You are seated in an executive boardroom. It is about the same as any company’s boardroom in America. There is artwork on the walls, statues in the corners, and a long meeting room table in the center surrounded by leather-clad chairs. It is complete with all of the electronics and presentation materials needed. You’d expected in this type of environment—until you make a closer inspection. You realize that laminated into the table is empty brass that has been fired from a rifle, and the statues in the corner, while seemingly to be of a western motif, the statue is an American patriot clenching a modern sporting rifle.
With the rash of shootings involving multiple victims, and a somewhat unfavorable political climate toward firearms in many of the largest population centers, there is been a cry from the populace to do something. One such something that has been identified is to ban what is now the most popular firearm platform in the United States – the AR-15 Modern Sporting Rifle, and its associate, the AR-10, along with other larger-frame firearms.
Drinking and driving, and texting and driving, kills thousands of people in this country—certainly many, many more each year than firearms do. So many, that it’s not even close. Yet, nobody calls for the banning of cars. Cigarettes kill millions of people around the globe each year. While we have made progress in education and the banning of smoking in many public places, we certainly have not banned cigarettes.
Some of the main reasons we have not banned these products from society is that to do so would have a catastrophic effect, regardless of your opinion on them. Can you imagine the increase in the price of goods if we banned motor vehicles? Not to mention the effects it would have to the economy. Raw material vendors would be affected, as would every step of the manufacturing, assembly, retail sales and service.
The main point I am trying to get across here is that what may seem “simple” when proposed can have rather profound effects on things we don’t often consider.
Patriot Ordnance Factory (POF)
Phoenix-based Patriot Ordnance Factory is what many would consider a small- to medium-sized business. Economic studies have shown that this type of business is the backbone of the Unite States. They produce the most jobs and are responsible for the majority of the production in our nation. However, POF is no ordinary small business.
This past year POF received both the industry choice award for Rifle of the year, and the NRA Golden Bullseye Award.
Here are some company statistics:
- Founded: 2002
- Founding employees: Three
- Current employees: Greater than 30
- Patents: Over a dozen with more on the way
If you ask the founder and owner, Frank Desomma, what business POF is in, his reply would be, “We are an Engineering firm, first and foremost.”
POF just happens to be an engineering firm that manufactures some of the finest AR-15-based platforms on the market in both semi- and full-automatic configurations.
Frank comes from an engineering background. Prior to founding the company, he worked as an aeronautical engineer. This background helped Frank in the building and development of his company by taking some processes from the Aeronautics industry and adapting them to the firearms world. The main production process POF uses is that each component of every firearm has a number and a tracking system. Any product issues can be traced to a single source that way. This system doesn’t cover just large components, either. Every spring, screw, pin, and component of every Patriot Ordnance Factory firearm is logged and cataloged.
Additionally, the company uses only U.S. produced steel and U.S. produced products to manufacture its firearms. In the end, while a bit of a commercial for POF, my purpose is to spotlight an American small business, a gun manufacturer with a proud heritage of producing quality AR-15s. Then, imagine if you would that tomorrow AR-15s and weapons like them were banned. To some people, this might seem like a good thing… but what about POF’s employees and the hundreds of thousands like them? What effect would a ban have on each of their families? How many of them would have to move to find other employment?
Finally, through Pittman Robertson funds collected as a tax on the sale of every firearm, as well as other sporting equipment, helps to fund conservation and many of the people connected it—from the park ranger to the people that write the books that are sold in the gift shop.
The argument for firearms and firearms business extends well beyond politics and peoples emotions. It’s also about businesses that affect people far removed from those who pull the trigger.