Duke University’s Arguments Against A Statutory Second Amendment

Herschel Smith · 22 May 2022 · 14 Comments

The Regulatory Review links a paper by Joseph Blocher of Duke University arguing against state preemption laws that prohibit more restrictive gun control statutes by cities and counties than instituted by the state itself.  The paper is entitled "Cities, Preemption, and the Statutory Second Amendment." He argues: As a practical matter, though, nothing has done more to shape contemporary gun regulation than state preemption laws, which fully or partially eliminate cities’ ability to…… [read more]

“We Are Under Attack”: Smith & Wesson CEO Says Gun Legislation Forced The Move Away From Springfield

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 2 weeks ago

News from Springfield, with some running commentary.

SPRINGFIELD — Smith & Wesson president and CEO Mark Smith says the company doesn’t want to make an enemy of the state of Massachusetts.

But he feels at least some lawmakers have made an enemy of Smith & Wesson with legislation that would ban the manufacture in Massachusetts of firearms that are unlawful to sell here.

The legislation is a response to mass shootings involving semiautomatic rifles made by Smith & Wesson and other companies. Advocates say high-capacity magazines and high rates of fire make the guns too dangerous for civilian hands.

Whether you have enemies is sometimes not up to you.

“We are under attack by the state of Massachusetts,” Smith said Friday.

CEO for two years and operations director for a decade before that, Smith gave a tour of the bustling, half-million-square-foot factory a day after announcing the company would move its headquarters and 550 jobs in production and management to gun-friendly Maryville, Tennessee. It’s not a move the company wanted to make, he said.

It will cost $125 milli million “that I didn’t want to spend,” Smith said.

Riding a wave of brisk gun sales, mostly to first time-buyers, Smith & Wesson said revenue hit $1.1 billion in the most recent fiscal year, up from $529.6 million a year earlier.

“Why would I disrupt that?” he said.

Smith & Wesson said it is relocating a total of 750 jobs to Tennessee from Springfield and its other sites. The company is also closing a plastics factory in Connecticut and a Missouri distribution center it opened in 2019.

Construction in Maryville is expected to begin later in 2021 and be substantially complete by the summer of 2023. No employees will move for two years.

A substantial operation will stay in Springfield, including the forge, machine shop and revolver assembly. There will still be 1,000 jobs here, many of them highly skilled and high-paying, the company said.

I understand the felt need to keep highly skilled revolver mechanics on staff rather than lose them due to a forced move, but this may not be up to S&W.  More on that later.

In just more than three years when the transition is complete, Smith & Wesson’s revolvers will still be manufactured here and stamped “Springfield, Massachusetts.” But the company’s semiautomatic rifles — the industry calls them modern sporting rifles while opponents say assault rifles — and semiautomatic pistols will be made in Tennessee.

News reports from Tennessee said Smith & Wesson may buy the land for only $1. It is part of a larger incentive package that includes seven-year tax abatement that could result in about $8 million in company savings, according to sources The Daily Times granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the deal.

That’s corporate welfare, and in I’m opposed to it.  The move should have been made a very long time ago, and the market should dictate where they move, not incentives.

Smith & Wesson said its move was prompted by legislation proposed earlier this year by Springfield state Rep. Bud L. Williams and others that would outlaw part of its manufacturing business. That includes feeding devices capable of containing 10 or more rounds, trigger pulls requiring pressure less than 10 pounds, threaded barrels that accept silencers and other military-looking hardware.

“They are moving their headquarters. That’s what corporate does. We are trying to save lives,” Williams said this week.

John Rosenthal, a co-founder of Stop Handgun Violence, which backs the bill, said Thursday’s announcement came the same day as the fourth-anniversary of the Las Vegas shooting where a gunman fired on a concert crowd. Fifty-eight people were killed that night, and two others died later. More than 850 were injured.

If that’s what really happened in Las Vegas, then release and honest and true report explaining how the room was spotless after thousands of rounds had been discharged in that room, rather than covered in soot, carbon and powder residue.

Smith said Friday that it was the proposed law that prompted the move. The products the legislation singles out are what consumers want, and they make up 60% percent of Smith & Wesson’s sales, he said. Limiting those products for sale to the military or law enforcement isn’t feasible because Smith & Wesson’s share of those markets is too small.

Be sure to understand that it’s not just the AR-15 suite of products that the communists don’t like in our hands, it’s the M&P pistols too.

Smith — no relation to the company co-founder — said it doesn’t matter that the proposal is just a bill, one of dozens filed each year that often don’t get a hearing, much less a vote on Beacon Hill.

“Honestly, we know we could have defeated it this session,” Smith said. “But it will be back the next session and the session after that.”

It will take years to move the operation, he said. So if the company waited for the bill to pass, it’d be too late.

“I just can’t operate with that big a risk hanging over the company,” he said. “We only started this process once the bill was filed. Then and only then.”

Once Smith and his executives decided they had to move, they found it made sense to close the Missouri and Connecticut plants as well and consolidate some operations in Tennessee.

The plastic parts from Deep River, Connecticut, go into the rifles and pistols, so that needs to be near the assembly lines. The distribution system needed to move from Missouri.

“But it was the need to move from this law that triggered all the other discussions,” Smith said. “We didn’t want to do this.”

The forges, giant steel hammers that shape aluminum or carbon steel, pounding parts out of metal blocks, are hard to move. So are hundreds of computer numerical control milling machines used to shape the metal. That’s why they’ll stay in Springfield.

Revolvers don’t have attributes targeted by the proposed law, so work assembling them will also stay here. It’s painstaking work that takes a great deal of training and experience. Assemblers dry-fire the weapons and adjust them based on the sound of the metallic click until they get it just right. It’s why the jobs that are staying are so highly paid.

You should move everything, excepting nothing at all, not even the heavy equipment.  Oh, and rather than “Revolvers don’t have attributes targeted by the proposed law,” you should have said “Revolvers don’t have attributes targeted by the proposed law at the moment.”  Try, try to understand.  It isn’t just semi-automatics they communists don’t like.  It’s any firearm in the hands of anyone but a state actor.  Semiautomatics are just in line first.  They’ll eventually have the bolt action deer hunting rights locked up tight at a state armory to be checked out only by state-approved hunters for the duration of the hunt.  Anything else that fires a projectile will be anathema in the hands of anyone who isn’t functioning on behalf of the state.

“If I was doing this to save a dime, why would I leave the highest-paid jobs behind?” Smith said. “We love Springfield. We love Mayor (Domenic J.) Sarno. We didn’t want to leave.”

You shouldn’t love him.  He hates you and wants to see you out of business.  And you shouldn’t want to stay in a place like that.

Some workers whose jobs are not moving have asked to relocate anyway. That’ll open up a Springfield position for someone on the relocation list who wants to stay.

“We want to take as many of our workers with us as we can,” he said.

Good.  You should take all of them, and if some don’t want to leave and they happen to be revolver mechanics, then make them understand that they won’t have a job in two years and in the mean time it’s their responsibility to train other revolver mechanics.

“The message is to highlight the area,” he said. “We are going to be talking about what it’s like to raise your family here. We are going to talk about residential prospects, what housing is like.”

Muir said the region sells itself as an outdoor recreation hub close to Knoxville, with the University of Tennessee, and to Nashville.

“Our pitch, at least in Blount County, is that we are the peaceful side of the Smokies,” he said. “Get a cabin and enjoy the mountains peacefully. It’s just a way to get away and relax in a calm area.”

Get out of communist areas like Massachusetts, and towards more liberty.  You won’t regret it.

Smith & Wesson Ditches Massachusetts For Move To Tennessee

BY Herschel Smith
10 months, 2 weeks ago

ZeroHedge.

Less than six months after gunmaker Kimber Mfg. moved from New York to Alabama due in part to ‘gun and business-friendly support’ from the red state, Smith & Wesson is moving out of Massachusetts – and will relocate its headquarters to Maryville, Tennessee in 2023, according to Bloomberg.

The nation’s largest gun manufacturer cited restrictive legislation currently under consideration in Mass., which if enacted, would prohibit the company from manufacturing certain guns in the state they’ve called home for nearly 170 years.

These bills would prevent Smith & Wesson from manufacturing firearms that are legal in almost every state in America and that are safely used by tens of millions of law-abiding citizens every day exercising their Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights, protecting themselves and their families, and enjoying the shooting sports,” said SWBI CEO Mark Smith.

“While we are hopeful that this arbitrary and damaging legislation will be defeated in this session, these products made up over 60% of our revenue last year, and the unfortunate likelihood that such restrictions would be raised again led to a review of the best path forward for Smith & Wesson,” he added.

The move will bring 750 jobs to Maryville, along with a $125 million investment, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development.

Lower cost of living was also a factor in the move, according to Smith.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno said in a statement that the move will cost the city 550 job, which he described as ‘devastating’ for the families involved. The city said they would attempt to work with the gunmaker to try and retain 1,000 remaining jobs.

According to a person familiar with the move, the company will keep some production in Springfield.

The good.  S&W is moving.  What took you so long?  You should have made this move a long time ago to grab a part of Gun Valley Moves South (and here is Part II).

The bad.  You should have made this move a long time ago.  You waited too long, just at the time when housing prices are at a peak.

The ugly.  You’re leaving some manufacturing in Massachusetts.  This is a bad move, and you’ll live to regret it, from unionization from one plant to another, to further restrictions on firearms manufacturing.  What – you don’t really think this is the last, do you?  It’s better to get it all done at one time.

N.J. asks judge to force gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson to hand over documents on how it markets firearms

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

News from New Jersey.

New Jersey is asking a judge to force Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. to hand over internal documents, the latest twist in an ongoing legal fight over how the gun manufacturer advertises to residents.

The state first demanded marketing information in October. The Massachusetts-based company sued soon after, arguing that it wasn’t obligated to provide anything.

The gun manufacturer “claims that it is above the law — that it can deceive consumers and potential consumers of its products without consequence,” the state attorney general’s office wrote in court documents filed Friday.

The state’s subpoena was lawful and a court should enforce it, a deputy attorney general wrote.

A spokesman for New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal declined comment. Smith & Wesson representatives did not respond to a request for comment, nor did they comment on their lawsuit earlier.

The subpoena came after Grewal’s office asked outside lawyers to help investigate how gun companies promote their products.

Smith & Wesson said in its lawsuit that this all amounted to an “unconstitutional fishing expedition” designed to weaken the Second Amendment.

Grewal’s office pushed back, saying last week that state law allowed them to dig into anyone advertising within New Jersey.

The review was not about “the product Smith & Wesson sells, but the representations and omissions in its marketing and advertising,” state officials argued in court documents, and the investigation has shown that some ads “may misrepresent the impact owning a firearm has on personal safety.”

Some Smith & Wesson ads also promoted carrying concealed firearms without mentioning that New Jerseyans needed a permit to conceal carry, state officials wrote.

So get this.  The state of New Jersey wants S&W to inform potential buyers that N.J. required a permit to carry a concealed handgun.  Yes, you read that right.

Two things.  First, to S&W, ignore them.

Second, to S&W, get out of the North.  Leave there forever.  Come South.  You won’t be treated like that here.  You should have learned that by now.  There is no reason for you to stay where you are in a unionized state.

And if that court presses the issue, then inform all law enforcement agencies in N.J. that you will no longer be selling any of your products to them.

$150 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Smith & Wesson By Danforth Shooting Victims

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

Global News.

Two of the victims who were injured during a mass shooting in Toronto’s Danforth neighbourhood in 2018 are looking to proceed with a $150-million class-action lawsuit against United States gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson Corp.

Lawyers for Samantha Price and Skye McLeod, along with their family members, filed a statement of claim with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on Monday.

“The handgun is an ‘ultra-hazardous product specifically designed to injure or kill people. The handgun was negligently designed and manufactured in that Smith & Wesson failed to incorporate ‘authorized user’ (or ‘smart gun’) technology into the weapon,” the claim said, noting “smart gun” technology “prevents unauthorized users … from firing the weapon.”

I don’t have a feel for whether a judgment in Canada would actually affect S&W here in America, but when the supreme tyrants decided to let the Remington lawsuit go forward, they doomed the legal process to ridiculous claims like this.

Congratulations to the tyrants.  I guess you won this round.  And S&W will doubtless have to look for ways to cut costs because of the legal fees coming their way.  I’m sure this won’t affect the customer.

Ruger Takes S&W To Court Over 10-22

BY Herschel Smith
2 years, 8 months ago

Uh oh.  There is war between the manufacturers.

One of the most popular rifles made and sold in the United States — the .22-caliber Ruger 10-22 — is the subject of a high-stakes court battle, with the Connecticut-based manufacturer accusing a rival gunmaker of unlawfully cutting into the market with a lookalike.

The issue is detailed in court filings that Sturm, Ruger & Co. initiated in July when it sued the Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson and its sister company, Thompson/Center Arms.

Last week, lawyers for both sides spent three days in U.S. District Court arguing over a preliminary injunction that would block sales of the Thompson T/CR22, possibly during a heavy buying season.

Like the Ruger 10-22, the Thompson/Center rifle has a 10-shot magazine that allows semi-automatic fire with separate trigger pulls.

A key part of rifle hardware — the receiver, which is the housing for internal components such as the hammer, bolt firing pin and trigger — is the same length and width as its product, Ruger claims.

The T/CR22 has similar locations for safeties, bolt locks and trigger releases. Thompson/Center made its rifle adaptable to the hundreds of after-market 10-22 parts that owners use to customize their rifles.

“They added a couple of functions that I’ll give them credit for, but to me it’s still a 10-22, just their version of it,” testified Mark Gurney, the director of product management for Ruger, last week in U.S. District Court.

The company Ruger is suing, the Arizona-based American Outdoor Brands Corporation, owns both Smith & Wesson and Thompson/Center Arms.

“Ultimately, this case is about competition — namely, Ruger’s effort to stamp out lawful competition to grant itself a monopoly over the functional design of a .22 caliber long rifle,” Manchester lawyer Christopher Cole wrote in court documents.

The Concord law firm Orr and Reno represents Ruger. Manchester-based Sheehan, Phinney, along with the Philadelphia firm Ballard Spahr, represents the defendants.

During the hearing, both sides had multiple lawyers on hand. A deputy U.S. marshal had to inspect each rifle before it was handled by lawyers, witnesses or Judge Joseph Laplante.

At one point, Laplante was the image of a G-man, sitting in his chair with each hand grasping a rifle at its forestock, the rifles’ butts braced on his lap.

“My confusion level now is through the roof,” Laplante said while holding the two rifles as lawyers argued about the marketing-type aspects of the rifles, referred to by lawyers as trade dress.

I don’t have a dog in this fight.

I guess ultimately it depends upon exactly how the patent paperwork reads and exactly what they took credit for.  I know a patent and copyright attorney.  It gets really complicated, very quickly.

Smith & Wesson Will Hear What Investors Think About Gun Violence and Smart Guns

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 10 months ago

Nasdaq:

Proxy service firms Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis are calling for American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ: AOBC) investors to follow the lead of those at Sturm, Ruger (NYSE: RGR) and force management to draft a report stating that management is monitoring acts of gun violence in the country and the risks they represent to the company.

American Outdoor Brands — the former Smith & Wesson — is hosting its annual meeting on Sept. 25, and a number of activist healthcare and religious groups have jointly submitted a shareholder question for approval. Earlier this year, a similar effort succeeded at Ruger.

The ballot question asks the company to do three things:

  • Monitor violent events in which Smith & Wesson products are used.
  • Prove the gunmaker is working to produce safer firearms and related products.
  • Assess the risks to the gunmaker’s reputation and financial well-being from gun violence in the U.S.

In a report issued by ISS, the corporate governance outfit endorsed the proposal as a way to prove American Outdoor Brands’ board of directors is keeping the long-term risks of gun violence in mind.

Reuters reported that ISS concluded, “There is reason to believe that smart gun technology could be employed to make guns safer in the U.S. and that any engineering problems could be overcome if there was a market for the product.” So-called smart guns use technology to make sure the weapon is in the hands of its owner before it fires.

[ … ]

Sturm, Ruger CEO Chris Killoy accepted the vote by investors, saying, “shareholders have spoken,” but he also went on to point out, “What the proposal does not and cannot do is to force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected.”

While American Outdoor Brands undoubtedly feels the same way, it’s possible it will have a very different result than Sturm, Ruger did.

First, Ruger’s meeting was held at a hotel and an activist representative appeared and made an appeal to shareholders; American Outdoor’s meeting is an online-only event. (It’s the second year the gunmaker has conducted the annual meeting this way.) And as noted above, institutional investors own a smaller proportion of American Outdoor stock, making it a little more difficult to compile enough votes in favor. The meeting is also further removed from the Parkland school shooting, while Ruger’s event was more contemporaneous with it and emotions were more raw.

As I’ve said before, if you open your stock to investors (go public) and you’re subject to the political whims of money-people, you’d better make sure your employees own a majority of the stock and can reject things like this.

I see both Ruger and Smith & Wesson as vulnerable.

Stock Owners Continue Attempts To Take Down Gun Manufacturers From The Inside

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 11 months ago

Reuters:

Funds run by BlackRock Inc and Vanguard Group backed all directors at gunmaker Sturm Ruger & Co Inc despite the company’s rare rejection of talks with the world’s top asset managers, disclosures to regulators on Thursday showed.

The votes by the gunmaker’s largest investors stood in contrast to support BlackRock and Vanguard gave to a measure calling on Sturm Ruger to report on the safety of its products, which passed over the board’s objections at the company’s annual meeting on May 9.

Neither BlackRock nor Vanguard would discuss in detail their votes at the meeting …

Sturm Ruger declined to comment on the filings by the funds with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday. BlackRock holds about 18 percent of shares outstanding, followed by Vanguard, with about 10 percent.

Both fund firms rarely vote against directors, and say critical votes may come only after companies fail to respond to shareholder concerns …

Investors and activists with a range of views about gun control said the asset managers’ split tickets seemed to reflect an approach designed to appeal to young investors concerned with social issues, without alienating clients who own guns or pushing Sturm Ruger’s board too quickly.

[ … ]

BlackRock spokeswoman Tara McDonnell said via email it takes a case-by-case approach to its engagement and voting “because doing so encourages change over time and promotes responsible business practices that align with the financial interests of our clients.”

Next up, Beth Baumann at Townhall.

A group of 11 Catholic groups came together to purchase stock in Smith & Wesson. The group purchased 200 shares, the minimum number required to for shareholders to demand reports from the company. Now, they want the gun manufacturer to provide a report that details what the company is doing to promote “gun safety measures” and “produce safer gun and gun products.”

According to an SEC filing, which is submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), here’s what the group wants to see from Smith & Wesson:

Shareholders request the Board of Directors issue a report by February 8, 2019, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, on the company’s activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with gun products, including the following (emphasis mine):

Shareholders request the Board of Directors issue a report by February 8, 2019, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, on the company’s activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with gun products, including the following:

• Evidence of monitoring of violent events associated with products produced by the company.
• Efforts underway to research and produce safer guns and gun products.
• Assessment of the corporate reputational and financial risks related to gun violence in the U.S.

The resolution asks American Outdoor Brands Company (AOBC) to report on activities underway to mitigate the risks that its products may be misused in criminal acts of gun violence. Contrary to what the company suggests, AOBC has both the responsibility and capacity to play a more active role in how its products are used; the requested assessment and reporting are the first steps towards acceptance of this responsibility.  As a result of several high profile mass shootings in the past year, most recently the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, gun violence is increasingly being seen as a public health crisis with extraordinary human and financial costs.

Importantly, events of gun violence have led to mounting public backlash against gun makers and retailers including calls for boycotts, divestment and demands for gun safety regulation at both the federal and state levels. This environment presents serious business risks which demand a meaningful response from AOBC. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights make clear the corporate responsibility to seek to prevent or mitigate adverse human rights impacts that are directly linked to their operations, products or services by their business relationships, even if they have not contributed to those impacts.

AOBC has a responsibility to mitigate potential impacts through improved monitoring of its distribution and retail sales channels and enhanced reporting on research and development efforts to improve the safety features of its consumer products. The resolution does not request that AOBC produce smart guns or other specific products; nor does it call for the company to endorse a gun control regulatory or policy agenda. The resolution does, however, ask for reporting because existing disclosures of current risk mitigation measures are seen as insufficient for investors to assess their effectiveness.

BlackRock and Vanguard haven’t given up.  They’re playing the long game with Ruger.  Smith & Wesson has now been introduced to social justice warrioring 2.0  Version 1.0 saw them agree to Bill Clinton’s gun control and almost go out of business.

This updated version is smarter than that.  It’s an attack from the inside.  I’ve said before that any firearms manufacturer who goes public with its stock is vulnerable to this kind of pressure, unless the board of directors and employees own a majority of the stock and the corporation rules and bylaws are constructed to suppress this kind of pressure.

Ruger isn’t in the clear, no matter what the CEO says.  Smith & Wesson are at the very beginning of this new grand experiment in gun control.  The board of directors and financial folks had better get busy buying stock and amending the bylaws.

Of course, there are smaller firearms manufacturers who can build and sell firearms, but it would be a shame to see Ruger and Smith & Wesson go out of business.

Suppressor Manufacturer Gemtech Will Close Headquarters In Idaho

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 1 month ago

TFB:

What a difference a year makes. Last June we announced that Gemtech was breaking ground on a new world headquarters. Last night we learned that in six to nine months Gemtech will no longer exist in Idaho. At a company meeting yesterday, the remaining Gemtech employees were told that the facility would close and that all business would be moved to Smith & Wesson’s headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Some manufacturers are so tone deaf it amazes me they’re still in business.  S&W has been told time and again by me and literally everyone else that they need to move operations completely and with prejudice away from their current state and come South.  Or West.  Idaho would be fine, or somewhere in the Northwest redoubt, or South would be better.

Leaving the liberal politics behind would be a requirement, of course, but instead of doing this, S&W is buying smaller companies and moving them to Massachusetts.

Procedure: [1] Find the worst possible thing you could do to alienate your customer base, and [b] do it.  If you’re dumb.

Will Smith & Wesson Buckle To This Pressure?

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 4 months ago

NYT:

In the early 1880s, legend has it that Daniel B. Wesson, a co-founder of Smith & Wesson, the gun manufacturer, heard about a child who injured himself by cocking the hammer and pulling the trigger of one of his firm’s revolvers. Wesson, known as D. B., was so distraught about the accident that he and his son, Joseph, developed a more child-safe revolver that they called the .38 Safety Hammerless.

Wesson was also my great-great-great-grandfather. Though it has been half a century since my family was involved with Smith & Wesson, I feel a twinge of responsibility every time a mass shooting occurs. I realize this is not entirely rational: I play no part in making or selling firearms and have never lost anyone close to me from gun violence. But it still haunts me.

[ … ]

It is only fair for me, for all of us, to demand that our gun manufacturers become leaders in this national discussion around gun violence. They create products designed to kill human beings. The responsibility that must accompany the creation of weapons like an AR-15 is too large to be brushed aside by shouting about freedom and an amendment to our Constitution ratified in 1791.

Yes, the company and other gun makers have taken some steps in calling for better enforcement of the national background check system and sponsoring firearm safety programs. But they can do so much more.

I would start by asking the parent company of Smith & Wesson, American Outdoor Brands Corporation, to push for gun-violence research. Since 1996 the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been severely restricted in researching gun violence. If gun manufacturers are truly responsible organizations, they should wholeheartedly want to back this research as a public health concern. Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the C.D.C. from 2009 to 2017, asked Congress repeatedly to fund research in gun-violence prevention but never succeeded.

In response to recent questions from BlackRock, an investment firm that owns the largest share of American Outdoor Brands, the gun maker’s president, James Debney, and chairman, Barry M. Monheit, said, “We must collectively have the courage to ensure any actions are guided by data, by facts and by what will actually make us safer.” Sounds like Mr. Debney, Mr. Monheit and Dr. Frieden are on the same page, so let’s see Smith & Wesson lead the charge in renewing gun-violence research by the C.D.C.

I would also ask that the company publicly endorse the Brady Campaign’s Gun Dealer Code of Conduct. It should support requiring universal background checks and a national registry for tracking its products, and indeed all firearms.

To the author, Eliza Sydnor Romm, I would say that it’s not that it doesn’t sound entirely rational to feel responsibility for the criminal behavior of others, I’d say that it’s so irrational it makes you seem like an imbecile and a dolt.  It would be no different than feeling responsibility for hit and run accidents perpetrated by drivers of Ford trucks, and then trying to tell Ford how to design and build trucks because of that.  If that sounds stupid, it’s because it is.

As for Smith & Wesson, I don’t know much about the parent company of American Outdoor Brands, but I have heard fairly bad things about Black Rock.

BlackRock announced new products for clients looking to avoid investing in companies that make or sell firearms for civilian use, a significant step for the world’s largest asset manager as Wall Street comes under pressure to take a stance in America’s gun debate.

“As it has for many people, the recent tragedy in Florida has driven home for BlackRock the terrible toll from gun violence in America,” it said in a statement in March. “It has put a spotlight on the role of companies that manufacture and distribute civilian firearms. Some of the largest manufacturers and retailers are held in the portfolios of millions of individual and institutional investors around the world.”

On Thursday, BlackRock said it had created new exchange-traded funds and products for pensions and retirement plans that screen for companies that make or sell firearms. BlackRock is also shifting the indexes of existing exchange-traded funds focused on socially responsible investments to avoid gunmakers and sellers.

Back to Smith & Wesson, such moves as the author describes would mean certain, sure and almost immediate death in the market place as gun buyers turned their backs on the company and their workers fled for greener pastures with Ruger or other companies.  Perhaps the Performance Shop at Smith & Wesson could relocate South like so many other gun makers and start up shop in a friendlier climate.

And perhaps busting up one of the leading manufacturers of firearms is the purpose of pressure like this.  What will Smith & Wesson do with an owner who doesn’t like their products?

It Is A Privilege That We Allow Individuals To Hold Onto Something That Causes Harm And Death

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 9 months ago

News From Boston:

BOSTON – Allowing the use of silencers and the attorney general’s authority to regulate firearms were hot topics at a Public Safety Committee hearing Thursday that saw lawmakers and gun rights advocates tangle over the Second Amendment.

More than 100 people piled into a Statehouse hearing room for the hearing on more than 50 bills dealing with firearms. Gun control activists congregated on one side of the room, many wearing orange T-shirts with “Moms Demand Action” or “Stop Gun Violence” on them. The other side of the room featured gun rights advocates, some of whom wore shirts bearing various slogans.

“We have some folks in this room who believe it is a privilege and we have some folks in this room who believe it is a constitutional right” to own a firearm, National Rifle Association spokesman John Hohenwarter said. “I think that’s where the fight lies.”

Hohenwarter and other gun rights supporters keyed in on a statement Rep. Marjorie Decker, a Cambridge Democrat, made at the hearing as she was testifying in support of various gun control measures and against bills she said would erode Massachusetts’ status as the state with the lowest rate of gun deaths.

“It is a privilege that we allow individuals to hold onto something that causes harm and death,” Decker said. “It is a privilege to have a car license, it is a privilege to have a gun license.”

Jim Wallace, executive director of the Gun Owners Action League based in Northboro, said Decker’s comment illustrated frustrations lawful gun owners feel in Massachusetts.

“One of the problems that we face here in Massachusetts is that the Second Amendment is barely recognized in the state as a whole and certainly not as a civil right. I could not have asked for a better witness to that than the previous legislator that actually described our civil rights as a privilege,” Wallace said. “I am aghast that an elected official would actually say that … but that’s not unusual.”

One issue that elicited testimony in favor and in opposition on Thursday was removing the state ban on suppressors, or silencers, which attach to the barrel of a gun and reduce the sound of a bullet being fired.

Sen. Michael Moore, D-Worcester, the co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, and Sen. Donald Humason each filed bills (S 1340/S 1317) to remove the ban on the use of suppressors. Massachusetts is one of 10 states that bans gun suppressors for hunting and one of eight states that bans them for consumers.

“I see them as a tool to continue firearm safety education without having to damage your ears,” Amanda Deveno, a firearm safety instructor and GOAL member, told the committee. “It also makes it easier for me as an instructor on the line to communicate properly with my students.”

Deveno’s argument did not go over well with John Rosenthal, the founder of the nonprofit Stop Handgun Violence.

Rosenthal said that having the Committee on Public Safety approve a bill deregulating silencers “is like the FDA commissioner saying we should deregulate arsenic.”

American Suppressor Association President and Executive Director Knox Williams said the opposition to the suppressors bill “is pretty boilerplate, based on common misconceptions from people who have never taken the time to go out and hear a suppressed gunshot.” He said a gunshot from a gun with a suppressor attached is still as loud as a jackhammer.

Also at issue Thursday was the authority of the attorney general to regulate the sale of firearms. Last summer, Attorney General Maura Healey drew the ire of Second Amendment advocates and sportsmen when she heightened her office’s enforcement of an assault weapons ban that had been on the books for years by cracking down on copycat assault weapons.

Humason, a Westfield Republican, filed S 1326 to remove the regulatory authority for the attorney general from consumer protection laws, Humason and Warren Republican Rep. Todd Smola filed S 1322/H 1310 to strip the attorney general of the office’s authority to regulate weapons and to repeal previously issued regulations, and Spencer Democrat Sen. Anne Gobi filed S 1316 to do away with the term “copies and duplicates” in the definition of assault weapon.

Rep. David Linsky said the bills were “filed in retaliation” to Healey’s actions and urged the committee not to advance the legislation.

“The attorney general has the authority to promulgate and enforce rules on all items sold to consumers in Massachusetts, including firearms. Attorney General Healey acted within her constitutional authority as the consumer advocate to stop the sale of copycat assault weapons and protect the residents of the commonwealth from these illegal weapons,” Linsky, a Natick Democrat, said. “Stripping the attorney general of her authority to regulate firearm sales would set a troubling precedent and leave our residents vulnerable to the whims of the powerful gun lobby.”

The theme of federal inaction ran through Thursday’s hearing, with multiple representatives and gun control advocates arguing that Massachusetts cannot rely on the federal government to set rules for firearms.

“If Congress is not moved to act in the wake of events like Newtown or Las Vegas, we cannot continue to sit around and be shocked or wring our hands at their inaction. States must become the agents of their own protection,” said Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, D-Jamaica Plain.

Methinks that Decker has too elevated an opinion of herself.  “Animal Farm” suddenly came to mind, or perhaps Nazi Germany, or the Soviet Union or Communist China.  And the American revolution as the repair for all of this.

The very purpose for weapons to begin with.  Perhaps Decker knows that and fears it.

Why would anyone remain in that awful state anyway?  Say, isn’t Smith & Wesson still ensconced there?  Why, pray tell?


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