Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, September 09, 2005

More Gun Politics

Smith & Wesson's Mea Culpa

Interesting stuff from the folks in Springfield, Mass.

Lured into buying a pig in a poke back in the 90's by the Clinton Collectivist Crew, S&W faced immediate and rancorous grief from gun buyers & 2nd Amendment supporters, and they've not recovered since. In fact, the entire gunmaking operation was bought for pennies on the dollar by a gun trigger lock manufacturer!

Now, it looks like they're trying to win back their customers by admitting they might have erred in judgement back then. Take a look.

From page 14 of S&W's 2005 annual report:
Government settlements have adversely affected our business

We are the only gun manufacturer to enter into settlement agreements with the city of Boston, the Boston Public Health Commission, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD, relating to the manner of selling handguns. Adverse publicity regarding the settlement agreements resulted in a boycott by certain of our dealers and customers.

A number of dealers stopped carrying our products altogether, and many long-time customers began purchasing products from our competitors. Our settlement agreement with the Boston autorities was vacated on April 8, 2002, and the HUD settlement is not being enforced. However we are still seeking to recover fully from the consumer boycott.

The settlement agreement dated March 17, 2000 between us, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and HUD has not been formally rescinded. The HUD settlement placed substantial restrictions and obligations on the operation of our business, including restrictions on the design, manufacture, marketing, and distribution of our firearm products. It was subsequently signed by two states and 11 cities and counties.

As of the signing of the HUD settlement, lawsuits had been filed against us by nine of the 11 cities and counties that signed the HUD settlement. Among other terms, the HUD settlement provided that any city or county that was a party to the HUD settlement and had a lawsuit pending against us would dismiss us with prejudice from its lawsuit subject to a consent order. As of August 10, 2005, none of the nine cities and counties that signed the HUD settlement had dismissed us with prejudice from its lawsuit subject to a consent order under the HUD settlement.

We do not believe that the HUD settlement is legally binding for numerous reasons, including that the lack for consideration received by us for entering into the settlement. No assurance can be given, however, that our position that the HUD settlement is not legally binding would ultimately prevail in any subsequent litigation. We have received confirmation that the HUD settlement will not be enforced, but have no indication that the HUD settlement will be formally rescinded. If enforced, these restrictions contained in the HUD Settlement could substantially impair our ability to compete, particularly since none of our competitors are subject to such restrictions.

Personally, I've always liked S&W handguns, and hated the thought of throwing skilled gunmakers out of work due the political suck-uppery of their Eurotrash owners. (Hint #1 for U.S. gunmakers. NEVER sell out to foreigners!!!)

I'd like to see them get out of this useless and politically motivated agreement ASAP. That way, this piece of artwork can go back on the "To Buy" list!

Via rec.guns newsgroup