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NRA Condemns Smith & Wesson Sell-Out

Monday, March 20, 2000

Update: In May 2001, Arizona-based Saf-T-Hammer Corp. bought S&W from Tompkins PLC. Bob Scott, an S&W vice-president from 1989 to 1999, came back to run the company as president. With anti-gun zealots no longer controlling the executive branch of the federal government, the HUD agreement has been abandoned by the Bush administration.

"A futile act of craven self-interest ... jeopardizing an entire U.S. industry..."
(WASHINGTON, DC) -- James Jay Baker, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, today condemned in the strongest terms Smith & Wesson`s announced gun control compact with the Clinton-Gore Administration. "This is a futile act of craven self-interest," said Baker. "In their rush to liquidate an inconvenient asset, executives at Tomkins PLC are jeopardizing an entire U.S. industry and undermining a Constitutionally guaranteed right. Lawmakers and citizens should be outraged at this unwelcome intrusion into the legislative process." Smith & Wesson is owned by the British-based corporation Tomkins PLC which has made it widely known it would like to sell the U.S. gun maker. "Smith & Wesson has promised away not only its own rights but those of licensed gun dealers and law-abiding gun owners. While the media focus has been on gun locks and serial numbers, there are many more unreported provisions that will directly impact everyone from the gun maker to the consumer. But -- typical of gun control schemes -- those who remain unaffected are criminals." Details of the agreement that affect law-abiding purchasers include rationing gun sales; mandatory testing for purchasers; and bureaucratic mandates of capricious changes to gun design. Smith & Wesson has also pledged certain behaviors on the part of licensed gun dealers -- behaviors it cannot enforce -- such as refraining from selling legal, but politically incorrect, semi-automatic rifles and ammunition magazines; a prohibition on selling firearms at any gun show where any legal private sale is conducted; and a requirement to include with every firearm sold anti-gun propaganda. "I urge every gun maker in this country to consider the fact that the Clinton-Gore Administration is no more willing now to enforce the nation`s tough federal gun laws than before this agreement. Nor does this agreement dispense with the bulk of existing city lawsuits or threats from other state and federal agencies. That means that when violence with firearms continues -- and it will until we get serious about prosecuting armed criminals -- the American legal system will once again be misused to pillory gun makers for the sake of politics and greed."

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.