from every era. It is a common practice for VFW honor guard units to use M-1 rifles made into blank firing devices for salutes at parades and funerals. Weapons held by VFW posts are generally kept under lock and key in storage rooms.
TACOM is not simply interested in blank firing devices and antique rifles and pistols, however. “Weapons and Equipment consist of but is not limited to, Rifles, Pistols, Mortars, Artillery, Tanks, Vehicles, Aircraft, Missiles, Aircraft Carriers (sic), etc, from any period.”
According to the email, any attempt “hide” the items will be dealt with severely. “Please do not try and hide this as all weapons and equipment not accounted for will be reported to the FBI and BATF as stolen military equipment,” writes Dan West, retired Sgt. USMC. “I am hopeful that I need not remind anyone of the severity of punishment that can be administered or the legal bills resulting from individuals or elected officers of the Post having possession of stolen military weapons.”
The inventory of weapons at VFW posts is further evidence the government does not trust veterans, even with antiquated and non-functioning military equipment used primarily for display and historical purposes.
Last month the government took the unprecedented step of requiring soldiers at Fort Campbell in Kentucky to disclose all of their privately owned weapons and gun licenses.
“Military officials insist the policy is not connected to a recent controversial Department of Homeland Security report that warned disgruntled veterans could pose a national security threat. Rather, the inventory of private guns is aimed at stemming what the Army claims is an increasing number of accidental discharges by gun-toting soldiers,” NewsMax reported on May 5. WorldNetDaily reported that Fort Bliss in Texas had informed soldiers who live off the premises to provide descriptions, serial numbers, calibers, makes and models of any of the guns they own privately.