That’s a good start.
In dueling headlines between two RKBA-oriented web sites, we see some interesting views regarding Rock River Arms, Springfield Armory, their lobbying group Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association, and an Illinois bill intended to discourage gun dealers by running up their operating expenses.
Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms Trade Opposition to Illinois FFL Licensing Scheme for Carve-Out
Earlier today, the Illinois State Senate passed bill SB-1657 by a one-vote margin. While its prospects are still unsure in the House, if signed by Governor Bruce Rauner, the new law will mandate state licensing for all Illinois gun dealers. It will also restrict all others in Illinois to nine firearm transfers per year.
The lobbyist for the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA), Jay Keller, traded that group’s opposition to the bill in exchange for a carve-out, removing Prairie State firearms manufacturers from the licensing requirements.
This hit the news first, and Second Amendment-minded gun owners were understandably upset. Then we heard “the rest of the story.”
Put Away The Pitchforks: Springfield Armory & Rock River Arms Did NOT Sell Out Gun Owners
If true, then the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IMFA) alone is to blame for the group’s decision to remove opposition to the bill, and early assertions made by another firearms news site claiming that Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms directly and intentionally screwed over the citizens of their state as well as smaller manufacturers and gun dealers, would almost appear to be libelous.
If true, I would suspect someone bought off the lobbyist. However, I would not consider the claims that the manufacturers screwed the shooting community libelous because the claims were based on the actions of a group that officially bills itself as speaking for those manufacturers.
“But wait! There’s more!”
Springfield Armory & Rock River Arms Made Campaign Contributions to Anti-Gun Rights Politicians
We can now reveal that Springfield and Rock River have, through IFMA, donated tens of thousands of dollars to Illinois anti-gun politicians over the last several years.
If all this is correct, then it’s possible Rock River’s and Springfield’s lobbyist has been suckering them. For years. Or IFMA may well have been positioning them for special privileges all along. In which case, the investment paid off when they were exempted from the draconian terms of SB-1657.
I expect another salvo of defensive press releases from the companies and and IFMA. Hopefully, they’ll clarify matters.
America does not enjoy actual free-market capitalism. Government intervention makes industry lobbying a necessity. Companies should take advantage of most lawful means of protecting themselves. But…
Companies should not throw their sister companies and customers under the bus in the process.
If Rock River and Springfield really want to “clarify” this in a way that doesn’t get them Smith & Wessoned, I suggest that they disavow their lobbyist, file suit for fraud, and announce that they will not sell firearms to any Illinois law enforcement agency should this bill — or any other similar bill — somehow pass, a la Ronnie Barrett and apparently a few dozen other companies.