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The gun community continues to react to news of a deal made by Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms to carve out an exemption from a state licensing scheme (SB-1657). Both Springfield and Rock River Arms have issued statements denying any knowledge of the deal negotiated on their behalf by the lobbyist for the Illinois Firearms Manufacturing Association (IFMA). An organization funded by Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms.

We can now reveal that Springfield and Rock River have, through IFMA, donated tens of thousands of dollars to Illinois anti-gun politicians over the last several years.


In 2012, IFMA wrote a check for $10,000 to Illinois Senate President John Cullerton‘s campaign fund. The NRA-PVF F-rated Cullerton has stood in the way of pro-gun rights legislation in Illinois for years. He refuses to allow pro-gun rights bills to receive a committee hearing, much less an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor.

The above is from page 8 of the IFMA 2012 IRS Form 990. A search of the Illinois State Board of Elections’ comprehensive list of IFMA political donations reveals no record of that check.  Violations of the Illinois Election code are punishable by criminal and civil penalties.

IFMA also donated $1,000 to the Illinois Senate Democratic Victory FundThat expenditure failed to appear on IFMA’s Federal Form 990 for the year.

IFMA’s $50,000 payment to J Alexander Hunt, Inc. — listed in the 2012 Form 990 — also caught our eye. IFMA’s  lobbyist Jay Keller does business under the name J Alexander Hunt, Inc. The company shares a post office box address with IFMA.

Searching for J Alexander Hunt’s political donations at reveals that J Alexander Hunt also donated $10,000 to Citizens for John Cullerton. Which means IFMA and J Alexander Hunt combined contributed $20,000 to the Cullerton campaign’s war chest.

The money from Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory channeled through IFMA, however, failed to convince Cullerton to moderate his antipathy to gun rights. Not long after receiving the cash, Cullerton appeared at a gun control event.


Despite the failure of the 2012 contributions to further Second Amendment rights in the Land of Lincoln, the company employed by Springfield and Rock River Arms, J Alexander Hunt, Inc., made a $5,000 gift to Friends of Kwame Raoul, an NRA-PVF D-minus-rated state senator.

IFMA also provided a $3550 in-kind sponsorship for a fundraising golf outing organized by NRA-PVF F-rated Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, another anti-gun pol.

IFMA sent another $10,000 check to Citizens for John Cullerton, matching their 2012 contribution. Once again, our search of the Illinois State Board of Elections‘ records failed to show the donation.

IFMA dropped $2500 into NRA-PVF F-rated Illinois Senator Antonio Munoz “Citizens for Antonio Munoz” mailbox. That contribution isn’t found in our Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE) search of IFMA campaign contributions. Neither is the $5,000 donation to Friends of Kwame Raoul. But it was reported on IFMA’s 2013 Form 990.

UPDATE:  And then there’s another $10,000 donated in 2014 to the Senate Democratic Victory Fund from the 2014 IFMA Form 990.  That’s not listed on our search of the Illinois State Board of Elections, either.


[Here are IFMA’s form 990s from 2011-2013, courtesy FoundationCenter.comIFMA’s IRS Form 990 2011IFMA’s IRS Form 990 2012IFMA’s IRS Form 990 2013. Update:  IFMA’s IRS Form 990 2014IFMA’s IRS Form 990 2015.  The Illinois State Board of Elections website is here.]

Clearly, Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms provided financial support to Illinois politicians who vigorously oppose Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.  The above are just two years’ worth of campaign contributions to those opposed to firearm rights for you and me.

While it could be argued that these payments gave the gunmakers’ IFMA lobbying group access to their “enemies,” there’s precious little to show for their contributions in terms of defending or extending Illinois residents’ gun rights. Whether or not Springfield and Rock River arms should have even made the attempt is a question both companies will soon face from both the industry and consumers.

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    • Looks like SA’s stock drop will make United Air Lines look like child’s play.

      Looking forward to Springfield Armory’s obituary. First round of shots are on me!

        • It was a figure of speech, dude. Plus United bounced back to within a few percent of its pre-faux pa stock price so the whole metaphore unravels anyway.

          But you are welcome to speculate to your heart’s content upon the double entendres behind the word “shot.”

      • I fully realize the insult many feel from the actions of IFMA, but we sure are fast to wish for the downfall of a great manufacturer producing high-quality firearms loved by millions of shooters and concealed carriers. They may well have shot themselves in the foot attempting to better the position of their companies, but is killing off a strong horse who stumbled a bit going to help anything other than your ego?

        • I agree Ryan. Just because these CEO’s have questionable integrity, doesn’t mean I don’t love what they produce. New management is on the horizon.

        • They build overpriced out of date 1911’s and are scamming people with flashy advertising to sell XD’s at twice their price. Remember the HS2000?

          The only reason they got a following is the density series 70’s guys have. They would rather have a Springfield made in Brazil by Taurus than anything with a passive firing pin safety. Now think about how dense that is? Why do 1911’s still have grip safeties? Notice no one complained about Kimber until they made a firing pin safety model. traditional 1911 thinkers are why Sig 1911’s don’t look like a traditional 1911. They would have eaten Sig alive. Now they make probably the best factory model.

          What I’m getting at is “who cares?” so many people will step up to replace Springfield and RRA, that we may actually get better products.

          BTW, they are just copies of Colt’s.

        • And how do we know that SA donated to these political campaigns in order to support anti-gun policies? Maybe they were donating to them because they supported something really cool. I know I am a staunch second amendment supporter but I have voted for officials that are not necessarily gun friendly. Is this where we are now? Single issue voting. If a politician is not pro-gun to the hilt, I have to vote for someone else even if that not so pro gun politician supports other really great policies while the pro gun politician is a buffoon except for his support for pro gun policies? The gun community needs to lighten up.

        • Well first of all you are mixing topics… voting is not donating and donating is not voting.

          Companies like RRA and SA are “single issue”, their product is guns so their donations reflect that single issue. They clearly donated to legislators who promoted a firearms related bill that gave them an advantage while punishing their competitors and IL gun owners.

          As a voter can you point to anything “really cool” that recipients of IFMA donations such as Cullerton have supported? Maybe you are a big fan of all his recent tax increases? As a ” staunch second amendment supporter” who is not a one issue voter please point to some things Cullerton has supported that you would limit yourself to 9 transfers and increased costs for?

          Fact is SB-1657 is still hanging over our heads and it is way too soon for SA/RRA shills to start trying to excuse and explain away the fact that IL gun owners were sold out by these two companies.

        • I see what you are saying and I think you make a good point, however, I think we need to get some more answers from SA and RRA before passing judgment. First, SA has made clear that they were not involved in the everyday operations of the IFMA after its creation. The placed that responsibility into the hands of another person. That person has subsequently been removed and the IFMA as I understand it has been dissolved. Do I think it is possible that the person left with the responsibility of running the IFMA wrote checks and supported policies not necessarily in line with the expectations and core values of SA? Absolutely. Happens all the time. The CEO of SA has expressed his regret with the behaviors of the IFMA and has taken measures to correct these problems. I take him at his word. I am not prepared to abandon a great company like SA based on the information currently available.

        • Naturally I am willing to listen to whatever they care to share about the subject. It has been a few months now since the SB-1657 issue made the news, what reason would RRA and SA have for delaying the additional information that would clear all of this up?

          Until there is further comment from RRA/SA I can only base my opinion on info they have already shared.

          RRA is in denial, other than sign a token letter in opposition to SB-1657 after it passed. They have done nothing but try to shift blame. I have no longer have time for RRA and their products until there is new management in place.

          SA has tried to have it both ways.
          On the positive side, I see SB-1657 opposition material at my “local gun counter” which is a step in the right direction. Disbanding the IFMA was also a good move. Any effort to repair the damage they did is a good thing.

          I find their attempts to deny they knew what actions IFMA was up to unbelievable. It is hard to imagine legislation that impacted the two companies was unknown to management. Even if they had a rogue IFMA lobby going against their wishes (unlikely since they wrote the checks with RRA), how as gun owners in IL were they unaware of SB-1657? I am a IL resident who is in no way associated with the manufacture of firearms and I knew about SB-1657 from ISRA and NRA alerts (snail mail and e-mail). How could Dennis Reese as a NRA/ISRA member have been unaware of SB-1657? Now add the chances that everyone in management of SA were unaware of SB-1657 and not didn’t bring it to the attention of Dennis Reese? Just no way that they were unaware. It was sad to see Rob Latham get caught up in this toilet swirl as well. I am sorry to say I lost some respect for him. There are other sponsors out there but you can only sell your credibility once.

          Right now if I were SA I wouldn’t write a donation check to any candidate that the NRA and/or the ISRA had not given a good rating to. I would suggest they do the same with any legislation they support as well.

          I do not share your reluctance to abandon SA. It is not unfair to consider abandoning anyone who abandons you, and that is what SA and RRA did with SB-1657. You should place a higher value on your loyalty. HS Produkt who make the XD line must be looking at their options for a new distributor given the SA name is not a selling point right now.

        • I am not an Illinois resident but it defies belief that SA or RRA would support anti-gun legislation. At least not intentionally.

          Where is the WIFM (What’s in it for me)? What would SA or RRA gain by supporting anti-gun legislation? Even this SB-1657, with the carving out an exemption for themselves thing, doesn’t pass the reasonable person test. What good would it do them to carve out an exemption for themselves?

          If I understand correctly, the bill requires dealers selling over ten or so firearms to meet a state licensing requirement in addition to the federal requirements. How would that help SA or RRA?

          As I understand, it would still hurt their sales because it hurts their dealers. Am I missing something? And they would have to know that there would be no way this “deal” would not find its way into the public spotlight.

          Did they think they would screw a majority of the gun dealers in the state while carving out an exemption for themselves and get away with it? Doesn’t pass the smell test unless I am missing something. If so, please fill me in.

          Based on what I know now, I still believe the story that this person that RRA and SA left in charge of running the IFMA acted stupidly and the CEOs of the two companies just weren’t paying attention.

          In the grand scheme of things, the biggest checks they wrote were for a relatively small amount of money. Eleven thousand dollars isn’t that much money. It’s believable that they wrote checks and just weren’t questioning the guy. They were more concerned with running their businesses than being involved in politics. That was a major reason for setting up the IFMA. Right?

          At this point, I would think the best thing to do is for SA and RRA to file a civil lawsuit against the guy running the IFMA and depose him and find out where his head was. Your thoughts?

        • It is unfortunate that we can create a list of Gun Manufactures who have stupidly supported legislation that gave them a short term gain while throwing the rest of the gun community under the bus… S&W, Ruger to name a few. As I mentioned in a previous post there is no way that SA and RRA were not aware of what was in SB-1657. Anyone who is a member of the ISRA (IL State Rifle Assoc – since you are not a IL resident) knew about SB-1657 from the legislation alerts.

          The initial comment from Mr. Reese of SA also doesn’t sound like someone who was unaware of the contents of the bill…

          “The legislative process is a fluid process. The bill has only moved through one chamber, and it is still in the process. We fully support the Second Amendment and stand by it. The Illinois Manufacturers Association will continue to fight and protect not only manufacturers, but dealers and the gun owner as well.”

          I don’t hear anything in that statement about not knowing the contents of SB-1657 or being unaware of IFMA actions. It is also worth noting that this was not the first attempt to pass a SB-1657 bill in IL, so they had the previous history to draw on for information about the contents as well.

          As far as the money goes… for a Gun Company to give even 1 cent to a politician with a anti-2nd amendment record like John Cullerton is too much. Show me a Bloomberg donation to the NRA if you believe otherwise.

          Bottom line SB-1657 was a major FU for SA and RRA and now they need to own it and move forward with positive 2nd Amendment actions such as….

          They are wasting there time with all of these claims of ignorance and further damaging their reputations.

        • I know you are upset about this and I am as well but we have to be honest. We do not know that SA and RRA were aware of what was in SB-1657. Legislative alerts is not proof. The legislative alerts could have been sent to their junk e-mail folder. Lots of things could have happened. We also don’t know the reasons why SA and RRA supported the politicians they did. We simply don’t know that. There could be a dozen different reasons. They may not have even known. It is completely reasonable to believe that they wrote these checks because they mistakenly trusted their guy running the IFMA. My God, the amount of money they wrote checks for is nothing.

          Let me also give one word of political advice to you and anyone else who may read this. You can all be principled, incorruptible stalwarts and never buy from SA and RRA again and put them out of business, but what have you gained? Nothing. All you will have done is forwarded the anti-gun movements agenda. How the ant-gunners would love to see two gun manufacturers put out of business. I suggest another idea. Right now the gun community has a very strong ally in SA and RRA. They have admitted they made a mistake and are willing to prove it. Use this to your advantage. If not,then SA and RRA, please move your operations to Texas. We’ll accept your apology and make you work for us.

        • It is not a matter of being upset and from my previous posts you will see I have presented positive things SA has done to make amends as well. Companies have to be responsible for their actions, and no matter how much SA and RRA try to distance themselves from SB-1657 they contributed to it. If lessons are not learned then the agenda of the anti-2nd amendment crowd will be advanced. The way those lessons have been learned by other gun companies, who have violated their customers trust, is to not buy their products until enough time has passed that it is clear there will not be a repeat. For me SA is in this probation phase. I hope your theory that the ISRA legislative alerts are going to the SA spam filter is wrong. If true that would speak volumes to the SA commitment to the 2nd amendment.

          As far as the political advice goes, and I say this respectfully. If SA or RRA were to go under over SB-1657 what we have all gained is a strong lesson to any other gun manufacture/distributor who might be considering a similar deal with the devil. I want any manufacture or retailer to take it as fact that a deal with the anti-gun crowd will leave them fighting for the future of their company and their actions will live long in the memory of gun owners. When you see Ruger building the AR-556 in Mayoden NC rather than the anti-gun states in the north east you can see that Ruger has learned their lesson. It is really simple if you want to survive and thrive you don’t screw over your customers with stuff like SB-1657.

          “Right now the gun community has a very strong ally in SA and RRA.” I am not yet ready to consider SA or RRA as an “ally” but admit we have a common foe. I didn’t see any SA opposition material (gun counter mats and flyers) to SB-1657 until the public out cry over their support of it through the IFMA. From what I can see avoiding the products sends a message to the company. For anyone else who may be reading this: SB-1657 is not yet dead.

    • Proves two things. First, Big Business for profit even if they sell guns is not the same as Patriot Gun rights for Liberty and Security from Tyranny. And secondly, if you play with the Devil, you’re going to get burned for eternity.

      Same with the NRA. They still don’t want to know that you can’t can’t capitulate, mitigate, or otherwise compromise with by ‘deal making’ with leftist totalitarians. Period! They’ll interpret it as weakness and a Win only for them to help them continue to push even harder and more brazenly with their assault on our Freedoms.

      To Wit: If there is any background checks, paperwork, or other ‘regulations’ with the Hearing Protection Act’ when it comes up for vote, which amount to nothing less than illegal registration, of a simple piece of metal tubing that isn’t even a firearm, then WE THE PEOPLE LOSE, and gained NOTHING! And it will be NRA’s and their profit minded management’s fault.

      After All, with the NRA you don’t have to follow the outrageous membership dues money trail far to see the reality of why they STILL haven’t put forth any Constitutional Legal action for repealing Constitutionally illegal Gun Laws, Like the entire NFA Act in the first place.

      Because if all the illegal Federal Gun Laws were repealed THERE WOULDN’T BE MUCH OF A NEED FOR THE NRA…except maybe for Boy Scout hunting clubs.

      Let this be a lesson. Sooner or later people will get fed up with treasonous power elite authoritarianism. I wouldn’t even look at another Springfield Armory gun. They reminded of a ‘lipstick on a pig’ gun anyway. And Shame on Rock River Arms. The used to produce a decent product that catered to professionals. But now I hope they bite the dust. How can you trust a gun made by traitors?

    • Springfield Armory & RRA did not Vote for the Political Hacks in the StateLegislature.
      People Voted them into Office so blame them,
      not the Gun manufacturers.

    • All the dates on most of the comments are from 5/2/2017 , today is 5/11/217 and i just got an email from Springfield Armory asking me to fight with them calling it a “Witness Slip for SB-1657” wanting people to click on this and help defend the 2nd … personally I am very upset with this…I was issued a Springfield 1911 back in 1974 in Military, I have owned a SA 1911 for about 5 years and it has been my EDC… Heart broken about this…..too many have died defending the Constitution and having 2 major companies both denying they had knowledge of IFMA when they are the creators…..Illinois is already having a terrible time just like California ….they didn’t need this.

      • You should fill out the slip as an “opponent” of the bill. The ISRA is also sending out emails requesting slips.

        I think RRA and Springfield have figured out that if this bill passes their reputations will be beyond repair and so they are now flipping on the position that the IFMA took on their behalf. At this point the #1 priority is stopping 1657. IMHO: RRA and SA opposition to 1657 in no way makes up for their help getting it passed in the IL Senate but it is the only thing they have done right in the last 2 weeks.

  1. Wow good to know Boch. Cullerton=SATAN. I’ll continue to spread the news on FB about Springfield’s treachery. I’m NOT surprised living nearly 65years in Illinois. Equal opportunity graft and corruption?

    • I agree. This is a microcosm of Capitalism and Politicians producing sausage. Dig into any manufacturer’s political dealings and I bet stuff like this will be found. Both sides of the political aisle must be fed.

      This is why I don’t get emotionally attached to who I buy stuff from. Then I don’t feel like my girlfriend dumped me when stuff like this Springfield/RRA nonsense meets the light of day. You guys sound like scorned lovers.

      • Except the stakes are a wee bit higher than just whose bed your boots have been under, don’t you find?

      • “Dig into any manufacturer’s political dealings and I bet stuff like this will be found. Both sides of the political aisle must be fed.”

        Yep. It’s common practice for corporations to donate to both sides of a political race.

        And to give no appearance of favoritism by donating equally to both sides…

        • Read “Glock: The Rise of America’s Gun”, by Paul M. Barrett. Would you buy another Glock after reading this book?

      • So, Grey Poseur, You’d probably then have no qualms about snitching out your fellow detainees ito the Staci in the FEMA camps or inform to the local Police State Confiscation team about who might have firearms or other contraband because ‘why fall in love with Freedom’? Sounds like you should make the move to Venezuela? No broken hearts there. Only broken lives.

  2. “Defend Your Legacy”. Yeah, right. You pee on my leg and then tell me it’s raining. Then you think I should buy your products? Sorry. Ain’t gonna happen. We don’t need your guns that bad.

  3. And the hits just keep on coming….seriously, these idiots are done.

    Basically, they’ve been hiding behind this shadow, sham ‘trade association’ to support Democrat politicians. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit, at this point, to discover these clowns are actually Democrats themselves.

  4. Wow, this is a PR nightmare. Could this be the beginning of the end for Springfield and Rock Island ? Pissing off and betraying a very stubborn and rigid gun community is a very big problem and could be a death blow.

    • You mean Rock River Armory. Rock Island Armory is a Filipino company, and the actual US government-owned thing in Illinois is called Rock Island Arsenal.

      • Being the self-assessed “Lazy Ass” that I am, I had not looked into which “Rock Island” whatever we were discussing. I assumed it was the same as the Filipino maker of 1911s and am very relieved to hear it is NOT. I’ve had good luck with those Rock whatever Filipino 1911s and had not ruled out buying another… until this fiasco. Now I’ve been schooled, I’ll put them back on the potential list.

        Go ahead and flame me for wanting another “cheap” “outdated” “whatever”… I a) don’t care what you think (not you Anonymoose, the 1911 haters), and 2) rarely come back to read replies to my posts.

    • RRA is a very different entity from Rock Island. Rock Island doesn’t jack up their prices because of a name (HS-2000…cough), nor has it adopted the GRIP ZONE on its polymer pistols…because Rock Island doesn’t manufacture polymer pistols.

  5. So this was the IFMA and not Springfield​ or RRA directly? Is there any reason to believe either knew what the IFMA was doing? Or how much either gave to the IFMA?

    • I didn’t know you could rent a Super Cobra. This is “kill it with fire” level, not free ride level.

      Yeah. SA and RRA won’t be getting a penny from me. I will also endlessly mock anyone who brings one of their products to any event I’m shooting at.

      • I mean, I already do that shit. They were like, “huh, I’m going to market a pistol that has the worst feature from the 1911 on it. Everyone wants a grip safety!”

        Fuck, being in Illinois sucks more and more each day.

        • Attacking? No. Social shaming for supporting two companies that need to not exist anymore? Yes.

        • I bought my three Springfield pistols well before this. Now, I’m trying to figure out the best time to sell so I don’t loose to much money in order to replace those with other manufactures. Giving donations to Antigun blood suckers is the ultimate treason.

      • I bought my SA products years ago, and I love the product, even if I’m mad at the company now. I’m not going to give up my guns for any SJW venting on the web right now.

        You’ve already admitted you have bought RRA, you’re just as guilty as those you would shame. We can go on attacking each other, or we can aim at real targets.

        I do understand your anger, believe me. But gun owner on gun owner battle only serves the gun grabbers.

        • 1. The RRA upper is going into a gun buyback or the garbage. (As soon as I get around to it.) I will never shoot it again. Instead, I’ll buy a new one from a company I can trust. $400 is a small price to pay for integrity.

          2. How can we present a unified front against the commie scum if we don’t make the consequences of treason abundantly clear?

      • 1- You can’t buy integrity, even for $400.

        2- Maybe we ought to let some more facts come out before we declare Jihad on fellow gun owners. Illinois is extremely corrupt under the Chicago machine. For all we know Cullerton blackmailed RRA and SA into the donations. They might have put the FFL cutouts in place so as to make it appear that SA and RRA lobbied them when it was the politicians who put the squeeze on them. Could have threatened them with a special “gun violence” tax or something. We know thanks to Boch thank money and favors changed hands. In which direction? Still early in the story.

        Under an honest government people lobby government. Under a dishonest government people gets squeezed by government. Let the story develop and we’ll she which is which.

        • Maybe we should make an example that other companies will never forget. Make a deal with gun grabbers? Lose your business.

      • If they’re guilty, hell yeah. Here’s my thinking. John has discovered a lot in a few days, but there might be more to come. Now if, and its a big if, RRA and SA are shakedown victims the NRA can use that against the politicians. If RRA and SA just got greedy and wanted market advantage, well then a boycott threat can be used against them to get rehabilitation on their customers terms. More lobbying money against the grabbers and their pet politicians, fund the NRA, whatever. I hope they’re the victims, because I think they’ve been on our sides up until now. I mean they have been making guns, not hippie bongs all these years. I’d bet the vast majority of their personal and corporate donations were in our favor.

        But we’ll see. Like I said, I’ve got several of their guns, my favorites in fact, bought and used in good faith. Never giving them up, cold dead hands and all.

        But I’ll damn well wait before I buy anymore SA until I see how this plays out. If they’re guilty and don’t make heroic amends then they’re dead to me.

  6. This is a great example of why it’s a terrible idea for gun companies to stay in states that have turned antagonistic to the second amendment. Best case scenario, this is “how the sausage gets made” and they have to play ball with anti-gunners to even have a chance of being heard. Which is no doubt how SA and RRA will spin this, and it’s probably what’s happening here. But it would be a better business decision in the long run to not put yourself in the position of having to fund your opposition with bribes campaign contributions, and operate your company somewhere that welcomes you and what you do.

    • The opposite would have a greater effect tho.

      If SA an RRA we’re to bring to the publics attention that they were victims of a shakedown by the corrupt pols of IL, I guarantee that would be a boon to sales, and boost their street cred in the 2A community.

      This is an unforgivable and unforgettable action by a manufacturer, negatively affecting their own customer. Phuck their answers, it only makes it worse for them.

  7. Someone at SA and RRA thought this was a good idea. And someone at SA and RRA signed off on it. When will business’ and corporations come to understand that they are all in the “customer” business? I don’t care what you make or sell…your job is to please a customer. You know, no customers, no money? If you F your customers, it is only a matter of time until they F you right back. Let the F’ing begin.

  8. When one pays protection money to the mob, it isn’t because one likes the mob or agrees/ supports their agenda. It’s usually because one wants protection. Remember the raids on Gibson Guitars? Clearly, they had no protectors.

    In any case, shame on SA and RR. Some of us have kept Troy on our blacklists since their efforts were exposed. Some of us have added SA and RR.

    Further, contrast these actions with the principled stands of Magpul Industries.

  9. Looking at the Reese family’s political donations toward exclusively Repub candidates (, I’m leaning toward this IFMA casting a line with these donations to see if anybody nibbles at the bait. The SA owners are not covert anti-gun progs.

    Still doesn’t explain the carve-out bill that passed the Senate.

  10. I so wanted for Springfield Armory to unequivocally retract their previous idiotic statements and actions and show me they are making the effort to fix what they’ve done so I could justify purchasing the M1A. But they just keep stepping in it. I don’t know much about this Dennis Reese guy and was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I just don’t see SA turning around their political activities without getting rid of him and any other management that was behind this IFMA outfit. Seems like this is going to get worse the more we look. Bill Ruger retired and died before I bought my first Ruger, and it seems like I will have to wait a good long time for an M1A. Most likely will buy another brand instead, even though they are quite a bit more expensive. Having principles sucks sometimes, but I’m not going to reward corporations who work to undermine the constitution with my disposable income.

    • I’d rather drop $4k on a fulton than give a single penny to SA. RRA always had shitty products, so the only thing of theirs I even have is an old A2 upper I bought almost a decade ago.

      • While I agree wholeheartedly, unfortunately my current choice is to just not spend any money. This purchase was to fulfill a want, not a need, and I don’t have the $4k to spend. The good news is that I have been learning about more companies that make semi-auto M14’s that I never knew existed, including Fulton and James River.

        I never desired anything from RRA, so that one’s really not a loss.

        • James River is in the same ~2k price range as the good SAs. Honestly, I don’t see a good reason to spend less on a M14 clone. The rifle has enough issues as it is without starting behind the ball due to cheap construction.

        • Go buy a Polytech or Norinco M-14S.

          Very underrated guns and despite them being made in China actually use forged parts and have none of the issues Springfield’s have. They can be had for under $1K and USGI parts can be swapped in.

  11. “Springfield Armory & Rock River Arms Made Campaign Contributions to Anti-Gun Rights Politicians”

    My immediate reaction was, “So?”

    Folks, if this surprises you, or appalls you, then you don’t know how politics works. And you don’t know how PAC money works.

    Here is what every PAC brags about: The percent of its contributions that went to election winners. Contributing to a losing campaign is a waste of money. Contributing to the campaign of an eventual winner has value, whether or not that candidate is considered friendly to your cause. After that election, the contribution can be used as leverage. It’s a reason to make the office holder pay attention when you want his consideration.

    There is simply no point in shoveling funds toward the campaigns of people who a) are gun rights supporters already, and b) are not faced with serious political challengers. That money won’t buy you anything you can’t get for free.

    The altruistic idealists among us are appalled when money is sent to our enemies. The pragmatic realists among us understand that’s how the game is played and how results are achieved.

    • ‘The pragmatic realists among us understand that’s how the game is played and how results are achieved.’

      Indeed, results were achieved…a nice carve out for SA and RRA while everybody else got screwed.

    • I don’t think they were going to leverage very much ‘attention’ with the dribbles they donated. It sure didn’t seem to dial down the anti-gun momentum in Illinois.

      The sausage making can surely be messy. But you still have to judge the quality of the final product.

    • Curtis I KNOW how ILLINOIS works. I lived in the most corrupt Republican county in Illinois-Kankakee. No excuse to these quislings! Cullerton stood against everything gun related.

    • You are correct. However, a good firestorm like this is needed every now and then to keep them in line. Much like a controlled burn. You burn out the undergrowth to prevent a full blown forest fire. This won’t sink either company, but it will be a sharp reminder to them, and every gun company, where their ultimate loyalties lie. It helps keep them from going full colt, or full HK, if you will.

    • Pragmatic realists also understand that dirty zebras don’t change their stripes:

      The Reese clan has been busted before.

      Maybe living in Illinois has warped your perspective to the point where having a criminal history is not only normal, but mandatory.

      Both are bereft of integrity. In other industries, that’s survivable. At Kellogg School of Manglement, it’s taught as essential (I kid, sort of). The firearms industry is unique, as traitors actually do get punished. Ask the Brit former owners of S&W.

      Ends justify the means adherents should not pass Go and head directly to the Hillary 2020 campaign.

    • +1.

      Having been on the board and being a now past-president of the state trade association for the industry I’m employed in, it’s a pay to play sport. You give money, generally a reduced amount, to politicians that aren’t friendly to you when they hold key legislative positions. It doesn’t guarantee a result on legislation you’re trying to advance, but it helps get you a meeting when there’s legislation you really oppose.

      Here, you have a trade association whose members have lost their way. If they really didn’t know about the sellout, they need to withdraw from the association and work to defeat it.

      • Focus. The IFMA is founded and funded 50:50 by SA and RRA. Owners of these companies plus their lobyist are IFMA directors. There can be no miscommunication or misunderstanding.

    • “that’s how the game is played and how results are achieved.”

      LOL. Just watch the results SA and RRA are going to get as a result of this “game” they played.

  12. Probably the way sausage is made; but it isn’t in our gravy as people of the gun. Turn you pistols into rifles and buy Henrys. Made in America or not made at all.

  13. Hope the writer has contacted the appropriate election officials state/fed level also those with law enforcement over such shady bribing I mean donations. Maybe even a Oh by the way to ATF how on a manufacturer is playing foot loose with donations to elected office holders. If they are skirting the law there maybe with other aspects that ATF might find interesting. Maybe a “We were around the corner and thought we would stop by to review your books, check out the place, hate to find stacks of unserialized lowers like we did at Stag Arms…….”

    How CEO’s act tend to reflect in how upper management acts in a company. Birds of a feather.

  14. Neither company will get a nickel from me. But I think reports of their death may be exaggerated. Cheaper Than Dirt is still around. Ruger and Smith are stronger than ever. All three made amends. Watch for RRA and SA will gear up the PR and start handing checks to the 2A groups. They don’t even have to disavow the licensing bill. That will be enough for most people like their guns but don’t read the news.

    • Rokurota,

      S&W and Ruger of today are not the same businesses as the ones in the past.

      Smith & Wesson at the time of the Clinton HUD Agreement was British owned. The boycott destroyed them and the Brits sold S&W at a loss to Saf-T-Hammer (an American company). The new management then told the government that since it is in legal business theory a new company that the prior agreement with the White House is null and void. Especially since there was a new administration coming in (George W Bush).

      Ruger Firearms had a similar situation. Bill Ruger died and the family was bought out. Ruger today is a publicly traded company with no connection to Bill Ruger and his family.

      Both RRA and SA are privately owned companies.

      In the end, the NRA better jump on this. If not…. sigh….

      Hence why I’m running for the NRA Board of Directors in in 2018. Traitors like this don’t deserve support from the NRA. Hell, SA was just awarded the Golden Bullet award for 2017.

      Luis Valdes
      [email protected]

  15. Obviously the managment at Springfield Armory and RRA are being possessed by the ghostly spirit of Bill Ruger. It will take an army of priests to rid that demon attachment.

  16. I would say the sausage factory nailed it on the head.

    Truth be told, not too many of your favorite things don’t have a dark side.

    Sometimes it seems worse than it actually is, other times its worse than it seems.

    Sometimes helping your enemy at just the right moment does more good than harm, could it be that’s what happened here? Tough to tell. But I wouldn’t take everything for face value, been my experience that face value politics, rarely are.

      • Nobody is shocked that gun companies give to the enemy at this point. I bet most would sell out the 2nd Amend for a nice fat military contract. SA and RRA sold out the little guy for protection from the enemy instead of sticking it to the legislature by moving jobs and tax revenue out of their state to a 2nd amend friendly state. Pick just about any in the South and West as a show of force. These guys could give 2 craps about gun rights.

  17. I do not own any Springfield Armory or Rock River Arms products and it looks pretty doubtful I ever will. New or used!

    • Good point.
      Effective lobbying lesson #1: Give those in power, especially House Speakers and Senate Presidents, enough money that they at least pretend to listen to you in order to have you give them money again.
      Another point: Those at the top reaches of the ruling party (Madasahen, Shouldabeenculledaton) aren’t going anywhere until they’re put in prison or decide to retire.

      The facts above don’t matter, if you have morals.
      OTOH, if you have morals, you don’t make a felon of yourself by paying out large bribes to South American military officers either.
      SA and RRA willingly crawled into bed with the devil, maybe he’ll buy their wares.

  18. Sounds to me like the real problem is with IFMA, not with Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory. Both companies are pro-2A and have made great guns for many years.

    • SA and RRA founded the IFMA and are the ONLY members. They either were behind all of it or were clueless about its activities. Either way, that’s not good.

    • Truth be told, that’s probably 100% correct.

      People like to believe the companies would be all Johnny on the spot about where IFMA was spreading the wealth but anyone who has ever worked for any large company knows they don’t monitor everything. Its just how it is.

      Think of it this way.

      If they donate$10,000 to anti gun organizations.
      But contribute $100,000 to pro gun, and produce guns.

      If you disband the company, the anti gun stand to gain more from the greater loss by their counter part.

      Math guys!

      • “People like to believe the companies would be all Johnny on the spot about where IFMA was spreading the wealth but anyone who has ever worked for any large company knows they don’t monitor everything.”

        Have you not been following? Springfield and Rock River ARE the IFMA. They founded it, they’re the only ones who are a part of it, their execs are the execs of the IFMA too. It’s Dennis Reese, his dad, two RRA execs, and their hired lobbyist. That’s the entirety of the org. Nothing happens without their say. The only reason the org exists is to represent their specific political interests.

  19. What were the contributions in 2014, 2015, 2016?

    2013 was three years ago. That’s a fair chunk of time that SA and or RRA, could have made changes. Not saying they did, but we can’t just go on 11-13 when we are now in 17. Did they stop funding?

    I also understand that paying for someone who does support you nets nothing, while paying for potential on the fence opposition to reconsider would be growth.

    I’m not saying SA and RRA were right, but I’d like the most up to date info before I pass a judgement.

    • Au contraire, mon frère. Publications should keep taking their money. The publications need not guarantee those ads will increase sales, do they?

      Profits = Sales – Expenditures as always.

      • Mixed emotions, but yeah, they’re going to have to continue if not increase advertising as damage control and efforts to move product.

        At least two dealers have announced Springfield Armory / Rock River liquidation sales, one with proceeds going to NRA-ILA (Absolutely brilliant marketing, btw)

        As more stores join the liquidation bandwagon (vs. sitting on inventory nobody will touch) other vendors will be loathe to restock SA/RRA. Both companies will be forced to incentivize offerings to dealers, further cutting into the bottom line.

        It’s a business death cycle, particularly in a hotly competitive buyers market.

        This time next year I could see CDNN closing out SA/RRA product well below cost.

        Reese put his daughter in charge of PR (she wrote their statement) instead if hiring a professional crisis management PR team. Every rule that can be broken, has been broken.

        This will be a case study for the firearms industry.

        • I wonder…

          Did RR/SA just get played? Are the anti gunners clever enough to set and spring this trap?

          1. Bloomberg and his minions couldn’t put these two firearms makers out of business legislatively – not directly anyway.
          2. Set it up to make it look like RR/SA were getting something to help them stay in business. RR/SA are certainly not blameless, but neither are they necessarily crafty politicians or devilishly devious billionaires.
          3. Instead they get rolled. This brouhaha poisons the market for RR/SA, two otherwise pretty well respected names in the industry, and they wither and die. Hard to survive. They’d have to admit they were both incompetent AND untrustworthy.
          4. Anti-gunners celebrate.

          Remember the movie, “The Sting”?

  20. I was seriously considering buying a Saint. Good features for the price. Now…nope.

    Ill keep my Ruger SR556. They have atoned for Bill Ruger’s sins in my eyes.

  21. Never had much interest in either company and I can understand the whole “this is how the sausage gets made” argument and not necessarily having all the facts or whatever.

    At the risk of citing my “feelz” though, something in my gut says to not buy from either of these companies. It’s not a big leap, as I probably never was anyway.

  22. So I have a question. The donations show up on the IFMA’s tax filings, but not in the State Board of Elections records. That means one of two things – either the politician never reported those donations, or they were never made and this Jay Keller guy fictitiously claimed them on the groups taxes so he could pocket the money himself or cover what he had already pocketed.

    Let’s not be like the Lib’s and blow something way out of proportion before we have all the facts.

    • There are no good guys in the SA / RRA / IFMA / Jay Keller / Politicians they donated to universe. Let the audits and investigations commence.

      At this point, the story is becoming big enough to expand outside the firearms community. Maybe the Chicago Sun-Times (not the Tribune) could apply their experience with Illinois politics and see how far this rabbit hole goes. Any recommendations for a specific investigative reporter from Chicago folks?

  23. Anybody own a Ruger? Anybody remember when Bill made a deal with the Clinton Administration? The 10 round magazine limit during the Fed AWB was his idea. That expired in 2004, but how many states have made it into law? Thanks Bill.

    • I forgave Bill when he did the world the favor of dropping dead.

      Maybe I’ll forgive Reese and Larson when they join him. But there’s more than one Reese family member involved in this, probably more of them involved in the old bribery crimes, and the whole company is based on a phony claim of a 200 year history that isn’t theirs, so it isn’t really possible to forgive SA until nobody named Reese has any ownership interest or employment there.

      • “…. The whole company is based on a phony claim of a 200 year history that isn’t theirs….”

        Which is the alpha-primary for why I’ve never bought an SA product, and only considered their M1As (during a moment of tax-return-induced weakness) before I was aware of Fulton Armory.

        I also have had the nagging suspicion that RRA chose the name because of the similarity to Rock Island Arsenal. But as for Springfield? Blatantly misleading.

        • In fairness, lots of things over there reference the Rock River. It’s like Badger in Wisconsin.

  24. So SA & RRA gave money to the Illinois Firearms Manufacturing Association, who then gave it to anti-gun politicians. Did SA & RRA know that the money was going there? Maybe I am missing a piece of the puzzle, but this seems very circumstantial at best. I need more info before joining the witch hunt and drawing a conclusion.

  25. Have an XDS in 9mm that I had been thinking of selling to thin the herd a bit. Guess I will just swap it into the truck and make it the truck gun, since getting beat up a bit won’t harm the value nowthat’s in the toilet. They won’t be selling anything to my family at least until someone buys the name and assets. Last RRA I bought was a couple of triggers some years back, but with the price and quality of drop in triggers now available, that wouldn’t have happened again anyway.

  26. This bill looks like a state run FFL system on top of the FFL system already in place where all the rules are arbitrarily made up by a few individuals out of Chicago. And if you don’t follow their arbitrary rules you don’t get a state license and it is illegal to sell any firearm without the license.

  27. There aren’t that many firearms manufacturers in Illinois.
    Springfield and Rock River have got to be the two biggest.
    How could they NOT know????

    Me thinks there is something stinky at Springfield.

    I will never buy another one or sell them in our shop.

  28. A new advertising slogan:

    “Get a Springfield Armory M1A — the perfect weapon for circular firing squads and shooting your friends in the back!”

  29. And Glock sells guns to LE Agencies in California, New York and New Jersey. Rumor it the bribe (anti-gun) politicians to get those sales. So what’s your point?

      • You guys are clueless. Glock has lobbyists Who do you he smoozes with in those states to get the sales? Glock is sn Austrian company with European values. Do you really they are big fans of firearms freedom? There is only one Euro company that I trust and that’s Beretta.

        Ronnie Barrett won’t sell to any state government that does not allow their residents own one of his rifles. If the companies that sell to LE Agencies acted like Ronnie Barrett you would see a lot less restrictive laws.

        • Can’t give a straight answer to a direct question?

          Here, try again:

          Did Glock support legislation undermining the 2A?

        • Yes they did. As said below if you sell to a California law enforcement agency you endorsed the laws that they enforce including gun control laws. You are a rube without a clue.

        • Show everyone where Glock was an active party to promoting and passing legislation adversely impacting the 2A in *any* state. That’s the topic at hand.

          After the fact sales are an entirely different animal. It’s odious, but it is not what SA & RRA did here. (RRA deserves seperate scorn for sales to NY and certain other states)

          Try it without ad hom this time too.

        • Your defense of Glock was disallowed in Poat War war crimes trials and is even enshrined in German law. Sell guns to the police in a state the violates the rights of its citizens you endorse their laws. Glock, guilty as charged.

        • Show everyone where Glock was an active party to promoting and passing legislation adversely impacting the 2A in *any* state.

          Try to answer the question without dragging in irrelevant laws in other countries.

          2A = 2nd Amendment

          No 2A in German law. We’re not talking about Germany, pre, post or during war(s)

          State = 1 of 50 states in the US (57 if you voted for Obama)

          We’re talking about USA 2A. (United States of America Second Amendment)

    • Boy you will do anything to defend these guys huh?

      I hope they’re paying you and that you don’t sell out cheap.

    • Gee, I dunno… principles much?

      Did Glock sign-off in support of this anti-gun legislation?

      • When you sell to California law enforcement you sign on to the laws they enforce and therefore you have endorsed California gun control laws.

        • When you make or sell silencers you sign on to the NFA.

          I’d wager NONE of the current silencer suppliers were around in 1934 pimping the legislation.

          SA & RRA were essential supporters (neutral non-opponents, technically) to making anti-2A legislation pass the legislative process (part way so far)

          Night and day difference.

  30. I really like my EMP4. It’s my primary EDC. Only SA gun I own. I’ll keep it and trash the grip panels, but it’ll be the only SA gun I ever own.

    Sigh. And I’m in the market for a relatively inexpensive 308 semi auto. The SA M1A was top of the list. No longer. Looks like the Kel-tec RFB is gonna be the one I get.

    To quote John Ringo, “The Stupid, It Burns.”

    • “I sincerely apologize for my lack of direct engagement in IFMA’s governance and subsequent actions”

      Lack of direct engagement? Come on, Chuck, IFMA is apparently only four people, and you’re one of them. Stop digging.

  31. This is probably the crap it takes to do business in Illinois.

    Maybe, by the end of this, they would wish they had gotten ahead of things and moved less than an hour away across the border where they wouldn’t have to sell out their customers to sell product.

  32. Well if it’s been going on this long the companies either pay no attention to how their money is spent or they knew about it and we’re OK with it for some reason.

    Perhaps this is how business is done in Illinois, but it wouldn’t seem they’re getting anything for their money which means they’re just aiding the people they claim to be fighting.

    Fuck ’em.

    • Springfield Armory has taken down their review page on Facebook in an attempt to limit their customers ability to share what they think of SA. While I understand what you are trying to do by taking down the reviews… those reviews are actually a good place to leave comments about what SA and RRA have done. Anyone who was unaware of what happened still might look up a review when considering a gun from SA or RRA and from the comments find out that buying it would be a stab in the back to gun owners.

      • I’d argue to leave the reviews stand. The guns are not at fault and stand or fail on their own merits.

        I might be inclined to add a paragraph addressing SA & RRA’s subsequent actions, and leave it to the reader to weigh that impact on both potential purchases and resale value.

        I would not review future product from either, although that runs the risk of paid shills / unpaid fanbois cluttering the net with slobbering approval / “reviews”

        Maybe product placeholders with notes indicating “policy of not reviewing product made by people who are lower than Paul Ryan”

    • The name value of S&W and to a much lesser extent, Ruger, saved their bacon.

      The Springfield Armory of today is already a knockoff of the original, and if the bill passes, irretrievably damaged. RRA has no particular historical value, being a relatively recent firm. Companies like that disappear forever all the time.

      Maybe CTD can buy the Springfield Armory name at auction and apply it to custom Highpoints.

  33. Everyone needs to be showing all the Left anti-gun folks how their politicians are taking money from their enemy, the pro-gun lobby 😉

  34. Having resided in the State of Illinois (unfortunately), and familiar with the political culture, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out these payments were made under duress. In any event it was wrong and they should have moved to a more industry friendly State years ago.

  35. As an owner of both Springfield and RRA guns I am very disappointed. Won’t be buying new ones from either manufacturer, but I won’t be getting rid of what I have either. I like them too much.

  36. Reminds me of the scene from Braveheart where the senior Robert the Bruce tells the son to support the rebellion from their lands in the north, while he opposes it from their lands in the south. Riding both sides of the fence to gain favor with Longshanks. Nothing new under the sun, gentlemen.

  37. Am I reading this correctly?
    Not only were funds given to anti-gun politicians but also failed to report these funds?
    Anybody going to court over the failure to report?

  38. I used to live in the Chicago suburbs. It’s a pay-to-play state. Essentially what SA and RRA did is pay protection money for their own business interests while helping to finance the undermining of Illnois 2A rights. They are greedy traitors IMO. I WILL NEVER BUY THEIR PRODUCTS.

  39. It’s so funny reading all of these comments and being in the know.
    First I could have buried SA years ago and still can. This company only assembles they manufacture nothing but a few rifle barrels. They were secretly foreign-owned up to January of this last year when Dennis bought them out. The Reese family is finally going to pay for there lies with customers abandoning them. LOL He has only survived because he has a few savvy upper management on his team. Believe me ownership is no brainiac.

    • I wonder how long HS Produkt (the manufactures of the SA XD line) will continue to let Springfield stamp their tainted name on the HS guns? With the sales drop that is sure to follow I bet HS is looking for a new importer.


  40. I heard about this at the time.. as a result I sold all my Springfield Armory and Rock River rifles and pistols. Sick of gun-grabbers and their “friends” in the industry. I have voted with my wallet, as I did with S&W a few years ago. Plenty of foreign and newer American gun manufacturers to get my business. No compromise, no surrender! Since cutting off these companies I have felt no loss in my firearms collections. Bye bye Springer and RR, how do you like being in the cold with S&W?


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