It’s tough to watch a good company inexplicably damage their brand.

Until very recently, Troy Industries had an excellent reputation in the shooting sports community as a manufacturer of quality accessories for the M4/M16/AR-15 family of firearms.

Unfortunately, the company’s bungled handling of two employee issues in recent weeks has damaged the company’s brand among a shooting public with long memories and little sympathy for those who abuse their trust.

Troy Asymmetric, a training division of Troy Industries, first came under fire for hiring an anti-gun police chief. The company was then apparently less than honest about the terms of his departure, in what appeared to be an attempt to insulate Troy Industries from the hiring decisions at Troy Asymmetric.

That breach of trust by caused some to look deeper into the instructor roster at Troy Asymmetric, where they discovered Dale Monroe. Monroe was a former FBI HRT sniper that played a small role in the debacle at Ruby Ridge as a spotter for infamous sniper Lon Horiuchi. The incident remains a sore spot for many who think Horiuchi got away with murder when he shot and killed Vicki Weaver while she was holding a baby in her arms.

Instead of cutting their losses a second time and firing Monroe as well, company founder Steve Troy dug in and supported his employee. While it can be argued that Mr. Troy make a principled stand in support of Monroe, the customer base has not been sympathetic. A backlash against Troy seems to have started, though how widespread of a backlash there may be far from certain.

Hammerhead Armament announced on its blog that they are now boycotting Troy’s products.

Frankly, Troy isn’t going to notice when smaller retailers like Hammerhead Armament takes such a stand, not in terms of sales. Where they are going to notice the damage to their brand is if other retailers and some distributors begin joining the boycott along with customers already going out on some Internet  shooting forums, and a small movement becomes an industry-wide shunning.