When this first cropped up in the news, I thought it was just some sort of outlier. Here in the Empire State, where one of the nastiest gun grabbing laws in recent memory was passed last month, USA Today reported that some gun companies were refusing to do business with law enforcement agencies, claiming that they supported the citizens more than the government.
Some gun manufacturers say they will no longer sell their firearms to New York law enforcement agencies after the state passed a broad assault-weapons ban last month.
At least five companies have said they won’t sell to New York police since Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Safe Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act in January. The bill, known as the NY SAFE Act, included a ban on any semi-automatic rifles or shotguns with “military-style” features, such as a pistol grip or a folding stock.
The companies included Olympic Arms, LaRue Tactical, York Arms, Templar Custom and EFI. I had immediate mixed emotions about the story. On the one hand, I was pleased to see the industry putting principle ahead of profit in standing up to such an odious law. But at the same time, I was sympathetic to our first responders, not wanting to see them in a situation where they might have less access to the tools for their job when it wasn’t the cops who crafted these laws, but the politicians. But, as I said, it seemed like an isolated thing, and they would surely find other resources for tactical weapons, so I didn’t pay it much mind.
Now, as reported at The Blaze, this seems to be turning into more of a trend, involving dozens of gun companies shutting off their business in multiple states.
The list of companies that have stopped selling firearms and ammunition to law enforcement agencies in states that are restricting the Second Amendment has more than doubled since Wednesday and is more than five times larger than just one week ago. There are 42 companies on our list, with more being added as we receive notification…
It’s worth a trip to their article, particularly since they include corporate statements released by a number of these companies explaining their actions. Here’s one sample from Citizen Arms:
”Due to legal, ethical and moral concerns, Citizen Arms offers only those custom firearms that are legal for all lawful citizens of a given state to possess, regardless of law enforcement status. LE personnel living in states where citizens must have restrictive features will only receive like product support from Citizen Arms. We’re very appreciative of the sacrifices made by the law enforcement community but we’re even more appreciative of the right guaranteed to all law-abiding US citizens by the Second Amendment to the US Constitution: A well regulated militia, necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”.
Powerful stuff. We’ll have to drag some lawyers in here to figure out the details, but I don’t think there’s anything illegal about the companies refusing to sell to these law enforcement agencies. And it still seems likely that all of the agencies will still find somebody to sell to them. In the end this looks mostly like a morality statement – and a fine one at that – which won’t actually change anything directly. But if enough voters catch wind of it and recognize the serious nature of this debate, perhaps they’ll stop electing the sort of people who enact laws like this and the companies can return to business as normal.