Dennis Reese, the CEO of Springfield Armory, has taken to YouTube to defend his company’s reputation in the face of outrage at the gun dealer licensing law carve-out negotiated on their behalf by their paid lobbyist Jay Keller.
Verging on tears, Mr. Reese claims that he’s guilty only of delegating his fight against “bad bills” to the Executive Director of the Springfield Armory- and Rock River Arms-funded and controlled lobby group, the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (which had no other members).
“He unfortunately didn’t understand the graveness of what this bill was,” Mr. Reese asserts. “We had to terminate his employment and disband the organization . . . We’re being treated as if we violated the most sacred trust (emphasis added). That really really hit me in the heart like I can’t tell you.”
Aside from the sentimental look at Springfield’s history and Mr. Reese’s defense of his supposed ignorance of the IFMA carve-out for Illinois gun dealer licensing — in a bill that includes private firearms transfer limitations — the Springfield exec doesn’t make any mention of the tens of thousands of dollars IFMA donated to virulently anti-gun politicians over the last five years.
Reached for comment (by an anonymous source), lobbyist Keller said “I did what they paid me to do.” Our source also tells us that Springfield Armory is considering suing Mr. Keller and TTAG.
Make of that what you will.