It was Sunday evening May 7, 1944 – less than a month before D-Day – when five men met in the home of Walter MacGregor on Cumberland Avenue in Wethersfield, Connecticut to discuss the formation of a new organization to promote their interests in the preservation, study and collecting of antique firearms. At this meeting were Jonathan Peck of West Hartford, John Hintlian of Newington, Robbins Ritter of East Hartford, William Shemerluk of Hartford and Mr. MacGregor.
Connecticut was an appropriate place for the collecting and study of antique arms. It had been the heart of the nation’s arms inductry for almost two centuries and the home of Colt Firearms, Sharps Rifle Company, Winchester, Eli Whitney, Simeone North, Henry Aston, Christopher Spencer, Robert Johnson, Nathan Starr and the initial Smith & Wesson partnership to name a few – and was only a short distance from the site of the National Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts.
From the initial meeting in Wethersfield, the interest in arms of the five individuals led to the drafting of a constitution and to the birth of Ye Connecticut Gun Guild Inc.
From the waning years of World War II to the present, the Connecticut Gun Guild has grown from five enthusiastic men to a diverse, multinational organization of over 350 members. The Guild continues to promote safety, responsibility, friendship, and research while attempting to preserve our constitutional right to pursue our chosen hobby.
Let us hope that YCGG and other similar organizations will have the continued dedication and good fortune to pursue the hobby of gun collecting for generations to come!
Vern Eklund – Jun 1995