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The Smith & Wesson Betrayal
Abandoning Gun Owners by Putting Profits Before Principle Leads to Massive Boycott of Smith & Wesson


by John Gaver
March 27, 2000

Update: Since this article was written, Smith & Wesson has been sold. As a direct result of the agreement discussed in this article and the righteous indignation of gun owners, Smith & Wesson lost 40% in sales and was forced to close two factories. The British Owner, Tomkins, who originally paid $112 million for the company, received only $15 million on the sale, representing a $97 million or 87% loss. This shows that the real power of gun owners is not in the guns they carry, but in the wallets they carry.

Although the new owner, Saf-T-Hammer, continued to implement certain safety features on Smith & Wesson guns (that was their business before buying the company), they renounced the agreement with the Clinton administration and no longer limited their sales, which was the ominous part of the agreement.

We at ActionAmerica want to remind our readers that there is nothing wrong with safety features on guns. What is wrong, is the government and a private corporation conspiring to force everyone to buy guns with safety features that they may neither need nor want.

 

When Smith & Wesson announced that they had made a deal with the Devil... I mean the Clinton-Gore crowd, to give the government massive new gun control powers over, not only their own operations, but ALL of their dealers as well, the Gun Owners of America (GOA), the only no-compromise gun lobby in Washington, announced that they are endorsing a boycott of all Smith & Wesson products.  If this deal had only affected Smith & Wesson's operations, it could be argued that they had no choice.  But, this deal between Smith & Wesson and the Clinton-Gore anti-2nd Amendment crowd goes far beyond their own doors and amounts to nothing less than a blatant BETRAYAL by Smith & Wesson of both their customers and their dealers and seriously undermines both the Constitutional rights and the God-given rights of both groups.  GOA is asking all Americans who seriously cherish and believe in the God-given right (this goes far beyond 2nd Amendment rights) of individual self defense, to disassociate themselves from the firearms manufacturer and BOYCOTT all Smith & Wesson products.

Action America is proud to join with the GOA in urging your enthusiastic support for this Boycott of Smith & Wesson products.

Smith & Wesson has clearly placed corporate profits ahead the basic human rights, not to mention the Constitutional rights, of those law-abiding Americans who have kept them in business for years through buying their products.  This is such a serious BETRAYAL of our human rights, that any gun dealers who do not immediately disassociate themselves from any and all affiliations that they may have with Smith & Wesson, should themselves, be considered no less guilty than Smith & Wesson.  In fact, this deal makes it very difficult for gun dealers to continue selling Smith & Wesson products.

"We've had an excellent relationship with Smith & Wesson for 40 years. But the bottom line is this agreement will force dealers to discontinue the sale of Smith & Wesson handguns, plain and simple."

-- Bill Carter, owner of a hunting and firearms chain and one of the nation's largest S&W dealers.

In fact, according to a GOA statement on Friday, March 24, 2000, RSR Wholesale, who are reportedly responsible for about 25 percent of Smith & Wesson sales, has already indicated that it will stop doing business with Smith & Wesson.

Action America salutes RSR Wholesale for their patriotism!

Through the censored reports in the liberal media, we have all heard about some of the requirements placed upon Smith & Wesson under this agreement.  What most people are not aware of is the autocratic requirements placed upon Smith & Wesson's dealers and retail customers under the agreement.  Few people realize or have even heard of the agreement's insidious restrictions that will actually drive the cost of guns into the stratosphere.  The media, in an attempt to glaze over the real threat to our rights, that this agreement represents, has concentrated upon the trigger locks and smart gun technology.  If that were all that it entailed, it would not be nearly so bad.  Let's take a look at some of the requirements placed upon gun distributors and dealers.

This disgraceful agreement establishes a "Code of Conduct" for Smith & Wesson dealers, which is enforceable both as a court order and as a contract.  Remember that if you violate a court order, you can go to jail.  Under the "Code of Conduct," Smith & Wesson agrees to sell only to authorized dealers and distributors and allow their authorized distributors to sell only to authorized dealers.  According to the press release on the HUD web site (link now expired), the "Code of Conduct" places the following requirements upon Smith & Wesson's authorized distributors and dealers.
(Action America comments are in blue.)

  • Gun shows: make no gun show sales unless all sales at the gun show are completed only after a background check.
    This means that private sales at gun shows would have to undergo background checks as well as dealer sales.  That means that this part of the Smith & Wesson agreement affects YOU, even if you are only buying a lever action rifle or a shotgun, and you are buying from an individual seller.  This part affects YOU directly.
  • Brady checks: wait as long as necessary for a completed Brady check showing that the purchaser is not a felon or otherwise prohibited before selling a gun to the purchaser.
    If the FBI's Brady computers were to just happen to suffer serious outages from time to time the "Instant" background checks could often end up taking weeks.  The "accidental" failure of an operator to activate a UPS system might cause a loss of data from which it could take weeks to recover.  Of course, if we are to believe the lying Clinton-Gore crowd, who say that it will take three years and millions of dollars to recover the lost Al Gore emails, then it might take a decade to recover from just one power outage at the FBI.  In the mean time, you would not be able to buy a gun.  Think what this would do to gun dealers across the country.
  • Safety training for purchasers: transfer firearms only to individuals who have passed certified safety course or exam and demonstrate to purchasers how to use all safety devices and how to load, unload, and safely store the firearm before completing the sale.
    The agreement does not specify any limits upon what requirements may be placed upon course "certification."  Changing requirements for "certification" could drive the cost of getting certified to prohibitive levels.  In a few years, you might pay a few hundred dollars for a handgun and then have to pay $1000 or more for a "certified" course.  See where it goes?
  • Multiple handgun sales: all purchasers of multiple handguns to take only one handgun from the store on the day of sale, at which point a multiple sales report will be filed with ATF. The remainder of the guns can only be collected after 14 days.
    Here again, they are directly affecting YOUR rights.  If you should some day feel threatened and decide to buy one gun for your home and one gun for your business, the dealer would tell you that you can only take one gun with you.  Furthermore, by buying more than one gun at a time, the report that the dealer is required to file with the BATF makes YOU the target of a BATF investigation.  This smacks of other recent attempts to subvert the 4th Amendment by requiring non-government businesses to report information on individual citizens to the BATF that the BATF is legally restrained, under the 4th Amendment, from obtaining on their own.  Most notable among these subversions is the FDIC's infamous Know Your Customer (KYC) rules (see our article on Bank Spying).
  • Employee training: require all employees to attend ATF-approved training and to pass a exam on firearms laws, straw purchasers, illegal trafficking indicators, and gun safety.
    Again, there are no limits placed upon what the term "ATF-approved" may be construed to mean.  As with the purchaser "certification," changing requirements for "approval" could drive the cost of this training to such levels that dealers could easily be required to, as much as, double their prices.
  • Insurance: carry liability insurance where available, with a minimum coverage of $1 million for each incident.
    R E A D   T H I S   C A R E F U L L Y ! ! !
    This one is a real problem.  Should insurance be required of all gun dealers, then every time someone is shot, even in if the shooting victim was a criminal shot by a rape victim in self defense, the gun dealers will be sued by the survivor or his relatives.  This would drive the cost of the insurance up, which would likewise drive the cost of guns up by more than ten times.  (Think medical malpractice insurance.)
  • Inventory control: maintain an electronic inventory tracking plan within 24 months.
    This is to enable future lawsuits against those $1 million insurance policies.  Remember on the previous bullet point, when I said that the insurance requirement could drive the cost of guns up by more than ten times and you likely thought that might be a little much?  It isn't sounding so unlikely now, is it?  Keep reading.  It gets worse.
  • Security: implement a security plan for securing firearms.
    All reputable dealers already do this.  The disreputable dealers are almost all gray market dealers who are not authorized dealers for any manufacturer and are, therefore, not affected by the "Code of Conduct."
  • Child access: require persons under 18 to be accompanied by adults in gun stores or gun sections of stores.
    This will require department stores like Wal-Mart to hire security guards to keep the kids who roam the store while mom is shopping from wandering too close to the gun section.  You can expect the BATF to make a number of early examples of stores that don't comply, by sending in undercover agents and some unescorted 17-year olds, to make a few headlines.  The liberal media will be more than glad to play it up.  This used to be called entrapment.
  • Weapons attractive to criminals: not sell large capacity magazines or semiautomatic assault weapons.
    Here is another point that affects YOU directly.  This is very clearly a back door attempt at further limiting "ugly looking guns."  Read that statement carefully!  If a dealer sells Smith & Wesson guns, he cannot sell a high capacity magazine OF ANY BRAND, without violating the court order!  The Smith & Wesson agreement could prevent you from buying a rifle or magazine, OF ANY BRAND, that is considered perfectly legal to purchase under the law.  Even though Congress says that it is OK, Smith & Wesson will say "NO" to the purchase and that "NO" will have the power of a court order.
  • Compliance: provide law enforcement, government regulators, and the Oversight Commission established in this Agreement with access to documents necessary to determine compliance; cooperate fully in the Agreementís Oversight mechanism.
    Again, those of you familiar with the FDIC's infamous "Know Your Customer" rules will recognize this part.  They are setting things up to require gun dealers to act as spies and report "suspicious activity" of individual citizens to the BATF that the BATF is legally restrained, under the 4th Amendment, from obtaining on their own.  This approach is fast becoming a staple of the treacherous Clinton-Gore crowd.
  • Crime gun traces: maintain an electronic record of all ATF trace requests and report trace requests to manufacturers.
    This is again to further aid in establishing legal cases against those $1 million insurance policies.  Did I say that those $1 million insurance policies would drive the cost of guns up by more than ten times.  Perhaps I was a little premature.  Maybe I should have said that the cost of guns would go up by more than 15 or 20 times.  They are not only requiring the insurance policies, but making it easy and enticing to file suit against dealers that hold those policies.  And every suit, won or lost, will drive the cost of those policies up, with the resulting increase in cost of guns.  Look at medical malpractice and then you decide how far it might go.
  • Indicted dealers: forgo firearms sales to licensed dealers known to be under indictment.
    R E A D   T H I S   C A R E F U L L Y ! ! !
    This is another grave part of the Smith & Wesson agreement.  Note that the key word here is not "conviction," but "indictment."  This means that all that the government has to do to shut down a legitimate dealer is to bring an indictment against him for some imaginary crime or for an entrapment case that will never hold up in court and then delay the court date until the dealer has no inventory to sell.  No more gun dealer.  Even though the former dealer may eventually prove his innocence, he will have lost his business.  This is serious!  Hey!  Maybe we could apply this same criteria to Bill Clinton and Al Gore.  We could make them both set out the rest of this term.
  • Straw purchasers: not to make sales to straw purchasers.
    This is another invitation to a BATF entrapment case.  Dealers are expected to read the minds of purchasers.  This is designed to be an easy way for the BATF to establish a case for the indictment of legitimate gun dealers (remember that distributors and other dealers will be prohibited from selling to a dealer who is under indictment), in order to put them out of business under the provisions of the "Indicted dealers" requirement.

Smith & Wesson took the bait offered by the traitorous Clinton-Gore crowd.  In their greed, Smith & Wesson failed to see the long term implications of what they were acquiescing to.  This agreement was cleverly crafted by the traitors in the White House to give the anti-gun lobby a way to drive the cost of compliance so high that it will drive most gun dealers out of business in a few years and the only people who will then be able to acquire a gun will be the very wealthy and those who are willing to steal their guns.  The Clinton-Gore crowd and the antigun lobby will have achieved the complete subversion of the 2nd Amendment without a single line of legislation having been written.  Let me repeat that last statement.

Clinton-Gore will have achieved the complete subversion of the 2nd Amendment without a single line of legislation having been written.

That is why it is imperative that the BOYCOTT of Smith & Wesson be complete and permanent.  Nothing less than a complete replacement of the Board of Directors of Smith & Wesson should be accepted.  Gun owners and Constitutionalists must send a message to the Clinton-Gore crowd and other gun manufacturers, that we will not tolerate any more "Deals with the Devil," even if it means driving Smith & Wesson completely out of business.  Some may say that driving Smith & Wesson out of business only plays into the hands of the Clinton-Gore crowd.  But, that is most certainly NOT the case.

The Clinton-Gore crowd does not want that to happen, yet.  If Smith & Wesson closes its doors now, it will only solidify resistance to further attempts at gun control and since the target of the agreement would no longer exist, the agreement that they worked so hard to put in place would become moot.  For Smith & Wesson to go out of business now, or even reorganize, would be the last thing that the antigun lobby would want to see.  They want to use this agreement to force EVERY gun manufacturer and dealer out of business.

Action America encourages every patriotic American to not only BOYCOTT Smith & Wesson products, but to also boycott those dealers who continue to carry Smith & Wesson products.

A Reverse Boycott - Help Those Who Defend Our Rights

Action America also encourages anyone who may be thinking about buying a gun later in the year to support one or more of those patriotic gun manufacturers and dealers, who continue to place our rights before their own profits, by making that purchase soon.  Let's call this a Reverse Boycott.  So we will BOYCOTT Smith & Wesson and dealers who continue to carry Smith & Wesson, while we REVERSE BOYCOTT the patriotic manufacturers and dealers.

Action Items:

  1. Contact Smith & Wesson and tell them that you are boycotting their products and why.  Also tell them that you are contacting your local gun dealers to inform them that you are boycotting any dealer who continues to carry Smith & Wesson products.  Please feel free to use the sample letter on the Action America site.
    Email: ceo@smith-wesson.com and qa@smith-wesson.com or call them at
    Customer Service phone: 800-331-0852
    Public Relations phone: 413-781-8300 ext. 299
    Fax: 413-747-3317
    Snailmail: Smith & Wesson, 2100 Roosevelt Avenue, Springfield, MA 01104
     
  2. Follow through on what you told Smith & Wesson and contact your local gun dealers and let them know that you will no longer do any business with a gun dealer who continues to carry Smith & Wesson products.  That would mean boycotting a whole department store that carries Smith & Wesson products.  The sample letter on the Action America site is written so as to be sent to either Smith & Wesson or their dealers.
     
  3. Buy a handgun from one of the remaining PATRIOTIC gun manufacturers.  But, make certain that the dealer that you buy it from no longer carries Smith & Wesson products.
     
  4. Contact House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-IL) and tell him that we need his active support of the movement to defund the administration's enforcement of the Smith & Wesson agreement.  This would constitute an effectual "repeal" of this sell-out agreement and will become law.  Rep. Hastert's support in this is critical.  Rep. Hastert can be contacted as follows:
    Email: dhastert@mail.house.gov
    Capitol Hill switchboard: 888-449-3511
    Direct phone: 202-225-2976
    Fax: 202-225-0697
     
  5. Texas Patriots contact House Majority Whip Tom DeLay's office and ask him to do everything in his power to ensure, in his role on the HUD Appropriation subcommittee, that the HUD budget contains no funds for enforcing the Smith & Wesson agreement.  Rep. Delay can be contacted as follows:
    Email: (use http://www.house.gov/writerep/)
    Capitol Hill switchboard: 888-449-3511
    Direct phone: 202-225-5951
    Fax: 202-225-5241
        - or -
    Arizona Patriots contact Rep. Kolbe's office and ask him to include language in the Treasury budget providing that no funds will go towards enforcing the Smith & Wesson agreement.  Rep Kolbe can be contacted as follows:
    Email: (use http://www.house.gov/writerep/)
    Capitol Hill switchboard: 888-449-3511
    Direct phone: 202-225-2542
    Fax: 202-225-0378

Remember that from now on it is imperative that you make your gun purchases ONLY after confirming that the manufacturer and dealer that you are supporting are both solidly committed to standing firm against this Clinton-Gore attack upon our rights.

Check the Gun Owners of America web site for the latest information on which manufacturers are holding the line against the treachery of the Clinton-Gore crowd before making your purchase.  After all, things are changing almost daily.  While you are at it, Action America encourages you to donate generously to GOA to help them keep up the fight for YOUR rights on YOUR behalf.

Other good Pro 2nd Amendment organizations that can use your help are the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF).

KEEP AMERICA FREE!

Support the Smith & Wesson Boycott!

 

Copyright 2000 John Gaver
All Rights Reserved.

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