As I reported a few days ago, several firearms companies are telling New York State to suck it. They won’t sell to New York authorities. I applaud them. I believe the number is up to 12 now.
ArmaLite was conspicuously absent, so a concerned gun owner apparently sent an email inquiring about their sales policies and whether they were going to be altered in response to New York’s odious new law. The full report is here.
The response this person received was pretty rude.
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 manufacture 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…
Master Armorer / Sales Rep.
P.O. Box 299
Geneseo, IL. 61254
As you can imagine, this was not well received by gun owners, and the response was… well… uproarious, to say the least.
The root of the matter is a HUGE series of inquiries by both email and telephone asking ArmaLite to cut off 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. Once he realized what happened he came to me and apologized.
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?
ArmaLite is continuing a policy put into place when California first banned our rifles. That policy remains:
1. We will not sell to those states which deny it’s [sic.] honorable citizens the right to own ArmaLite’s [sic.].
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 sate subdivisions which are not engaged or potentially engaged with disarming its citizens. DNR and Forestry Departments, for instance, sometimes serve 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 [sic.]. Chicago, for instance, prohibits its citizens from owning ArmaLite’s [sic.] 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 the same rights.
In short, Americans need not worry that ArmaLite is selling to those who betray them.
Yeah, no. I’m worried.
While I appreciate ArmaLite’s principled stance in not selling to states that ban the ownership of their rifles for ordinary citizens, this strikes me as a bit dodgy.
The individual officers are still afforded their rights, while ordinary citizens are deprived of them. The individual officers still enforce these noxious laws, disarming, arresting, confiscating, etc. peaceable people. And yes, they’re just following orders. We know. Nonetheless, they get to freely exercise their Second Amendment rights, while ordinary citizens do not. And ArmaLite is facilitating this injustice by continuing sales to the “privileged,” while the rest of the population is prosecuted for owning the same product. (See: Nathan Haddad for more)
ArmaLite’s sales practices are its business. They’re welcome to make their business decisions as they see fit. They don’t want to lose the profits. I get that.
I, and I think scores of other gun owners, don’t want to do business with a company that holds the “authorities” to a lower standard than the rest of the citizenry. I don’t want to deal with a company that believes it’s perfectly OK to arm police, while the rest of its customers’ rights get violated, merely because it has a good relationship with law enforcement. And I don’t want to deal with a company that claims it’s not selling to those who betray Americans, while selling to those who may or may not support these odious laws (after all, I doubt they take a survey asking their law enforcement customers whether or not they approve of the assault weapons ban passage) and who definitely enforce them regardless.
No thanks, ArmaLite. Have a nice day.
UPDATE: Thanks to commenter Lion of Gray for directing me to this site, which details those firearms companies who have stood on principle and refused to sell their products to the authorities in states that have infringed upon the citizens’ rights.
Know your friends and your enemies. Know them well.