Yesterday, both Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory severed ties with their own private lobbying group, The Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA). Both companies vowed to vigorously fight for gun rights moving forward. This welcome news came five long days after the world first learned of IFMA’s deal to trade opposition to a gun licensing scheme for a carve-out for existing manufacturers and big box stores.

Both companies claim they first learned of the political deals as a result of our reporting. It took them several long, difficult days to come to Jesus, but they finally found Him. Kudos to them.

I want to take them at their word, but I recall Barack Obama’s claims he read about one scandal after another in the news, too. So I still have to ask, “Where have you been, Springfield and Rock River?”

We faced this bill last session in the Illinois General Assembly. We warned Prairie State residents of its terrible provisions. In the end, we killed it off as part of an “all hands on deck” effort. In the end, everyone worked together and we got the job done.

Senator Don Harmon, being the dedicated anti-gunner he is, introduced a slightly altered version again this year, SB-1657. This time, we had lobbyists from many of the national gun control groups in Illinois working against us.

Stymied on the federal level, a full compliment of DC-based lobbyists came to deep-blue Illinois in search of a gun control victory. Carpetbaggers representing Everytown, Moms Demand, Gabby Giffords’ ARS and the Brady Campaign, to name a few, found their way to our fine state. They work out of hotel rooms here in the heart of flyover country, pounding our legislators relentlessly along with our own homegrown gun control groups.

For gun rights forces, once more, it was all hands on deck.

We all knew the vote would be close. We rallied the troops.   The two big powerhouse lobbyists from NRA-ILA burned the candle at both ends.  Richard Pearson, Maureen Mulhall and Jim Vinopal all lobbied on behalf of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

I donned my suit and spent time there too, representing Guns Save Life. Mike and Valinda Rowe spent countless hours working the rail on behalf of IllinoisCarry. The Illinois Federation for Outdoor Resources stood by our side. Whitney O’Daniel from the National Shooting Sports Foundation was there at key times. We even had Knox Williams from the American Suppressor Association helping out now and then.

Also there: IFMA’s paid lobbyist Jay Keller…right up until last Thursday, when Mr. Keller went missing. That’s when his witness slip showed up under “No Position,” meaning IFMA officially took no stance as to SB-1657’s passage. As a result, the amended bill cleared committee and went to the Senate floor.

The bill quickly passed the entire Senate by a single vote.

And that’s when I decided this story needed telling. We had been betrayed by the lobbyist of a firm led by Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory’s owners — and no one else. (As above, from the 2013 IFMA IRS Form 990.)

To be fair, Mr. Larson and Mr. Reese’s respective claims of not keeping up on what was happening in the Illinois General Assembly might be true. After all, neither Springfield nor Rock River – as evidenced by their Tuesday statements severing ties with IFMA – are even in tune enough to even know who’s in the capitol fighting hard for their gun rights along with those of their customers.

Yes, they mentioned the NRA and the Illinois State Rifle Association in their statements. But they failed to mention Illinois Carry, the Illinois Federation for Outdoor Resources and Guns Save Life, all of which have worked hard in Springfield, putting in hundreds of lobbying hours fighting against Second Amendment infringements like SB-1657.

Not without warning

In January, I asked Jay Keller to clarify rumors I’d heard about IFMA possibly negotiating a deal for manufacturers as part of dealer licensing. Mr. Keller’s response: “Man, there’s no way I’m going out to SHOT with a dealer licensing bill hanging over my head.”

“You’re not answering my question, Jay. You’re surely negotiating with (bill sponsor) Harmon on this, are you?” I asked him.

He repeated his statement about SHOT and dealer bills.

I warned him that if he cut a deal, the gun owning community would not look favorably upon it. He repeated his SHOT line a third time, parrot-like, before walking away.

That’s when I did more research on the political donation story. In February, I placed calls to Chuck Larson at Rock River and Dennis Reese at Springfield. After identifying myself, those answering the phone told me the men were “unavailable.” So I left a detailed message.

“I’m working on a story about some campaign contributions your lobbying outfit, the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association, has made to some anti-gun Democrats. Tens of thousands of dollars. Can you give me a good reason why this is going on, and/or perhaps a reason why I shouldn’t run this story?”

I figured if they learned of my discovery of their lobbying group’s donation history, that might convince them that cutting a deal on SB-1657 was a bad idea. Or perhaps they might call and give me a legitimate explanation.

All I heard were crickets.

Over the weekend at the NRA convention, I reached out to both Reese and Larson. Reese ignored my message. Larson called and spoke with me. My return trip to Illinois prevented me from meeting with Mr. Larson in person, but we did have a good conversation.

I told him about the political donations his lobbying group, IFMA, had made to anti-gun Democratic politicians. I explained how a number of those donations don’t appear to have been properly reported to the Illinois State Board of Elections. He asked for proof. I told him to compare and contrast the IFMA Form 990s with the ISBE website, just as I’d done. Or, he could read about it with everyone else at TTAG.

Welcome, Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms

Whatever has happened up to now, I welcome these two companies to the front lines of the fight for gun rights in Illinois. We can certainly use their help. The work is long, thankless and often frustrating. The cause, however, could not be more noble or honorable. Glad to have you the team, gentlemen. We value your participation.

103 Responses to EDITORIAL: What Did Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms Know and When Did They Know It?

  1. Companies don’t pay big buck lobbyists to work on their behalf and not know what’s going on. If SAI and RRA did know about buying the carve out and years of donations to anti-2A politicians, they are quisling traitors. If they didn’t know, they are incompetent.

    Either way, no decent Second Amendment loving American has any business patronizing Springfield Assholes Inc, or Rat River Arms.

      • “Whatever has happened up to now, I welcome these two companies to the front lines of the fight for gun rights in Illinois.”

        Are you serious? They just screwed the people of Illinois over, new about it, and tried to cover it up. Then they were caught. I’ve worked for a lot of companies and I can tell you this without a doubt- the treasury officer knows every dime that comes and goes and every large dollar transaction is approved by them. Money to anti gunner Dems goes back years! THIS ISN”T A BIG OOPSY, IT”S CALLED A PATTERN OF BEHAVIOR! Hmm, now who was playing treasury officer? Oh that’s right, THE OWNER OF RRA!

        The only place I’d welcome seeing them is at a soup kitchen. And that’s being way more generous than what most people would like to see happen. Now you can welcome that. Mr.Boch, you make no sense what so ever. They knew, they gave money to anti’s and your going to welcome them to the fight? You must be one of those weirdos that gets off on being punched in the face. It’s like you didn’t read what you yourself wrote?

        Screw SA, Screw RRA, and screw people that think second chances should be given to people that sell fundamental rights down the river. It’s like he doesn’t understand how hard it is to get a right back once it’s been stolen! Maybe Mr. Boch is heavily medicated? If not then Mr. Boch may need to see a doctor. I’ve heard and seen first-hand the weirdness that some people slip into when they have a brain tumor or brain injury. That last paragraph goes right past slow learner to advanced window licking 101 with ease.

        • I think what John means is that SAI & RRA now have the opportunity to put their money where their mouths are and put their big boy pants on and TRULY help to stop this bill. Notice I said it’s a bill. It is not law. It still needs to pass the Illinois House, which has some pro-gun Democrats, and get signed by a Republican governor. It’s not too late. Some may never forgive and none should forget what has transpired. But no one is perfect. As an Illinois resident, and a Springfield merchandise owner, I hope these two men step up big time to defeat this bill and I also hope they do not give more money to those who hate us because we own the means of our defense. Men like John will be watching. Closely. I don’t always agree with John, but I believe he’s sincere and a tireless defender of our rights. Thank you John.

        • I agree with American Idiot. Rock River Arms and Springfield Amory were simply focused on their bottom line and not the 2nd Amendment. Now, their change of stance is – again – ONLY focused on their bottom line because of the uproar from concerned citizens and their customers (I mean previous customers). I say top heads should roll at both companies and their board members should stand up and change the culture. Profits are evil when God given rights are traded in the process. Time to walk and stop talking.

        • I say welcome them to the fight. Use their lobbying muscle and money for the fight.

          Win the fight.

          Then boycott them and destroy them after they’ve spent money making it easier to take them down.

          Use them for the fight now, make them crash and burn when the fight is over.

        • “Use them for the fight now, make them crash and burn when the fight is over.”

          Normally a good idea. Not sure how they will lobby since they withdrew from their captive lobby group (as in there is no group without SA and RR). Would they now be reduced to emails as the support mechanism? Not much power there to exploit.

        • Uh. Have you ever read about S&W and Ruger? They did this same kind of crap back in 2000 when they promised Clinton all kinds os BS.

    • To quote Ace Rothstein: “Listen, if you didn’t know you were being scammed you’re too freakin’ dumb to keep this job, if you did know, you were in on it. Either way, YOU’RE OUT! Get out. Go on, let’s go.”

    • I’ll second and vote “Aye!” on that motion. I don’t need for my ass to get warm to realize someone is blowing smoke up it. If Springfield and Rock River want to lie like a Persian rug, go into politics and see if you can snag some gullible fools that way. Not knowing what was going on this situation is inexcusable; knowing and lying about it is even worse.

      • If SA and RRA were innocent, they would have spoken openly and truthfully to Boch, instead of avoiding him. Obviously, that was not the case. As was also stated, hiring someone to lobby for them and then not knowing what that lobbyist was doing on important legislation that could affect their bottom line is difficult to believe.

        Even more damning is the fact that the lobbyist Jay Keller stated “No Position”. Does anyone really believe he did that on his own, without input from his principals, SA and RRA? That is the act of a man who was _directed_ to let it slide. Cui bono: SA and RRA backed off in exchange for favorable considerations, plain and simple. They sold you folks out.

  2. “Whatever has happened up to now, I welcome these two companies to the front lines of the fight for gun rights in Illinois.”

    John, if that’s true, then you must enjoy being shot in the back. Recall Aesop’s fable of “The Farmer and the Viper.” It didn’t end well for the farmer.

    • Yeah, I read that as someone has something over on him. Spring and Rock are evil companies that need to be ousted from the shooting community. I find the finish to the article very bizarre.

      • John Boch is a peacemaker and a dealmaker, so the final paragraph is not a shock to me in the least.

        He’s much more forgiving than I would be.

        • It’s a bit sarcastic, I think. “Welcome to the fight” implies they only just joined it. Which implies everything.

        • Consequences for your actions…when are we going to start expecting that? You let people get away with shady stuff, they will keep doing it. Both companies knew what was happening. If they did not they are too stupid and do not deserve our money and patronage.

  3. They didn’t know anything about a bill that would directly affect them? They didn’t have a working response for that bill? They didn’t know the efforts of their own lobbyists working with politicians on a bill that would directly affect them? I might have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

  4. “I welcome them?”…What? Damn I wish I could afford to move a mile east into Hoosierland…

  5. Everyone wants to help after being busted to the public. Their responses reek of panic and damage control. Too little too late in my opinion. We need to keep pushing the boycott of their products. It is time for Springfield and RRA to learn a lesson by taking a substantive hit on their bottom line. There are way too many options out there, so spend your money elsewhere.

    • Said what you will, but the M1a is the best rifle for California. If they are going to limit you to 10 rounds, make them big ones.

      • Figures someone from CA would be perfectly fine with supporting a company that stabbed so many in the back. You really have absorbed too much of that culture.

        • His logic is sound, if you are going to have a round limit more energy per shot is a good thing.

          And a decent used Springfield is still cutting into their bottom line, they make profits selling new product, the used market is a direct competitor.

        • The logic is fine, except for the fact that you can shoot .308 and .458 socom and .338 Federal and tons of other large calibers out of tons of other semi-auto guns.

      • You are embarrassing Kalifornian gun owners with that statement. Yours is an example of what is wrong with this country. If you cannot make a simple, painless “sacrifice” such as buying from a different maker, then you are part of the problem.

  6. I will be happy to forgive once the companies have been sold to non family members, or once someone buys their assets in a Chapter 13 auction. They would be well advised not to try to tough this one out.

  7. “…I welcome these two companies to the front lines of the fight for gun rights in Illinois.”

    I will believe it when I see it and it better be the extra mile so deserving this community is owed , much more than a matching $50K to NRA. I am talking a very public stance that sends the same shock wave like how we first learned about this. 1 freaking vote was the difference, let that sink in.

  8. You welcome them? So how much is the check they wrote you for?

    You acknowledge all this contact months prior and all this time they did NOTHING. DONT pretend for a second they’ve changed their views or are honest about working to defend rights now, they got what they want and now are feeding you all BS to the highest degree and you’re gobbling it up.

    They aren’t sorry, they did all of this on purpose, they are just sorry they got caught.

    I don’t welcome their support, I don’t welcome their voice and I don’t welcome or want their products or company anywhere near me EVER again. And if they have any sense they’ll sell their companies entirely now and get out like S&W had to do back in the 90s.

    This is disgraceful and to read this article and you all going soft on them is disgraceful too.

    Shame on you.

    • I wouldn’t say that breaking the story that could very well end them as companies is being soft. More like knowing when you’ve won and being gracious in victory.

      • How is this being gracious in victory? This is softening the blow on them and people who just read public statements and articles like this and on other sponsored gun mag rags will think “oh well it wasnt so bad”.

        You do NOT go soft on people who backstab and destroy rights and you definitely do not believe or give credit to their BS they feed to all of us after they already got what they want.

    • I read that last paragraph in the same way I hear southerners say “bless your heart.”

      The important part of the article is the info, not the wink at the end.

      • plucked as if directly from my addled brain.
        stopping the bill with their help will still leave plenty of time to piss on their products.

    • ZERO percent chance they cut him a check, John isn’t for sale. He’s forgone more money for the cause than most would believe.

      Long term friends/allies begging him to call off the dogs? People threatening his ferret? Putting it aside to put ball in their court to step up and defeat this bill (i.e. putting second amendment first and bringing every resource to kill this bill, even lying traitors shamed into fighting)?

      Maybe some or all of those reasons, maybe something else. But for sale? Never.

    • Congratulations on kicking that heroin habit and no longer beating your wife. I welcome you to the productive side of society.

      (ie. It was the most vicious thing in the article, making their hypocrisy with regard to 2A plain as day by pointing out that now they ‘may’ be doing what they said they were this whole time).

  9. Glad to see you’re coming around, Boch, and trying to welcome back one of best firearm manufacturers in the fight against anti-gun bills, as they’ve promised to do. But, I have some thoughts. You just wrote that IFMA was there fighting until nearly the end, when IFMA mysteriously went missing. That points to the potential that Jay may have gone off the rails without SA or RRA approval, as both companies said occurred. When you ran your first “story”, you sensationalized it by titling it that SA and RRA specifically carved out a deal as if you knew that for a fact when you did not. You’ve pretended to be a “reporter” but didn’t do the due diligence of one and get other sources for your story.

    I’m looking forward to buying a Springfield 1911 RO and possibly the new XDe soon. I also won’t be selling any of my 3 excellent Springfield firearms. What’s also interesting, is the SA Facebook page has 3,500 more likes now than when you published this story 5 days ago. Not everyone is jumping on the kill SA/RRA bandwagon, it would seem.

    Flame on, POTG, for my disagreeing with the “quick to respond masses”. Call me a Fudd (I’m not one as I am against this Illinois law and any gun control legislation, and I love my AR-15s and 30+ round mags – no Fudd has ever claimed that), or say I’m what’s wrong with the gun community, blah blah. You won’t hurt my feelings. I’m with Bob Owens on this one.

    • You’re supporting anti gun laws and companies who defend and pass those laws, what do you want people to call you?

      How about what you are? An enemy.

      Those “quick to respond masses” are people without a massive shill or buyer’s remorse complex. Who see the easy to follow facts and don’t blindly accept the corporate BS statements these rats pushed out after they got their exemption and AFTER they got found out.

    • FlamencoD, do you believe that the president of SA, Dennis Reese, who is also the president of IFMA, had no idea what was going on? Are you serious?

      Also Tom Reese, SA’s co-chairman, is secretary of IFMA.

      RRA’s co-founder is Chuck Larson, who is also IFMA’s treasurer.

      None of these people had any idea what was going on?

      Right.

      • SA and RR still fail to explain how a manufacturing group (composed entirely of SA and RR, run by their chosen in-house executives) of two entities can claim that their lobbyist took unapproved action. The two companies (and their executives) are either brain dead, or colluding. Cannot see any other viable event, unless we speculate in the twilight zone that the paid lobbyist truly went rogue and kept the represented organizations completely in the dark. Which still leaves SA and RR incompetent, or complicit.

    • Leave a penny, take a nickel huh bud? Way to capitalize on the community, what a big man! Bravo.

      The Jay Keller is a RRA and SA employee, “…we didn’t know.” is irresponsible. Even Dr. Dao settled with UA and the cop didn’t even work for the airline, wake up!

    • Baghdad Bob Owens’s message: pay no attention to those men behind the IFMA curtain! Sure, they may have funded IFMA with hundreds of thousands of dollars FOR YEARS, but they were totally in the dark about the carve-out deal. And the tens of thousands in contributions to anti-gun legislators. For realz!

      You have to wonder if Owens is really so willfully blind as to swallow the SA/RR story hook, line and sinker, or if there’s another reason for his dogged defense of these companies that he’d rather his readers not know.

    • FlamencoD — you’ve entirely glossed over the part where discussion of Keller’s work on the carve-out went back to January. The guy didn’t just suddenly decide the day of the vote to change the IFMA’s stance without approval by the owners (Reese, Larson). Negotiating an amendment to the legislation to exempt these companies in exchange for them dropping their opposition to the bill did not happen suddenly and off the cuff! The dang bill had to be edited to add that in. Sounds like it was being negotiated for months…

    • “You just wrote that IFMA was there fighting until nearly the end, when IFMA mysteriously went missing. That points to the potential that Jay may have gone off the rails without SA or RRA approval…”

      Or, he did what his bosses told him to do, got them their deal, and hid under a rock somewhere because he knew it would be an unpopular move. Equally plausible, possibly more so.

      If I ran a company, and my personal lobbyist “went rogue” and dropped a PR grenade like this in my lap, it wouldn’t take me five days to shit-can his ass. I suspect that delay had something to do with Keller making sure a big fat check cleared before letting them throw him under the bus to save their own necks.

      • The lobbyist would have gone for or against on his own – not “No position”. That would make absolutely no sense if he had “gone off the rails”. He _had_ to have been directed to take no poisition.

    • “You’ve pretended to be a “reporter” but didn’t do the due diligence of one and get other sources for your story.”
      What the hell are you talking about? He has repeatedly listed, including links and photos, the actual official documents that bury Rock River and Springfield. He has made phone calls and emails for contact prior to releasing the story. After the story they had plenty of times that they could have made an apology. Go back to their original statements, it was all deny, deflect, make counter accusations. Much as you are doing now.
      I have been critical of some of his articles in the past. But Boch has delivered nothing less than exceptional, responsible work here.
      I thank him and you should as well.

    • Another traitor/crony among the faithful. SA imports their firearms. Buy from someone else. They knew what was going on, period.

  10. Don’t care what they new and when. They created a monster and let it loose on the people of the state. If what they say IS true and they didn’t know what was going on, so much the worse. F them ….period.

  11. Why don’t we just ask Bob Owens? He seems to think they didn’t try to screw us…..

  12. Thanks John! You’re reporting made 2A supporters aware of what was going on here and that produced results!

    I’m still not buying the remorse from these 2 companies since their time-delayed responses seems extremely contrived and coordinated at every step. It looks to me like they had plan to try and defuse this. I could be wrong and they may be totally innocent….but their tardy reaction and especially the fact that they blew you off back in February when you tried to discuss the behavior of their ‘trade associaton’ with them, indicates to me that they either knew and approved or knew and didn’t care. I’ll bet they care now. I hope they can somehow magically stop this bill (for their sake…I own some SA products I like a lot), but I doubt it and I along with many others will hold them accountable if they don’t.

  13. “Whatever has happened up to now, I welcome these two companies to the front lines of the fight for gun rights in Illinois.”

    You DUMPED the genie out of the bottle, John.
    Good luck stuffing it back in. (as the comments here indicate, the SA/RRA lynch mob is not going away quietly)

    My only question at this point is, what other companies have been doing similar things with nobody to draw back the curtain and expose them?

  14. I am wondering if Mr. Keller embezzled the lobbying money … or if he worked a deal with politicians to pocket the money without the knowledge/blessing of SA or RRA. If I read the information correctly, some of the money definitely left IFMA … and then it disappeared. I am wondering this because of the discrepancies between the IFMA tax statements (which show the disbursements) and the campaign disclosure forms (which do NOT show the contributions).

  15. Again. Chuck Larson, (RRA), is/was the treasurer of record for the IFMA.
    He is likely the person who wrote the checks to the F rated politicians.
    He didn’t know they were getting a carve out?
    I call BS!!!
    They got caught. Screw both companies.

  16. The committee meeting for this was March 28th where the exemption with Keller’s clients by Harmon (I think that is his name) was brought up.

    Why wasn’t the the internet gun-dom’s version of “BATTLE STATIONS EVERYONE” sounded right then to rally the troops and apply a bunch of pressure on the politicians and SA/RRA between March 28th and the vote on April 27th?

    It’s like we are trying to close the barn door after the horses are already out.

    • This now seems totally out of place. TTAG staff (thankfully) deleted the comment I was replying to. It contained some explicit comments. Thanks RF!

  17. TTAG? I call them T-BAG. Nothing but fake news. Sensational BS just to get clicks to drive advertising dollars. Is anybody aware that T-BAG used to be in the car industry and created so much fake news that the car industry bought them out to make them go away? Are they trying to do the same thing in the firearms industry???? It would seem so.

    Has anybody noticed whenever you click on a Springfield hyperlink link in the article it takes you to Midway’s website and if you click on RRA’s links it takes you to Brownell’s site. That so that can sell FAKE analytics to those companies to get their advertising dollars. T-BAG is a bunch of LIARS. Do you think anything that T-BAG or John Bock says is credible???? They are not friends of the firearms industry or the 2nd Amendment. They are a cancer meant to divide us for personal gain. F**ck T-BAG.

    • So with your antipathy towards the site, why are you here? Not on this site in general, why are you here on this particular article trying to discredit TTAG’s reporting about these companies and yet don’t appear in the comments sections of other articles?

      Did you just decide to come talk smack about TTAG and randomly pick this topic?

      Otherwise… what’s your investment with these companies.

    • Steve, the word “firearms” is hyperlinked in your text! You’re obviously just here to sell us stuff from Midway! Or, you know, it’s f’ing automated by viglink like half the dang sites on the web. Lordy.

      BTW if you think this is good for TTAG’s ad revenue you’re crazy. Industry rags, whether cars or tech or guns or whatever, are all-positive all the time because they’re paid by the companies they’re “reviewing” or writing news on. TTAG has a few gun company advertisers. Pretty sure I’ve seen Springfield ads here, for that matter. You think these other gun companies like seeing this? Like knowing their ad buys don’t buy silence? Come on.

      I admit “T-BAG” is funny though haha

    • How about a dumbed-down clickbait article that explains it all? I suggest “ONE WEIRD TRICK FOR DESTROYING YOUR GUN MANUFACTURING BUSINESS!” would be an excellent title.

  18. Springfield Armory just sent me an email pleading with gun owners to fight against SB 1657. That’s rich.

    • Me, too. Screw them, trying to cover their asses and seem like they knew nothing about this.

      • Got it too. I replied to them. Wonder if they’ll actually read it. Here’s my reply:

        Please unsubscribe me from all correspondence from your company. I no longer need any marketing material from your company. I own two of your products but I can assure you that I will never own anything else from Springfield Armory. Thank You.

        Jason

  19. A guy from the land of Lincoln complaining about carpet baggers? There’s a bit of irony in that.

  20. You welcome them to the front lines of the fight?

    The frog welcomed the scorpian onto his back for a ride across the river after a few words of reassurance as well…

    That story was written for a reason. It may be fictional but it is an important life lesson and one that should be remembered at times such as this.

    The fact that you could be bought off by a corporate statement (I hope that was all) is concerning.

    I hope my fears about this situation are disproven and that I will owe you an apology, and if I do I will appologize, but this is concerning and disappointing.

    Time will tell.

  21. “Welcome, Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms

    Whatever has happened up to now, I welcome these two companies to the front lines of the fight for gun rights in Illinois. We can certainly use their help. The work is long, thankless and often frustrating. The cause, however, could not be more noble or honorable. Glad to have you the team, gentlemen. We value your participation.”

    Yeah, like anyone in their right mind would trust them now. They aren’t in this fight for keeps. They’re in it long enough to regain some credibility while working in dark corners to get a deal for themselves.

    Screw them.

  22. I notice that, in the original article, the campaign contributions came out of J Alexander Hunt, the lobbyist’s “personal firm”, not the IFMA.

    Looking up J Alexander Hunt, their only client is Chicagoland Speedway.

    http://lobbying-firms.insidegov.com/l/41251/J-Alexander-Hunt-Inc

    As far as who’s on the IFMA corporation, when you create a company you have to list officers and have an annual meeting. I’d say it’s pretty likely that’s what happened with the creation of the IFMA and would be why SA and RRA were clueless – they were just names on incorporation documents and never took an active role. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if every client of Jay Keller had a similar shell company going. It’s easy enough.

    So this is where I ask: TTAG, are you *sure* you know what you’re talking about?

    • Absolutely correct about the names on the Articles of Incorporation. Those never change, even when the people die. But, it is my understanding that these names were on the most recently available 990. Those names should be accurate for that year. Wouldn’t surprise me if such an inaccuracy constitutes fraud or perjury (but I’m not a lawyer, but having signed 990s for years in the past, I am pretty sure there is a perjury clause). I seem to recall a screenshot of a recent 990 with those names on it in one of the recent comment sections. Boards don’t often have 100% turnover in just a few years. So, as long as the 990 was not too old, I think TTAG, and everyone who wants to, is GTG with telling them to phuck off.

      • The point is that there’s a wide space of difference between putting your name on a document and being integrally involved in day-to-day.

        You and this website are claiming the two are the same. Which is trash. Especially considering:
        -earlier reporting by TTAG confused actions on behalf of one client with another
        -that confused reporting concerned a different client which also operated lobbying via a shell firm

        Therefore, a reasonable person might question whether this lobbyist created an empty shell corporation for each customer, and whether TTAGs reporting has been in some error because of a lack of ability or a lack of desire to understand this.

  23. You can delegate authority but you cannot delegate responsibility.

    It’s on them.

    They can join Colt in bankruptcy .

  24. How can you welcome springfield and rra after they made a deal and there is more to this deal, that is not mentioned , and if you dig more it will come out, now they are trying to say they didn’t knew nothing,
    Keep digging it will come out.

  25. This makes me think of a quote.

    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquillity of servitude than the animating contest of freedom, — go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen
    Samuel Adams

    I doubt anyone wants their arms, counsels or emails.

  26. With all due respect to Mr. Boch, I don’t know how you can run the original viral article exposing the practices of these two companies, and then just as quickly turn around and buy their bullshit when they say “…ummm…uh…we totally didn’t know about that, guys. Totally didn’t.”

    As others-and yourself-have pointed out, Springfield and Rock River Arms ARE the IFMA. It would take an impressive degree of incompetence for every other officer of the organization to miss what the one guy who wasn’t a part of either corporation was doing. Apologies if I’m finding it difficult to suspend disbelief here; I simply think it a rather preposterous notion that Jay Keller alone is responsible for negotiating this little underhanded deal, and to accept SA and RRA’s claims to the such would seem to evidence either gullibility, or an overly forgiving attitude.

    Don’t get me wrong, I applaud Mr. Boch’s work. But people must learn that actions have consequences. I’m afraid that John’s excessively conciliatory approach may influence readers to likewise adopt the idea that the whole debacle really was just one big misunderstanding, and in doing so, prevent les collaborateurs from receiving their just desserts.

  27. Springfield Armory is dead to me. Dennis Reese is a horrible human being. Sell the company or it will go bankrupt. Judas felt remorse at the end too, it did not go well for him either.

  28. Over the past week, I’ve had a couple of questions about this situation. First, the initial articles about this incident were published on Friday. Why did Springfield and Rock River Arms wait until Monday to issue a response?

    When they finally got around to it, I’ve been wondering if they were truly misinformed or even uninformed… Or if they were backpedaling as a damage control or CYA procedure.

  29. I’d like to know why John Boch didn’t report on this earlier when its clear from his timeline that he knew shenanigans were happening as far back as February.

    • Because SA/RRA didn’t stop their opposition back then and the bill didn’t pass back then?

      • Did you read the article? John Boch made it pretty clear in the article that he thought things were hinky in January.

  30. I’m going to go with they knew what was going on AND they are incompetent. I’ve never cared for Rock River Arms so none of my money or support has gone their way. I do own a couple of Springfield products…in fact one is my duty weapon…and I do like the weapons and have had good luck with their customer service, but I’m afraid they have just lost my support. Coming in at the end of the game with their “we didn’t know what was going on and we’re against it” BS wreaks. They saw the push back and panicked. Good thing there are other options out there. I may go back to carrying my heavy Kimber rather than the lighter Springfield just on principles…..what’s a little more back pain.

  31. So now it will have to be taken up in the court’s and run the gauntlet to the federal.
    Most lawyers wil make a gun argument (wrong) of a constitutional prvision/rights issue (correct).

  32. I just scratched the XD from my list of contenders for my next purchase. Any future purchases will be from manufacturers west of the Mississippi, or at least south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

  33. Robert Farago should get a medal for creating this site and John Boch should get a medal for his solid reporting of Springfield Arms and Rock River Arms despicable treason to the 2A and us People Of The Gun.

    Thank You, both of you.

    I want further thank Mr Farago for creating a home for us People Of The Gun where subscribers come first, not advertisers. For proof of that, just look at TFB where they are owned by Vertical Scope, an internets™ behemoth that has bought up damn near every internets™ forum around. VS has sissified and PC’d everything they own, with ruthless fascist mods who will send you to Banned Camp the instant you type a non-PC thought.

    Over in printed magazine land, Primedia has done the same thing to formerly great mags like Guns & Ammo and Florida Sportsman. Primedia or whatever its fucking Crony Capitalist Corporate Amerika
    name is nowadays, is now owned by the billionaire family in St Louis that owns sports teams that kneel for our National Anthem.

    Keep up the good work Mr Farago and Mr Boch. I’m a huge fan.

  34. The entire thing is just a shame. Not only for the firearms industry, but for American industry as a whole. And it is sad that it happened to one of the more highly regarded names in the industry, Springfield, which has been around for decades, and also Rock River, which has slowly built up a very good name for itself. No matter what happens now, there will be a stigma that follows them both for a very long,long time. Of course, it all comes down on the top of the heads of management, for it was them who made the poor decisions to either follow this bad line of action, or who were so incompetent that they allowed their lobbying group to bring them down the same path. And now, whether the bill passes or not, the damage has been done. Fortunately, for the consumer, the suffering will be minimal. Sure, those out there might not be able to get their favorite gun, but there are many other firms standing in the gap making equally fine products who will step up to fill the void that the possible loss of one or both of these firms create. Perhaps eventually they could regain their luster after a time of penance, or perhaps reorganization. It should be a wake up call to any other firearms company out there, that just like S and W in the past, and their behind the scenes deals, the American firearms buying public doesn’t suffer fools very kindly, and it doesn’t pay to stand on the wrong side of the 2nd amendment. The gun grabbers are not the ones who will buy your products, nor are they the ones who are ever going to march or send money to politicians who are going to support your companies right to sell your products to the very public that you depend on for your very existence. There is a lesson to be learned here, and I hope that the people who need to learn it take it to heart. Because otherwise, their time as a business could be just as fleeting as some of the others of the past.

  35. Springfield, RRA, put your money where your mouth is! Make a donation to these pro gun groups who are doing the work you say you support to the tune of twice what you paid the lobbiests! You won’t see my money until I see yours in the hands of the groups doing the work you should have done!

  36. This whole thing is a big shit sandwich. None of this makes sense. Ok cut a deal so as to benefit my business, but in doing so piss off 99.999% of my customers. Doesn’t make sense. Get caught cutting said deal then claim “I didn’t know what MY lobbyist was doing. Doesn’t make sense. No matter how you cut it it all stinks. If they truly didn’t know what the lobbyist was doing, what does that say? Gross negligence at best. How does an entity not know what their representatives are doing? If they consciously cut deals that strip away consumers/dealers rights then they are lower than low. I am agahst at this whole mess. It boggles the mind that this is happening. Do they seriously think no one would notice?

  37. Wouldn’t surprise me if the “didn’t know” was true – but averting one’s eyes to avoid learning the truth in this political climate is BS.

    However, I truly wonder how many of the people now bitching about RRA & SA don’t do crap for gun rights, other than maybe being an NRA member – if that.

    Here in AZ, the Arizona Citizens Defense League has only around 2000 members, and yet, AZCDL and its handful of members are responsible for most of the pro-rights laws passed the last few years in AZ. http://www.azcdl.org/html/accomplishments.html

    So few do the heavy lifting. Sorry folks, but “activism” like not buying a RRA product is just keyboard commando posing horsecrap.

    I see posts often on WOG from state-run gun rights organizations asking for help. How many of the “activists” who now won’t buy that new SA gun can’t even be bothered to follow a link and send the pre-prepared letters for their own state – much less join?

    How many Illinois gun owners didn’t do squat about this issue, and are now bitching because some scumbag lobbyist also took “no position?”

    • how many of the people now bitching about RRA & SA don’t do crap for gun rights, other than maybe being an NRA member – if that.

      Here in AZ, the Arizona Citizens Defense League has only around 2000 members, and yet, AZCDL and its handful of members are responsible for most of the pro-rights laws passed the last few years in AZ.

      So few do the heavy lifting.

      2,000 members? You’re lucky. In Michigan, Michigan Open Carry does most of the work and we only have 400+ members, but the legislature takes our calls and we work closely with them to draft pro-2A bills. Our legislative team spends a lot of time at the capitol, and we all work behind them and support them. The other, bigger MI gun orgs? Not so much. The biggest gun group in MI is full of Fudds. Thousands.

      • The fact is that the lobbying organization was the sole property of SA and RRA. Even if no one else had done any work to fight the bill – which we know from Mr. Boch isn’t the case – there is no reason for them to have either ignored what their own lobbyist (paid thousands to do the job) was doing or to have avoided Mr. Boch when he sought to determine where they stood on both the bill and on the story about concessions they were offered in exchange for taking “No Position”. Had they _lied_ to Boch, they would have been more believable than the behavior they displayed.

        Consequently, these people have every right to be upset at SA and RRA, regardless of what they did or did not do. (And FYI, I have donated to AZCDL even though I am a resident of Montana, and I doubt that I am the only non-resident to do so. Arizona doesn’t fight alone.)

    • Boycotting is very effective. $ is what got them into this mess. They need the money to satisfy their greed. Instead of being self-righteous here, and patting yourself on the back, thank those they REALLY wanted an XD or M1A but will now forego them to make a statement.

  38. There are 4 people listed as Directors on IRS form 990, Dennis Reese, (CEO of SA) and Tom Reese, (Co-chairman of the Board of SA) and Chuck Larson, (Co-Owner of RRA ) and Jay Keller, the actual lobbyist.
    IFMA = RRA and SA

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