Happy New Year and I hope it’s a prosperous one for you, your families and your Posts.


On November 02, 2017 the Judge Advocate sent out an email with the Subject Title GUN THIEVES TARGET AMERICAN LEGION POSTS (Original Email Posted below).


During some recent discussions it became apparent that a few Posts are not that well versed with the requirements regarding Military Equipment- So here’s a quick synopsis:



  • Reference Military Equipment Pages 139 through 143 in The American Legion Officer’s Guide And Manual of Ceremonies- The U.S. ARMY has the lead on this program.
  • All requests for surplus Military Equipment must go through The American Legion’s Washington Office addressed to The Executive Director, American Legion National Headquarters, 1608 K Street NW, Washington , DC  20006 NOT The Department Headquarters in Richmond, VA or anywhere else.
  • Regulations, procedures and prices for equipment available for donation are subject to change without notice.
  • Separate letters are required for each type of equipment- NO multiple requests on one letter.
  • There are two (2) different agencies for rifles and ammunition – they are listed in the REFERENCE listed supra.
  • RIFLES-The requirements are set forth by the U.S. ARMY -This equipment is DONATED but still remains the property of the U.S. ARMY.
  • There are NO transfers of this equipment WITHOUT the written permission of the U.S. ARMY- so if you know of any Post that has issued weapons or ammunition to another Post without obtaining that permission please notify your District Commanders or The Department ASAP.
  • Periodic inspection is REQUIRED for compliance with the Conditional Deed of Gift in addition to proper storage and handling etc. There is a requirement for Ceremonial Rifle Inspection at the time of issue and every three (3) years or as requested.
  • AMMUNITION– Free of charge so don’t send checks or money orders to The American Legion Headquarters, Washington, DC.
  • Blank ammunition ONLY and you can not use substitute ammunition of any kind in these rifles.
  • Must be shipped to a residential address and NOT necessarily the Post Commander or Adjutant- NOT SHIPPED TO POST.
  • Clips of twenty-five (25) are the minimum and up to one hundred (100).
  • One case holds 1240 rounds of blank ammunition.
  • M-1 RIFLES– The American Legion can and has received M-1 Rifles but a Post can not have more than fifteen (15).
  • Any Post with more than fifteen (15) M-1 Rifles is REQUIRED to return the excess to the U.S. ARMY to be in compliance with federal laws.
  • STORAGE– All storage must comply with all local, state and federal regulations- This equipment can not be loosely placed within a Post or have public access- The Department does NOT recommend storing these rifles or ammunition at a Legion member’s residence- accountability and transparency are key issues here.
  • DAMAGED OR UNSERVICEABLE– Every Post that has these weapons must have a licensed gun dealer or armorer certify the serviceability of those weapons. If there are any problems, they must be reported to U.S. ARMY TACOM to determine their status. All of that information is contained in the REFERENCE provided supra.
  • DISPLAYS– There are no jeeps or vans for driving. Any tank, artillery pieces or mortar requests are to be directed to The American Legion’s National Office in Washington, DC at the address listed supra.
  • Every Post is required to maintain these assets in a way that honors and upholds the image of the United States, the military and all Veterans.
  • There is an annual certification of these displays that includes sending in a photograph of the display itself with location etc. Once again, there is no transfers or loans on these displays.


We have an obligation to the U.S. ARMY to follow their requirements for the “donation” of this equipment. We also have an obligation to the communities that the Posts are located in to ensure that we safeguard these weapons and ammunition. We can not afford to have any of these weapons or ammunition fall into the wrong hands because of poor administrative or security procedures.


Once again, this is a synopsis and I respectfully suggest that every Post Leader obtain the listed REFERENCE and read it to ensure your Post is following the requirements for these weapons and ammunition.



Joe Vaccaro

Judge Advocate

Department of Virginia