NSSF Slams New York Times Gunmaker Hit Job

(courtesy nevadafirearmslaw.com)National Shooting Sports Foundation Veep Larry Keane writes:

Given they have a little patience and no deadline, it is not generally difficult for journalists to go in search of and then to find selective statements that tend to support their (or their editors’) predispositions. And there may be no better exercise in this regard than to dig through old deposition transcripts and to pick out quotes that can be characterized, both by choice of phrase and by opponents, in an unfavorable light . . .

And such was the case for the Monday New York Times story with the misleading headline “Gun Makers Saw No Role in Curbing Improper Sales” for which two Times reporters dug through thousands of pages of depositions taken in connection with a decade old series of liability lawsuits brought by several cities. It is important to note that all of these lawsuits were either dismissed or voluntarily abandoned by the municipalities that brought them.

In this article, however, the writers’ assumptions are never in doubt and mirror those of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence that, along with other anti-gun organizations, usually get the opportunity to set the agenda for these stories in the mainstream media.

The goal of these groups is to discredit firearms manufacturers and retailers and ultimately gain passage of additional legislation to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. They do not want to focus on truly effective law enforcement tactics to reduce the criminal misuse of firearms, but instead focus on the sales process.

Depositions are used by plaintiffs’ lawyers to wear down potential witnesses into making seemingly revelatory or contradictory statements and they will use whatever tactics best serves their cause. Depositions do not provide impartial fact-finding.

But even after the grueling questioning process, the 10-year-old excerpted statements from company executives of the time were unsurprising. Rather, it was the characterization and juxtaposition of the statements against judgments from anti-gun activists that provides fulfillment of the preconceived narrative. But don’t take our word for it. Read the article and decide for yourself. If this is not a case of confirmation bias, we don’t know what is.

We could say more, but what we will address here today is the outright falsehood attributed to an affidavit quoted in the article that “Leaders in the industry have consistently resisted talking constructive voluntary action to prevent firearms from ending up in the illegal gun market …”

Quite the contrary, the firearms industry through NSSF’s “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program has for more than a decade partnered with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) to assist law enforcement in educating firearms retailers to be better able to identify and deter illegal straw purchases and to raise public awareness that straw purchasing is a serious crime.

Among additional measures, NSSF also matches ATF reward offers for thefts of firearms from federally licensed retailers, runs retailer education legal compliance seminars, and provides a number of videos and publications about the importance of inventory controls and store security. Lastly, NSSF has launched a national campaign to fix the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to ensure all appropriate records on persons that should be prohibited from purchases are, in fact, entered into the NICS system.

As an industry we’ll stand on the record of what was said in its entirety 10 years ago and on what we’re doing today.

Larry Keane is senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @lkeane.


  1. avatar Aharon says:

    Next time there is a major gun show or other event run by and for the pro gun community don’t let in reporters from the NYT.

    1. avatar CA.Ben says:

      Tomorrow’s headline:

      Reporters Stonewalled by Radical Gun Industry

      They don’t have to get in to make a headline.

  2. avatar DaveL says:

    I noticed in that article a bizarre lack of commentary on how existing laws and regulations are supposed to take care of such things and who has the actual legal authority to enforce them. For example, they spend some time harping on initiatives to restrict sales of multiple weapons, but they don’t mention the ATF’s existing mandatory reporting requirements for multiple sales, let alone what exactly the ATF actually does about those reports.

  3. avatar MadLarkin says:

    The NYT published biased garbage to further its own goals and those if its backers under the guise of journalism?

    And in other news today, the sky is still blue and gravity continues to work.

  4. avatar Nick says:

    Our side keeps getting upset at the bis exhibited by the NYT and almost all the rest of the news media in this country…why? We don’t have a free press in this country dedicated to getting at the truth anymore. What we have is the equivalent of Pravda and Isvestia. The US media is wholly invested in promulgating a “progressive” activist agenda and are nothing more than a collection of intolerant bigots who aren’t interested in being fair to us. They ARE interested in figuratively (and given the opportunity literally) killing us. Stop expecting fairness from them.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      Why let them off the hook, especially when they are the ones who set the standards? They’re the ones claiming that they’re impartial observers, reporting facts neutrally without bias. If that’s demonstrably false, and they are shown to have an agenda in certain areas, they need to be called out on it every single time.

  5. avatar Gyufygy says:

    To think I once thought reading the NYT was sophisticated and adult. Funny how perceptions change.

    1. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

      I think that in the Boston-NY-DC, Northeast corridor, it still is.
      The same corridor that birthed this nation and the Constitution.
      Go figure?

  6. avatar Billy Wardlaw says:

    “The goal of these groups is to discredit firearms manufacturers and retailers and ultimately gain passage of additional legislation to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. They do not want to focus on truly effective law enforcement tactics to reduce the criminal misuse of firearms, but instead focus on the sales process.”

    Much the same way you would turn off a city’s water supply in order to reduce drowning deaths.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    So the NYT is FOS? Alert the media!

  8. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    They aren’t going to go down without a fight & their rags are their best tools. I also question the people that feel rahm & the mob are going to go down without a wimper. My guess is the word “gun” doesn’t mean what you think it means & “carry”….does anybody truly know what “carry” means? If they don’t play, I’ll eat my computer, Randy

  9. avatar Leo338 says:

    If you have the stomach for it watch this video from an MSNBC hack. This idiot makes no attempt to hide his hatred for gun owners. http://thegunwire.com/blog/video-msnbc-gun-manufacturer-i-dont-even-know-what-a-gun-trafficker-is/

  10. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Have you stopped beating your wife, Mr. Bloomberg?

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