The club terminated both men's affiliation with it in early 1991, even though it had actually been the National itself that had started the chain of events by selling the gun. Hord Hardin called the auction catalog "distasteful," and said of Christian, "The guy made a mistake." Burkett claims he was contacted after the terminations of Christian and Young by several green coats who, in his words, "tried to play hardball" to get the gun back. However, none of them made an offer to purchase the piece.
Eventually Burkett sold the gun back to Christian. "Frank came to me and explained his situation," Burkett says. "I let him have the gun for exactly what I paid for it. After Jack Stephens came in [as tournament chairman] in May of 1991, Frank and Charlie were rehired."
"I agreed not to talk about it," says Christian. "The National agreed not to talk about it, and I'm keeping my end of the bargain."
Burkett is more open about the episode. "As far as I know," he says, "the damn gun's in the bottom of Ike's Pond."