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Old December 17, 2011, 05:50 PM   #1
alan
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read in January 2012 issue of The American Rifleman

Wayne LaPierre, speaking personally, is not my favorite person, I never really cared for his "background checks for everyone, no exceptions", but that’s what we ended up with, and the sky hasn't fallen, in-so-far as one might notice.

That having been said, and again referencing the January 2012 issue of American Rifleman, I submit that LaPierr's piece therein, Standing Guard, Obama Steals Power makes interesting reading. Lest I forget, the president’s column headed The Importance of the 2012 Election is interesting too.

In conclusion, the following also seems worthy of mention, an article titled Suppressors, Good For Our Hearing And The Shooting Sports. Suppressors aka "silencers" being NFA items, require the same routines for legal purchase/possession as do machineguns, reams and reams of paperwork, long waits and the payment of a $200 Transfer Tax. Additionally, the restrictions in the law contribute mightily to what I suspect are the high prices of suppressors.

Interestingly, re the way these devices are treated, was there ever any documented criminal use of such devices. If it turns out that there was, to what extent were suppressors used in crime, by the way, I reference documented instances, rather than anecdotal instances. Another thing for readers to think
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Old December 17, 2011, 07:11 PM   #2
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While I do not have direct evidence, my understanding is that the original draft of the NFA 1934 regulated machineguns, short barreled arms (sawed off shotguns, etc.) and handguns.

Realizing that this would not be accepted by the public, the handgun sections were dropped and suppressors (aka silencers) were substituted.

Of course the perception was that with silencers you can murder people quietly, without the tell tale gunshot noise. This convieniently ignores the fact that you can do the same with clubs, rocks knives and rope, etc.

One real concern, and potentially a valid one, is that with suppresors one can poach game with reliative impunity. Again ignoring the fact that one can also do that with bow & arrow, traps, etc.

In the depression days of the early 30s, many rural families were forced to take game out of season, just to eat. And while often ignored in practice, it was against the law, and the official position was that making that easier was a bad thing.

Unlike the gangsters with Tommyguns, I don't think there was any public menace (real or imagined) with illegal use of suppressors. I think it was just something they could do, without any real public backlash, as so few people were involved, at the time.

Besides, all those Federal agents that used to be enforcing Prohibition needed something to do.....
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Old December 17, 2011, 09:14 PM   #3
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It is doubtful that you'll be able to find much data on criminal use of legal suppressors because, like machineguns, they've been highly regulated for the majority of their existence. Suppressors were developed in the early 20th century, (the first successful one, the Maxim Silencer, was patented in 1910), so they were not widely popular by the time the NFA was passed in 1934.

I agree with 44 AMP that suppressors, and I would add most of the weapons regulated by the NFA, were not included due to legitimate public menace. Despite the headline grabbing mobsters and motorized bandits such as Al Capone, Bugs Moran, John Dillinger, Bonnie & Clyde, or Machinegun Kelley, violent crime against the average person was actually quite rare in the 1920's and 1930's. The era was, however, the tail-end of one of the largest growths in government power in U.S. history beginning with the Progressive Era at the turn of the century. Firearm laws were not the only new regulations during this time period as many of the current financial and drug laws have their roots in the same time period as the NFA.

As 44 AMP astutely pointed out, the NFA purposely targeted only very specific weapons that were not in common usage so as to avoid widespread political fallout. Even still, some rather "interesting" measures were taken to defend the constitutionality of the new law. The only challenge to the NFA ever heard by the Supreme Court was United States v. Miller, which was heard after Miller's death and without Miller's attorney present during oral arguments. U.S. v. Miller was also heard after Franklin Roosevelt basically threatened the Supreme Court by floating the idea of a Constitutional Amendment to add more Justices to the bench thereby allowing him to "load the bench" with his own appointees (while such an idea may sound far-fetched today, the political clout held by FDR during the Great Depression made it much more plausible).
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Old December 18, 2011, 08:10 AM   #4
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Interestingly, re the way these devices are treated, was there ever any documented criminal use of such devices. If it turns out that there was, to what extent were suppressors used in crime, by the way, I reference documented instances, rather than anecdotal instances.
I've read that suppressors were included to deter poachers.

Enforcing poaching laws during the great depression had to have been a gut wrenching experience for all involved.
Seriously, how can anyone look someone in the eyes and tell them a dead animal is worth the lives of their family?
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Old December 18, 2011, 08:37 AM   #5
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Probably just BS on the poaching thing.... I grew up in a rural area and often still visit.... it is normal to hear a shot every so often... once or twice an hour.... by the time a game warden or other LEO went looking for the poacher, they would be gone.

I've just gotten to the point of sending off my paper work and check to the ATF for a suppressor... to the total tune of $700+..... I noticed an interesting thing during this process... the dealer who sold me the suppressor and processed my paper work... loves the way things are... it keeps him in business. I also noticed something about myself while reading the original post.... I was thinking how it would be a real bummer if the BAFTE and powers that be turned around and changed their rules on suppressors after I went through all this trouble and spent all this money.... it's too easy to get hooked on the way things are.

Oh and as for the editors in American Rifleman.... I find most these as of late just a little too much... they keep warning us about how Obama if reelected is going to take all our guns away because of some rather strange interpretations and speculations.... I'm not saying they are wrong, even though none of this has happened yet... but it just don't taste right to me.... I think there is much more of a political agenda here... then again, The NRA has always taken some real leaps in their advocacy..... Like supporting McCain last time, even after they published an interview with him and he flat out said he was going to try and get rid of private gun sales and try to get the assault weapons ban back and such... I was extremely confused.

Last edited by blume357; December 18, 2011 at 08:42 AM.
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Old December 18, 2011, 09:13 AM   #6
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Wayne LaPierre, speaking personally, is not my favorite person, I never really cared for his "background checks for everyone, no exceptions"
That is not exactly what we ended up with. In many states of you have a CHL you don't need a background check later. This is an important distinction.

My local class II dealer does not appear to like the laws very much. He knows how to work the system but I think he would rather do volume.
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Old December 18, 2011, 01:11 PM   #7
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I don't know what rural areas the rest of you may have lived in but the rural area in West Virginia where I lived for a spell did not have enough game to support legal hunting for two weeks out of the year, much less poaching during the rest of the year. I suppose nothing lived through the depression.
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Old December 19, 2011, 12:25 AM   #8
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If I may begin with a couple of technical points concerning suppressors (silencers).

1. Sub-sonic ammunition is needed. If projectile speed is super-sonic, you get a "sonic boom" just like you do from jet airplanes.

2. Additionally, a "special" type of firearm is needed, silencers won't work with revolvers, remember the cylinder to barrel gap? What is needed is either a locked breech type handgun or a rifle type, closed breach action.

On to the FDR administration , his AG was one Homer Cummings, who was a great fan of "gun control", pushing the idea of national registration of firearms, handguns especially. From what I've read, one comment attributed to the gentleman ran more or less as follows, and by the way, it might ring familiar. "If a man has nothing to hide, why would he object to registration". I think Cummings would have opted for a ban on handguns altogether, but that might be speculation.

By the way, Roosevelt's "crime problem" mentioned in a recently published book entitled Gun Fight derived largely from the mess caused by Wall Street and the national idiocy that was Prohibition.

Regarding the role played by the NRA, of which I've been Life Member since 1973, that organization might be strongly pro gun rights these days, but that was most definately not always the case. Check it's poasition in the 1920's and 1930's and more recently than that too.

In 1967, when I stilllived in NYC, there was proposed and enacted a city ordinance requiring the registration of long guns and their owners, when such arms were kept within city limits, for instance in the residents home. I personally testified in opposition, and shortly thereafter removed myself from the jurisdiction of this idiocy. Woodson Scott, and NRA official, in what I considered mealy mouthed testimony, went on about how we, gun owners had to be gentlemanly about such matters. In a brief conversation I had with Mr. Scott later that day, I pointed out that being “gentlemanly” was, when dealing with rattlesnakes, ridiculous, and was likely to get one killed. One either killed the rattlers, or one stayed the hell away from them. I also noted re rattlesnakes, that these creatures were “gentlemanly”, in that they usually made a racket before striking, which was more than could be said for the lying anti gunners.

Please pardon my digression. I thought that some of the foregoing might be of passing interest to some readers.

Last edited by alan; December 19, 2011 at 12:54 AM.
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Old December 19, 2011, 01:52 AM   #9
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Since a silencer only reduces muzzle blast noise, there is no need to use subsonic ammo. Subsonic ammo really reduces the power of a cartridge like the 308 Winchester.

Compare a suppressed and unsuppressed high powered rifle side by side and you will greatly appreciate the silencer.

Subsonic ammo is only needed when noise reduction is more important than power and trajectory.

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Old December 19, 2011, 08:05 PM   #10
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RAnb wrote:

Since a silencer only reduces muzzle blast noise, there is no need to use subsonic ammo. Subsonic ammo really reduces the power of a cartridge like the 308 Winchester.

Compare a suppressed and unsuppressed high powered rifle side by side and you will greatly appreciate the silencer.

Subsonic ammo is only needed when noise reduction is more important than power and trajectory.

Ranb
------------------------------

Without picking nits, sub sonic ammunition eliminates sonic boom, super sonic loads do not.

I cannot speak to "high powered rifles" silencer equipped, but respecting .22 caliber auto loaders, with and without silencers, re the silencer equipped weapon, the loudest part of the operation was the working of the action, as memory serves. I believe that this was with High Velocity ammunition (supersonic).
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Old December 19, 2011, 11:53 PM   #11
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In 1967, when I stilllived in NYC,....
Regarding the NRA's apparent lack of fight for gun rights in those days, its a shame, but my take on it, from reading the majority of American Rifleman magazines from the 50s through the late 60s (when I began personal involvement in shooting) was that while some people were worried, and trying to spread the word about what was going on, it wasn't until the GCA of 68 that the enough people woke up to the threat.

Never set up to be a gun rights group, but rather to promote safety and marksmanship, the NRA finally realized that they had to do something about our rights, being the only people in a position to become someone who could.

And it took some time for them to become as effective politically as they became, and hopefully will remain. Not perfect, but the best we could do, at the time, and improving, was the goal.

I admit getting tired of the "Sky is falling" approach used in recent times, BUT, it seems to be the only way to get some people off the couch (or out of the woods), politically speaking.

The drawback? Cry wolf too often, and nobody listens when the wolf is really there.

There is no doubt in my mind that the current administration would enact the strictest regulations imaginable, in a heartbeat, IF they thought they had the political clout to get away with it.

They have tried subtlty, and thanks to the way Fast & Furious has blown up in their faces, (sadly at a high cost to the victims) they are unlikely to try anything else until after the election determines their future in power.

IF re-elected, and with the current (and proper) term limits on the Presidency, they will literally have nothing to lose as a consequence of any wild scheme they try. That's why it is so important that they not get the chance to do that.

Its a sad fact, but if no one keep beating the drum, many will forget to come to the dance. The NRA knows this, and keeps up the beat. Maybe a bit too loud for those of us who are awake, but if it wakes up even one more person to help us, isn't it worth it?
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Old December 20, 2011, 09:15 AM   #12
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1. Sub-sonic ammunition is needed. If projectile speed is super-sonic, you get a "sonic boom" just like you do from jet airplanes.
Depends on what you are trying to achieve. Using normal ammunition with my suppressed rifle, you get a sound about like an unsuppressed .22LR. If you are trying to make it not sound like a gunshot, then normal ammunition isn't going to work. However, if you just want to protect your hearing more and annoy your neighbors less, normal ammunition works just fine with a suppressor.
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Old December 20, 2011, 09:55 AM   #13
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Wayne LaPierre, speaking personally, is not my favorite person, I never really cared for his "background checks for everyone, no exceptions"

Quote:
That is not exactly what we ended up with. In many states of you have a CHL you don't need a background check later. This is an important distinction.
...... and our local head Gun Grabber, State Senator Brad Ashford (Republican, Former Democrat, District 20) tried to work a deal a couplw years ago doing away with our Handgun Purchase Certificate with the NRA ...... in exchange for setting up a pemanent panel to create a list of "Guns too dangerous for civilian ownership", we'd have to do NICS checks again ...... the NRA agreed to a "Nuetral" stance on Ashford's bill .......

Funny, I did a search of our local forums here and can't find much about it..... though I remember that at the time, there was a huge deal about it, with 100's of e-mail alerts flying round ..... funny how that stuff just "goes away", isn't it?
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Old December 20, 2011, 06:08 PM   #14
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Interestingly, re the way these devices are treated, was there ever any documented criminal use of such devices. If it turns out that there was, to what extent were suppressors used in crime, by the way, I reference documented instances, rather than anecdotal instances. Another thing for readers to think
When I was trying to amend the WA law banning silencer use on firearms I wrote to each county sheriff asking for silencer crime data. Most of the counties reported back with a total of ten silencer crimes for the entire state, none as far as I know were registered.

Bill 1016 pass eariler this year and we have been able to use our sielncers since July 22nd.

Quote:
Without picking nits, sub sonic ammunition eliminates sonic boom, super sonic loads do not.

I cannot speak to "high powered rifles" silencer equipped, but respecting .22 caliber auto loaders, with and without silencers, re the silencer equipped weapon, the loudest part of the operation was the working of the action, as memory serves. I believe that this was with High Velocity ammunition (supersonic).
I am quite willing to live with that whip cracking sound when I can keep the power and flat trajectory intact.

I can speak to many types of high and low powered firarms suppressed and unsuppressed. I think the sonic boom is louder than the action from the observer's position. The shooter is going to perceive the action louder than the boom in my opinion on something like the 10/22.

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Old December 20, 2011, 10:33 PM   #15
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Had a friend that lived 'out' quite a ways. I suggested to him to pop off a couple rounds about 5x/week just before dark. Then when he wanted to shoot something no one would think twice. He never did.
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Old December 21, 2011, 07:07 AM   #16
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In the deer story I posted a few weeks ago, the animal control officer used a .22 rifle. While it made rather more noise than I was expecting, there weren't any neighbors out wondering what the noise was. And this is in a Washington, DC, suburb. In the District, of course, a 9mm pistol shot almost goes unnoticed, or so I am led to believe.
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Old December 22, 2011, 04:42 PM   #17
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On "silencers" aka "suppressors", there has been here some amount of technical comment, some of which by yours truly. For the moment, might I depart from the technical aspects of the matter, and look on the political side.

As memory serves, one commenter here, re why silencers came to be treated as they are, see NFA 1934 and references thereto offered "because they could be so treated", which I take to mean that notwithstanding the lack of factual support for such action, our elected things opted to so act, "because they could".

I submit that it is time that the gun owners of this country show their "elected things" that they cannot so act, not if they wish to remain in office, having been reelected.

I also submit that respecting the general field of gun control legislation, while our elected things, otherwise our employees, can enact such legislation as the passing fancies of politics might dictate, that they cannot so act and remain in office, where they suckle on the public teat.
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Old December 23, 2011, 08:16 AM   #18
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The passing fancies of politics is exactly what you call democracy, like it or not. There is no reason to expect them to respond to gun owners any more than anyone else. After all, it's everyone's government, not just one party's (I hope!).
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Old December 23, 2011, 12:59 PM   #19
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Since the beginning of recorded history (and very likely long before) those who rule over others doing things "just because they can" has been ongoing.

Our constitutional republic is one of the few systems that puts some kind of brake on that, but it is not a strong one. They have, can, and do so many things, just because they can (and they want to) that it boggles the mind. It is, in fact the base reason we are in the mess we have today.

Our only threat to enforce these officials doing our will, and only our will is their desire to remain in power. Outside of narrowly defined circumstances allowing impeachment or recall, all we can to to them is not re-elect them when the time comes, and ensure that those who are elected understand WHY the incumbents were not.

The other drawback of our system is that those people who support (or even demand) the most stupid, inane, and even destructive measures to our society and our general well being, have the same voice in representation as we do.

Common sense is not common, pick any political issue you want, borders, guns, economy, marriage, etc, etc, etc, and there are people clamoring for both sides of the issue. Since only one side can be right (at least from my perspective) how can the other side argue for something else?

Because they don't see things the way I do, obviously. Our "elected things" hear us AND them. And even those with the moral strength to keep their personal feelings from being their official agenda (and that's not many, apparently) hears from both sides of all issues. Which one do they represent? The one who has the most numbers, supposedly. But sometimes, its a matter of the one who yells loudest getting their way, before all the responses are weighed.
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Old December 23, 2011, 02:47 PM   #20
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Interesting comments from both 44 AMP and Blue Train:

The thing seems to revolve around, and its' saving grace is that people can throw the bums out, which sometimes actually happens.

Wasn't it Winston Churchill who offered, on our system of government, the worst sort of thing imaginable, except for all the others.
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Old December 23, 2011, 04:32 PM   #21
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I read an interesting article with the founder of AAC the other day. Apparently they are one of Freedom Group's most profitable businesses in terms of margin. He remarked that Cerebus was spending some money on lobbyists to streamline the NFA process by removing the CLEO signoff requirement and moving suppressors to AOW status. He said ATF was resistant to the AOW classification because they were generating a decent amount of revenue with the tax. He pointed out that selling 50,000 items at $5 was better than 5,000 items at $200.

He also made an insightful remark that it wasn't in AAC's best interests to have suppressors moved out of the NFA since that would mean many more potential competitors. He stated that the best move for AAC was to keep the NFA regulations that kept other manufacturers out of the marketplace while making it easier for customers to acquire their products by things like the above.

I think this may be another case where the interests of consumers and the interests of the industry don't quite line up; but overall I think you are going to see a broader acceptance of NFA items in the future.
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Old December 23, 2011, 07:46 PM   #22
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Bartholomew Roberts:

At the risk of asking a dumb question, please clarify for me the following:

1. AAC

2. AOW

By the way, I sibmit that more important than getting rid of the silencer foolishness, a polite term for what I really think about this part of the law, is the following. Getting rid of the entire business of/about The Sporting Purposes Test and or that bit of business about Suitable Thereto (sporting purposes), or Readily Adaptable Thereto, especially since neither Sporting Purposes nor Readily Adaptable Thereto were ever actually defined in the law, so far as I know.
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Old December 23, 2011, 08:13 PM   #23
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AAC is Advanced Armament Corp., a suppressor manufacturer who was purchased by Freedom Group and is now a subset of Remington.

AOW is Any Other Weapon. It is a category for NFA items and is registered the same but the tax stamp is only $5.
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Old December 23, 2011, 08:57 PM   #24
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I don't recall exactly which communist leader it was, but one of them said "the Capitalists will sell us the rope we will use to hang them".

One source of objections to any significant streamlining, or particularly to effective de-regulation of NFA items are those businesses who deal in them.

It is irksome, because we think that "they are gun people, and should want, and help us to be able to easily and cheaply have these things". But that isn't the case for many of them.

They are business people, and anything that threatens their business, they will oppose. And they know that they are making a profit in a niche market. Full auto and other NFA items are never going to be a mainstream firearms market, unless there is a trememdous shift in general public opinion.

And thats not likely, considering nearly 80 years of brainwashing by the govt and the entertainment medias. SO, anything that looks to reduce their profit margin is a threat, including relaxation of the current laws.

Simply opening up the civilian full auto registry to new manufactured arms would be a huge blow to the full auto dealers profit margins. They know that they would not make up in volume the money lost when the market value of the currently legal guns drops.

What is the current going price for a civilian legal M16? $10,000? $15,000? more? Who is going to pay that when they could buy the parts and legally register their own AR for a few hundred dollars? (just one example, there are many others).

Its not a new story, its as old as govt tarrifs and taxes and their effect on businesses. The Gun Control Act of 1968 was supported by many domestic arms makers! Not the importers, but the domestic manufacturers. Foreign gun imports were making serious inroads into their business in the late 60s. Cheap surplus guns, sold mail order, was bad for US business.

Although, like many laws, it turned out to have a huge number of unintended consequences, the GCA 68 was supported by many gun businesses. Sen. Kennedy pushed it hard, not just because any gun control was in line with his personal agenda, but because it protected some major businesses in his home state (and surrounding areas)!

Any restriction on imported guns meant that US makers got a benefit.

Much more recent is Bill Ruger's attempt to see his business was safe from the assault weapons laws being considered at the time (and eventually passed). OR S&W's owners (a British holding company, at the time) agreeing to the Clinton administrations demands about built in locks and sales restrictions. Both of these backfired in the court of public opinion, actually hurting sales, and in S&W's case it was so strong as to cause the British owners to sell S&W, at a loss!

So don't count on the firearms industry to champion our gun rights in general, or in specific, unless it is their particular ox who is being gored.

There are exceptions. Some individuals have taken public stands placing honor above profit at all costs. Mr Barrett is to be commended for his policies, in particular refusing to do business with the govt of California, as long as that govt forbids its citizens from buying his product (.50 cal rifle), he won't sell them to the CA govt, or their agencies. And more to the point, he thumbs his nose at them, by stating his policy in his ads. I don't know how much money he is losing by doing this, but I'm sure its not an insignificant amount. We could use more people with that attitude, and the fortitude to carry it out.
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Old December 25, 2011, 12:48 AM   #25
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44 AMP:

I think it was Kruchiev, pardon any misspelling.

Bart Roberts:

Thanks for the clarification
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