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Marlin (courtesy

Some say that Cerberus spendthrift George K. Kollitides II formed The Freedom Group—Remington, Bushmaster Firearms, DPMS/Panther Arms, Marlin, H&R, The Parker Gun, Mountain Khakis, Advanced Armament Corp., Dakota Arms, Para USA and Barnes Bullets—simply to get on the NRA’s Board of Directors. I couldn’t possibly comment. Except to point out that A) Mr. Kollitides attempted to join the National Rifle Association’s Board in 2009, after The Freedom Group got going and B)  despite hefty contributions to the gun rights group and Kollitides’ position on the NRA Nominating Committee (called “shadowy” by msnbc), the Lafayette College grad failed to win a place on the Board in the 2013 elections. That is all.

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  1. have i been missing something do the freedom group companies make bad products could someone explain why the is anything other than a General electic type thing just one company owning others should i not buy Remington or bushmaster guns?

    • Well, I dunno about the other companies they bought, but the Freedom Group came *thisclose* to destroying Marlin (and might yet succeed).

      In the name of manufacturing efficiency and greater profits, they closed Marlin’s historic plant, laid off most of Marlin’s experienced (i.e., expensive) workforce, found cheaper suppliers to replace expensive made-in-house parts, and merged production with the Remington facility in New York.

      It may have worked with something that’s intended to be modular, like AR-type rifles, but for lever-actions, it was a disaster. The outsourced prefab parts weren’t very good and other parts of the gun needed custom fitting anyway, and the people who knew Marlin’s guns inside and out (and had been making so many parts in-house for a really good reason) had been replaced by people who didn’t know what made leverguns tick. There are horror stories everywhere of Marlin lever-actions that just wouldn’t function or actually fell apart new out of the box. They had to stop production entirely for more than a year to rebuild the Marlin manufacturing process from scratch.

      And then there’s the generally uneasy feeling of having one corporation with dubious ethics controlling so many gun manufacturers…

      • What you describe there is right out of the MBA standard playbook for the last 40+ years. The only thing they haven’t done to Marlin yet is find a way to ship the production off-shore.

        This is why I loathe MBA’s with a passion. They look at manufacturing industries and think “Oh, that looks easy,” and they have all sorts of “bright” ideas on how to do everything so much more cheaply and easily, when in fact, the fastest way to get rid of any MBA would be to leave him alone with a 5HP engine lathe and a box of simple parts needing to be turned. By the end of the day, we’d be calling the heavy-duty janitorial service in to clean up the blood and flesh splattered on the walls and ceiling.

        This isn’t new in the gun industry, BTW. We need only look back at what “whiz kid” management did to Winchester in the 60’s. Look at the quality of Winchester guns before 1964 and post-’64. Day and night. After ’64, WInchester’s death was assured. It never entered management’s mind that what they needed to do was raise prices.

    • He was a big “pussy” when the shtf over Sandyhook. We don’t need a guttless punk like him on the board. Just because he has a bunch of money doesn’t make him magically qualified to carry Marion Hammer’s purse. Lastly, Cerberus owned Chrysler when the Barry Bailout occurred. They had acquired it from Daimler in 2007. They came out without losing a dime.

  2. Mr. Kollitides’ failure to be elected to the NRA Board shows that the NRA Board is unlike the (mostly wealthy contributor) directors of leftist non-profits, in that the members of the NRA (5-yr or longer membership) actually have a real voice in the Board of Directors. This was originally established by the “members revolution” in 1971, when Neal Knox led a board takeover by 2nd Amendment “zealots” who were tired of the NRA being non-political [as described in the state media]. We now-OFWG members saw that hunting and target shooting were going to disappear (as has happened in Britain) unless we fought to protect our civil right to keep and bear arms.

    Now that we are old, tired, outmoded OFWGs, it is time for all you young lions out there who criticize the NRA for “compromising” – join, get all of your friends to join, organize, and take over the Board! We did it in 1971, and now it’s your turn!

    • Bingo…Board members are voted on BY THE MEMBERS (5 years consecutive or life members). Call me naive but you can’t just buy your way on. You want a say…join. I’ll even give you a discount link that I got on a card when I purchased a holster.
      You probably don’t agree with everything NRA does but who does what they do…no one (at least with any effectiveness)

  3. Mr K-evil might the best guy in the whole world to hang with. BUT when it comes to being on the BOD for the NRA, all I ask is WHY? Cause his company bought up gun companies? Cause he makes money off of selling guns? That qualifies him to participate in directing a civil rights organization?

    I have complaints about the NRA but it is the big dog in town. It ostensibly is THE focal point for the defense of the 2A in America. That means I want folks who live and breath 2A liberty. That only care about 2A freedom, rolling back stupidity, and defeating attempts at infringing on it. Not making sure that their business has a lobbying arm. So if you haven’t done anything in that regard, go someplace else for entertainment.

    There are a couple of dozen folks on the BOD that IMHO are useless and questionable. Note that there isn’t even a single organized site to go see who currently is on the BOD. You have to patch it together or wait for the post election AR to come in the mail.

  4. I guess he never got the memo that the NRA represents gun owners, not gun companies? Honest mistake, seems to happen all the time.

  5. It doesn’t seem like any gun person inside or outside of the NRA has much bad to say about Kollitides, except that he’s part of Cerberus Capital, which owns The Freedom Group.

    Given the record of Cerberus and TFG turning every firearms company they touch into a bubbling pile of molten slag (think Remington and Marlin), Kollitides-focused animus was expected.

    Add to that Cerberus’ announcement right after Newtown that it was getting out of the firearms business to appease California pension boards. Kollitides probably had nothing to do with that decision, but he’s going to take heat for it.

    • “Given the record of Cerberus and TFG turning every firearms company they touch into a bubbling pile of molten slag…”
      I resent that, Ralph.

  6. Well, here’s my take on this:

    1. From the NRA’s perspective, it would have been a PR liability to have someone from the “largest” US gun company, and the company that now owns the Bushmaster name, be elected to the BOD. Let’s say that George K. Kollitides II was everything we could want in a board member? Are there other people who can do the job without bringing the baggage? Yes. Next contestant, please.

    2. Speaking as a guy who is more than merely familiar with the internal workings of our now corrupt capital markets and the crony capitalists who inhabit this world, the last thing any responsible organization wants on their BOD is someone with an Ivy League MBA. George K. Kollitides II has a MBA from Columbia, so we can find much better business and financial acumen out there in the world (probably as close by as the manager of your nearest 7-11 or burger franchise) who aren’t afflicted with the brain damage that comes with a MBA degree.

    3. Cerberus. A hedge/PE/whatever fund. Not among the most loved people in the US right now, with good reason. Romney had the baggage of Bain. Lots of people working for Cerberus will find that the name is baggage in their future careers. Cerberus has the additional baggage inside the firearms community of being the cut-n-run yellowbellies who wanted to put TFG up for sale as soon as they felt a little heat from the public pension grifters in California. I don’t care whether he was involved with that decision or not, everyone at that fund is forever a spineless twit in my estimation for not telling CalPERS that they could take their money elsewhere and calling CalPERS’ bluff. Cerberus could have made a CalPERS pull-out very painful for CalPERS, but instead, Cerberus folded like a cheap tent in a breeze.


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