Rock River Arms has issued the following statement on their web site:

For immediate release: May 1, 2017

Rock River Arms, Inc.® (RRA) wants to assure the Illinois (and national) firearms community that we are still 100 percent opposed to the Gun Dealer Licensing Act – SB1657, the house version of the same bill, and any potential final legislation that may come from those bills along with any other infringements on the gun rights of law-abiding citizens everywhere.

For more than twenty years, Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory have actively opposed gun control legislation at the local, state, and federal levels. In 2009, we partnered with other manufacturers to form an organization geared towards representing our interests – The Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA). Historically, that organization has done well in representing us in Springfield, Illinois. We had no reason to believe that it was doing anything beyond representing the firearms community’s (Illinois firearms manufacturers, dealers and gun owners) best interests, keeping us well-informed on relevant legislation and issues, acting on our behalf. In the case of SB1657, there was a disconnect and that representation was misguided.

While we do believe that IFMA acted in what it felt was the best interests of its members, we were as shocked as everyone else to find ourselves exempted from provisions of SB1657 and that IFMA was no longer opposing that bill, even though RRA still opposed it.

Again, Rock River Arms wants to emphasize (regardless of anything that may have been said or done, mistakenly or otherwise, by any other party on our behalf) its continued total opposition to SB1657, the Illinois House version of the bill and any final legislation that may emerge. This includes any provisions found in Gun Dealer Licensing Act SB1657, along with any other threats that may infringe upon our gun rights.

If you have any further questions or require more information about our position, please contact:

Sarah Larson, General Manager or Steve Mayer, LE, Government, and International Sales Manager at 309-792-5780.

Thank you.

Chuck Larson President/Owner Rock River Arms, Inc.

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82 Responses to Rock River Arms Statement on IFMA’s SB-1657 Senate Deal and Carve-Out

    • If they were that ignorant of something this important to 2A freedoms happening in their own backyard, do you really want them as an ally in this fight, let alone making your firearms?

    • LOL and they point you to a manager or sales manager for questions?

      Why doesn’t ol’ Chucky want to take those calls himself???

      Ahole doesn’t want to deal with the backlash of really pissed off customers.

      No other industry does a manufacturing company try to phuck with its own customers, like the gun industry.

      • Has it occurred to any of you snipers that he has a company to run and really doesn’t have time to deal with your non-R&D, non-Technology, non-Employee, non-Production based concerns if it does not directly involve his weapons and his business? That’s why they have business managers and lawyers to deal with unhappy customers. Chuck and his late brother, Mark, created RRA from nothing and built and have grown a brand that keeps Local, State, and Federal agencies, and their loyal private retail customers coming back for more.
        Everything rolls up to Chuck and first and foremost his priority is to his family and the growing RRA family of folks who have helped build and whose livelihood depend on RRA’s continued success and viability.

        Finally, if posting here, before flaming someone, consider how many times you have turned an often vilified business into a successful enterprise before condemning the company, it’s employees, and its founder(s). Shame on you.

    • If they are serious about attaining for their transgressions, they each need to make a sizable donation to TTAG. $50k-$100k would make me feel differently about their sincerity. Oh, and sponsor a gun-a-day giveaway here as well for 3 months.

    • Ignorance of the second amendment is no excuse. Back in the 1990s radio host Gordon Liddy lead a boycott of Smith and Wesson, when they cut a deal with the Clinton administration. He and his 8 to 10 million listeners nearly destroyed the company.

      It seems another company or two need to be taught a lesson in what it means to be a moral capitalist. Yes there is morality in capitalism. Ronny Barrett is a great example. But he is not the only one, when he stopped selling his 50 BMG rifles to New York state.

    • No, this is the exact opposite of mea culpa. They are doing nothing but shifting the blame.
      Note this statement didnt come out on Friday when the rest of the world was howling. They only made it when retailers pulled their orders and products from the shelves.
      Too late, cats out of the bag.

      • I can’t help but notice, not only do they shift the blame, they pass it onto their agent. I wonder how that would fly if one of their agents shipped their product to Iran or DPRK. “Gee, we support ITAR, it was one of our agents that acted without our knowledge. And when we found out, we didn’t say anything under the government investigation because we support the government.”

        Of all the possible outcomes, both of these companies managed to think of a solution that bothers me even more.

      • The two largest manufacturers in the state and they didn’t know what their own stste lobyying organization was up to…?

        Yeah, I’m not burying it or their stuff. Very disappointed.

    • That announcement mean fuck all without them going on to say that they are immediately withdrawing from IFMA, and will never give that org another dime.

      • Withdraw? The ARE that org. The principals of RRA and SA are the principals of IFMA.

        What is the likelihood that the paid lobbyist went rogue? If it looks like a duck…

  1. Hmmmm. That does seem reasonable. I think I will ponder their guilt or innocence for the next 15-20 years and then decide if I should ever buy a SA or RRA product again. Don’t want to make a snap judgement.

    • +1 Maybe if they immediately move out of that state and set up in a more gun business friendly state I’ll reconsider in, oh say 5 years or so.

      • Exactly this. Words are wind. Threaten to leave the state of Illinois if the law passes and then begin preparations to make good on your word.

        Maybe then you’ll recover some credibility.

        • I agree with this^.
          Beretta told Maryland if they passed sb281 they would scrap their plans for a major expansion in Maryland and move to a different state. Maryland passed the pos bill and Beretta moved their new production plant to Tennessee. I was sorry to see the loss of hundreds or jobs from an area that really could have used them and to see people around here loose their jobs but, I blame it on MD not Beretta. I even went out and bought a new beretta shotgun to show my support.

  2. I figured this is what happened. I think I even said it on Friday. That the IFMA probably acted without consulting with two of the major players in the state.

    • Of the two, RRA seems to have been blindsided. Springfield appears to be more of someone reminding them what happened at S&W and trying to shift course.

      Both should follow the words with action. They can start by withdrawing from the IFMA and working to defeat the legislation. Should they succeed, I would consider buying their products down the road. Shame too as I was thinking about buying a Saint, but there are lots of AR makers out there…

    • The principals of the IFMA are the principals of RRA and SA. It’s all the same pople. There is no way they didn’t know. There is nothing they can say to walk this back.

  3. Make sure to give a post dedicated to Springfield, too. Both deserve to clear their names.

  4. There are plenty of companies making AR’s and 1911’s with a better track record of quality as well as standing up for the 2A rights of their customers. The way I figure, if you were that ignorant of what was going on in your own back yard, I don’t think I want you as an ally, and I sure as hell don’t trust you making my firearms.

  5. Pretty much as I suspected.

    Not that it will temper the anger the the one-time reactionaries.

    Sorry folks this is how government and lobby go sometimes.

    • This is how the bill goes:

      http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=1657&GAID=14&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=104404&SessionID=91&GA=100

      It wasn’t an overnight surprise. SA & RRA opposes it, then got a sweetheart deal and changed their stance to neutral.

      Their lobbyist convinced some n00b goober (R) Senator to “become a player” by voting with the enemy.

      This didn’t happen in some vacuum, with SA & RRA being out of the loop.

      They pay the lobbyist to get them advantages. He did. They knew.

      • I really rather doubt that they knew because of how this kind of process works and you have no evidence that they did, in fact, know. You’re blaming a company for something a trade group did on their behalf and very likely (for a few reasons) did without asking them.

        Trade group lobbyists often make decisions that they think benefit their clients legislatively, legally and monetarily in terms of the proposed law presented to them. They’re not PR folks and they don’t have a 24/7 “red phone” to contact the company about every change to every bill that affects that company. Sometimes they royally screw up and get fired. Actually, that happens quite a bit. That’s what happens occasionally when you give someone this thing called “decision making authority”.

        It’s also the case that, as I’ve pointed out before, the horse trading that goes on in a legislature can happen damn fast with someone who’s a lobbyist being notified that something was changed with nearly no time to go through and see what actually was changed before being asked to render an opinion. Even if they had just enough time, again, there’s no red phone to a company headquarters to get an opinion from every single company in the trade group before the trade association renders it’s opinion to the legislature.

        I won’t go as far as poseur here and call people snowflakes but there’s a lot of emoting going on over this without a lot facts being thrown around and I rather tire of grown men and women acting exactly like 16 year old girls or Leftist idiots; going off half cocked and angry about something they don’t have facts about and, quite frankly, have a very limited understanding of overall.

        If you want to direct some righteous anger do it towards the people of Illinois who elected the morons in Springfield. It’s not RRA or Springfield Armory’s job to protect the rights of the people of Illinois and it damn sure isn’t the job of a trade group, which was created to protect those company’s business interests and nothing else, to do it either. If the people of Illinois want to keep elected Leftist tyrant-wannabe’s that is their prerogative and the outcomes are their fault.

        • Quit apologizing for and excusing away the actions of SA, RRA and their lobbyist. The IFMA is founded by and funded by RRA & SA. Nobody else.

          The IFMA carved out a deal SPECIFICALLY to exempt SA & RRA, at which point they changed their position from opposing to neutral. This made the bill happen. Without it, the bill died in the Senate.

          Don’t feed people some line of crap about things of this magnitude happening without the principals knowledge. If SA and RRA had truly been blindsided by a lobbyist overstepping his bounds or going rogue, they would have fired him very publicly. Didn’t happen. Why? Because the lobbyist did what he was told and damn well has the communications to back up a lawsuit.

          Here is the fallout from SA’s and RRA’s feigned ignorance:

          http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1101634704315&ca=ea33fed1-ed65-48de-86dd-74eac99d22ef

          There is no “things moved so fast” excuse. This was MONTHS in the making.

          They knew.

        • I’m not apologizing for shit but I will repeat myself here:

          “I rather tire of grown men and women acting exactly like 16 year old girls or Leftist idiots; going off half cocked and angry about something they don’t have facts about and, quite frankly, have a very limited understanding of overall.”

          ^^^This is what you’re doing.^^^

          Saying “They knew” is not evidence. Nothing you have presented is evidence. It’s 100% conjecture on your part.

          Conjecture does not a valid argument make. I could conjecture about your mother or your sexual orientation but that neither civil nor would it make anything I said a valid argument. It would be baseless conjecture.

          Now, let me ask you a few questions so that we can hash out exactly how much weight we might place on your flat out conjecture.

          Is the lobbyist listed on the documents the CEO of either RRA or SA? CFO? Senior-Vice-Chairperson-In Charge of X?
          Do you propose here, right now on TTAG, to suggest that telepathy is real? If so, please cite your sources.
          Exactly how much lobbying have you done in your life?
          Exactly how much legislation have you written, or helped to write, in your life?
          How many hours have you spent as a legislator, legislative aide or legislative intern?
          In your legislative experience, how many times have you dealt with a lobbyist?
          How, exactly, in your mind would this trade association be on par with say the NRA, GOA or some other civil rights organization?
          In the private sector, if that’s where you have or do reside, please explain to me the exact nature of your interactions with lobbying firms on behalf of a multimillion or billion dollar company, or conversely, your interactions with the company on behalf of the lobbying firm.

          Then, please, take as much space as you need and explain to me the ins and outs of horsetrading in a legislative process along with the generally used tricks employed to ensure opposition doesn’t have time to respond and include the use of threats and other nastiness as well (you won’t hurt my feelings, I’ve seen most of it). When you’re done, briefly outline how a lobbyist does their work in this environment.

          Stop telling me that you know things that you don’t and I know you don’t because you can’t know them. If you could you’d be presenting “inside baseball” evidence to back up your claims. Stop trying people (or in this case companies) in the court of public opinion when all you have is conjecture and venom to spew. In short, stop acting like a damn Leftist child and let’s get some goddamn facts before we break out the hammer and nails.

          Sorry brah, I live in this place called “the real world” where I need actual evidence of wrong doing before I nail someone to a cross and there has been exactly ZERO evidence presented that either company knew of this in advance. In fact, for all you know they could both pull out of the group tomorrow morning and have spent today and the weekend huddled with lawyers figuring out exactly how to do that. SA screwed up bad with their first statement, and that is a sin in and of itself. However, that’s still not evidence that they knew of this in advance.

          If presuming accusations to be nothing more than accusations until actual evidence is martialed to support that accusation is wrong then, quite frankly, I don’t want to be right in whatever fucked up world you’d prefer us all to live in.

        • “Now go tell everyone 3 of the 4 principals had no idea Keller got them an exemption.”

          OK, some evidence I’ll admit that. Circumstantial evidence, but better than before. Still nothing to nail someone to a 4×4 over.

          Are you suggesting, or do you have proof, that Larson runs the day to day operations of this group and personally is there for every legislative session and committee meeting 365 days year? Are you further suggesting that, not only does he run the day to day operations of the group but that he has instant telepathic powers with the others?

          My cousin got a DUI tonight. I talked to him an hour or so before. We talked about beer. I Western Unioned him $250 too. If he spent that money on beer we talked about to get that DUI does that make me guilty of helping him get that DUI even though he didn’t tell me he was going to be drinking and driving?

          I think not.

          For want of a nail bro, for want of a nail. That’s how the real world works and it’s a pretty damn good explanation for a lot of this. SA, maybe not so much.

          But hey, you go ahead and boycott. I’ll be snapping up that reduced price merchandise and laughing at the retarded voters of IL for giving it to me. You can go cry in your beer about it.

  6. I’m not buying it, and more importantly, I’m never going to buy SA or RRA products again, and what I own is up for sale already.

    Folks, this isn’t an “oops”, this is a big f*****g deal.

  7. In a prior job, I worked with our internal and our external lobbyists on a number of issues. While it is very easy to control internal lobbyists, it is nearly impossible to completely control entities like trade associations. After all, they have multiple masters.

    In all likelihood, the trade association made a decision it felt was best for its members. The carve out for Big Box Gun Stores suggests to me that they had a big say in the decision. While it is possible that the two companies “knew” about the decision by the trade association, i am almost certain that they didn’t understand the implications of that decision or couldn’t stop the trade association from taking that position.

    Btw – who are the other members of the trade association?

    • Yet neither statement from Rock River or Springfield even hinted that they were going to re-evaluate their membership/funding of said trade association. As others have said, this looks a lot like a “we hoped you wouldn’t notice and now we’re pleading ignorance” excuse (and only after a few days to see if there would be a hit to their bottom line).

      • Why, at this juncture, would they make such a statement? There is quite literally no upside to doing that.

        Cutting ties removes their influence. It’s entirely possible that one or both companies will now pressure the trade group to change it’s stance yet again with the threat of leaving and taking their money with them. Making public statements at this point undercuts their flexibility in dealing with the trade association.

      • What a coincidence that the directors of IFMA have the exact same first and last names as the leaders of SA and RRA.

        What are the odds?

  8. Holy Sh!t, we are sorry blah blah, not our fault blah blah…we are red blooded Mericans blah, blah!

  9. SA and RRA are dead to me. If this legislation passes, regardless of any steps to derail it at this point, my boycott will remain, forever. If they manage to stop this legislation, I may reconsider. I was so excited when the XDE was announced. That is indefinitely on the no buy list.

  10. Even if those statements are sincere, and their lobbying organization really did go rogue on them, the carve-out exists in the bill that passed.

    If the House concurs on the bill as passed by the Senate, and (God forbid) Gov. Rauner signs it, then Springfield and RRA get to enjoy their precious carve-out while saving face by claiming it’s not what they wanted.

    Frankly, the whole thing has a disgusting smell to it.

  11. Yeah, they’ve sealed their fate. They knew what they were doing, or some trolls who hate RRA and SA are really good and making them look bad.

  12. Blaming the lobbyist? Given the time it took to get this out, and the previous statement, it is just too much of a stretch to consider this statement credible.

    But how stupid and wrong-headed do you have to be to get into this kind of PR mess?

  13. Even if this is the truth, what are you going to do about it ultimately? That is more my question. Not some boilerplate response.

  14. I have a Rock River AR 15, whilch I like like lot; and a SA 1911 in 9mm which shoots great.

    No more.

    • I accept free guns, have actually gotten a few just given to me by people who didn’t want them. Still have a couple.

  15. “Quick have the public relations write up some crap that says nothing but sounds like we’re sorry.”

  16. Literal translation: now that the horses have run off, we’re locking the barn door.

    Better translation: you gun guys are dumb enough to swallow all of our bullsh!t, so open wide.

  17. I’ve was always a fan of sa. Customer service was excellent. I was saving up for an m1a, now that money will go to a semi auto 308 from a manufacturer that isn’t rra or sa. I’m done with both of them.

  18. So Springfeild and RRA have been shelling out assloads of money for years and years for this lobbyist to fight for Illinois gun rights, and when their lobbyist fucks up we burn them to the ground? I guess then all of us Illinois residents can just support companies that never have put their money where their mouth is when it comes to our state gun rights instead.

    • He didn’t f up. He intentionally got carve outs for 2 manufacturers and box stores. This bill will run most small ffl’s out of business, or at least out of Illinois.
      They are potentially screwing over a lot of people if it passes.

  19. At the minimum they should have known​.

    Where is the full fledged repudiation? They didn’t even bother to remove themselves from this “trade group.”

    Too little too late!

  20. Nope. You pay the lobbyist organization, you tell them what to lobby, and they go lobby.

    Ignorance, real or feigned, is no excuse.

  21. As usual, the far right is always looking for a cause to get hysterical about without getting ANY facts first

  22. As an Illinois resident and gun rights supporter, I take your comments very seriously. Since SA and RRA are the sole members and financial contributors to the IMFA, your response is not unexpected and devoid of any indication of remorse.

    It is egregious to think the public believes your politically serving group would act counter to your indications without “biting the hand that feeds it”. If you are serious about supporting 2A, I suggest you show actions that back your empty words. Start with de-funding the IMFA, sever affiliations with this group and redirect your financial and alleged 2A support by more rigorously and publicly fighting this bill. Iif you really want the market to think you are serious about repentance of this deal, disciplinary actions upon your management, from CEO down, are appropriate. A word of caution, you have already established a lack of trust in your poorly worded public comment on this subject, so an increased level of severity and public verification of said actions is required.

    Counter to some constituents comments of leaving the state and relocating, I believe this would play into the anti’s plans of reducing a presence in the gun culture. I would encourage you to stay and instead of fleeing, stand and fight the legislation that is only just passing by minimal counts.

    TLDR: BULL$#!T. Suck it up and take your lumps for an underhanded attempt to monopolize the market and compromise our constitutional rights. Make amends with doubled investment and public validated effort to support 2A goals of unobstructed, uncomplicated, constitutional rights. And make an example of your management/ownership, in the hopes of minimizing market backlash.

  23. I call for a big huge BS. Rock River firearms and Springfield Armory both are ran by Bean counters and not gun people. Their biggest worry is the next hundred thousand units they move that’s all they care about. And if they can make it easier on themselves by getting a little cozy carve out that’s what they’re dead because it’s cheaper for them period and the bottom line is whatever is cheaper and makes it easier for us to produce our products so we can sell it to the people of the gun we’re going to do it. Typical typical bean counter BS. Actions speak louder than words my friend and your actions have said a journal you’ve written a freaking bestseller here full of BS. We the people do not believe that a multi-million-dollar organization such as Rock River Arms or Springfield Armory would be that freaking stupid come on you pay millions of dollars to lawyers to be able to tell you exactly what these documents say and you mean to tell me that you didn’t have a clue what the f*** you are signing BS. I’ll never buy a Springfield Armory as long as I live and either will any of my friends or Rock River Rock Rivers junk anyways good riddance I hope both of you company go down in a blaze of glory and then maybe realize maybe you should have put your business somewhere where there gun-friendly you dumbass. It looks build it here in Illinois where are they hate guns that makes great business sense who came up with that idea got to take him out behind the Woodshed and blow his brains out. You companies suck.

  24. I was at the NRA’s Annual Meeting and spoke with the SA and RRA sales’ reps in person. Neither could give me a straight answer. I udnerstand that the folks at the booth are just sales reps but there should have been an official word from the chain of command. It was nothing. 

    I own SA products and I use RRA at work as my patrol carbine. What SA and RRA did is inexcusable. 

    I’m running for the 2018 NRA Board of Directors and if I’m on the board. You can bet that I’d go after any Firearms Company that pulls a stunt like this.

    Luis Valdes

    Lou4NRA.org

    Lou4NRA@gmx.com

  25. Illinois have enough to do white the removing the 23 “no gun zones” for ccw holder.
    So don t waste time on this crap and passed open carry + suppressors and sbs too !!

  26. Rock River Arms – Your statement is not enough. Your support was a big time screw up. In the corporate world, key officers “resign” with such a screw up. Any dealer pushing your goods better be cautious of including your brand in their display for sale or trade. Time to man up and put some officers off the payroll. Then, you might be able to survive as a firearm company. Also, your strategic plan needs to be evaluated and vetted by your board.

  27. Who’s head has rolled at “The Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA)”. By name?

  28. Sorry. SA and RRA will never get my business now. There are so many other gun manufacturers that deserve my money more. And they haven’t sold us out. Unfortunate.

  29. Thems just words as far as I’m concerned and if they gave a hoot they would have been more involved in the process of deciding where their representation stood on the matter. Sorry RRA AND SPEINGFIELD, won’t be buying any of your guns and while I was remorsing over selling my M1a a couple months ago, I’m glad I no longer have that gun to shame my collection.

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