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Gunmakers Could Take a Stand & Stop Arming the Disarmers by David Codrea

Why would members want to arm political regime enforcers that their own industry trade association recognizes as scary? (NSSF/Facebook)

U.S.A. – -(

“Are you going to arm an increasingly tyrannical government deep state takeover seeking to diminish AMERICANS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS and intending to target and abuse your customers?” colleague Dave Licht asks gun manufacturers on my War on Guns Placeholder blog. “Will you keep arming the states and agencies that unconstitutionally restrict your customers from buying your products? Will you keep arming the officers in states that intend to red flag your customers and seize their property purchased from you, without notice, hearing, or due process?”

I created the blog as a supplement for when I get emails that are too long to post in their entirety and have no link for sharing. This allows me to pass along important information by creating a linkable post that can then be posted on other blogs, social media sites, and the like.

Why Do You Keep Arming The States And Agencies That Unconstitutionally Restrict Your Customers?

Lich’s open letter makes an important point: Why would manufacturers want to provide customer disarmament tools to states like New York, California, New Jersey, Hawaii, and others, where politicians are not only trying to shrink the market, ban products and destroy the industry through lawsuits? It’s actually a follow-on post to one he’d sent me a few weeks earlier, wherein he noted:

“I spent this am contacting every gun manufacturer I do business with and asking them to PICK A SIDE and go full Ronnie Barrett on every state and agency presuming to infringe on HellerBruen and the Constitution generally. It is time for the industry to stand up for their customers and NOT SELL GUNS TO AGENCIES AND STATES ADOPTING & ENFORCING RED FLAG LAWS and passing rebound statutes to p*** on Bruen.”

Licht’s Ronnie Barrett reference, of course, recalls a 2002 letter the President of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, sent to then-Chief William J. Bratton of the Los Angeles Police Department, about his company’s .50 caliber rifles:

“I will not sell, nor service, my rifles to those seeking to infringe upon the Constitution and the crystal clear rights it affords individuals to own firearms.”

Barrett again sent similar letters, one to the State of California in 2005, the Honolulu Police Department in 2008, and the State of New York in 2013.

I recounted these and more in my 2018 AmmoLand article, “More in the Firearms Industry Should Follow Hornady’s New York Example,” documenting President Steve Hornady’s announcement saying in part:

“Hornady will not knowingly allow our ammunition to be sold to the State of NY or any NY agencies. Their actions are a blatant and disgusting abuse of office and we won’t be associated with a government that acts like that. They should be ashamed.”

Picking up on Licht’s industry missive around 29 minutes into his August 25 program was Armed American Radio’s Daily Defense host Mark Walters.

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“This is interesting stuff, guys,” Walters told his audience. “These questions are brilliantly asked.”

“Is it the individual New Jersey State Police officer’s fault that his state is the way it is and does what it does, and he should be punished simply because he wants to be a New Jersey State cop…?” Walters asked. “But then that gets back to ‘Well, I’m just doing my job…’”

“I would send a letter to those individual officers saying ‘Look, I’m sorry, but because of what your state does, because of your employer’s policies… you will not enforce those laws with my products,’” Walters rhetorically concluded.

His wasn’t the only national “gun rights” program picking up on Licht’s letter.

A caller to Tom Gresham’s Gun Talk brought it up on the Sunday, August 28 program, around 12 minutes into Hour 1. Responding, Gresham brought up an important point concerning what manufacturers can and cannot do by law.

“The thing you’ve got to understand is that the gun companies cannot get together and make that decision,” Gresham noted. “That would be, frankly it would be illegal. The gun companies cannot get together and collude, if you will, to restrict sales.”

He’s correct; that and other points about Licht’s letter were part of a discussion I had with Mark Walters when I joined the program in Hour 1 on August 29. The industry as a whole doing it would lead to federal action. But that still would not preclude companies from doing it independently without coordination or collusion based on customer feedback.

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How could enough pressure be generated to get some manufacturers to take notice, so that gun owners could see who would take a stand? That’s something national and state gun groups could take the lead on, at least the ones not afraid to rock the boat.

It’s past time gun manufacturers stopped acting like neutral parties, willing to reap the benefits of RKBA activism as long as they don’t have to take a stand. It’s not inappropriate to publicly ask those companies what their position is, and to favor and patronize those that stand with American gun owners (and publicize those who won’t).

Or, as Licht concludes his open letter:

“So … Manufacturers … whose side are you on? If we don’t hang together, they’ll pick us off one at a time … and America will be lost. PICK A SIDE.”

And, of course, let’s not forget those arming ATF…

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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