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).
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.
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