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

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.

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 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.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (30)

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.


  8. 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…


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

  9. 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.

  10. ?? 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 !

  11. Armalite and S&W has been out of the loop for years. I’m ordering some(more) stuff from the good guys Spikes(Back Order),Double Star(just received an order), Barrett(just received an order)… right now!

  12. If weapon manufactures want to make political statements by refusing to actively market their products to entities that wish to “infringe” on the 2nd Amendment, it is still America after all. On the other hand, the regime and associated socialist factions have weapon resources beyond the scope of American weapon manufacturers and are therefore unaffected by such a selective moratorium. I believe American weapons and ammo manufacturers should start round the clock operations to put as many applicable weapons into the hands of as many able bodied Americans as possible. Only by making it clear to the regime that there are millions of well armed Americans (prepared to answer our charge under the 2nd Amendment) can we deter the horror that is obviously planned. God Bless and Help us ALL!

  13. The vast majority of my relatives are either retired LEOs or currently serving LEOs. However they are not entitled to special privilege when it comes to our inalienable rights. No sales to federal, state or local enforcement agencies of any stripe, in areas that deny ordinary citizens access to the same weapons. Definitely support the brave few who have courageously spoken out against this illegal infringement on our rights.

  14. The American Gun owner is the only person that keeps these manufactures in business. For the manufactures to not support what they make and stand for, I find horrifying. However, not supporting them merely helps the anti-gun people, does it help us or the companies we boycott? No. My answer is not one of compromise, which has been the downfall of the American nation. But of mutual agreement. If I can find the product I want somewhere else I will do so. Let it not be said in history that the 2nd amendment was finally abolished by the American gun owner because they did not support certain manufactures and their views. Never forget this is the land of the free and we may think freely. As much as I am ashamed of S&W, Colt, and Armalite I still respect their right to think as they please, however wrong it may be.

    May God have mercy on America for it’s terrible sins.

  15. I applaud ArmaLite for a host of reasons. First, as some have mentioned, we need to present a unified front in opposition to the gun control hypocracy of our beloved Fed. Second, ArmaLite’s policy is a well thought out, logical, and sound policy that supports the Pro-2nd Amendment side of the issue, while also demonstrating their firm opposition to idiotic gun control policies coming from the left-wing socialists in federal and state government. and Third, ArmaLite’s policy, reflects well on the entire Pro-2nd Amentment community, because it is a logical and sound policy and that is exactly the face we need to present to the world. After all, the law abiding gun owners in this country are largely peaceful, practical and logical people- we are the salt of the earth that have made and kept this country what it has always been, the “Land of the Free…” and the last thing we need to do now is appear to those who consider us “gun-nuts” as a bunch of disorganized, irrational hot heads and by so doing, lend credence to their baseless, hypocritical gun control arguments.

  16. Greed is a powerful elixer. Armalite and others like them do not realize that their tactic to appease those who want to take away our right to bear arms will ruin them in the long run. Gun owners have been silent to long and now is the time to take a stand. As Winston Churchill said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile – hoping it will eat him last.”.

  17. “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.”

    So you’re selling your guns to the same people who would gladly take mine if I were stupid enough to live in Chicago?

    I’m glad I never had the Armalite bug- My Ar was made by Colt (and Mattel).

  18. We may find ourselves standing alone against this anti-gun take them when we can administration. Our only hope is that the military is on our side when it finally hits the fan….

  19. If you even sell to LEO in a state that denies its law-abiding citizens the right you are still apart of the problem. It’s a double standard. You’re either for it or against. No middle ground. Some things are more important than profit this is were we stand united or fall divided why would a state that’s anti gun have a need for such weapons isn’t there argument as stupid as it is if we de-arm our citizens gun violence will stop.we all know that’s an observed statement but they should as well be forced to live by there convictions. So I think ArmaLight will never see any of my money again. Respectfully Mike Reeves

  20. I’m a full time police officer and I have an FFL and small side business. I build/assemble ARs and sell them and other guns and equipment. I had an officer in my own department come to me and ask to buy a rifle when the CT. shooting occured and the mass rush to buy went down. I know for a fact that he voted for Obama because it has caused a rift between us. I told him “No.” I directed him to a local supplier where he could be put on a waiting list and he could get in line like everyone else. I told him that he had to live with the consequences of voting for Obama and supporting his agenda.

    If these fools continue to get away with their unfettered chipping away at our rights we will have nothing left. They’ve got to be shown that there are consequences. Everyone doesn’t get a trophy and if you tick someone off you could suffer.

    It’s my opinion that Armalite and other companies should step up and not sell in the states that are restricting the rights of LAW ABIDING CITIZENS. I am also of the opinion that the individuals, whether Joe Blo on the block or Officer Friendly, need to step up with in their peer group and be heard. Naive people will follow the administration like lemmings unless they are pointed in the Constitutional Direction.

  21. I understand his desire to keep supplying the men and women that wear a badge and put it on the line for us every day. I think we all appreciate the job they do. However, companies cannot be allowed to hide behind this. If the men and women of law enforcement cannot get the weapons they need then blame lies with those that put these laws in place. This is simply a way to say one thing and do another(much like our current president). Men and women have died for our 2nd amendment right, is walking away from some sales that big a sacrifice? If the patriots that died for our freedoms lost the war Mr. Westrom then it is likely, given the gun laws of Jolly ol England that you might not be in business at all. In this fight there are two sides and Mr. Westom wants to be on both sides. If anyone is dividing us I suggest you point the finger at Mr. Westrom and others like him. You shall never see a nickel from me now or in the future.
    To police officers that are reading this post, please understand that I do not want to put you in harms way, or deny you the firepower you need, but imagine the arrogance necessary for a government to deny law abiding Americans the constitutional right to arms for their own protection while saying the police must have them to protect themselves.
    This is not my America, and I am tired of the country I love being slowly eroded by political correctness, the nanny state mentality and politicians who believe we serve them.

  22. It’s a cop-out by Armalite. They see no problem with their hipocrasy that one class of people (cops) are better than another (private citizens). Hold manufacturers to a higher standard.

  23. “I believe the issue of gun control is black and white.”

    You might be able to find something in this world that’s black and white, but sister, this ain’t it.

  24. I agree with Mr. Robinson. I recently purchased another S&W revolver. Wish I would have known before this purchase. I have many friends living in NY but they are responsible for voting in the ignorant politicians representing them. Move away when you can’t get the representation you want or need to live a free life. Every time the current congress convenes we loose more freedoms. I know these gun and accessory manufacturers are in business and have profits and employees to consider. But they can also operate in states friendly with their standards.

  25. It will happen money will trump values. ArmaLite has made their choice. Its a big company and they do not need my business. I hope that when you decide to put your name on a waiting list for the weapon of your choice, that you remember the companies that have made a different choice. Make no mistake it is going to be a fight. Stand with those who Stand with you.

  26. When I heard this story this morning. I also heard that Smith and Wesson, Colt and one other company would not join the rest who stopped selling to states determined to disarm us. I quickly sent S&W an email telling them that over the years I have purchased several firearms from them and accessories. I also stated that from this day forward, because of their policy to continue to sell to these states, I would never again purchase a S&W product, period. Within the next day or so I will send the same email to Colt and when I find out the name of the other, another email will follow. This newest attempt by the socialist movement must be stopped in its tracks. I’m afraid we are being purposely pushed down the path to revolution. If the military stands with the American people, we will get our nation back. If not, the words of one of our Founding Fathers will become a reality. “Every once in awhile the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots.” Granted, we are small in comparison the the majority of the liberal members of the new enlightment but we are patriots all.

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