A popular rhetorical gambit in the forcible citizen disarmament camp is to claim that A) "The gun lobby" (which is not what they claim it is) is owned by the gun industry, and B) Is therefore opposed to so-called "reasonable restrictions" (or the perhaps even more offensively mendacious "modest gun safety measures"), as motivated by lust for profit, with no regard to decency and human life. The rabidly anti-gun Violence Policy Center is perhaps the most single-minded in pushing this myth (as observed in November, for example), but they have plenty of company. The Brady Campaign, in fact, seems these days unable to say "gun lobby," without putting "corporate" in front it--despite the fact that only a very small minority of domestic gun manufacturers are publicly traded corporations.
Those purveying this narrative of "gun safety" held hostage by the corporate greed of the gun industry thus tend not to like to talk about lucrative deals that gun makers reject on ethics grounds. And it has happened more than once--gun makers have walked away from millions of dollars worth of business, because accepting it would be to risk arming those who are virulently opposed to the American values of liberty and personal responsibility.
This was most recently demonstrated when the Utah-based Desert Tech turned down a $15 million contract to arm the Pakistani government with precision rifles (the friendly, non-threatening term that the gun ban zealots morph into "sniper rifles" when referring to the same guns sold to private citizens). From the Associated Press:
A Utah-based gun manufacturer has turned down a $15 million deal to supply Pakistan with precision rifles, citing concerns they could eventually be used against U.S. troops.
Mike Davis, sales manager at Desert Tech, said the company was on a short list for a contract with Pakistan, but spurned the opportunity because of unrest in Pakistan and ethical concerns.
It was a difficult decision because of the amount of money involved, he said, and the sale of rifles to Pakistan would have been legal.
Granted, Pakistan is officially considered an "ally," but it's a not particularly warm alliance, and many within that government (particularly in the intelligence services and military) would be much more comfortable allying with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, with whose ideas about the rights of individuals they are vastly more closely aligned than with most American citizens.
And Desert Tech is of course not the first. Probably the best known, and justifiably so, is Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, who in 2004, when California banned private ownership of rifles chambered for the powerful .50 BMG caliber, not only refused further sales to that state's law enforcement agencies, but refused even to service the firearms already purchased.
Owner Ronnie Barrett reasoned that as it is illegal to knowingly sell firearms to criminals, and because violation of the Constitutional rights of the people is criminality of the highest (or would that be lowest?) order, he had a Constitutional and moral duty to terminate his business relationship with the anti-American government of California.
And there are other examples. Magpul, in the wake of Colorado's and other states' passage of "high capacity" magazine bans, suspended sales to law enforcement officers in those states, pending implementation of a system requiring officers in those states to pledge to uphold the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Likewise, online retailer Cheaper Than Dirt, when California banned online sales of ammunition, got out of the ammo business with California law enforcement agencies, as well.
LaRue Tactical is another company that has taken the high road, and Sean Sorrentino's NC Gun Blog has compiled a long list of companies (144 of them) who have cut the state of New York off, over the heinous (and heinously misnamed) "SAFE Act" abomination.
Government business is big business, and to decline it is to decline big money. These companies clearly decided that the money was less important to them than adherence to the principle of refusing to arm the enemies of the American people--the people who might one dark day be left with no choice but to fight those enemies. That's not behavior consistent with unprincipled greed. That's patriotism.
- Ronnie Barrett--gunmaker, patriot, hero
- Online ammo retailer follows Ronnie Barrett's principled example
- Gun companies urged to join with rights activists against oppressive states
- New York Boycott (UPDATED: No more Naughty List)
- Statists as alarmed by Ronnie Barrett's large caliber beliefs as by his rifles