U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- The president and CEO of Smith & Wesson issued a scathing public statement in response to demands from the Democrat-controlled House Oversight Committee, which is seeking a considerable amount of sales and production information from the legendary gun company, and has issued a subpoena to get it.
S&W President Mark Smith posted his statement on the Smith & Wesson website, in which he accused “a number of politicians and their lobbying partners in the media” of disparaging his company and other gun manufacturers for rising violent crime in the U.S.
“Some have had the audacity to suggest that after they have vilified, undermined and defunded law enforcement for years, supported prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions, overseen the decay of our country’s mental health infrastructure, and generally promoted a culture of lawlessness,” Smith stated.
His 440-word statement was applauded by the Second Amendment Foundation, where founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb observed, “We think Mark Smith speaks for the entire firearms community, from manufacturers on down to individual gun owners who are tired of being the whipping boys for congressional gun grabbers.”
Gottlieb ripped Congressional Democrats for using gun makers and gun owners as scapegoats “for their own ineptness in preventing crime and keeping our communities safe.” He likewise blasted the establishment media for helping perpetuate the notion that the gun industry and law-abiding firearms owners are to blame for skyrocketing crime.
“Beltway gun prohibitionists, supported by billionaire-backed gun control lobbying groups and their media lapdogs have endeavored to erode the Second Amendment with the ultimate goal of erasing it from the Bill of Rights,” Gottlieb stated. “They have demonized the firearms industry, firearms owners, the guns they own and the organizations that fight a daily battle in defense of the right to keep and bear arms. And they deny any responsibility for the crime wave their failed social policies have cultivated.
“In short,” Gottlieb added, “their collective moral compass is so dysfunctional the needle has twisted off the dial.”
Smith & Wesson’s response comes about three weeks after the House Oversight Committee, chaired by perennial anti-gun Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) held a hearing on so-called “gun violence” and the firearms industry. During that hearing, Maloney challenged the heads of two prominent firearms companies—Chris Killoy at Sturm, Ruger and Marty Daniel at Daniel Defense—to “accept responsibility” and apologize to victims of mass shootings and their families.” Ammoland News reported on the hearing at the time, describing Maloney’s effort as “a grandstand play (that) set the tone for the remainder of a contentious hearing during which Democrats repeatedly called modern semi-auto rifles ‘weapons of war’ while Republicans steadfastly defended private gun ownership.”
Because S&W’s Smith did not appear before the committee, the company has been subpoenaed to provide a considerable amount of information, which an attorney representing S&W wrote in a letter to Maloney in which he reminded the congresswoman, “My client has already provided information on its revenue and units sold related to MSRs consistent with the scope of the Committee’s investigation.”
Attorney Mark R. Paoletta, a partner in the Washington, DC law firm of Schaerr Jaffe LLC also noted in his six-page letter to Maloney, “The Committee’s very own actions show that it does not need this type of information to do its job. Based on the Committee’s actions, I believe the Committee is unfairly punishing my client for declining an invitation to participate in the hearing held by the Committee on July 27, 2022.”
S&W CEO Smith’s public statement was posted Monday on the company website, while Paoletta’s letter was sent to Maloney via electronic mail.
In his remarks, Smith clearly was putting blame for rising crime back where it belongs.
“It is no surprise that the cities suffering most from violent crime are the very same cities that have promoted irresponsible, soft-on-crime policies that often treat criminals as victims and victims as criminals,” Smith stated. “Many of these same cities also maintain the strictest gun laws in the nation. But rather than confront the failure of their policies, certain politicians have sought more laws restricting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, while simultaneously continuing to undermine our institutions of law and order.”
As a firearms manufacturer, Smith & Wesson is an American icon, with a history dating back to the late 19th Century. It is one of the premier handgun manufacturers, not just in the U.S. but around the globe. Over the years, the company has delved into manufacturing shotguns and rifles—most recently with a line of modern semi-auto rifles—while maintaining its traditional handgun production, both revolvers and semi-autos.
But there is more to the growing hostility toward gunmakers from Capitol Hill, to which Smith specifically alluded in his statement.
“And to suppress the truth,” the gun company CEO said, “some now seek to prohibit firearm manufacturers and supporters of the 2nd Amendment from advertising products in a manner designed to remind law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutional right to bear arms in defense of themselves and their families.”
Gun rights versus gun control is a major issue politically as the 2022 midterm elections loom Nov. 8. In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June that struck down New York’s law requiring proof of “good cause” in order to obtain a concealed carry permit, gun prohibitionists all but declared the sky is falling. The 6-3 decision, authored by veteran Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, provided legal language that may now be used by gun rights organizations such as SAF to challenge various state laws and earlier court rulings that had been based on an entirely-manufactured “two step” approach in dealing with Second Amendment issues.
In tearing down the two-step approach, Justice Thomas wrote, “Despite the popularity of this two-step approach, it is one step too many. Step one of the predominant framework is broadly consistent with Heller, which demands a test rooted in the Second Amendment’s text, as informed by history. But Heller and McDonald do not support applying means-end scrutiny in the Second Amendment context. Instead, the government must affirmatively prove that its firearms regulation is part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.”
The high court’s ruling infuriated Capitol Hill anti-gunners, which may have precipitated the Oversight Committee hearing, which was clearly aimed at holding the gun industry responsible for violent gun-related crimes, especially mass shootings.
But Smith’s public statement was defiant:
“We will continue to work alongside law enforcement, community leaders and lawmakers who are genuinely interested in creating safe neighborhoods. We will engage those who genuinely seek productive discussions, not a means of scoring political points. We will continue informing law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutionally-protected right to defend themselves and their families. We will never back down in our defense of the 2nd Amendment.”
About Dave Workman
Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.