Gun Digest

Historic Firearms Collection Stolen From Minnesota National Guard Armory

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Most of the firearms from a rather historic collection were recently stolen from the National Guard Armory in Mankato, Minnesota.  Burglars apparently broke into the building through a window, at night, and made off with many of the collection’s rifles and handguns located in display cases in the building’s lobby.

As the Mankato Free Press reported, “Roughly two dozen rifles and about 70 handguns are missing, said Maj. Darrin Janisch, who works at the armory. Some of the rifles were left behind by the burglar or burglars. Most of the handguns were gone.”

“The guns that were stolen were donated to the Blue Earth County Library by Lawrence Will, a Mapleton gun collector, during the 1970s,” the Free Press added. “One stipulation of the donation was that the guns remain on display.  That display became controversial so, after the armory was built, the guns were moved there in 2003. They were displayed in several cabinets.”

“It was a general firearms collection,” said Alvin Olson, a friend of Will’s son and a former Mapleton police chief. “There was everything there from cap and ball single-shot handguns to modern guns up into the 1940s and 50s….Some of the stuff was given to him by returning World War II vets.”

“As far as we know, nothing else was taken,” said Major Paul Rickert, a National Guard public affairs officer in St. Paul. “No National Guard weapons were taken. It would have been much more difficult to get any Army weapons. They’re in a locked steel vault that’s not on display.”

Police were still going through inventory records to determine exactly which firearms were stolen.

Source:  Mankato Free press 12/2/10:

Recommended books for gun collectors:

Standard Catalog of Firearms, 21st Edition

Gun Digest 2010, 64th Edition

The Official Gun Digest Book of Guns & Prices 2010, Rifles, Pistols & Shotguns

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