In a 12+ minute video posted to the store’s Facebook page (NFSW, due to language), Maryland gun dealer Andy Raymond of Engage Armament says that he has reversed his decision to carry the Armatix iP1 pistol.
Raymond says that he was unaware that if he stocked the pistol, that he would trigger a dormant law in New Jersey that requires everyone in that state to convert to so-called “smart guns” once they are offered for commercial sale in any state.
Raymond said that he wanted to stock the gun to introduce “fence-sitters” to shooting, thereby expanding the number of people supporting Second Amendment rights.
Raymond said he learned of the gun a few years ago from an Engage Armament client working as an attorney for the manufacturer. Raymond then helped the company import the gun for testing.
The ideal customer, he said, is probably a lawyer in Georgetown with a high income and young children who has been on the fence about getting a gun because of safety fears.
That’s also the kind of customer that the Violence Policy Center, which favors stronger gun regulations, worries will make his or her first gun purchase, thereby increasing the number of guns in society.
Increasing gun ownership is what Raymond said he was after in planning to sell the iP1.
“If this gets more people, especially those on the fence, to go out and enjoy their Second Amendment freedoms, to go sport shooting and realize how much fun it is, then I am all for it,” Raymond said before changing his mind. “This is really not a bad thing.”
It’s not a bad thing—in theory—at all.
Yes, Raymond made a mistake. He did not understand that his decision to stock the pistol would trigger New Jersey’s “smart gun” law, thinking that the Oak Tree store in California already did so.
Those gun owners that contacted the store and rationally explained the law to Mr. Raymond in a logical and civilized manner are to be commended for your actions.
Those who called the store and threatened Mr. Raymond—and I hope none of our readers are involved—should be ashamed of themselves. While he misunderstood what would trigger New Jersey’s absurd law, it was his intention to provide a product that would bring fence-sitters down on our side of the fence, turning them into shooters.
His decision worried the Violence Policy Center, precisely for that reason. They were terrified that someone who might have purchased the $1,400 combination of the pistol and watch would start shooting with the Armatix, discover the joys of shooting, and then take their joy to the next level, and start buying other guns.
God forbid, they might even turn into gun rights activists!
Andy Raymond is the kind of guy we want and need in the gun rights community, who both fights ferociously for our rights (you should read the comments about his fight against Maryland’s post-Sandy Hook gun laws), and who seeks out creative new ways to introduce new people to shooting. He made a a mistake, and corrected it. If he were in my state, I’d patronize Engage Armament in a heartbeat.