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We warned folks that relying on the claims of a single fevered author on an allegedly pro-gun media outlet that has screwed over gun owners in the past was a bad idea.

That news outlet has apparently been libeling both Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms for days through numerous articles, asserting that the two gun companies sold out gun owners, FFLs, and their fellow manufacturers in exchange for a deal that exempted them from Senate Bill 1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act favored by anti-gun Democrats.

Not only have Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms never done anything to deserve this sort of scurrilous attack in more than 60 combined years in business, they have now terminated their relationship with the Illinois Firearms Manufacturing Association, the group that actually made the deal.

Their statements were unequivocal.

Springfield Armory

The Executive Director of the Illinois Firearm Manufacturers Association (IFMA) acted without our prior knowledge and against our principles and those of the industry as a whole with respect to the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. We no longer have confidence in IFMA and after speaking to other directors we have made the decision to sever all ties with the organization, effective immediately.

I take full responsibility for my failure of oversight in this case and deeply apologize to my employees, customers and industry partners for the distraction and divisiveness this situation has caused within our tight-knit community. Our industry has always stood strong and fought fiercely together in the past and I am personally committed to defeating this harmful legislation. To that end, I have pledged to the NRA that we will bring the full resources of my company to bear in this fight.

We are not new to this battle, Springfield Armory has fought and defeated legislation like this in Illinois for decades. We are wholeheartedly against this bill and will fight shoulder-to-shoulder with the NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Illinois State Rifle Association and others to see it defeated as the unnecessary and harmful overreach that it is.

We want to assure all Americans, like us, who fight to protect the Second Amendment that we and our industry partners will leave no stone unturned to defeat this bill.

Rock River Arms (PDF)

After further review, Rock River Arms, Inc.® (RRA) is immediately severing all ties with the Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA). We feel that IFMA’s integrity is compromised and we will not be a part of the organization. We trusted that contributions and resources provided to IFMA by RRA were being used to promote and uphold our 2nd Amendment values. IFMA’s actions have destroyed that trust. For more than twenty years, RRA has actively opposed gun control legislation at the local, state, and federal levels. We have supported and provided monetary and product donations to multiple pro-gun organizations including NRA, NSSF, ISRA and countless others. We have attended rallies and spoken at educational events on behalf of gun owners’ rights. Our employees have collected signatures, written letters and e-mails, called legislators’ offices, as well as attended events, meetings and hearings in Springfield, Illinois. What we learned, however, was that we are better at manufacturing firearms and accessories than playing political games at the state capitol. So, we began to utilize the services of lobbyists, first through other organizations and then in 2009, we partnered with several other manufacturers to form IFMA. Prior to our further review, we believed that the organization had accurately represented us. We feel that IFMA’s actions have compromised its integrity. While their actions may be standard practices at the capitol, backdoor politics and convoluted deal-making are counter to the way we do business and lead our lives. I sincerely apologize for my lack of direct engagement in IFMA’s governance and subsequent actions, as well as the abandonment gun owners are feeling.

Perhaps in the future people will know better than to take the unfounded word of an allegedly pro-gun media outlet that really isn’t that into getting facts or details correct.