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Kevin Brittingham, founder of Advanced Armament Corp (one of the three big silencer manufacturers in the US), was abruptly fired from his position at the helm of the company just a few short months after AAC was acquired by The Freedom Group. At the time, both Freedom Group and Kevin held their cards close to their respective vests. But now Kevin has filed suit against Freedom Group claiming that they owe him millions of dollars, there were no grounds for the termination and that it was merely a ploy by the conglomerate to avoid paying him. Now all the chips are being laid on the table . . .

Fox Business has been following the story, and from what I can gather the story begins long before Freedom Group ever came into the picture.

Advanced Armament had been Kevin’s baby since it was founded, and he ran the company almost like it was his personal playground. He worked on projects that he thought were fun and worthwhile and re-invested the capital back into the company instead of paying himself out. The only standing order that I could determine was in place at AAC was to immediately purchase any and all Maxim silencer-related memorabilia for the boss, as he had a bit of a man crush on Hiram P. Maxim (the original inventor of the firearms silencer).

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As the company got off the ground, it’s easy to believe that Kevin used some of his personal firearms to test out their latest creations. It only makes logical sense, since AAC didn’t spring forth from the void fully stocked with a wide-ranging arsenal of firearms ready to accept their latest creations.

I know for a fact that AAC later purchased their own firearms for testing, as I distinctly remember a conversation with John Hollister about bringing machine guns through airport security. He stated that company-owned machine guns were the ones that went on the road complete with paperwork to show their provenance. AAC maintains a vault full of firearms at an undisclosed location (I have seen it, it’s glorious), and I have no reason to believe that those are not all AAC property.

After the purchase of the company by Freedom Group, things quickly started turning sour. Among the changes was a new policy that personal firearms were not allowed on the property. Sounds kind of odd doesn’t it? No personal guns allowed at a gun company? Anyway, their place, their rules I guess.

From the Fox Business article:

His relationship with Freedom Group deteriorated almost immediately after Remington, backed by Freedom Group, bought Advanced Armament, according to court papers.

Soon after the deal closed, Remington shut down Advanced Armament for a month after it discovered that some of Advanced Armament’s suppliers did not have federal firearms licenses, in violation of Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives requirements, according to court papers submitted by Advanced Armament and Remington.

George Semonick, an ATF spokesman, could not confirm or deny the violations.

Around the time of Brittingham’s termination, the company said it discovered 43 firearms belonging to him on its premises, including “machine guns, a grenade launcher, silencers and a short barreled shotgun,” Advanced Armament and Remington said in court papers seeking to dismiss Brittingham’s lawsuit.

Is it possible that Kevin still had a couple of personal guns at the shop after the acquisition? Sure. But Kevin is calling bullshit, claiming that Freedom Group has no proof of that and owes him a metric buttload of cash for his troubles.

I’ve known that Kevin has been suing Freedom Group for some time, but he never revealed any of the details of the case. Well, beyond the fact that Freedom Group appears to have been using my interview with Kevin Brittingham as evidence against him somehow. That article provided the first peek behind the curtain at what’s going on, and now that the cat is out of the bag, stay tuned for further developments.

Will Freedom Group prevail? Will Kevin get some righteous revenge upon the corporate monster? The Case is Random Ventures Inc. et. al v. Advanced Armament Corp LLC et. al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-06792, and we’ll be watching.

Want to start a different discussion or ask a question on another topic? Click here to go to TTAG’s Free Fire Zone.

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48 Responses to Kevin Brittingham Sues Freedom Group Over Firing

    • 3 years later and yours is still the dumbest comment on the page.

      How was he supposed to know BEFORE the sale that the buyer was going to air as he did?

      Because Feinberg is a JOO????

  1. From having looked at the financials that FG releases, and knowing something of the people running the money (Cerberus), here’s a word of unsolicited advice to gun people thinking of selling to Freedom:

    Don’t.

    The people with whom you’d be doing business aren’t gun people. They’re financial parasites.

    Hedge fund people are parasites, plain and simple. I’ve had a couple of hedge fund people pitch their products and management services at me. I’ve always declined, because their personalities ooze eventually ooze out of them into public view.

    • TFG has a fantastic record of fvcking up almost everything it touches. It inherited that capability from its parent, Cerberus Capital.

      Cerberus Capital was named after a three-headed hellhound that guarded the entrance to Hades to prevent those inside from ever escaping. How deliciously appropriate.

      • The real kicker was when they put that corporate clown Nardelli in charge of the outfit. They were mere hedge fund grifters before.

        But when Nardelli was put in charge… anyone who knew anything about corporate America or finance saw the writing on the wall in 10′ high letters.

        • Before Chrysler and Home Depot, Nardelli was a big wig at GE. Passed over for the top slot, he landed at HD and they paid him 200+ million to leave.

          That’s the kind of scum TFG brought on board.

      • Not just keep the dead in, but to keep the living out. The list of heroes and gods who keep trying to enter hell, for various reasons, is long: Orpheus, Heracles, Theseus and Pirothius, Aeneas, Heracles, and more.

        • Ralph, the myths would be much poorer if the dog was not so easily distracted. Even the Christian myth has something similar with the Christ encountering a fortified gate that he must destroy to harrow hell. Out of all the tales of visiting hell, I like Pirothius and Theseus: they just show the most gumption and hubris.

  2. THIS is precisely the reason why YOU NEVER make deals with feckless, useless bag of filth, asshole paper-shufflers from NYC!

    Dear People of the Gun, please wake the hell up. Your plan for expansion should not commence if you think you need to make deal with the devil, with assholes who couldn’t run a Manhattan fruitstand. Paper shufflers’ revenues have NOTHING to do with actual sales, revenue, income, loss, etc. It’s pure speculative momentum dictated by institutional banks.

    And frankly, considering the nature of 2A industry, if you need Wall St. money to expand, you’re not being honest about the actual size and needs of your business, anyway.

    Don’t do it.

  3. I hope he gets his due. Let this be a lesson: if you want to build a business until someone wants to buy you, you better cash out in the sale and go build something new. Steve Jobs was the exception, and he had to be fired and rehired before he regained control if Apple.

  4. Bleep freedom group. They are not friend of gun owners, I am no friend of theirs. I don’t own anything from them but from what I’ve heard they don’t make much you would be proud to own.

  5. It is only a matter of time until Bloomberg, Feinstein, Buffet, Gates, et al. buy Freedom Group and shut it down.

    • You know, if Bloomy really wanted too…he could buy up Freedom group and shut many “big” names in the industry down. For the children (TM) of course. But he wont put that kind of money where his mouth is…yet.

        • He won’t, because then he’d have to fire too many people, including a bunch in New York State. Besides, he’d just be creating more opportunities for other companies that would be thrilled to pick up the market share of Remmy, Bushmaster and others.

          All of TFG’s firearms assets are for sale. TFG announced that back in December.

  6. He should have known. If it comes out of NYC or any part of that area it is SCAM ON! He wiil be tied up in court for years. In the meantime these scumbags make boucoup bucks, amd laugh all the way to their off shore account. He will get his company back, but only after it has been run into the ground, and is dieing a slow sweaty death.

  7. Don’t forget that George Kollitides from Cerberus wanted to be on the NRA Board of Directors. He ran and lost. BUT that was one close call. I keep repeating this everywhere, THE GUN INDUSTRY IS NOT MY 2A FRIEND. I bristle at the number of such guys who currently ARE ON THE NRA BOARD.

    I refuse to see the various company suits or the NSSF (the industry trade association) as spokesmen for, defenders, or guardians of MY civil, natural and Constitutional rights to self defense and the right to keep and bear arms. Period, full stop.

  8. I have a hard time working up any sympathy for someone who would sell his company to a pack of empty suit, crony capitalist money grubbers and then cry foul when they screw up his business and fire him. What did he think would happen? Was he raised in a monastery or something?

    Once you sell out you lose control. Take your money and leave, period. Regarding the Freedom Group policy on no personal firearms on the premises, this seems perfectly reasonable to me and must surely be standard practice in the industry. You don’t really think industrial corporations like Savage, Colt, FN, KelTec etc. will allow their employees to pack heat in the factory do you? The legal liability attached to that is completely unacceptable.

    Brittingham is wasting his time and a butt load of money on this lawsuit, which I’m sure his lawyers appreciate. Cerberus can afford to litigate this until the Sun stops shining without even cutting back on the office Christmas party budget.

    • Actually, I find that most small business owners are quite ignorant about Wall Street and financial parasites in general. Most small business owners concentrate on building and running their companies, which takes up all the time they have and lots of time they wish they could spend doing other things, like spending time with their family, grandkids, etc. Starting and running a small business is not for the faint of heart. It’s hard, hard work.

      I don’t fault small business owners for being ignorant of the predatory practices of NY finance, because it takes lots of time to learn the tricks and outlandish crap the NY financial parasites use – time the small business owner doesn’t have. Most small business people do lots of their deals on a handshake. In a previous business, I made six-figure deals on a handshake. Had only small deals (like $2K) go bad, never a big one.

      The best advice I can give to small business owners is to never trust bankers or lawyers from the financial world. The people on Wall Street have now amply proven that they would kill their mother and sell their daughters into slavery if they thought they could make a couple bucks doing it. They have no scruples, no ethics and no morals, and make this fact quite abundantly clear to everyone who deals with them. The best way to negotiate with Wall Street bankers is to assume that they’re going to screw you, and plan for it. That means either not dealing with them, or having a plan in place for when you discover that they’re screwing you.

    • “You don’t really think industrial corporations like Savage, Colt, FN, KelTec etc. will allow their employees to pack heat in the factory do you? The legal liability attached to that is completely unacceptable.”

      Having worked in manufacturing, the bigger issue is employee theft. If you are in the business of manufacturing firearms and firearm accessories, and you allow personally owned firearms and firearm accessories on the factory floor, then you’re opening the door to all kinds of “leakage.”

      Cerberus and TFG can still FOAD, but I completely understand the genesis of this particular policy.

      • If they have any federal government contracts that could do it as well. I worked at a computer company with government contracts, and one of the conditions was that their employees not be armed.

      • If you don’t trust your employees not to steal product, prohibiting them from bringing in their own guns won’t stop that.

        In manufacturing plants employees have access to hundreds or thousands of unserial numbered firearms. If they walk out with them there is no tracking them. Employees can also do stuff that will result in the owner being held accountable or going to prison.

        No, gun companies that prohibit employees from bringing firearms to work entirely are scared of the own product they are making/selling.

    • Responsible Pro-2A Companies establish objective criteria to allow their employees to bring personal firearms onto company property such as Holding a CCW or Passing an annual qual course. Personal firearms that are left overnight have to be tagged as personal property or logged into the books. This is standard practice at a lot of gun shops and small to medium size manufacturers. Some more security conscious companies require their employees to be armed.

      Irresponsible Gun Companies ask employees to leave firearms in vehicles or clear them before entering the building. Firearms companies are at greater risk for robbery or attacks on employees to gain access to the facility and the goods it holds. Gun Companies that totally prohibit carry by employees are irresponsible, and not true friends of the second amendment.

      The truth is many gun companies aren’t run by real gun people, they’re run by people that could be selling any other product that they think is profitable. Corporate firearms policies are a good indicator of the type of people you’re dealing with.

  9. One thing, but is the word “silencer” appropriate, or is it really “suppressor?” My understanding (I am new to guns) is that there really is no such thing as a “silencer,” that that is a Hollywood myth. That suppressors do not silence the gun shot, they just reduce the loudness of the sound down to a tolerable level so that you don’t damage your hearing.

    From what I understand, there are two components to a gun shot sound: a sonic boom generated by the projectile leaving the barrel and the sound from the gunpowder combusting. The suppressor only addresses the sonic boom, but does nothing about the gunpowder.

    If so, I think that we gun rights people should put the word “silencer” into the same category as “assault weapon” and “high-capacity magazine.” We should always use the appropriate term, “suppressor” and never say “silencer.”

    • Maxim (the original inventor) called them silencers. Either term is common usage (which is what determines the definition).

      If you have additional doubts, then maybe you can ask on the silencertalk.com forum.

      • Well like I said I am new to guns. “Silencer” seems like a bad term to use though considering how Hollywood gives the impression that they silence the gun completely.

        • They pretty much can when using subsonic ammunition.
          When I’m shooting rabbits with subsonic .22LR out of a bolt action, the loudest noise apart from the “thwack” as Mr Bunny gets it in the head is the hammer striking the firing pin.
          Subsonic centre fire is almost as quiet.

      • Mike the Limey, if you believe “Snopes” is anything more than a Progressive Propaganda BS pusher.. You sir are as gullible as they come! And by the way, the same goes for factcheck.org. Both of these so called “online fact checkers” have proven themselves repeatedly to be two of the biggest source of misinformation and out right lies on the internet!

        • Y’know, people keep saying that about Snopes, but when I ask for evidence to back it up, I never seem to get any. But I’m persistent, so I’ll try again. Got any citations to back up that claim?

        • Just because I quoted Snopes rather than another source doesn’t alter the FACTS that are also available to check elsewhere – something I guess you didn’t bother doing.
          Once again: Soros has NOTHING to do with Freedom Group OR Cerberus.

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