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Posted: 5/9/2022 11:31:24 AM EDT
So many of you likely missed out on my old post in Team (hint: buy a membership) so am posting this in GD for maximum reach.

Today the NRA National Firearms Museum re-opened in Fairfax, VA.  My two sons and I went to see where I had worked for 35 years as senior curator before I retired last year.

Those that like going to museums that don't require masks or forehead temperature reading will like this facility.  Just walked in.

But sadly, that's about where the good news ends...  There are a lot of missing guns and artifacts that used to be on display. So many great pieces. Where did they go? Some empty spots have the usual "Object Temporarily Removed" marker placed, but others - nope.  In the last two years, maintenance of the galleries really didn't happen and the dust on so many historic pieces is not good.  Labels have fallen and are in the process of falling in many cases. Lighting has not been adjusted in several galleries - so there are very bright and very dim sections - not good for paper and textile artifacts in the brightness. Even from outside the glass, there were many guns that really needed cleaning and perhaps some conservation - including the premier collection of Gatling guns.  Damn...

When I and other museum staff were forced out by furlough in 2020 - we had hundreds of arms prepared for the new Thurston Gallery.  Well, those new cases look nice and were completed by an outside contractor (LaPierre must have been annoyed that his suit budget was curtailed), but the new contents were very recently added. Was told that it took three days to install a jumble of arms - disregarding a planned display arrangement that featured discrete organization and chronology. Very sad.

In the course of our visit - Wiles Lee (NRA VP) came up and likely didn't know who I was.  I introduced myself and pointed out some of the shortcomings.  Lee walked off abruptly before I could ask about other NRA shenanigans. This became a theme for staff on premises as I ran next into Philip Schreier, the new Director.  I asked Phil why he hadn't allowed me to take a farewell photo with other museum staff when I retired. Mr. Schreier must be angling for a bigger role at NRA as he denied I had even asked. When confronted by the fact that there had been witnesses to my request and that one of them was in earshot - suddenly Director Schreier decided to walk off quickly. And before I could ask about the missing guns and any auction plans.  But you can bet that is in the immediate future.

So how does the HQ building look?  Not good. The outer tiles on both sides of the entry driveway have flaked off in a very unsightly manner.  The underside of the overhang has many patched areas from leaks. Inside - I saw evidence of other leaks. Rust staining is seeping from window joints all over the building exterior.  For those that may want to buy a souvenir - well - forget it.  The NRA Store is not open.  NRA didn't even bother to contact the individual who ran it (still furloughed, but found another job) so there are obviously no plans to re-open it for museum visitors.  Yet there were four security staff on museum premises during my visit.

Walking through the galleries, I found myself looking at a cannon - right in the middle of a junction of four pathways.  No warning ropes even. In addition to impacting on ADA standards for the museum, it turns out the reason the cannon has been placed so awkwardly was to free up the Revolutionary War Gallery.  Why? - so that food and drink can be served for special donor receptions, inside the museum.  Professional museum folks are cringing by now and believe it or not, my old sign prohibiting food and drink inside was still posted outside. Bugs are attracted by food residues and move on to munch on museum objects quickly.

Yes, I took pictures, but it is depressing enough to type this up.

Most folks don't know the museum registrar who had been furloughed with me was finally offered her position back after two years, but too late - she moved on to other employment. So now there is a national museum with no professionally trained staff out in Fairfax. A facility with so many issues and problems now. Wasn't that way when I left, but what could you expect when the only responsible staffer on detail during the Covid furlough habitually slept at his desk and even in the NRA Cafe. And the NRA Cafe that offered great food (Steak/prime rib Thursdays) is no more - closed down forever.

Well, it's no longer my circus and no longer my monkeys.  But if you are thinking of visiting the NRA Museum - it's really not worth it anymore...

rongorongo
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:32:33 AM EDT
[#1]
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:33:53 AM EDT
[#2]
It's sad, but the NRA needs to die and be replaced in its entirety.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:34:54 AM EDT
[#3]
They should sell the entire collection off . And then use they money to fund pro 2a activities till they run out of money and then fold like the paper box they are
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:35:20 AM EDT
[#4]
So they fought for the museum the same way they fight for the 2A?
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:36:29 AM EDT
[#5]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Theodoric:
It's sad, but the NRA needs to die and be replaced in its entirety.
View Quote

Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:36:41 AM EDT
[#6]
But the exhibit of Wayne's suits is OK, right?

Right?!?
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:37:52 AM EDT
[#7]
This is sad and not at all surprising. Honestly, I'm more surprised they re-opened the facility where people like you can see the obvious mismanagement firsthand. Thank you for the update, I can't wait for the crooks in charge of the NRA to face some form of justice but that may just be wishful thinking.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:38:56 AM EDT
[#8]
Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they were selling off items to their board and execs at bottom dollar prices for their own collections.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:41:28 AM EDT
[#9]
This is a travesty!!
But sadly, apparently business as usual at the NRA.

Sorry you endured such shameful treatment!

I just posted some less than complimentary comments on Mr. Schreier's public FB page.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:43:09 AM EDT
[#10]
Did they have a whole section dedicated to Wayne's ties?
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:43:41 AM EDT
[#11]
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:44:01 AM EDT
[#12]
Originally Posted By rongorongo:
There are a lot of missing guns and artifacts that used to be on display. So many great pieces. Where did they go? Some empty spots have the usual "Object Temporarily Removed" marker placed, but others - nope.
View Quote


I bet they sold off a lot of their museum holdings to meet general NRA expenses, legal expenses, and to buy silk suits for WLP.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:44:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: rotorblade] [#13]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Hking:
Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they were selling off "giving" items to their board and execs at bottom dollar prices "as shut the fuck up money" for their own collections.
View Quote


Hell stolen or just plain ripped off!!!
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:46:53 AM EDT
[#14]
Not a huge surprise, but still disappointing.

I would pop into the museum about once a year for twelve years or so. Even though not much was different (except for the Peterson Collection), as my interests changed I would discover new things every visit.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:48:53 AM EDT
[#15]
Thanks RongoRongo.  

For those who don't know, the Registrar is the individual responsible for the collection.  They must at the stroke of the finger know where each piece is located (on display, on loan, in transit, in conservation).  No registrar means that objects can disappear and there is no accounting for it.  Be warned if you were considering donating any object to them.  I wouldn't.

BTW, US Army has the only K98k with swept back scope mount for the (stamped construction) Zf4 scope.  They can't find it in their collection.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:51:14 AM EDT
[#16]
Just this morning I'm filing out the loan agreement paperwork for an early American rifle exhibit for a museum in PA. It's going to have some of the best existing Rev War era examples of American longrifles. I believe they're going to publish a book on it as well. They seem to be on top of their game. I'm pretty excited to see all of these together where the public can enjoy.....
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:51:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: DustBin] [#17]
Originally Posted By rongorongo:
So many of you likely missed out on my old post in Team (hint: buy a membership) so am posting this in GD for maximum reach.

Today the NRA National Firearms Museum re-opened in Fairfax, VA.  My two sons and I went to see where I had worked for 35 years as senior curator before I retired last year.

Those that like going to museums that don't require masks or forehead temperature reading will like this facility.  Just walked in.

But sadly, that's about where the good news ends...  There are a lot of missing guns and artifacts that used to be on display. So many great pieces. Where did they go? Some empty spots have the usual "Object Temporarily Removed" marker placed, but others - nope.  In the last two years, maintenance of the galleries really didn't happen and the dust on so many historic pieces is not good.  Labels have fallen and are in the process of falling in many cases. Lighting has not been adjusted in several galleries - so there are very bright and very dim sections - not good for paper and textile artifacts in the brightness. Even from outside the glass, there were many guns that really needed cleaning and perhaps some conservation - including the premier collection of Gatling guns.  Damn...

When I and other museum staff were forced out by furlough in 2020 - we had hundreds of arms prepared for the new Thurston Gallery.  Well, those new cases look nice and were completed by an outside contractor (LaPierre must have been annoyed that his suit budget was curtailed), but the new contents were very recently added. Was told that it took three days to install a jumble of arms - disregarding a planned display arrangement that featured discrete organization and chronology. Very sad.

In the course of our visit - Wiles Lee (NRA VP) came up and likely didn't know who I was.  I introduced myself and pointed out some of the shortcomings.  Lee walked off abruptly before I could ask about other NRA shenanigans. This became a theme for staff on premises as I ran next into Philip Schreier, the new Director.  I asked Phil why he hadn't allowed me to take a farewell photo with other museum staff when I retired. Mr. Schreier must be angling for a bigger role at NRA as he denied I had even asked. When confronted by the fact that there had been witnesses to my request and that one of them was in earshot - suddenly Director Schreier decided to walk off quickly. And before I could ask about the missing guns and any auction plans.  But you can bet that is in the immediate future.

So how does the HQ building look?  Not good. The outer tiles on both sides of the entry driveway have flaked off in a very unsightly manner.  The underside of the overhang has many patched areas from leaks. Inside - I saw evidence of other leaks. Rust staining is seeping from window joints all over the building exterior.  For those that may want to buy a souvenir - well - forget it.  The NRA Store is not open.  NRA didn't even bother to contact the individual who ran it (still furloughed, but found another job) so there are obviously no plans to re-open it for museum visitors.  Yet there were four security staff on museum premises during my visit.

Walking through the galleries, I found myself looking at a cannon - right in the middle of a junction of four pathways.  No warning ropes even. In addition to impacting on ADA standards for the museum, it turns out the reason the cannon has been placed so awkwardly was to free up the Revolutionary War Gallery.  Why? - so that food and drink can be served for special donor receptions, inside the museum.  Professional museum folks are cringing by now and believe it or not, my old sign prohibiting food and drink inside was still posted outside. Bugs are attracted by food residues and move on to munch on museum objects quickly.

Yes, I took pictures, but it is depressing enough to type this up.

Most folks don't know the museum registrar who had been furloughed with me was finally offered her position back after two years, but too late - she moved on to other employment. So now there is a national museum with no professionally trained staff out in Fairfax. A facility with so many issues and problems now. Wasn't that way when I left, but what could you expect when the only responsible staffer on detail during the Covid furlough habitually slept at his desk and even in the NRA Cafe. And the NRA Cafe that offered great food (Steak/prime rib Thursdays) is no more - closed down forever.

Well, it's no longer my circus and no longer my monkeys.  But if you are thinking of visiting the NRA Museum - it's really not worth it anymore...

rongorongo
View Quote

That's really sad how you were treated and how they (NRA) are treating the museum.

As a guesstimate, how many items on display were owned by the NRA vs how many were on loan from private individuals?

I could see individuals wanting their property back before it gets tied up by the courts.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:55:28 AM EDT
[#18]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DustBin:
As a guesstimate, how many items on display were owned by the NRA vs how many were on loan from private individuals?

I could see individuals wanting their property back before it gets tied up by the courts.
View Quote

That might account for holes in the displays.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:56:29 AM EDT
[#19]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By LawyerUp:
Just this morning I'm filing out the loan agreement paperwork for an early American rifle exhibit for a museum in PA. It's going to have some of the best existing Rev War era examples of American longrifles. I believe they're going to publish a book on it as well. They seem to be on top of their game. I'm pretty excited to see all of these together where the public can enjoy.....
View Quote

@LawyerUp - what museum, opening date and exhibit name?
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:58:30 AM EDT
[#20]
Sorry to hear.  Retirement is like a divorce, it is supposed to be final.

I know and understand the passion for guns and history, but don't let it burn you down.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 11:58:52 AM EDT
[#21]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By lafmedic1:
They should sell the entire collection off
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By lafmedic1:
They should sell the entire collection off


They sure as hell are - slowly and trying to be under the radar about it.

And then use they money to fund pro 2a activities




That sure as hell isn't why things are being sold.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:00:45 PM EDT
[#22]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DustBin:

That's really sad how you were treated and how they (NRA) are treating the museum.

As a guesstimate, how many items on display were owned by the NRA vs how many were on loan from private individuals?

I could see individuals wanting their property back before it gets tied up by the courts.
View Quote



DustBin - At the time I left, we had very few loans. I did see where one 9/11 revolver was returned to the lender. Vast majority of material on display was from donations.

rongorongo
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:02:42 PM EDT
[#23]
Impossible not to feel pangs watching "your baby" deteriorate.  
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:03:44 PM EDT
[#24]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ZitiForBreakfast:
So they fought for the museum the same way they fight for the 2A?
View Quote


NRA misplaced this post ^^^^ should have been first.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:08:37 PM EDT
[#25]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mech2007:
But the exhibit of Wayne's suits is OK, right?

Right?!?
View Quote





Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:08:54 PM EDT
[#26]
I remember reading your previous thread about the museum, sad state of affairs all around.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:09:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: lazyengineer] [#27]
The problem with openly corrupt leadership is it tends to cascade down to every aspect of the organization and the psyche of the entire workforce.

The NRA is a nice case study on why institutionalized protection of the leadership such that they cannot be replaced, ends badly.

I have written off the NRA as a corrupt and ineffectual organization of negative value.  I pay my bare minimum REQUIRED NRA membership to continue participation in numerous competitive sports and range memberships, and am well aware it's a graft extortion that is the cost of doing business.

The sooner the NRA collapses, the sooner they can be replaced by an ethical and effective replacement.  It can't happen fast enough.

As to the priceless artifacts of the museum,  I am just assuming they are being stolen by the NRA leadership, until I hear otherwise.  There is no " benefit of the doubt", left to give.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:11:01 PM EDT
[#28]
They'll probably auction it all off and use the money for questionable ventures and designer clothing for the board members. Sad.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:11:32 PM EDT
[#29]
I bought my first NRA membership there. That sucks.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:11:58 PM EDT
[#30]
Sad.  I was there about 5 years ago and very much enjoyed it.  Small area, but packed to the gills with interesting and historic arms.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:14:08 PM EDT
[#31]
That sucks, I really enjoyed the old layout.



In other news the new Army museum at Ft Belvoir is pretty awesome.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:30:28 PM EDT
[#32]
They are completing what they set out to do.  Destroy it from within.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:33:35 PM EDT
[#33]
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:33:39 PM EDT
[#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By lafmedic1:
They should sell the entire collection off . And then use they money to fund pro 2a activities more suits for FWLP till they run out of money and then fold like the paper box they are
View Quote

FIFY
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:36:30 PM EDT
[#35]
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:40:42 PM EDT
[#36]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Hking:
Wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if they were selling off items to their board and execs at bottom dollar prices for their own collections.
View Quote

I seem to remember reading something awhile back about that happening...
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:41:16 PM EDT
[#37]
I heard a lot of the guns were taken by executives
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:42:31 PM EDT
[#38]
All of it’s sad, but the book store being closed really bugs me.

Picked up many great gun books there, often with the authors’ autographs in them.

There was nowhere else you could buy them, aside from mail order.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:43:47 PM EDT
[#39]
That's really too bad.  I visited there several years ago and spent a few hours with Mr. Schrier for my tour as we had a mutual friend.  I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and the knowledge that was imparted.  He seemed like a really good person and treated me very well.

Sad to hear how things have degraded.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:56:35 PM EDT
[#40]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jahdai42:
That sucks, I really enjoyed the old layout.



In other news the new Army museum at Ft Belvoir is pretty awesome.
View Quote

I don’t know—I was pretty underwhelmed by the Army museum. Seemed like it was mostly empty space. The Army collections in Belvoir storage are amazing, but little of it is on display, and we were promised a worthy successor to Aberdeen, but none of that stuff is there.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:58:02 PM EDT
[#41]
Destroying history is inexcusable. As is the way OP was treated, then and now.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 12:59:40 PM EDT
[#42]
Any person or group that has loaned stuff to the NRA museum should probably be checking in on it or getting it back.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 1:02:50 PM EDT
[#43]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Riter:

@LawyerUp - what museum, opening date and exhibit name?
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Riter:
Originally Posted By LawyerUp:
Just this morning I'm filing out the loan agreement paperwork for an early American rifle exhibit for a museum in PA. It's going to have some of the best existing Rev War era examples of American longrifles. I believe they're going to publish a book on it as well. They seem to be on top of their game. I'm pretty excited to see all of these together where the public can enjoy.....

@LawyerUp - what museum, opening date and exhibit name?


Historic Rock Ford in Lancaster. "Long Rifles of the American Revolution." June 1 to Oct. 30, 2022.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 1:04:18 PM EDT
[#44]
Sounds like it’s time for the museum to be sold off to Reed Knight.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 1:08:19 PM EDT
[#45]
Fuck Wayne and fuck all his cronies.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 1:08:43 PM EDT
[#46]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By kobayashimaru:
Sounds like it’s time for the museum to be sold off to Reed Knight.
View Quote

Is the KAC Collection open to the public now? It’s one of the few gun museums I haven’t been to since I’m not a VIP.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 1:11:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: Dolomite] [#47]
All they wanted was to get rich selling insurance and running their own media outlet.


Someone to protect the RKBA and promote the shooting sports is all that we wanted.

Carry Guard and NRATV is what gun owners got.
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 1:11:52 PM EDT
[#48]
Do they have any of Wayne’s suits on display?
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 1:16:45 PM EDT
[#49]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By dnfw:
This is a travesty!!
But sadly, apparently business as usual at the NRA.

Sorry you endured such shameful treatment!

I just posted some less than complimentary comments on Mr. Schreier's public FB page.
View Quote



No big surprise that my comment has already been scrubbed from FB.

His page is public should others wish to comment.

https://m.facebook.com/389022114460469/
Link Posted: 5/9/2022 1:16:59 PM EDT
[#50]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mech2007:
But the exhibit of Wayne's suits is OK, right?

Right?!?
View Quote

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