ArmaLite Stands by Local LEOs by Continuing Sales of AR-15s to Restricted States

By CTD Suzanne published on in AR-15, Industry News, Second Amendment

There is a certain number of the pro-gun crowd that’s been out for blood over the last few months and their latest target is the company that gave us the AR-15, Illinois-based ArmaLite, Inc. After Olympic Arms’ bold statement that they will no longer sell to the State of New York due to New York’s SAFE Act, other gun companies have quickly joined the ranks of “you’re either with us or against us.” Soon after, LaRue Tactical, York Arms, Templar Custom, Extreme Firepower, Inc., Cheaper Than Dirt, Spike’s Tactical, Barrett, and DoubleStar have all released information regarding the same policy—whether it be a new or old policy.

Olympic Arms’ press release concludes with this statement:

Olympic Arms invites all firearms manufacturers, distributors and firearms dealers to join us in this action to refuse to do business with the State of New York. We must stand together, or we shall surely fall divided.

We do not halt sales to individual officers even in problematic states.

We do not halt sales to individual officers even in problematic states.

Well, gun owners took the company to task. ArmaLite, Inc. was flooded with e-mail and comments asking the company if they would follow the same policy. Many of the messages sent were duplicate copies, leading ArmaLite employees to believe it was spam. Dealing with irate and sometimes hateful people wears on a person after all—believe me I know—and a sales rep from ArmaLite finally had enough and wrote a curt response to one of the messages.

Of course, the less than chipper response from ArmaLite made the gun forum rounds, leading ArmaLite president Mark Westrom to publically apologize on the sales rep’s behalf. Not only that, but Westrom posted in the industry forum of AR15.com ArmaLite’s policy of selling to LEOs in restricted states. Here is his response:

ArmaLite is continuing a policy put into place when California first banned our rifles. That policy remains:

1. We will not sell to those states which deny it’s honorable citizens the right to own ArmaLite’s.

2. We do not halt sales to individual officers even in problematic states. I am a former police officer myself, and the staffer who stimulated the recent anger is a currently serving one. We are well familiar with the fact that most rifles serving police officers are purchased by the officers themselves, and that they shouldn’t be punished for the actions of their political elite.

We consider sales to those sate subdivisions which are not engaged or potentially engaged with disarming its citizens. The DNR and Forestry Departments, for instance, sometimes serve in remote areas that conceal drug farms and their officers deserve good hardware.

3. We will not sell to those lower political subdivisions that deny their honorable citizens the right to own ArmaLites. Chicago, for instance, prohibits its citizens from owning ArmaLites within the city limits so we make no effort to sell into that city. We have many friends on the Chicago Police Department and have continued to sell to them individually.

Our observation is that most county sheriffs disagree with banning sales of our rifles and many publicly refuse to enforce such laws. We sell to those departments and to their deputies, but will not sell to those county departments headed by sheriffs who would deny their citizens the same rights.

In short, Americans need not worry that ArmaLite is selling to those who betray them.

As you can see by reading posts on the topic, some readers have been harsh with their criticism of ArmaLite. It was in response to this atmosphere that my staffer reacted harshly. He’s come to me and apologized and I personally am passing my own apology along with his.

But don’t be mistaken, ArmaLite is strongly involved with both personal, corporate, and political efforts at the state, national, and international level to protect our civil rights. And we’ll continue to support your shooting needs as the situation moves forward.

I believe the issue of gun control is black and white. You are either pro-gun or anti-gun and right now Americans have to pick sides. How ArmaLite chooses to do business is up to them, but they aren’t betraying gun owners. Will I boycott ArmaLite? No. Just like I won’t boycott Magpul if they chose to stay in Colorado. There is more to these decisions than just appeasing a few members of the vocal minority. The more we internally fight about these menial issues, the more the anti-gun crowd wins. Don’t let them succeed in pitting us against each other. Now is the time we stand united and not bicker amongst ourselves.

What do you think about ArmaLite’s decision? Tell us in the comment section.

The opinions and statements contained within this article are solely those of the author and in no way should be construed to be reflective of Cheaper Than Dirt, its management or employees.

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Comments (30)

  • Glenn Marques

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    ?? why wouldi’M GLAD TO SEE THAT ARMALITE isn’t going to penalize our LEO’S they need the best availabile firearms/power to fight thedouchebag gangbangers and other groups that have them outgunned ! they need to feel the love when protecting us most of us are very well armed but we all know that there is strenght in numbers and our locals aren’t the tools of the Feds !

    Reply

  • Carl Larson

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    The whole issue of a gun ban must be addressed by people who know how guns and ammunition works. We must make a truthful argument about why certain weapons like the ones that are proposed to be banned are designed for the purpose stated in the 2nd Amendment. As an example take the AR 15. It is much like any other semiautomatic weapon in its operation. The thing that sets it apart is the ammunition and it is a rifle. It is more accurate than a handgun and with the right ammo can be safer than “hunting rifles” for self defense purposes. This type of weapon is desired by law enforcement because of these characteristics plus many more such as portability in tight quarters, and magazine capacities of thirty or more rounds. Now, why would and honest, law abiding person be denied the use of such a weapon? Because the Progressive, socialists government wants the citizens weaker and unable to defend ourselves so that they can have more power over us.

    The ten years of the previous gun ban proves that gun bans do not work.

    Reply

  • Matthew

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    I’m not going to boycott Armalite over a decision to support LEOs. However, their reply to gun owners asking if they will do so was entirely unprofessional and mean-spirited.

    Whatever happened to just saying, “We appreciate your concern for the rights of all Americans, but we have concluded to continue business with our law enforcement customers, because the vast majority of them are good men and women seeking to protect and serve their community, and support our second amendment rights. We believe that depriving them of the tools they need to complete their job is an overreaction that we do not wish to participate in at this time.”

    No doubt that some people still would have been upset, but I would find it hard to boycott a company that stated a clear reason, in polite words, that they wish to support our police force.

    Their actual letter:

    Dear concerned gun owner,

    First of all I would like to say thank you for filling my email with all this spam email.

    Second, I am not sure where you got this blanket email from to send out as spam, but please stop it.

    Third, The manufacture is not the one you need to convince.

    You need to convince the law enforcement agencies and the common people about their mistake in electing these officials and have them removed. Again NOT the manufacture.

    AR Stands for ArmaLite…

    Respectfully,

    Pat Raley
    raleyp@armalite.com
    Master Armorer / Sales Rep.
    ArmaLite, Inc.
    P.O. Box 299
    Geneseo, IL. 61254

    Reply

  • Doug

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    I am tired of people who hedge their bets and take both sides of a fight (aka Armalite’s line of bullshit there. It sounds like Obama/Clinton speak).

    I will not buy from any company that sells to the anti-gunners, period, and neither should anyone else who seriously wants to keep your right to bear arms. If you don’t, you are just hoping someone else will take the hit for you. A classic Democrat.

    Patriots stand up for their beliefs, no matter what the cost.

    MOLON LABE!

    Reply

  • RecOnifer

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    Our opponents stand united against us. They will take away our rights and our weapons. We must be united against them. If there is a division among us, Armalite is the divider. No gun sales to those who would take our rights or those who work for them. When the people who want and need these weapons can’t get them, maybe they will work to oppose those others that cause this oppression. There are plenty of law enforcement agencies and organizations that have sided with the left and their move to seize our rights and our property. Let them suffer the consequences of those decisions. An armed citizenry is necessary for liberty not an armed police state.

    Reply

  • James Riley

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    Law enforcement knows we are trying to keep our Constitutional Rights.This is a way of making the voters take note,plus hold them accountable for it,and the lack there of.We are all in the same boat.We are not a majority in the poles.The Hispanic community voted strongly for the current administration.We change the minds of the voter or fight. This refusal to sell is designed to draw attention to what we are willing to sacrifice, to keep our rights.Many don’t exercise these rights and don’t even realize the need.United we stand or count the cost.I won’t support those who fail to realize what is at stake.Protecting our self’s and our family’s from foreign or domestic threat.Our founders new it may come to fighting or own law makers.Hope we don’t have to.

    Reply

  • kenneth kaplan

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    Why would Armalite want to sell to counties or deparments that will follow Obama gun control laws. Will they sell to Govt LEA? They have to choose. Either one side or the other. There is no middle ground in this assualt on our Second Admendent rights.If this fight turns into all out shooting match. I guess Armalite will not have any customers at all.

    Reply

  • Ron Davis

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    if we dont stand together , we will perish seperately. dance with the one that brought you. the legal citizens of America deserve better treatment than this, armalite should be shuned as if they had the plague, which they do.

    Reply

  • Gary

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    Will ArmaLite continue to sell to the federal government? ie., “constabulary force” described in the so-called “healthcare” bill.

    Reply

  • Tom Johnson

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    I find it interesting that Armalite knows the LEO is that will refuse to follow the orders of their bosses to invade someones home and take their weapons and those who will with vigor break down the door and perform with delight the search.

    Make no mistake the police at all agencies (local and federal) will be the ones who are first tasked to relieve you of your weapons.

    People we need to go to the polls and vote, That is our only option unless we wish to have to choose between being ruled and being free.

    Reply

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