Religious Exemption To Mandatory Covid Vaccination

Herschel Smith · 24 Aug 2021 · 13 Comments

I authored this paper for an individual who wishes that the name be removed.  The name has been redacted from the copy provided here. In order to assist the reader with a framework for understanding this paper, it should first be emphasized that it is written from a very specific theological perspective.  The necessary presuppositions are outlined at the beginning. It could of course be objected that there may be other (what I am calling "committed Christians") who do not hold one or…… [read more]

Smith & Wesson To Buy Survival Equipment Maker UST

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

Market Watch:

Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. SWHC, +2.06% said Friday that it was buying survival and camping equipment maker Ulitmate Survival Technologies Inc. for $32.3 million in cash. The gun maker expects the acquisition, which will be made through its Battenfeld Technologies subsidiary, to close later this month. UST’s trailing 12-month revenue was about $24 million. “With its complete offering of survival gear, UST Brands is our first acquisition that is entirely focused on the outdoor market, which is a key part of our vision to become the leading provider of quality products for the shooting, hunting, and rugged outdoor enthusiast,” said Smith & Wesson Chief Executive James Debney.

Hey, I have a better idea, and I’ve told you about this before.  Get out of that communist state you’re in and relocate South where all the other gun manufacturers are coming.

Massachusetts Gun Owners Protest

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

Masslive.com:

BOSTON — A Massachusetts gun rights group is protesting Gov. Charlie Baker’s nomination of First Assistant Attorney General Christopher Barry-Smith to serve as an Associate Justice on the Massachusetts Superior Court. The gun owners oppose Barry-Smith because he was a high-ranking attorney in Attorney General Maura Healey’s office when she expanded the state’s ban on assault weapons.

“He works for the attorney general’s office that operates in the shadows above the law,” said Jake Graham, a Norwood gun owner who said he purchased guns legally in Massachusetts that are now subject to the ban.

Here is a photo of the event.

Mass_Protest

Oh dear.  Massachusetts isn’t worth saving, folks.  There aren’t enough of you.  It’s best just to leave the state and set up home in another state, preferably a freer state than Massachusetts.

Who is it that still does business up there?  Oh yea.  Calling Smith & Wesson.  Why the hell are you still there?  Why haven’t you moved?  I think we’re all beginning to get a little pissed about this.

Less Than Complimentary Article On Smith & Wesson

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 months ago

The author of this article at The Boston Globe, Akilah Johnson, is obviously trying to show the human side of gunsmiths and mechanics at Smith & Wesson as opposed to the ugly, boogeyman portrait the progressives paint.  But it reminds us (1) that Smith & Wesson has no business whatsoever still being ensconced in Springfield, and (2) this would never have to be done in most other locations in America (can you imagine a journalist having to show the human side of gunsmithing in, say, Charlotte, N.C., or Greenville, S.C.?).

Furthermore, this article isn’t really very friendly to Smith & Wesson or the place they live for the discerning gun owner.  Consider.

… to many, including US Representative Richard Neal of Springfield, who participated in that demonstration on the House floor, it is the hometown company.

“My own position has always been: Be helpful in that every police officer or patrolman in America ought to use a Smith & Wesson, and I think the American military ought to use a Smith & Wesson,” Neal said in an interview. “At the same time, there will be disagreements as it relates to guns.”

Their own member of the House participated in that juvenile sit-in, and would presume to mention firearms ownership within the context of LEO and the military, but noticeably didn’t mention anyone else.  What a horrible place for Smith & Wesson to do business.  Just horrible.

“It’s a good job,” co-worker Marc Holland called out from across the bar at the neighborhood watering hole early one morning last month.

Holland, 54, retired after 25 years at a paper mill and was looking for a way to stay busy. Six years ago, a friend at Smith & Wesson told him about an opening. Now, he works the machines that make triggers among other things.

“I can do like 3,600 triggers in a shift, over 10,000 in a week,” he said.

Excuse me, but I wouldn’t be bragging about how many triggers I could push out to the next mechanic if I were you.  Instead, I would be bragging about how I focused my time and effort on quality and craftsmanship.  Listen to me, Smith & Wesson gunsmiths and mechanics.  There are so many pistols, revolvers and rifles out there that competition will run you into the ground if you begin to work the line in order to maximize production instead of quality.  Gun owners will notice.  You’ll be shut down not because you can’t produce enough, but because we’ll be calling your stuff shit, and we’ll do it over forums, in blogs, and at the range.

Refocus on quality.  Tell me something about how you wake up in the morning and can’t wait to work that trigger to ensure its smooth action for that working-man buyer who is just like you, earning a living by the sweat of his brow.  Don’t tell me how fast you can do it.  I suppose that’s why I buy from the S&W performance shop if I buy S&W.  I know somebody has put some knowledge, skill, effort and craftsmanship into it.  I want to know that somebody left part of his soul in that machine when I pay that kind of money for it.  I leave my soul at work many a night when I leave.  It’s all I’ve got, and I’ve given it to a job I consider a blessing, with professionalism and excellence.  I want you to do the same thing, and if you can’t do it I want to know because I’ll never send another penny your way.

Neal said House Democrats were left with little recourse besides the sit-in to get the attention of US House Republicans, which after mass shootings in Orlando and San Bernardino, Calif., and Aurora, Colo., he figured would be easier to do.

“This highlights how difficult it is in America today to have a conversation about these sorts of things,” he said. “The majority in the House makes no effort to accommodate the concerns of the minority. That was true when we were in the majority, and it’s true now.”

Neal said he supports background mental health checks, closing gun show loopholes, and keeping those on the government’s no-fly list from being able to purchase firearms.

“I think those are reasonable positions by any standard,” he said.

The barber shop owners’ late father once worked for Smith & Wesson. Ralph Ricciardi, 45, said when his father first emigrated from Italy, he needed steady work before he could become a citizen. At the time, authorities did not consider being a barber secure employment.

“So my father actually made guns, from ’70 to ’74,” he said while cutting a client’s hair. “He opened up his shop in ‘74.”

“It’s just like a business. It’s just like a store or something,” said David Tancrati, 58, as he waited to sit in Ralph’s chair.

“We don’t even think about it. It employs a lot of people.” Ciro Ricciardi, 47, Ralph’s brother said.

Well, you should think about it, about the Puritan work ethic that brought you this kind of industry to begin with, and about the good weapons do for mankind.  If the only thing you can be proud of is a paycheck, and you have to ignore the product you’re making, you’re unworthy of the industry that calls Springfield home.

And to Congressman Neal, it’s easy to have conversations about guns.  We do it every day here.  And not one more law.  And I’ll converse with you about that until your eyes turn red and your heart stops, but conversing won’t change my mind.  Just as Springfield is unworthy of S&W, you are unworthy of the trust the people of your state have placed in you.  You should be ashamed, and I only hope that in the future, you get to look at the shuttered doors of the Springfield S&W plants as they have shut down and moved.  May your precinct turn into a ghost town.

Somebody’s Got A Screw Loose, And It Ain’t Smith & Wesson

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 8 months ago

Guns.com:

A lawsuit filed against Smith & Wesson in federal court last Thursday alleges that the plaintiff lost a finger due to a defective part on an unaltered .380 Bodyguard firearm.

Randy and Vicki McNeal, of Trimble, Tennessee, are seeking $75,000 in compensation – as well as legal fees – from the Massachusetts-based firearms manufacturer as a result of injuries received when Randy McNeal attempted to operate the firearm, which the plaintiffs alleged was “damaged, defective and unreasonably dangerous” when first manufactured, according to the complaint.

According to the complaint, McNeal purchased the firearm for his wife from a dealer in Jonesborough, Tennessee, in August of 2011, and no alterations were made to the firearm since its purchase.

The injury occurred approximately two years later, in December 2013, when he was attempting to make the gun safe to show a friend at On Target Guns and Indoor Range in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

According to the complaint, McNeal attempted to lock the slide back to ensure the chamber was empty, but due to an obstruction the slide wouldn’t come back all the way and lock into place. In an attempt to correct the problem, McNeal “briskly drew back the slide several times,” while following instructions from the gun’s safety manual.

However, the gun slipped from his grip, and when McNeal caught it, the firearm accidentally discharged, hitting his left small finger, ultimately leading to a need to amputate, the complaint says.

The plaintiffs, who reportedly had a firearms expert inspect the weapon, allege that the reason the gun could not be made safe – and ultimately the cause of the injury – was because of a loose screw on the built-in laser sight, which they say is “a defect/quality control issue.”

I’ve been hard on Remington for failure to come clean on their Walker fire control system.  But this is a loose screw.  I and every one of my readers has been at the range, or cleaning your weapons, or dry firing them, and found parts that needed to be tightened, refurbished, reformed, replaced, cleaned, or jettisoned for some other reason.

If you don’t want a screw to back out, check it periodically, or put Loctite on it [Be warned, this comes at a cost too.  AR aficionados don’t like the fact that Rock River Arms secures the Castle Nut on their rifles with red Loctite – it makes it virtually impossible to get off without a torch if you want to replace the buffer tube].

And above all else, when you drop a gun, do not try to catch it.  There are enough safety features on modern guns that catching it won’t prevent anything from happening except a little scratching when it hits, and may expose you to pulling the trigger of your weapon.  For instance, Ruger’s revolvers have their transfer bar, other makers have their features.

Again, do not try to catch a falling gun.  Ever.  My apologies for the awful music.  And for heaven’s sake, drop the gun, and drop the lawsuit.

Letitia James Attacks Smith & Wesson

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 10 months ago

NYT:

The New York City public advocate on Monday asked federal regulators to investigate whether the gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson had made adequate disclosures in its financial statements.

In an eight-page letter, the public advocate, Letitia James, said the Securities and Exchange Commission should examine whether Smith & Wesson misrepresented or omitted information about how often its products are involved in crimes and what it has done to keep its guns out of the hands of criminals.

Shareholders would want to know whether Smith & Wesson faced heightened regulatory scrutiny or significant litigation risk, Ms. James said in the letter.

Nearly two weeks ago, a terrorist attack in San Bernardino, Calif., left 14 people dead and provoked a fresh outcry about gun violence in America. It also is the third anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where a gunman killed 20 children and six adults.

“With the increase in mass shootings, public concern about the proliferation of firearms has animated a national dialogue about gun control measures, interstate gun trafficking, and whether gun manufacturers should take additional steps to ensure that their products do not end up in the hands of criminals,” the letter says. “Smith & Wesson knows that it is at risk of grave reputational harm.”

Ms. James is opening a new avenue in her fight against gun sellers and makers. Earlier this month, she called on TD Bank, a big lender, to stop financing Smith & Wesson. This summer, she convinced the New York City Employee Retirement System, the city’s largest pension fund, to explore divesting itself of its holdings of gun retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Here is the letter, sponsored by the City of New York because it is hosted on a New York City web site.  Ms. James, who makes $165,000 per year at the expense of city taxpayers, and who is almost never on the job to do her job of public advocate, is using her salary, time and staff to fight legitimate, law abiding gun manufacturers by – you guessed it – regulating them to death at the hands of the *.us.gov.  What regulation, what law, what knickers-in-a-wad fabricated problem of the day, it matters not.  This is what community organizers do.  Regulators are the philosopher-kings, and we are the subjects.

No, she isn’t another Bloomberg apparatchik.  She is much more progressive than Bloomberg, and gave an anti-Bloomberg speech upon de Blasio’s inaguration so caustic that that even The New York Times berated it.  She is next-gen progressive.  And like the current administration, she doesn’t mind spending money she didn’t earn from the public coffers to battle what she perceives to be social justice warrior battles.

And we can all say with one voice, “Get a real job and mind your own damn business.  We don’t care what you think.”  I hope Smith & Wesson buries you.

Is The M&P The Frontrunner To Become The Army’s New Pistol?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 9 months ago

CNN:

Smith & Wesson fired up investors on Tuesday by saying it sees “recent, positive trends” in the consumer firearm market, and that’s likely to translate directly into higher profits for the gun maker.

The firearm company feels so confident that it raised its sales and earnings targets for 2015 above what Wall Street had been banking on.

The stock surged nearly 20% as investors cheered the news.

Rival Sturm, Ruger & Co. also saw its shares pop about 4% on the upbeat sentiment.

All of this marks a 180 turn for gun makers. Only a few weeks ago Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers warned that Americans didn’t seem to be buying guns anymore. They pointed to sluggish rifle sales and a supply glut caused by retailers placing unrealistically high orders for guns.

Smith & Wesson predicted it will generate sales of around $125 million in the quarter that ends January 31. That would easily exceed expectations from analysts for revenue of less than $118 million.

“They are really showing improving fundamentals and continue to work off a lot of their retail inventory,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities.

He said the “wild card” with Smith & Wesson is the bidding war that’s underway to become the new handgun manufacturer for the U.S. Army. Hogan said the company is the “frontrunner” for the new contract, which would trigger an initial revenue gain of roughly $500 million.

Does Mr. Hogan know something we don’t?  Is the M&P the real “frontrunner” in the competition to replaced the Beretta, or this just wishful thinking or fabrication?  If Smith & Wesson wins the contract, in my opinion while this may be an initial infusion of welcome cash, it will ultimately cause S&W to be less responsive to customers.

On another issue related to S&W, I received an e-mail notification today from S&W on new products for 2015.  It mainly looks like more variants of the M&P.  The e-mail said, and I quote, “Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that the company has expanded its award-winning line of professionally engineered M&P Series firearms with new offerings for 2015.”  S&W may want to rethink this language.

When you use the words “professional engineer,” “engineer,” “engineering” or “professionally engineered,” you invoke all sorts of legal stipulations that the service or product was designed and specified by a registered professional engineer.  In the past, companies who have done this without having a registered professional engineer on staff with the work being performed under his responsible charge were fined and issued cease and desist letters from the attorney general’s office of the state in which the company does business.  Perhaps they don’t know this, but you can’t just throw around the words professional engineer, any more than you can throw around the words doctor or lawyer.  Moreover, the legal burden such language places on the product manufacturer (for product liability) is rather onerous.

Is Smith & Wesson Going Under?

BY Herschel Smith
6 years, 10 months ago

CNBC:

Smith & Wesson faces a double-barreled threat: Weak weapon sales and leverage.

The gun manufacturer said Thursday night that sales fell 22 percent in the quarter through October because of weaker sales of a variety of firearms. In turn, the company cut its full-year sales target to a range of $504 million to $508 million, down from $530 million to $540 million.

Why the sales swing? After concerns that President Barack Obama or other politicians would impose strict gun controls, many firearms lovers stocked up. Now that those fears have subsided, demand is returning to normal. That has left inventories elevated, prompting gun companies to offer discounts to clear their stocks.

But Smith & Wesson’s worries don’t end there. The company announced in late November it was buying hunting and shooting accessories company Battenfeld Technologies for $130.5 million. As part of the deal, the company will take on an additional $100 million of debt and fund the rest with cash. Adding that to Smith & Wesson’s $175 million in existing debt, the company will have $275 million in debt.

That’s a potential concern because Smith & Wesson has a covenant on its existing bonds requiring that its debt be no more than 3.25 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). For now, Smith & Wesson might appear comfortably below its leverage limit. Before Thursday’s statement, analysts expected the company to generate $114 million in EBITDA in the year through April. That would suggest a leverage ratio of about 2.4 times, or even lower, assuming some additional earnings from the acquisition.

But if sales and profits continue to fall, leverage could creep higher fast. Indeed, the company had EBITDA of just $68 million in fiscal 2012 before the big surge in gun demand. That would be low enough to violate the debt covenant. A spokesperson for Smith & Wesson told CNBC that the company took its “expected future financial situation and the covenants into account” when it borrowed more money.

There are signs that Smith & Wesson’s profits will remain under pressure. With demand soft, the company’s inventory has continued to rise. At the end of October, it held $99 million in inventory, up from $76 million at the same time a year earlier.

The company also said it plans to offer “aggressive promotions” in coming months to protect market share. It acknowledged that gross margins could take a hit as a result.

I haven’t seen any of those “aggressive promotions” in my area.  The S&W revolvers, M&Ps and other guns are the same as they’ve always been.  And anything from the performance shop at S&W will be very pricey.  I have a E series 1911 and S&W .357 magnum R8 revolver, both from the performance shop, both very nice, but both very expensive.

For some reason S&W feels that they need to expand their product line to include whatever is produced by Battenfeld Technologies rather than either (a) become more competitive with the prices of those they already produce, or (b) move to another location where they don’t have the high cost of union labor.

Since Colt dropped out of eyesight and off of the consumer map by focusing all of their energies on military contracts for the M4 (which has now dried up) and letting their revolver program perish, the reputation is that if you want a good revolver, you buy S&W.  My two S&W revolvers are very good.  But Ruger has laid the smack down and taunted S&W with its Ruger GP100.  I have held this weapon, although not shot it, and it balances nicely and its trigger action is smooth.  It will prove to be a worthy competitor to any .357 magnum / .38 Smith wheel gun.

S&W is probably relying on becoming the supplier of choice for the new U.S. military pistol.

For gun manufacturers, no customer rivals the Pentagon for prestige and revenue potential. That’s why, after years of anticipation, firearm makers are mobilizing for the U.S. Army’s imminent competition to replace the Beretta M9 pistol, the American soldier’s standard sidearm since 1985.

The procurement process for several hundred thousand new pistols formally begins in January and is expected to last about two years. Based on more than 15 years of reporting on the gun business, I’d identify the early favorites as a much-improved Smith & Wesson (SWHC), which enjoys a made-in-the-USA marketing edge, and the formidable Glock of Austria.

For a second opinion, I asked longtime industry consultant and former National Rifle Association organizer Richard Feldman for some snap handicapping. “Beretta starts with a 30-year history of supplying the Army, and that counts for something,” said Feldman, now the president of the Independent Firearm Owners Association, an advocacy group based in Rindge, N.H. “S&W, which lost a lot of police and civilian business to Glock in the 1980s and 1990s, has transformed itself into a modern firearm manufacturing enterprise with much better quality than in the past. Glock, barely in existence the last time this contract was up, is undeniably a powerful contender.”

S&W is fielding a ported version of their M&P .45 (if I am not mistaken), and it would suit me just fine if they won the contract.  My son Daniel (a SAW gunner) thought his Beretta was a piece of crap and the 9mm an underpowered cartridge.  He never used it, and even in combat he avoided actually needing it.  I have never liked the boxy design of the Glock or the slant of it’s frame.  But oh, my friends at S&W, watch it.

As I have said before, “To S&W, I say again like I have to every gun manufacturer.  Don’t even start down the path of relying on government contracts to keep your company solvent.  It’s like shooting heroin once.  Just say no.  Just don’t do it.”  It never works out quite like you intend.  The Marines want a version of the Colt 1911, Cerakote flat dark earth with a tactical rail, if sold on the open market to the civilian population, worth less than what the Marines are paying for it (it has night sights, a tactical rail and Cerakote finish – my S&W E Series 1911 has Melonite coating, a tactical rail, and Trijicon night sights, and sells for less than what the Colt 1911 sells for to the public).  The Army will prove to be finicky and fussy, and the orders won’t stack up to as many as you had bargained for.  The phase-in will be slower than you wanted, and the demand that it does place on your production capabilities will change forever your attention, programs and dedication to QA for other customers.

I’ve had my run-ins with S&W before, but I’ve been kind and understanding to a company that – I admit – I really love.  But S&W’s commitment to stay in labor union territory and a badly anti-gun state, flirt with law enforcement contracts to the exclusion of custumer rights, and now to chase after military contracts and buy out companies in strange moves that I cannot discern or understand, makes this all very troublesome for me.

It’s probably an exaggeration to say at the present that Smith & Wesson is going to go under.  I say this thankfully because I would regret a world without S&W.  But it doesn’t speak well of the current state of the company strategy to buy out other manufacturers to expand your line from your core business, to do so while sustaining higher debt, and to continue to ensconce themselves in an anti-gun, pro-union state.

The way to make money is to be a proud craftsman at your work for a competitive price, be loyal to your base, and respect their rights and their choices.  Why is this so hard to understand, and why do some U.S. gun manufacturers have so much trouble stepping up to the plate to show themselves worthy of the title?

Changes To California Gun Laws: Will Smith & Wesson Continue To Sell To Law Enforcement?

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 1 month ago

I ran across this fairly informative podcast late last week.  If you want to listen to it I encourage you to do so.  It is just short of twenty minutes.  If not, I will summarize for you.

The law passed several years ago in California forced all new firearms to be microstamped with laser etching right at the time of firing, with spent cartridge casings showing the serial number of the firearm used – ridiculous technology that no professional engineer would seal (this is my judgment, not that of the podcast).  It would be too expensive, it wouldn’t last, and it would be subject to removal by anyone.

The law stipulated that the law becomes effective when the attorney general deems that the technology exists.  The attorney general of California is a liar because she deems the technology to exist even though it doesn’t.  Therefore, all new firearms sold in California must include this technology which doesn’t exist.

Here is the operative phrase: new firearm.  Gun makers can continue to sell existing firearms if they have previously been approved by California, including the silly limited capacity magazine.  But because a new firearms is defined as any firearm that has had any change at all made (part tolerance, alloy specification, gun color, etc.), and because even small changes routinely made by manufacturers would be included in that list and necessarily involve approval which included microstamping (which doesn’t exist), gun manufacturers are no longer selling guns in California.

We’ve discussed this before in slightly less detail, and noted that Smith & Wesson will continue to sell to law enforcement (or at least, they won’t commit to me that they won’t), thus providing weapons to LEOs that other citizens can’t have.

You can let Smith & Wesson know how you feel about this.  I have.  At the same time, remind them that it is way past time to remove themselves from the communist state in which they are ensconced and come South like most other gun manufacturers.

Their customer base is watching – carefully.

Ms. Elizabeth Sharp, VP of Investor Relations (Lsharp@smith-wesson.com)

Smith & Wesson Refuses To Confirm Position On California

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 8 months ago

In Smith & Wesson Rejects Microstamping, we covered and commented on the fact that Smith & Wesson will be removing many of its semi-automatic model firearms from the market in California due to the recent gun law, specifically citing microstamping as one of the barriers to compliance.

I applauded their move, as Californians must live with the government they have helped to create.  Elections have consequences, and if Californians cannot change California, or at least persuade the state to leave their firearms alone, then it is time to move from California to a free state.

But it isn’t that simple, I said.  It never is.  Smith & Wesson stated that they were pulling many of their models from the market.  What they did not say is that they will not be distributing those specific firearms to law enforcement in California.  After all, for Smith & Wesson to sell firearms to law enforcement that the citizenry cannot have is obscene.

I have contacted the individual on the press release, Matt Rice (matt@blueheroncomm.com), multiple times concerning this question, and he has forwarded me to Ms. Elizabeth Sharp, VP of Investor Relations (Lsharp@smith-wesson.com).  Smith & Wesson has had adequate time to assess and provide a response to my question, or at least inform me that they need additional time (I did pose that question too).  Thus far, Smith & Wesson has summarily ignored my overtures.

Smith & Wesson Rejects Microstamping

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 8 months ago

By now it has become common knowledge that Smith & Wesson has rejected microstamping and will revise they way they distribute in California.  The author of the bill has called their position baloney.

Smith & Wesson President and Chief Executive James Debney, in a statement released Thursday, said the law was poorly conceived and would make it impossible for Californians to have “access to the best products with the latest innovations.”

Feuer called the gun lobby’s objections “baloney.” He said the new technology gives police crucial evidence in handgun-related killings, hundreds of which go unsolved every year, and that the legislation had wide support from law enforcement agencies.

Feuer is the one whose position is baloney.  It would be a profoundly bad idea for any gun maker to engage in such a practice.  First of all, if a manufacturer ever crafts guns that are microstamped, the entire gun community would know within a day what firearm it is, and would never expend the effort necessary to ascertain whether the specific gun they want to purchase has been microstamped.  Sales of used firearms of that make would plummet and the value of the gun would go to about zero.  Second, the gun community would within short order let that manufacturer know exactly where we stand.  Smith & Wesson has been there and done that.  They won’t be going back.

But it isn’t that simple.  Read some of Smith & Wesson’s statement.

Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that although it continually seeks ways to refine and improve its firearms so that consumers have access to the best possible products, the State of California is making that impossible when it comes to California residents.

Under California’s “Unsafe Handgun Act,” any new semi-automatic pistol introduced into that state must comply with microstamping laws. In addition, California asserts that anything other than a cosmetic change to a handgun already on the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale, including performance enhancements and other improvements, requires it to be removed from the roster and retested. For semi-automatic pistols, this means it must comply with the microstamping requirements, as well.

Smith & Wesson does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms. A number of studies have indicated that microstamping is unreliable, serves no safety purpose, is cost prohibitive and, most importantly, is not proven to aid in preventing or solving crimes. The microstamping mandate and the company’s unwillingness to adopt this so-called technology will result in a diminishing number of Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistols available for purchase by California residents.

This is not a problem unique to Smith & Wesson. The microstamping legislation and California’s position regarding performance enhancements and other improvements creates the same challenge for all firearm manufacturers, since presumably all of them refine and improve their products over time.

Smith & Wesson currently produces a California-compliant version of its M&P® Shield and SDVE™ pistols. Both of these new products were launched last week at SHOT Show® in Las Vegas and are expected to begin shipping within 90 days. They are expected to more than offset the impact of those M&P pistol models that will not remain on the Roster. Both the M&P Shield and the SDVE pistols are expected to remain on the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale as long as no changes are made to those models and the company does not plan to make changes to them for this reason. All other Smith & Wesson handguns are at risk of eventually falling off the roster over time. The company expects that any current production revolvers that fall off will be re-tested and returned to the roster, since microstamping does not apply to revolvers. Without some change in position by California, however, any semi-automatic pistols (other than the California-compliant models referenced above) that are removed from the roster will not be returned and law-abiding citizens will not be permitted to buy them from a licensed dealer in California.

Absent in this statement is what Smith & Wesson will do about sales to law enforcement of M&P models and any other model that interests LEOs.  Law enforcement is specifically exempted from any microstamping requirements.  It would be an abominble and obscene position to sell to law enforcement what the common citizens cannot legally have.

I have sent a note to Matt Rice for clarification.  I’ll keep readers informed on what Smith & Wesson says about this issue.


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