Charleston, S.C. - A rather unusual seizure by U.S. Customs and Border Protection enabled 13 pieces of World War I German military items to find a new home. These items, with an appraised value of $2,000, consisted of inert artillery casings, projectiles and fuses as well as an inert artillery collar (77mm and 105mm). They were seized in January on behalf of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from a shipment originating in the United Kingdom. Although the importer indicated that these items were intended to be used as curios and relics, they were found to be in violation of ATF regulations.
Once a determination was made that the articles were inert, or safe to seize and store, CBP took possession. Shortly after, the Director/Curator of the U.S. Army Artillery Museum contacted CBP requesting transferal of the seized items to the museum located in Fort Sill, Okla.
The U.S. Army Artillery Museum tells the story of artillery from 1775 to the present with more than 70 guns and artillery pieces and numerous other artifacts from headgear and ammo to small arms and uniforms. Since the museum already housed several models of German World War I artillery pieces that used the same calibers of ammunition, they felt that these additional items would be an asset to the collection.
CBP agreed that the items would be of greater value in the museum, therefore, the transfer was approved. As a result, the artillery pieces will be formally catalogued in the museum collection of the U.S. Army and placed on public exhibition.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.