On December 15, 2020, Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) President, Tom Clark, sent out the following email to MVPA members:
Dear MVPA Member,
To state the obvious, 2020 has been a challenging year for all us. Lives, businesses, and organizations have been disrupted to a level few of us would have imagined just a year ago. As we have made unprecedented adjustments in our lives, the matters of the day-to-day world—which would have occurred despite a pandemic—continue to happen. That is true for us as individuals as well as organizations such as the MVPA.
The MVPA Board of Directors is addressing a matter which impacts the Association’s relationship with its Affiliates, and which may lead to changes in our Policies, Bylaws, and operations.
In 2019, a MVPA Affiliate was invited to, and did, display historic military vehicles as part of a tribute to veterans at a local event. This is not unusual as many affiliates receive such direct requests in their respective areas, and are free to engage in such events. Like most affiliate activities, this was not a MVPA event, nor was the Association or any of its Directors aware of the event.
Regrettably, at the event a member of the Affiliate and MVPA inadvertently left his personal firearm in his displayed military vehicle. The pistol was loaded and live. Sadly, a spectator child entered the vehicle, found the weapon and discharged it, seriously injuring someone. Certainly, this is a tragedy that all of us wish had not occurred.
Despite no prior notice of, or connection with, the affiliate’s event, the MVPA has been named in the resulting lawsuit. The Association’s attorneys are vigorously defending the claims. The legal proceedings are progressing, slowed by the pandemic circumstances, and the Board is fully engaged in the process.
In the interim, it’s now nearly impossible to obtain insurance coverage comparable to what the MVPA has purchased in the past. Thus, the Board recently informed its Affiliate groups that it is forced to discontinue the MVPA’s affiliate insurance program. These circumstances may require other changes as well. For example, MVPA policies concerning reenactments and firearms, which all members are expected to be familiar with, may be adjusted. Additionally, new policies regarding proof of appropriate vehicle insurance for vehicles displayed at a MVPA and/or MVPA sanctioned events may be put in place. The Board will keep you informed of any other necessary changes.
I’m sure some of you may have additional questions. Under the advice of our counsel, there is nothing further that your MVPA Directors or staff can add at this time. I ask that you please not place the Directors or staff in an awkward position by asking questions that cannot be answered now. Be assured, as we can share more with you, we will.
Thank you for your continued support of the MVPA and the historic military vehicle hobby. As always, we continue to work on other matters of the Association, including the 2021 International Convention in South Bend, Indiana. We look forward to seeing you in South Bend, August 11-14, and hope you all have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.
President, Military Vehicle Preservation Association
For more information
At this time, Military Vehicles Magazine does not have any further information about the MVPA's actions, nor the event that precipitated this reexamination of policy. While we will keep you informed as we learn more, we encourage you to visit the MVPA's web site for the latest, most accurate information.
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