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TTAG reader Bud Harton writes:

This bill [SB 1657] was introduced into the Illinois House last Spring and defeated. It contained the exact same language as the present bill. But if you read the House transcript on the day it was defeated, you will see the House sponsor, Rep. Kathleen Willis describing Amendment 6 which is exactly where the carve out was added.

She also describes the language of the carve out as “So… we took in… making sure we added additional exemptions, we put in the manufacturers of firearms are exempt, and that is, in fact, one of the reasons we had so many making sure that we listen to their language and put their language in there directly.”

That means the manufacturers were already aware of the provision and as a matter of fact, they wrote the actual language that provided them an exemption. So how is it possible that Springfield Armory didn’t know about it?

Read it for yourself:

[Ed:  Also this year, during the floor debate in the Illinois Senate preceding the vote, Senator Don Harmon said (at 2:04:38 of this video):  “I have done the best I could to amend the bill to eliminate opposition. We have secured the neutrality of the gun manufacturers and their suppliers. There are clear exemptions in the bill for them.”]

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    • IronOxide; Their future is sealed at this point, I think we should accept their help in defeating this bill first. Then let them hang from the gallows by never letting anyone forget what they did here.

      • I wouldn’t thrust them at this point. They’re probably in a dark room fellating some anti-gun dem right now, trying to set up the next backstabbing next year.

    • Rust,
      Unless there is swift and decisive public follow through this will be nothing more than testing the fence.

      The problem is there are still Springfield fans and apologists who will attempt to neutralize this issue with a large paintbrush and bland colored paint.

      The real damage is the backwards creep in our 2A rights. Springfield lovers will take this personally and fight it as if they are protecting their own reputation.

      Springfield sucks. But it always sucked.

      • No apology from me. I just know that there is a whole lot more involved than just springfield and RRA in the sausage making business.

      • Did you ever stop to think that there are people who bought Springfield guns in good faith long before any of this news broke, love their guns as much as you love yours, and are going to get “defensive” because some self-righteous jerk started insulting them anonymously on the web as if this was their fault?

        Way to go. Treat the customers and plant workers as if they’re as crooked as the owners and lobbyist. That’ll unite us. If you want a boycott of Springfield and Rock River to work, it’s got to appeal to SA and RRA customers first. They’re the ones most likely to be looking at the next purchase.

        I’ve got four SA guns. Love them. WIL NOT buy more unless this turns out to be a political shakedown, or Reese family sells out to new owners, or they perform some superhuman effort to fix this (can’t even imagine what that would take).

        But when I hear somebody attacking me for owning or liking the SA guns, it reminds me of the gun grabbers and just makes me want to buy more now just to spite the jerks! So stop venting on SA owners, it’s counterproductive.

  1. Thanks Bud-and Boch. As I have stated giving aid and comfort to the enemy(Cullerton/Madigan et al) is even worse than any “carveout”…

  2. This kind of behavior and politics behavior is why the small business owner is screwed in Americas system of government. The very thing that made our country great; can’t afford to pay off crooks to stay in business. It’s the lobby SOB’s we need to hang. How these fucks sleep at night is a mystery.

  3. When a company makes a “mistake,” it’s always best to assume they knew and did it out of a cost saving measure. Companies are amoral entities. They care about money first. It’s up to the consumer to keep them honest. This is actually a bit sad for me, because I really wanted an M1A.

    • I would agree with the fact that this is strictly about protecting their bottom line. The problem is the sensitivity of what’s at stake. This is their bread and butter, but if our rights keep getting whittled away, they will no longer exist as companies. Sometimes you just need to not be so f*cking greedy and do the right thing to protect your consumers rights and the right of your company to do what they do.

      They will feel this. They’ll still do OK. But they will take a hit for now.

      • Absolutely. Look at what Magpul did when the Pinkos ruling Colorado got all uppity. Look at what Beretta did during the O’Malley occupation of Maryland’s Executive mansion. Why do these manufacturers cave in to the pressures of their leftist slave masters instead of relocating to real America?

    • What about buying a used m1a? Springfield won’t be getting any more profit from that purchase other than the mags you buy. Used or aftermarket mags are also an option if you don’t mind that route.

      • Try Brownell’s for Checkmate mags. I understand they subcontract the mags for SA who then stamps their insignia on them. Anyway they work fine in my M1A and Socom 16 after a little use. And a lot cheaper than direct from SA.

  4. “He also describes the language of the carve out as “So… we took in… making sure we added additional exemptions, we put in the manufacturers of firearms are exempt, and that is, in fact, one of the reasons we had so many making sure that we listen to their language and put their language in there directly.” ”

    So are there other manufacturers of firearms in IL that were privy to this, or that would have benefited? Was the carve out only for SA and RRA, only members of the IFMA, or ALL IL manufacturers?

    For some reason that statement reads to me like he was relating all IL manufacturers not just those represented by the IFMA, and its two only apparent members.

    Have other IL mfgrs issue distancing statements about this?

    • It’s important to understand Senate-speak.

      When one of them refers to “the manufacturers,” he’s referring to their lobbying group. He was referring to the IFMA and the fact that they opposed the bill before it was amended to exclude them. He’s effectively saying, “We won’t lose any IFMA PAC contributions over this deal.”

      There may be other firearms manufacturers in Illinois, but none of them are big enough to convince a State Senator to answer the phone.

      • Armalite seems pretty big to me.
        DS and Hi Tech are pretty good also.
        But Springfield and Rock River tried to pull a fast one.

        Between that and making their junk in Croatia……

    • There are several IL firearms manufactures but the IFMA only represents SA and RRA. Why would they distance themselves from something they had no knowledge of or control over. Think about this, what better way to try and hide what you were up too than by including third parties that have nothing to do with IFMA into the carve out?

      Says a lot about SA and RRA trying to drag 3rd party manufactures into their mess to provide a bit of cover for themselves if they got caught. Guess what, nobody bought it since IFMA is SA and RRA, IFMA is the one that brokered the carve out for SA & RRA, the other manufacturers got drug along since it would have been too obvious if just SA and RRA were named in the carve out.

      • Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association:

        Dennis Reese – Director Tom Reese – Director Jay Keller – Executive Director Chuck Larson – Director List of Officers, Directors, Trustees, and Key Employees: Dennis Reese, director; Tom Reese, director; and Chuck Larson, director. Chuck Larson, as in the Rock River Arms President/Owner

  5. Bob Owens, claiming SA/RRA knew nussing….where are you now?

    F these two companies, and ANY OTHER COMPANIES willing to do this.

    How about we investigate all the big manufacturers and call them out for this shit anywhere its found?

    • Bob, strych9 and 2 others….maybe the same….but they are probably busy selling shares at the moment or finding another job.

      • This looks pretty bad. It’s the errors in the earlier reporting around the lobbyist’s other company that had me concerned that the case was probably overstated.

  6. Gentlemen, you’ve done an excellent job covering this mess, thank you.

    RRA & SA should be ashamed for what they did and the lies that have followed.

  7. RRA & SA have made their bed.

    Saving their hides is possible only by coming clean. On everything.

    Public revelations of dirty dealings with Harmon et al, may bear fruit, Especially if it names specific big-box co-conspirators

    That gives a boycott something to focus on that *may* impact support for the bill.

    That being said, Every gun owner in Illinois is in immediate peril if the bill passes.

    Job #1 is KILLING THE BILL

    We can debate and deal with SA & RRA afterwards.

    Every gun owner needs to team up, however briefly, to save the rights of Illinois gun owners.

    IF THIS PASSES, it WILL be used as a template for 2A assaults in other states.

    So what can we do to help Illinois KILL THE BILL? Ask this on every firearms board you may frequent.

    The suggestion line is wide open…

  8. This just keeps getting worse and worse.
    Springfield and rock river really screwed themselves on this deal.
    What a shame. Really wanted an m1a.

  9. Dennis Reese of Springfield Armory and Rock River knew what they were doing they cut a deal, there is 2 other things involved here that is not mention and hope it will come out , and now he is lying saying he did not know anything,

  10. Hey, Robert: Isn’t it true that it was a lobbying group that did all the work with the legislators? Is there any daylight between that lobbying group and the manufacturers themselves or do you view them as one-in-the-same?

    • One and the same. If you hire a guy to do something, do you just tell him “do your own thing”? Or do you exercise some amount of oversight? Its clear that SA and RRA either knew nothing, which I find highly improbable, or that they knew what the guy they were paying to perform was up to. In either case, SA and RRA were responsible.

  11. Lobbyists are seen as the mouthpieces of their clients. The fact that these senators said “the manufacturers” doesn’t mean it came directly from the manufacturers, and not the the lobby group. This proves absolutely nothing. Saying this is “proof” is misleading and displays an ignorance of the legislative process. I’m not saying SA and RRA didn’t know, but this is not “proof”.

    • Good Lord man, catch up. according to the IRS 990 form 3 of the 4 members of the IFMA board are the top dogs at RRA and SAI

  12. Another day another beating of the Springfield dead horse

    Ok. Everybody who shops at Amazon take one step forward.

    Congratulations! You have contributed to the anti-Second Amendment cause.

    Speck meet plank.

    • Yep, it’s tough out there.

      I know, lets keep supporting EVERYONE that hates the 2A!!!

      TDI-wherever – the hard part about freedom is keeping it. Supporting a gun company working against you is stupid. dont be stupid.

      • Turd is an apt self description. I congratulate you on your nom de post.

        There is an easier and, indeed far cheaper, way for Springfield to serve the anti-gun cause. They can just close up shop. /sarc

        So how much do contribute every year to anti-gun zealot Jeff Bezos?,

        And Robert, did you enjoy your last visit to anri-gun Whole Foods.

    • …Or use Facebook, or shop/ eat at any number of national chains, or go to the movies, or watch anything Hollywood related (since the celebrities are nearly all anti-gun), or go to Starbucks, etc. Their rebuttal is “but Springfield and RRA make guns!”

      • But none of them lie to us about it… it is all out in the open. When SA and RRA p*ss in our faces and tell us it’s raining, what do you propose we do?

        • That makes it ok to support anti-gunners with your dollars, right?

          Yesterday we had the “just because I sold building supplies to the SS didn’t mean I supported the final solution” defense. Todsy we have the “but my sins are little but theirs were horrible” defense.

          I see human nature hasn’t changed in 2000 years.

    • Get back to me when Amazon’s primary business is selling firearms. Then I’ll take action against them.

  13. I honestly don’t fault any company for lobbying to get a bill amended such that it won’t affect them. Truth is, the manufacturers were probably not the intended victim, anyway. It’s the retailers the sadistic Democrats want to crucify.

    But for a manufacturer to do that and later claim ignorance proves that it was a backroom betrayal of the worst kind. Selfish, short-sighted and an insult to their customers – both retailers and consumers.

    I still believe that Springfield and RRA are assets to Illinois and I want them to stay here. Their employees would be the ultimate victims of any boycotting efforts. But I sure hope Mr. Reese and his ilk lose some sleep and a lot of money over this.

  14. It’s good to know there are still some investigative journalism. Thank you for getting this info out.

  15. ISRA exec director has issued a statement and retained a *good* lobbyist to fight the bill:

    Support them if you are so inclined.

    In the meantime, let’s get to work figuring out who the “big-box” beneficiaries of this bill might be.

    Can we make a list of big-box retailers in Illinois who sell firearms?

    Next step would be to contact the CEO of every store on that list, ask them if they support or oppose the bill, and if they lobbied for it.

    Be polite & professional.

    Once that gets sorted out, further action (i.e. boycotts) can be considered.

    Clocks ticking. Do whatever you can. Post results or email them to the editors.

    If Illinois gets burned by this bill, other states will be next.

    • The “big box” retailers who sell guns in Illinois would be a fairly short list. Selling guns here is already such a regulatory nightmare that Wal*Mart doesn’t sell firearms in Illinois, as far as I know.

      You’re basically down to Gander Mountain, Bass Pro, Cabelas and a few sporting goods stores like Sheels, Dick’s and M-C Sports. There may be a few others, but not many.

    • Keystone’s link mentions Ed Sullivan as a driving force in passing CC legislation in Illinois.

      I always thought it was passed because Circuit Judges Posner and Flaum took away Illinois’ previous ban on CC.

      I looked it up, and there was a substantial group of gun grabbers who wanted to appeal the Circuit ruling to SCOTUS, and keep enforcing the unconstitutional ban along the way.

  16. I support Springfield,I live in michigan and do my best to not get antigun politicians elected. I am only 2 miles outside of Detroit. I have gone door to door to try and explain 2nd amendment rights and the evils of antigun politicians. Had many doors slammed on me,my literature tore up,spit at but me and my friends and family still do it every election cycle. Just voting is not enough. I feel you have to put in hard work for your beliefs like the liberals do. How many of the springfield haters do that much work. I am getting older as are my allies but we won’t quit and I won’t quit on springfield because I do not want to see fellow Americans out of work. Let’s just see where all this goes from here. We complain about the libs and their mob mentality,let’s step up and fix this like true Americans.

  17. Seems this generation forgot (or never learned) the lesson of Smith & Wesson during the first and only Clinton regime. Looks like it’s summer school for SA and RRA 2017.

  18. No Matter how this turns out S&W and RRA took a hit! and the Anti-Gun lobby wins! Anti American Demonic-crats win!

  19. Again, Let’s hope the Rep. Governor vetoes any bill like this. The gun grabbing communists(Democrats) haven’t won anything yet.


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