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Letters to the Editor

All are welcome to contribute.

I have been an avid antique gun collector for many years, now retired. Back in 1984, I decided to purchase a Thompson with the limited funds available at the time. So, I bought a Auto Ordnance Thompson, model 1928, full auto. Went through the registration. process, etc., and then discovered I was not really part of the true purest team. So, To allay my sorrow, I went about replacing every single part with truly original ones. In retrospect, however, obtaining that tax stamp was one of the best moves I ever made. I have a superb "shooter" which has provided years of legal fun and allowed me to collect some very rare parts like N. Y. drums, properly dated colt 1921 XX magazines etc. But most of all, I unwittingly became a legal class III civilian owner in that narrow window of time before the legal doors slammed shut on our ability to enjoy the unrivaled pleasure to be able to pass my Tommy Gun onto my son someday.


New Parts Kits

Curious as to where the recent influx of Near-New Thompsons are coming from -- only to be destroyed with acetylene and sold as "parts kits." Was some East Bloc nation hoarding them since WW2, when they were so scarce the USMC was forced to buy the Reisings nobody liked? Even informed speculation would be welcome, as I'm just freaked out by this source. After a half century dry-spell -- suddenly Atlanta Cutlery and others have commercial-grade 1928s ... but all we can buy is scrap metal or a nonfunctional dummy made up of these wonderful parts. >:o


An Unhappy Reader

I just waned to let you know that in Joliet, IL this past week, someone found a Tommy gun hiding inside a wall that was stashed in its canvas bag with a cleaning kit, clip, and ammo with a receipt from 65 years ago. It stated the Tommy gun appeared only test fired, the poor person who found it calls the Joliet police and they took it from him! The paper stated that they will keep it for property, hell; someone will put it in their collection. What a rip off, the poor guy reports it being a good citizen, they should let him donate it to a museum and write off the value as a deduction.


A Happy Reader

Just found your Web site. It's a lot of fun.

My grandfather was John Elzy Carr, who was Chief of Police in Tupelo, Mississippi, from 1924 until 1949. Sometime early in his career, "Machine Gun" George Kelly held up the Citizen's State Bank in Tupelo. (He held it up with an automatic pistol, probably a .45), while my Grandfather was out of town. It made him so angry to find it out when he returned, that he made it his business to track the criminal down. He located him in a flop house in Memphis, Tennessee, and notified his friend, Inspector Will Griffin of the Memphis Police Department, who in turned, called the F.B.I., and together arrested Kelly. My Grandfather, realizing that the little police department would be undergunned given a similar set of circumstances, purchased the Department's only Thompson Sub-Machine gun with his own money. I believe it was a Model 1921, and is still in the possession of the local police department.

Terry Blair Carr

New UPS Shipping Policy for Machineguns

Thanks to Pat's detective work I now know this policy to NOT ship Automatic Weapons at UPS is in fact true and I am concerned. From my viewpoint this UPS NFA ban while not a law has a small potential step to create an effect equal to a ban for NFA items or worse. So if another carrier say FedEx chose to do the same, not ship NFA items, well then where would we be? Not a pretty picture in my opinion. What are we going to do if we wish to sell our NFA items then, drive each NFA item from state to state and hand deliver them? I don't think so, thus no carriers = almost a ban and we can say goodbye to our investment value.

As Peter Laidler shared at the TCA event the drastic effects of the recent uncontrolled and crazy gun ban in England and how other gun owners typically have not rallied around others gun owners issues. The TCA is probably the only association dedicated to automatic weapons or one of a very few and I believe we have a responsibility to lead on this matter. We need to rally other gun owners on this matter before other carriers follow or even worse other firearms are added to the ban from shipment, a worst case scenario.

For some it may feel great as I have read on some online boards that we are going or would like to hurt UPS by taking all shipping business elsewhere. I would rather see some discussion from the NRA to resolve the issue with UPS to change the policy, I think this would be much more productive use of our efforts on this matter and more likely to see real benefit if more than a few of us did the same. Reasonable people usually can find a solution. Since most of the TCA members have a significant investment in the hobby and from my viewpoint access to shipping is a requirement to keeping the hobby thriving among other things, would the TCA consider lending using it's voice towards the NRA to visit with UPS on this matter?


Editor's note: the club did contact UPS click here for the details

2004 TCA Show and Shoot

Hi all!

Having owned an A.O. US1928A1 for several years now I recently got around (with much urging by a couple other members) to joining the TCA. Needless to say I should have done it years ago....I had NO IDEA what fun we were missing!!

There had been some talk on regarding the wonderful Thompson exhibit in Fairfax VA. and at the same time, I was busy planning the Summer Vacation roadtrip extraordinaire to the East Coast with my wife, Alice and our two teens, Jessica(16) and Sam(14). At my request for information regarding this exhibit I was strongly urged by Murray Willis (along with a few others) as to how I "had to attend the TCA event, as it was being held in Fairfax this year!". Had I been a member earlier I would have been able to work this into the vacation easily. Usually we head out West and Alice is always amazed at the Gun Shows we just "happen" to go right by......and this was no different! When I mentioned it she laughed and went on and on about me planning our vacation around gun events "again"!! She backed off after I showed her the string of posts regarding this event and actually got quite excited about meeting the Wives of other Gun-nut Hubbys!! Needless to say I joined the TCA, we made our plans and sent Tracie our money. And we will never regret our move! This organization and it's members treated us with the most fraternal kindness and was as if we were meeting long-time best friends for the first time. Everyone we met was SUPER!!!

I won't go over all the stuff we did because Murray has already relayed everything in his very nice letter. At the shoot, I was amazed that I did so well as I really wasn't keeping track, only coaching my family so they could all get through the shoot SAFELY. The range officers were super, giving myself and my family great advice, and helping my Wife with a mag that dropped out and my Son with a stovepipe. Jessica and I did manage to blow all of our rounds downrange without any major glitches and I was surprised at how well Jess, Sam, and Alice all did! Although everyone in my family has handled the Thompson as well as other Subguns and firearms for years, nobody but myself had ever shot indoors. So I was very grateful to have lots of "coaches" helping us all avoid shooting the target rails to pieces! Thanks!!

The Dinner was great, we all enjoyed the FBI tour of Quantico and the Museum exhibit was more than I had hoped for. Outstanding!! But by far the best part was getting the chance to meet so many wonderfully "Thompson" oriented folks with lifestyles and backgrounds similar to ours. The first member Alice met was Murray (she pegged him as a "un guy by his "Small Arms Review" shirt!) and then we met the Hensleys, Frank Iannamico, the Hill family and the Dick Family, just to name a few.

My family was quite taken with the whole group and we will attend future events as often as we can. From everyone in my family to all you TCA members, THANKS for the warmest welcome we've ever gotten!

Alice and I will be at the SAR show in Phoenix in December and look forward to meeting more fine TCA folks there, and we will see everyone else at next years shoot!

John Anderson (with Alice, Jess and Sam)

Birchwood, Minnesota

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