Editorial: Springfield Armory, Rock River Arms – Forgive But Don’t Forget?

As you probably know, the lobbying arm of Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms recently cut a deal with Illinois Senator Don Harmon to exclude the gunmakers from a licensing scheme. As a result, SB 1657 passed the Illinois State Senate and is headed to the House. It’s a horrible bill that includes onerous licensing for FFL’s and a nine transfer limit for Land of Lincoln gun owners.

TTAG exposed the carve-out, unleashing a firestorm of criticism. Days after the news broke, Springfield and Rock River issued public statements denying any knowledge of the deal. By implication, they were saying that their lobbyist, Jay Keller, had gone rogue.

The gunmakers’ mea culpas are seriously lacking in the credibility department.

Mr. Keller’s paymaster, The Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA), is was wholly owned and controlled by Springfield Armory and Rock River. IFMA’s IRS form 990 lists four Directors: Dennis Reese, (CEO of SA), Tom Reese, (Co-chairman of the Board of SA), Chuck Larson, (Co-Owner of RRA ) and Jay Keller, (paid lobbyist).

The idea that Mr. Keller would act without the two manufacturers’ direct knowledge and supervision in a matter than directly affects their business beggars belief. If nothing else, our reporter John Boch called both gunmakers before the bill’s passage.

The fact that IFMA paid tens of thousands of dollars to rabidly anti-gun Illinois Democrats over the last five years may not be directly relevant to SB 1657 but . . . what? Why did the two companies line the pockets of the sworn enemies of firearms freedom? What did Springfield and Rock River Arms expect to receive in return?

Neither Springfield nor Rock River have addressed this aspect of IFMA’s past. It’s nothing less than delusional to think they didn’t know about those payments.

In any case, Springfield Armory has now launched a major campaign to defeat SB1657 — the bill that would’ve died without their support. And I do mean major: ads all over the Internet (including TTAG), email blasts and coordination with the NRA-ILA.

Why wouldn’t they? If this licensing and transfer limitation bill becomes law, both Springfield and Rock River will be justifiably crucified by small gun dealers and Illinois gun owners. They will face an even greater danger of financial ruin.

Which is also true even if it isn’t passed. Illinois Dems could simply table the bill. If so, it can be brought to the floor any time in the next 18 months. Not to put too fine a point on it, HB 1657 is both a direct threat and a cancer on the body politic.

This may come as a surprise but I, for one, am willing to forgive Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms for selling Illinois gun dealers and owners down the river. You heard me. I see no reason not to let bygones be bygones, in the certainty that they’ve learned their lesson. A lesson rightly and powerfully delivered by The People of the Gun.

This does not mean I will purchase Springfield Armory or Rock River Arms products. I see no reason to give my money to gunmakers run by the same people who thought this carve-out was a good idea — for them. And I will make sure that my friends and fellow influencers know what the two companies did to undermine gun rights.

All that said, there’s one extremely important lesson we should take away from this debacle.

No one can be trusted to defend and extend our gun rights. Not gunmakers, not politicians (Democrat or Republican), not journalists, not the gun rights groups that claim to represent us. Forget ‘trust but verify.’ Don’t trust and verify. That’s how TTAG rolls. It’s how all gun owners should think.

The recriminations can, will and should continue. But our more important enemies are those members of the Illinois legislature who created and support SB 1657.

Let me be clear: Illinois Senate Bill 1657 is a direct and pernicious attack on Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Now is the time for all gun owning citizens of that state to let their elected representatives know their opposition.

And now is the time for gun owners to realize — if they haven’t already — that the fight for firearms freedom is a never-ending battle against those who would sacrifice that freedom on the altar of economic and political gain. This isn’t over because it’s never over.

comments

  1. avatar Renner says:

    Wasn’t TTAG going to name names on the other big box stores that got a carve out?

    1. avatar Pwrserge says:

      That would be all of them. Any place that doesn’t exclusively sell guns is more or less exempt.

      1. avatar Renner says:

        If all the Bass Pro Shops, Walmarts, Fleet Farms, etc. are exempt, I don’t understand what this legislation was supposed to accomplish. Even if they can harass and put out of business all the local gun stores, it doesn’t prevent any of the big boys selling them so it won’t slow down the tide of sales. Even from the gun grabbers’ point of view, why waste the time to only harass the little guys? Was it just another way to raise tax money?

        1. avatar Pwrserge says:

          It will excempt them from special licensing, it won’t excempt them from any special rules the licensing board decided to put in place. For example, requiring every gun sale to fill out special IL paperwork that can be used to trip up buyers or put a defacto registration in place. This is a first step. Once licensing board is a thing, they will have all the power they need to ram extra bullshit down our throats through “rule making”.

        2. avatar Mike says:

          I live in the Chicago suburbs, there is one Cabelas, a few Bass Pro Shops and maybe two Dicks that sell firearms, the rest of the big box stores may sell ammo but not firearms. Dicks sells Fudd rifles and shotguns, Bass Pro sells Fudd rifles/shotguns and has a limited selection of pistols, Cabelas has the best selection of the three but nothing like even a small LGS. All three are just short of MSRP and Cabelas is in Cook country i.e. $25 sin tax per firearm and 5 cents per round on centerfire, 2 cents per round on rimfire. None of the above would do a transfer. So shut down the LGS’ and home FFL’s and you have an extremely limited number of firearms choices, we would be unable to get stripped lowers to do our own builds, people would get the worst advice possible (the gun counter clerks at the big box stores are actually less than clueless), it would be a defacto gun ban for many types of guns, exactly as the anti’s are planning.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        Again, the real question isn’t who is exempt but who pushed for the bill and supported it with lobbyists like RRA\SA. The latter question is harder to track down (by design thanks to lobbying), so I get it… but I hope that it still becomes known.

    2. avatar Mr Pierogie says:

      That’s what I’ve been waiting for, too. Didn’t John say in his last SA / RRA article that he would name those stores the next day? Can we get an update on what’s going on?

      1. avatar Elot says:

        He did say that… waiting..

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    I live in Illinois. I don’t forgive and I will NEVER forget. The greater sin was bankrolling Cullerton/Madigan. And because I only go back 6 or so years I have no real opinion on Ruger/S&W and other traitorous behavior. Thank you John Boch and TTAG for pulling back the curtain…

    1. avatar American Idiot says:

      I learned the hard way too many times that forgiving anyone for what amounts to having dog crap for morals is a mistake. It’s like a cheating spouse, only moronic window lickers or those that are being willfully ignorant believe that the perp won’t do it again. Selling out unalienable rights is a no way back act. I will tell everyone I know and meet for the rest of my life to avoid SA and RRA like the walking VDs that they are. My LGS is either selling at severely discounted prices or sending unsold SA product back and tells every customer that walks through his door to treat SA and RRA like they have Smallpox. It will stay that way until the owners and upper management have sold the business and are no longer employed.

      They knew by the way what, where, how much, and to whom the money was going. RRAs Pres was the Treasurer, no large checks leave the IFMA without his signature. That’s what treasurers do! The fact that no comment has been made about why they were giving money to Demonrats just proves how low and unclean they are. I’d be willing to let the owners off light. I’ll forgive them and start buying from them again the second the owners of SA and RRA commit seppuku to regain their honor. See, I can compromise!

  3. avatar Pwrserge says:

    I’m going to reserve final judgement on redemption until we see what happens with the bill. It has to die on the house floor and die spectacularly. While I expect the current governor to veto the bill, and we know the gun grabbers lack the votes for an override, making it to his desk will embolden them in Illinois for years. This bill more or less killed the chances for suppressors this session. That’s something I already blame SA and RRA for. I’ve been saving up cash for a slew of cans ever since we got the initial bill out of the House last year. The idea that we have to play defense this year instead of pushing through suppressors pisses me off something fierce on top of the fact that we have to deal with this bullshit in the first place. So… no forgiveness unless this dies and I get my cans this year.

    1. avatar TW25 says:

      As a fellow Illinois resident this also pisses me off to no end. You could not have hit the nail any more squarely on the head then when you mentioned playing defense instead of crossing the finish line with the suppressor legislation. I wonder if IFMA had spent as much money and effort pushing for the bill taking suppressors off the banned list as they did shoving a 9 transfers a year bill down our throats if we wouldn’t have already pulled that suppressor bill across the governor’s desk. I too never forget and I also make sure every person of the gun I talk to knows the full extent of the SA and RRA treachery. Our gun rights are already being trampled on in Illinois, the last thing we could afford was a back stabbing sell out by members of the gun industry. And in keeping with the never forget theme, if you are ever in northern Illinois, Bobcat of Rockford is a poor choice to do business with.

    2. avatar Mo Zeen says:

      With trump in the white house and a GOP controlling the congress. The gun control groups have moved to Illinois NY and California. To get any victory they can. Springfield and Rock Rivers donations to the worst anti gun Politicians. And throwing independent gun dealers and gun owners under the bus. I won’t forgive but i will forget that they exist.

  4. avatar James Earl Hoffa says:

    I say hogwash to forgive and forget we’ve done that too many times in the past with these liberals and it’s gotten us absolutely nowhere fast. I say time to cut the heads off of the people turning their back on us Gun Owners of America and gun dealers of America. Let them get what they deserve let them reap what they sow make examples of these two and I guarantee and no one else would dare step across again.

  5. avatar rc says:

    Won’t buy again under current leadership (sux, because I bought 2 SA products within the last year, one, a 1911, just 3 months ago). I really liked Springfield products. This seriously bums me out, but a heavy price needs to be paid for this kind of treachery.

    1. avatar Badgerman says:

      I understand how you feel. I have three, and enjoy them immensely. Now, I need think about selling and getting replacements.

      1. avatar Big E says:

        What good does it do to sell it now? Is it you don’t want to own their product anymore?
        Obviously you selling it has no impact on the manufacturer.

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Used gun sales do have an indirect impact on the manufacturer. Every used gun someone buys is potentially a new gun sale that didn’t happen.

        2. avatar El Duderino says:

          Sometimes. If they were going to buy a new one and instead buy your used gun, it definitely hits them in the wallet!

        3. avatar Ardent says:

          If you flood the market with late model used but in new condition durable goods from just one manufacturer it is bound to chill sales and lower prices on thier new goods. I’m not sure how strong the effect would be, but I would think given the market for guns and the nature of the business, too many like new used SA guns on the shelves would make new ones very hard to sell, and would severely reduce margins on new stock. Also, if you had 5 like new used pistols of the same type on your shelf, would you hasten to order more new ones?

          If orders slump, production must be cut, this temporarily reduces cost, but over all increases the cost of subsequent production. Repeat this cycle several times: retail cost drops, production slows, production costs go up, retail value goes up, but if the items still won’t sell, cut production again…production costs will be higher (due to reduced volume) while retail value is still below par…repeat this several times and you have a business cycle that leads to either greatly reduced production at higher cost per unit (while the market is willing to pay even less for it) and eventually insolvency.

          Once a slide begins, any pressure, normally sustainable, becomes a crushing force.

  6. avatar W says:

    Illinois is Democrat country. SA and RR were paying protection money to the de facto mob. They made their choice. A stronger alternative would have been the Magpul move. When the Magpul saw CO go to pot and peaceniks, they fought and then pulled up stakes.

    Adversity reveals character.

    1. avatar Robb says:

      Magpul did pull up and leave, but before they did they flooded the CO market with 30 and then 40 round mags right before the new law came into effect. To top it off they even discounted the mags vs. price gouging…

      I was hopeful the SA/RRA issue was a misunderstanding. Sadly it appears that I misunderstood the severity. If I had one I’d not sell it, but I won’t be buying any in the future and I was looking forward to the XDe…

  7. avatar Felix says:

    I agree to some extent. Holding grudges is too serious to take lightly; pretty soon you’ll end up with so many grudges taht you have to consult a list each time you deal with people or businesses. Case in point: my sister objected to the chocolate Thomas the Tank Engine lollipops I sent for Xmas stocking stuffers, because Thomas is a Disney character and Disney supported spousal health benefits for gay civil unions. How the dickens could she expect me to know that, or to know she cared about it? Did she also care if the post office (who delivered them) had such a policy? How about the local woman who made a few dozen for weekend sales? Where do you draw the line?

    In this particular case, if Springfield and RRA make a sufficiently forceful about-face and do some good, then is it a better lesson to support them again than to continue burying them? That’s an individual decision.

    Hate the sin, not the sinner. If an alcoholic turns their life around, forgive them. If a local ne’er-do-well turns his life around, forgive him. Even criminals can turn their life around. But it takes time to tell if a turn-around is real or just a sham, and that’s true here too.

    1. avatar Klause Von Schmitto says:

      Tell your sister to lighten up. Brett Alcroft sold the Thomas franchise to Hit Entertainment which is not owned by Disney. Disney is just their distributor. Hit has a much closer relationship with Universal than to Disney.

      As far as RRA and SA – I’ve been trying my best to avoid doing business with companies in states like Illinois and New York anyway (my sale = tax revenue = funding fascists). All products by these 2 companies have perfectly good (and better) substitutes from other companies in gun-friendly states.

  8. avatar EGB says:

    Said it in another SA/RAA column – hate to see their manufacturing teams suffer due to ownership decisions. Failing businesses due to poor financial decisions or economic factors is bad enough, but this self-induced situation pains me as the son of a textile worker…

    1. avatar KBonLI says:

      The owners are already set for life. The only people hurt will be the workers and their families.
      Putting a company out of business and destroying so many lives because of poor decisions by ownership is not right (IMO).
      We sent a message they got it loud and clear and I’m sure others did too.
      I say we should move on and keep vigilant.

      1. avatar million says:

        all the more reason to force a change in ownership as swiftly as possible. gotta keep the lights in Karlovac.

      2. avatar Pwrserge says:

        Letting traitors use others as human shields is also not right. Those people will find othe jobs. SA deserves to go bankrupt over this BS.

        1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

          “Those people will find other jobs.”

          Maybe minimum wage in a convenience store. Not manufacturing jobs that pay twice as much.

          RRA is in Colona, IL, within commuting distance to the Quad Cities. Maybe some jobs there but it’s not exactly booming. Springfield is further east in Geneseo, a town with no other industry surrounded by corn fields.

        2. avatar anaxis says:

          Agreed.

          I also figure that because the firearm industry is big & getting bigger, the majority of employees at SA won’t have any problem finding homes with better manufacturers & in better States. Hell, if I were working for either SA or RR when the news broke, I’d have immediately started sending out résumés. Yeah, having to find a new job & relocate sucks; but I’d be ignorant to continue to work for companies who blue-falcon’d the 2A, are likely to go tits-up within a few years anyhow, and stay stuck in a place like IL.

        3. avatar Mike says:

          It’s always easy to tell someone to just pick up their life and leave, it isn’t quite that easy to actually do. I am stuck in IL myself due to family and job, I would move out in a second if I could but reality won’t allow it. I won’t excuse either of these garbage companies for a second and I won’t be buying any of their products, but the bit about just finding another job somewhere else gets exhausting to hear.

          That said, the worst betrayal is the fact that no matter where you go in IL, every gun store and big box store always pushed SA and RRA, I always assumed they were giving kickbacks, which would be further evidence that their product is inferior and needs marketing and sales nonsense to sell them. I own an XD .45, nothing wrong with it per se, but it’s my least favorite pistol. My brother owns an RRA AR, it is also meh worthy at best. Friends and other family of mine have thousands and thousands of dollars in products by these two companies. After everything the gun stores and owners of the state have done to support these also ran companies, the betrayal stings that much worse.

          If they are able to soundly defeat this bill and manage to help pass some pro gun stuff such as the reversal of the suppressor ban, I’ll forgive but I’ll never forget and they may want to spend more on R&D than advertising to make it after this mess.

      3. avatar Felix says:

        I think that’s backwards. Employees can get another job, since sales don’t drop when one supplier (or two) go out of business; other suppliers pick up teh slack and have to hire at least some new workers.

        Whereas owners lose their investment.

      4. avatar Jean-Claude says:

        So because the owners are set and employees need jobs, we should give money to the company?

        No. The only way for the consumer to voice his displeasure is economically.

        Don’t buy from companies that do things like this.

      5. avatar Hannibal says:

        Ok… so can a business do literally anything and you’ll keep giving them money for the benefit of their employees?

      6. avatar JDC says:

        I’ve moved on.

        From Springfield and RRA weapons. Lots of others out there to patronize while they (RRA and Springfield) still have the same leadership. I wish them well, but if the workers want to live and work for these guys then they rate what happens to the company.

  9. avatar Chris says:

    Sold my xdm at a loss. Selling my M1a at a loss today. Buying a savage msr 308 long range. I have no interest in forgiving anytime soon.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      You didn’t torch them and ship the remains to the mfg? So how did you “teach them a lesson” when they aren’t even aware of your displeasure?

      1. avatar bobby b says:

        Perhaps preserving his own self respect counts for just as much as “teaching them a lesson”?

  10. avatar Strength & Honor says:

    I’m not positive this scenario was much more than an executive or team of execs who are running the business as a business without 2A principles behaving as any unprincipled executive acts. Stereotypes exist for a reason. Rather than shun, why doesn’t TTAG and the other “influencers” organize some sort of buy-cott, and sell-cott where people consign their Springfield and RRA good to drive prices down and force a change? Let them show their true colors. If their board has any principles, or regard for 2A, this would be a “don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out” event for those involved.

    TL;DR – Shun = Bad. Buy/Sell-cott better. Overreact = Bad.

  11. avatar Stinkeye says:

    If they succeed in getting the bill killed, then we can talk about forgiveness. If the bill passes, I doubt these two companies will be around long enough for anyone to have to worry about absolution.

    But, if I’m being honest, it doesn’t make much practical difference as far as I am concerned, since any “boycott” by me will be the exact same end result as if this never happened. Neither company makes any products I’m particularly interested in, so the chances of them getting any of my money were never very high.

  12. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Not selling my XDs, but the Springfield that was to be my purchase will be a CZ instead, any specific recommendations?

    1. avatar ZenGun says:

      Get a Shadow for high end.
      For EDC get a P-01.
      If yer into threaded: P-07/P-09 (compact/duty).

      My ¢.02, YMMV

  13. avatar Gary Howell says:

    For me; isn’t it the fact these firms contributed to anti-gun politicain’s. No Democrat should get one dollar from anyone who believes in the Constitution. EVER!

  14. avatar BLAMMO says:

    This appears to go way beyond the normal business practice of contributing to pols in both parties.

  15. avatar Specialist38 says:

    I’ll shed a small tear for SA and RRA once they’ve gone bankrupt.

    A very small tear.

    So….No. I hope whoever buys the Spingfield name will do better.

    Who cares about RRA? There are plenty of crudely-made 45s on the market already.

    1. avatar Swilson says:

      “Who cares about RRA? There are plenty of crudely-made 45s on the market already.”

      I think you may be thinking about RIA.

    2. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      Yeah there is a small tear running down my thigh for them too.

  16. avatar Joe R. says:

    Forgive, then (gradually over time) Forget that you’ve forgiven.

  17. avatar Specialist38 says:

    TTAG should make a stand and not review their products or let them advertise/sponsor posts.

    How serious is TTAG about doing what is right?

    1. avatar jwtaylor says:

      Or we could continue to honestly review their products and make sure to remind every reader what they did with every single one of those reviews. Orherwise, people will forget, or new gun owners will never know.

      1. avatar Pwrserge says:

        That’s a great solution. “New from the people who sold out gun owners in their home state, the Springfield [insert garbage here]” I think the last guy who had their gig got 30 pieces of silver for the job.

      2. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

        Bullshit. Just put a sticky comment on why gun owners should pursue a bankruptcy or change of ownership. Taking their money puts TTAG in the same filthy beds with our enemies.

        1. avatar jwtaylor says:

          “taking their money”…Gun companies do not pay for reviews at all and ad management and revenue comes form a third party as well. That’s one of the best things about this site. I have zero financial interest in an of the guns I review. If Springfield gave an ad company a million dollars to put an ad on the site, I wouldn’t have any reason to care. Also, because of my ad-blocker, I probably wouldn’t know it.

        2. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

          Fair enough. Perhaps add an update to your article. I’m not the only one concerned about the part where you mentioned ads.

        3. avatar jwtaylor says:

          There won’t be an update to my articles anytime soon because I do not believe I can yet provide a fair review on SA or RRA firearms, so I have to recuse myself from reviewing their products. Call it emotional immaturity, I just ain’t there yet.
          Provide a free handgun or rifle to every resident of Illinois who can legally own one and requests one, and then all will be forgiven.

        4. avatar Stinkeye says:

          “Also, because of my ad-blocker, I probably wouldn’t know it.”

          Farago, take note: when your own contributors have to run adblockers to use your site, it might be time to re-evaluate your monetization strategy.

  18. avatar S.CROCK says:

    I would love to see the company sold and all new leadership take over but keep the products all the same. Personally I don’t know if I could ever forgive Springfield and buy from it as is. This bothers me a lot because I love their products and even in such a saturated market, I don’t feel there are other companies that could offer me substitutes that I would like as much.

  19. avatar Renner says:

    On a positive note, I found the James River M-14 I want. Now its down to saving my nickels. Price is a little more than the M1A I had my eye on, but it’s a much better rifle with forged receiver and all. I hope we don’t find out James River is run by a bunch of unethical greedy sellouts. I’m not by any means against making profits, but you should really understand your customer base and the products you sell.

    Hopefully this bill will still be killed now that SA has “seen the light”, so they can start down the long road to earning back trust. If it passes, only a change in ownership would ever change my mind.

  20. avatar Nanashi says:

    When they advocate repealing the NFA, I’ll forgive them. Not before that.

    (Speaking of which, meeting with the Congressman for that is on for May 9th now. Hopefully it goes well.)

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      Good luck. Give him an ear full!

  21. avatar Spartan says:

    So….forgive them…? Because ttag still takes their money?

    Kind of slippery ethical decision/position there don’t you think?

    1. avatar Mr Pierogie says:

      TTAG can keep taking SA’s baksheesh. I’ll just keep using an ad-blocker.

    2. avatar jwtaylor says:

      That’s not how it works. TTAG gets ad revenue from a third party who does the ad management. It’s not like TTAG picks the ads that run. I’m sure if something was particularly offensive, RF could ask that it be removed, but there’s probably some contractual obligations to cover what those instances are.

      1. avatar st381183 says:

        You don’t know unless you ask. TTAG should be making clear and concise announcements that they are refusing SA and RRAs ads and money. A boycott is only effective if everyone is on board. Mesh the left has learned this long ago, unite and kill.

      2. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

        TTAG does choose their ads. Indirectly is still a choice.

  22. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    [Sincere expression]
    “I forgive you.
    But I won’t buy your products and I’ll continue to drag your name through the mud every chance I get.”

    That certainly doesn’t meet my definition of forgiveness, as a Christian. Perhaps Mr. Farago has a different definition? What good is forgiveness if you keep twisting the knife?

    I might want a Springfield 1911 someday. When that day comes, we’ll see how I feel. For now, I’ll neither insult those companies nor buy their products. I’ll let them swim in the sewage they have created for awhile.

    1. avatar pete says:

      Forgiveness is just a word I guess. If they really feel bad about it in principle, maybe being forgiven will salve their consciences, even as their businesses suffer.

      If they say they feel bad about it in principle and expect their customers back, maybe they don’t sincerely feel bad enough about it in principle, so screw them.

  23. avatar rdsii64 says:

    Screw SA! Screw RRA! I will not forgive, and I will not forget!

  24. avatar Jack says:

    Way too soon for forgiveness.

  25. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    “I see no reason not to let bygones be bygones, in the certainty that they’ve learned their lesson. A lesson rightly and powerfully delivered by The People of the Gun.”

    Bullpuckey. All they’ve learned is to be more careful and hide it better in the future.

    They can burn in hell.

  26. avatar FlamencoD says:

    OK. We get it. Enough beating a dead horse.

    1. avatar IN Dave says:

      Just curious, do you post the same thing when they write about antigunners, democrats, and criminals meeting their demise at the hands of a CCer? Or just when a gun company does something wrong?

      1. avatar FlamencoD says:

        Of course not. How many of those you mention have attempted to right their ways by putting advertisements and statements out against the anti-gun bill people claim they support? None. If CNN or NY Times all of a sudden became pro gun, do you think TTAG would be so bitter that they continue to put out story after story about how they screwed up? Probably not, even though those media outlets’ “screw ups” would be astronomical in number. TTAG, and many POTG, would likely be pleased that a major media outlet came out against gun control. Springfield (and RRA) screwed up a few times, but for me, their errors were not unforgivable. Springfield makes many nice quality products and are attempting to right the path. End of story. Get over it, I say.

  27. avatar IN Dave says:

    I would’ve have been able to forgive them at some point for the sell out. But for the two to have the gall to come out and say they knew nothing about the deal until it is too late, when we read that it couldn’t be further than the truth, they can go …. well we all know where they can go. At least S&W had the balls to say, yelp, we made a deal with the clintons- so after S&W crashed, burned, and someone else bought the pieces and put them back together I decided to give them another shot 16 years later. These two companies will take a lot longer and never if the same owners stay in place. But as far as their reputation is going to fall I don’t think that will be long. Give them a couple years and Hi point will be able to buy them. And I don’t even live in IL.

  28. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

    “No one can be trusted to defend and extend our gun rights. Not gunmakers, not politicians (Democrat or Republican), not journalists, not the gun rights groups that claim to represent us. Forget ‘trust but verify.’ Don’t trust and verify. That’s how TTAG rolls. It’s how all gun owners should think.”

    This is why I don’t give a shit about what happened in Illinois. I already understood the nature of the American version of Capitalism/Politics. Politicians don’t let Capitalism happen without their slice. Anywhere. SA/RRA are the rule, not the exception. The other ones just haven’t been caught.

  29. avatar john1911 says:

    If this becomes law it rest solely on IFMA/SA/RRA. If it comes to that, both companies need run out of business.

    If it doesn’t become law, I will forgive both companies when the current owners have been dead and in the ground for ten years or on the third change of ownership.

  30. avatar Warren says:

    Something doesn’t sit right with me, the stance you’re taking here. I don’t know if it’s because I’m confusing your words with previous stances, or I have you mixed up with another writer, or am misremembering something you’ve said before. But lately I’ve been quite done with TTAG’s take on politics. And the tone here doesn’t really sound sincere, it sounds like money paid for it. I’m super cynical and suspicious of pretty much anyone who claims their fighting for, or looking out for, my rights lately

    1. avatar bobby b says:

      I’m constantly amazed by the people commenting here and on other posts to the effect that TTAG has done something unethical by taking ad money.

      TTAG is a business. If this violates your standards, go somewhere else where ads never occur. North Korea would be a good choice.

      Lest there be any doubt, I have nothing to do with TTAG or the gun business.

      1. avatar Warren says:

        It’s not the ad money. It’s the whole “I’m willing to forgive them” bit here, but scorched earth mentality elsewhere.

  31. avatar Ralph says:

    So, forgive them but don’t buy their products? Then what exactly does “forgive them” actually mean?

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Come on, Ralph. You’ve got enough ex-wives that you should recognize this as “female forgiveness”. That’s when you say you forgive someone for their transgression, but then keep throwing it back in their face at every possible opportunity.

      1. avatar SouthAl says:

        Wait, that is what ex-wives do? So I am still married to, and live with my ex-wife?

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          Wives, ex-wives, girlfriends, daughters, mothers, whatever… I call it “female forgiveness”, not “ex-wife forgiveness”. In my experience, it’s common to the entire gender, regardless of the relationship.

  32. avatar st381183 says:

    Is TTAG drinking the kool aid now? Let bygones be bygones? What about the next legislative action they support. Why get us amped up to support a full on boycott then say let bygone be bygones? Screw SA and RRA.

  33. avatar Rumblestrip says:

    You have sided against us in battle, and this we don’t forgive………..or forget!

    1. avatar pete says:

      Fighting the Kardashians?

  34. avatar pete says:

    It’s not about what they deserve. This is a convenient time for the public to show spine. There might not be a slump but the gun shelves and cases are not empty – might as well buy with principle.

    If we boycott them all the way out of business, their market share goes to companies that were faithful or new companies. What’s wrong with that?

    1. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

      How do you know the other companies are pure? And just haven’t been outed? Purity tests are awfully muddy.

      1. avatar pliablemoose says:

        That’s a BS argument, you’re asking us to prove something didn’t happen.

        I stick with what’s been proven to happen, if the other manufacturers sold us out, they’ll be found out eventually.

        The industry will be fine as these 2 companies go bankrupt, and they will.

        1. avatar Kellen says:

          Happened with S&W and Ruger yet people still buy them.

      2. avatar pete says:

        I’m glad you bring it up. I more or less agree with Pliablemoose, good answer there.

        More specifically, my answer is there’s rational reason to believe most of the other companies are pure, it’s not muddy, and if a couple are secretly dirty that’s OK. If companies appear to mind their business and make guns, or better yet support gun rights and make guns, that’s good, I’m happy to take that at face value. We don;t need to see their accounting or a polygraph. Individually they probably don’t have political skeletons in their closets because we have individuals and blogs always looking to out someone, and where would be the payoff? Clear favoritism by an anti-gun politician would be suspicious, if there’s some other payoff it must be small or well hidden. On a company to company basis this makes it unlikely they’re dealing with the other side. Especially after the example made of Smith and Ruger, albeit not as serious as it could have been. Now if a few companies are still dealing with the other side, that’s no biggie, it can’t be that many and maybe we’ll catch them later and have more fun with metaphorical torches and pitchforks!

        Kellen, yes people still buy Smith & Ruger. Financial loss and changes in management satisfied some. Moreover we were over a barrel, they were still major producers when the AWB sunsetted, so the greater good was to buy their stuff, so we could have full-capacity semi-autos before things went to crap again. Smith and Ruger got lucky. The situation is just the opposite now, we can act with principle with respect to Springfiled and RRA alone without a gun shortage and another ban breathing down our necks.

  35. avatar pliablemoose says:

    I’ll forgive them in about 20 years, the arguments went:
    1.). We didn’t do nothin
    2.). We’re incompetent, it’s the lobbyist’s fault
    3.). We love the 2nd A,
    4.). Think of the employees

    It’s assholes throwing shit on the wall to see what sticks,

    Hell, the lobbyist uses an ALIAS for god’s sake so it was harder to figure out what the hell they were up to.

    They donated 10’s of thousands of dollars to key anti gun Democrats, it’s all well documented

    Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms need to go bankrupt and serve as a cautionary tale for the other gun manufacturers.

    1. avatar SouthAl says:

      Well said.

  36. avatar il Padrino says:

    I was in the market for a 1911 carry to add to my carry rotation. 3″, 9mm. Springfield EMP was almost ordered. The news broke and I purchased a Sig P938. Glad I did.

    For the person asking for recommendations on a CZ, my rotation includes 2075 Rami decocker. Hard to find but an excellent carry option.

  37. avatar Mr. Woodcock says:

    Forgive and forget in this case feels a lot like letting some other dude bang your wife, find out she’s pregnant with his kid, then raising him as your own. Sounds very…noble…cough…cough…hack.

  38. avatar Jean-Claude says:

    No, they haven’t learned their lesson yet. Learning their lesson will involve them suffering a massive financial penalty, going into bankruptcy, and being bought by a company with strong 2nd Amendment beliefs.

    It’s WAAAAY too early to be talking about forgiveness.

  39. avatar Thomas says:

    Sorry TTAG, as much as I truly appreciate what you do for our cause, you are dead wrong on this one. There is no room for 3 strikes and your out, not even 2 strikes and your out. I hope both companies completely fail due to the outrage of people like me. Its time we consumers set a standard from what we expect from an arms company if that arms company expects to keep us as a consumer. The best results that come out from this is other arms companies take the hint, make a mental note and learn from there mistake. To this day Smith and Rugar are still not welcome in my castle. With 4 companies out of the pipeline there are still plenty of excellent options for me to fulfill all my shooting habits.

  40. avatar Hannibal says:

    You have to ask yourself, how many times have they pulled this and been happy to keep doing it as long as they didn’t get caught? What will convince them not to do it again… even if they are sure they’ve hidden it well enough that it (probably) won’t get caught?

  41. avatar Kellen says:

    Anybody that boycotts SA or RRA and still buys S&W or Ruger is a hypocrite.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Anyone who thinks S&W and Ruger are the same companies they were a quarter-century ago is ignorant. You can still boycott the name if you want, but neither company is under the same management they were under back then, and both have invested a lot of time, effort, and money into correcting their past mistakes.

      And even at their worst, I don’t think either company was paying lobbyists to make secret campaign donations to anti-gun politicians using an assumed name.

      1. avatar Thomas says:

        If we are so ignorant as you say, and they are not the same company as you say, then why are they still trying to make up for it as you say….

        1. avatar Stinkeye says:

          My guess is that the current management teams learned a valuable lesson when the companies were almost sunk by the previous management’s deal-making with the Clintons. Perhaps they now understand that their businesses depend entirely on a strong, healthy gun culture in the United States, which means protecting the 2A.

          I don’t think they’re doing pro-2A things (like Ruger’s donating millions of dollars to the NRA over the years) just to atone for past sins, but because the current management understands the value of protecting the rights of their customers to buy the products they sell.

          Springfield’s advertising blitz, on the other hand, feels a little disingenuous and cynical. They’re backed into a corner, and have to do whatever they can to save the company. I’m not sure they’ve actually learned the lesson yet. It feels like they think this will all blow over in a few weeks. The fact that no explanation (not even a bullshit one!) has yet been offered for the political donations to scum like Madigan tells me they still aren’t all that interested in being open and honest about all of this.

      2. avatar former water walker says:

        And to those unaware this TTAG post is all over FB. Giving THOUSANDS to democrat scum is unforgivable…

    2. avatar pete says:

      It was a different time when the Smith & Ruger boycott fizzled. Smith and Ruger were more important producers then than SA and RRA are now, and the shelves and cases were getting cleared out. We had to prioritize on a pretty effing desperate level, i.e. looking to our own, individual, immediate firearm needs.

      The past is behind us, we have a different opportunities now. Why do I have to do the same thing again 12 years later?

  42. avatar Dael McCoyle says:

    Sounds about like what Smith & Wesson did when President Bill Clinton tried his crap. We ALL seen what happened to S&W top leaders when the PEOPLE turned against them and they lost money and support. I haven’t bought a S&W since because of that betrayal so now it looks like I have to add two more companies to that list even though I love SA XD’s. Sad, so sad! 🙁

    1. avatar Garry says:

      You’re going to run out of firearm manufacturers eventually if even new management or the death of people involved isn’t enough for you to forgive them.

  43. avatar Jerry says:

    I totally disagree with the notion of “Forgive don’t Forget”! Never forgive or forget any company that wants to be in the firearms business and would make a deal with enemies of the second amendment. These companies should pay dearly in a complete boycott of there products. If your gonna play with fire your gonna get burned! And when there stock prices have tumbled and there CEO’s and CFO’s and any other employees involved with this nonsense are let go, then and only then should we a as firearms owners possibly forgive there actions. This may seem harsh. But this is the way to send a sign to every company that would even consider such a stupid move as RRA and SA.

  44. avatar Steve Ramsey says:

    Bill Ruger, being DEAD, is my reason for letting Ruger off the hook. Though they test me by refusing to sell Mini-14 firing pins. And their ridiculous service policies on modified guns.

    Smith and Wesson? Nope. I get a reminder every time I see that bloody internal lock. To this day they hang onto that bit of Clinton appeasement,, so they remain dead to me. If I want one, I buy it used. Sans lock. Drop the lock and I’d be back. Starting with an M&P 10, and another 686.

    I quit buying Remington until they dumped HS Precision over the Horiuchi debacle. Now I refuse to buy Savage because they took up with HS. HS is pure evil, and unapologetic about it. It’s inexcusable that ANY firearm manufacturer would do business with them

    And I still look sideways at Remington for what they did, and continue to do to the Marlin brand. But since they dropped HSP, I’d buy an 870 if the need arose. And I might.

    SA and RR? Unforgivable. Drop dead. Hit the road jack, and don’t come back.

  45. avatar Harrison says:

    Forgiving them is absolutely foolish and to even suggest that it’s reasonable will just keep them floating along even longer.

    They aren’t sorry about a thing and haven’t learned any lesson, the only thing they’re sorry for is the effect this will have on their sales.

  46. avatar K Maiden says:

    It took me many years to get over what Bill Ruger did to us. Remember folks, TRUST NO ONE, when it comes to your rights. Living in the poo hole kalifornia, I know this rule well.

    1. avatar Will says:

      We forgive Ruger the company because Bill is dead.

  47. avatar Ken Bricker says:

    My grandfather fought in the trenches of WW1, my father stormed the beaches in the South Pacific of WW2. I am a disabled Vet who spent three straight years on Vietnam combat flightlines. I am almost 64 and have owned dozens upon dozens of firearms throughout my life. I made it a practice when I bought my first gun and every gun since then, to also say out loud so everyone can hear me “this is the greatest country in the world”. I have never bought a firearm from a big-box store, it just never seemed right to me. I also have owned a fun that was made outside the US. I don’t believe in “made in Japan, crouachia, germany, or tim-buck-two. I am an American patriat, plain and simple. As a country, America is dangerously close to entering WW3. Are we ready? If we don’t pull out heads out of asses, we are going to wake up like the Romans…it will all be gone. I believe that President trump has the potential to be remembered as the greatest President that this country has ever know. If all the worthless bleeding hearts would just support him, instead of whining about him, we might still have a chance to turn this all around. If not, the future looks bleak for 2A patriat like myself. May God bless us to remember who we are, where we came from, and the price that was paid to get here.

  48. avatar Will says:

    Nope. They are dead to me, until they are sold to another company that fights tooth-and-nail, and/or moves the company out of Illinois. I eventually forgave S&W, but only after the company was sold.

  49. avatar Tim says:

    Boycott Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms as they betray us all on the 2A.

    Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms decided to not oppose a new Illinois bill (Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing Act, IL SB-1657) limiting firearm purchases to 9 a year and requiring Federal FFL’s to get a state license.

    Proof That Springfield Armory and Rock River Knew of Licensing Carve-Out Last Year?
    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2017/05/robert-farago/proof-springfield-armory-rock-river-knew-licensing-carve-last-year/

  50. avatar Quasi says:

    It would’t surprise me if the anti gun politicians in this corrupt state set these companies up to put them out of business. If they did cut a deal, they’re gonna pay a price in lost sales.

  51. avatar kap says:

    gun control put the Gun companies out of business, how ever we the Deplorable’s as said by the Demonic-crat party cannot afford losing our individual rights over a non entity’s bottom line! personally they can move or wither on the vine.

  52. avatar FE02 says:

    Mr. Farago,

    Forgiveness? Are you kidding?

    Leadership at Springfield and Rock River refuse to acknowledge their hands in this fiasco, but beg us to help them fix it. They have not asked for any forgiveness nor given any indication they are sorry for their actions.

    They are due no leniency, no mercy, and no forgiveness. Never forgive. Never forget.

  53. avatar Herb says:

    It’s going to be so bad that the bad guys are going to be robbing the big box stores . You’ll be able to buy from the street dealer .

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  55. avatar Harkon Lukas says:

    Boycott Springfield Armory? Only if you have boycotted Smith & Wesson who to this very day CONTINUES to honor their agreement with the Clinton regime by drilling the vast majority of their guns with that nasty little “Hillary Hole”!

    So boycott SA, but only if you apply the same standard to S&W. Smith might have new management in the present, but every new Hillary Hole they drill into a new gun is evidence that they still support the policies of the past or at least find them politically useful. No excuse for that. They may have changed, but not completely.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      Here here.

  56. avatar Chris says:

    “…a never-ending battle against those who would sacrifice that freedom on the altar of economic and political gain.”

    You mean people like your old buddy Firearms Concierge? He’s the reason why I don’t frequent your site anymore. It took a story as big as this to reel me in, but I won’t be back until the next one comes along, and that’s because you’re affiliated with him. That’s ironic.

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