Taking a Stand

It’s been just over a month since the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act – commonly known as the NY SAFE Act – was passed by the criminal organization known as the New York Legislature, then signed into law by Emperor Cuomo that same day. Without writing a 20-page dissertation on why this law will do nothing to curb gun violence, it reads as follows:

• Further restrict “assault weapons” to define them by a single feature, such as a pistol grip. Current law requires two features. (because, of course, a pistol grip will help you spray more rounds, right?)

• Make the unsafe storage of “assault weapons” a misdemeanor. (of course, though, to my knowledge they have yet to define what “unsafe” is)

• Mandate a police registry of “assault weapons.” (I can see it now; criminals lining up around the block to register their weapons. Should look a lot like the DMV.)

• Establish a state registry for all private sales, with a background check done through a licensed dealer for a fee, excluding sales to immediate relatives.

• Require a therapist who believes a mental health patient made a credible threat to use a gun illegally to report the threat to a mental health director, who would then have to report serious threats to the Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient’s gun could be taken from him or her.

• Ban the Internet sale of “assault weapons.” (how dumb. If you buy a gun online – any gun – it must be transferred to an FFL in your state. This has been the law of the land for many, many years.)

• Require stores that sell ammunition to register with the state, run background checks on buyers of bullets and keep an electronic database of bullet sales. (this is so dumb I won’t even address it.)

• Restrict ammunition magazines to seven bullets, from the current national standard of 10. Current owners of higher-capacity magazines would have a year to sell them out of state. Someone caught with eight or more bullets in a magazine could face a misdemeanor charge. (big sigh)

• Require that stolen guns be reported within 24 hours. Otherwise, the owner would face a possible misdemeanor. (makes sense to me)

• Increase sentences for gun crimes, including for taking a gun on school property. (finally, something that makes sense)

• Increase penalties for shooting first responders, called the “Webster provision.” Two firefighters were killed when shot by a person who set fire in the western New York town of Webster last month. The crime would be punishable by life in prison without parole.

• Limit the state records law to protect handgun owners from being identified publicly. The provision would allow a handgun permit holder a means to maintain privacy under the Freedom of Information law.

• Require pistol permit holders or those who will be registered as owners of “assault rifles” to be recertified at least every five years to make sure they are still legally able to own guns. (wow, this isn’t a money generator or anything)

Please, tell me which of these news laws would’ve stopped the Newtown, CT, shooting? Not one of them.

The fallout from this legislation continues. In addition to multiple counties in New York voting to oppose these draconian, unconstitutional laws (out of the roughly 64 counties in NY, 40 of them have legislation pending or have passed), multiple firearms manufacturers and retailers have stepped up to the plate and announced they will not sell to New York government or law enforcement officials what they can’t sell to citizens.

The list of firearms manufacturers that have told The People’s Republic of New York to go pound salt has grown quite a bit in the past week. LaRue Tactical was the first out of the gate, soon followed by Olympic Arms, Spike’s Tactical and Midway USA. We can now add Barrett Firearms to that list as well. Yes, THAT Barrett. As in “Barrett .50.” The current list as of today is:

• LaRue Tactical
• Olympic Arms
• Extreme Firepower LLC
• Templar Custom
• York Arms
• Cheaper Than Dirt
• Bullwater Enterprises
• West Fork Armory
• Smith Enterprises
• Alex Arms
• Spike’s Tactical
• Quality Arms of Idaho
• Liberty Suppressors
• DoubleStar Corp
• American Spirit Arms
• Trident Armory
• Head Down Products
• J&G Sales
• Barrett Firearms

All I can say is…wow. This is an impressive list. Admittedly I haven’t heard of all these companies, and a lot of them probably don’t do a ton of sales to NY LEOs/government officials, but it’s nice to know who has the cojones to take a stand. I would suspect that companies like Spike’s, DoubleStar and Barrett do a pretty good amount of government sales, but I have no hard data to that back that up.

As you’ll notice, that list is missing “The Big Three” – Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer, and Glock. Those three companies alone make up the lion’s share of LE handgun sales, and if even one of them released the same policy, it would be a major win. I don’t know about Sig or Glock, but I’d be shocked as hell if S&W released such a statement. They’re one of the only two publicly traded gun companies (Ruger being the other), and it’s always a dicey situation when shareholders are involved.

And then we have…Armalite. ☺

As per several articles, forum posts, Facebook posts, etc., someone by the name of Pat Raley answered emails with a pretty shitty attitude. Below is the email reportedly from Pat:

“Dear concerned gun owner,

First of all I would like to say thank you for filling my email with all this spam email.

Second, I am not sure where you got this blanket email from to send out as spam, but please stop it.

Third, the manufacturer is not the one you need to convince.

You need to convince the law enforcement agencies and the common people about their mistake in electing these officials and have them removed. Again NOT the manufacture.

AR stands for Armalite…

Respectfully,

Pat Raley”

As I’m sure you can imagine, this didn’t sit well with gun owners. The president of Armalite – Mark Westrom – quickly tried to defuse the situation, but ended up adding fuel to the fire.

“Thanks for posting this email. I just received a concerned telephone call about it, an email from the staffer who simulated the mail.

I think a bit of clarification is in order.

The root of the matter is a HUGE series of inquiries by both email and telephone asking Armalite to cut of sales to New York and other states which deny its citizens the right to own our rifles, as several other firms have done. Some of the contacts have been duplicates of others and some were so redundant that they appeared to be spam. Many of them have been rude and I’m afraid one of my staffers thought that he was responding to a spammer and was more terse than he should have been.

My purpose here is to pass on his apology from the corporate level and to answer the initial question: What is Armalite going to do?

1. We will not sell to those states which deny it’s honorable citizens the right to own Armalite’s.
2. We do not halt sales to individual officers even in problematic states. I am a former Police Officer myself, and the staffer who stimulated the recent anger is a currently serving one. We are well familiar with the fact that most rifles serving Police Officers are purchased by the officers themselves, and that they shouldn’t be punished for the actions of their political elite.

We consider sales to those state subdivisions which are not engaged or potentially engaged with disarming its citizens. DNR and Forestry Departments, for instance, sometimes service in remote areas that conceal drug farms and their officers deserve good hardware.

3. We will not sell to those lower political subdivisions that deny their honorable citizens the right to own Armalite’s. Chicago, for instance, prohibits its citizens from owning Armalite’s within the city limits so we make no effort to sell into that city. We have many friends on the Chicago Police Department and have continued to sell to them individually.

Our observation is that most County Sheriffs disagree with banning sales of our rifles and many publicly refuse to enforce such laws. We sell to those departments and to their Deputies, but will not sell to those County departments headed by Sheriffs who would deny their citizens that same right.

In short, Americans need not to worry that Armalite is selling to those who betray them.

As you can see by reading posts on the topic, some readers have been harsh with their criticism of Armalite. It was in response to this atmosphere that my staffer reacted harshly. He’s come to me and apologized and I personally am passing my own apology along with this.

But don’t be mistaken, Armalite is strongly involved with both personal, corporate, and political efforts at the State, National, and International level to protect our civil rights. And we’ll continue to support your shooting needs as the situation moves forward.

Respectfully,

Mark Westrom
President,
ArmaLite, Inc. “

On one hand, I agree with Mr. Westrom; why should officers who have to buy their rifle individually have to pay for the decisions of their so-called leaders? It’s a sticky situation, that’s for sure. Is there really any right or wrong answer? Probably not, but a line in the sand needs to be drawn and a stand taken.

Keep fighting the good fight, people!

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