The uproar was predictable when New York legislators in January passed strict new guns laws in the wake of last December's Newtown, Conn. school shootings. Gun owners genuflected to the 2nd Amendment and took verbal aim at Gov. Andrew Como, riled by a 7-bullet restriction on semi-automatic weapon clips. That effectively outlawed what are commonly called assault rifles such as the AR-15, whose manufacturers include Olympic Arms of Olympia.
Olympic Arms President Brian Schuetz - a man who likes to hunt elk with his AR-15 - fired back with a press release in February. It got play on conservative and gun websites but was mostly overlooked elsewhere. We came across it while researching this week's cover story on black-market gun-running by a rogue cop. In his corporate edict, Schuetz laid down his own law against NY's cops and other first responders, in Soup Nazi fashion: no gun for you!
"Due to the passing of this legislation," Schuetz wrote on the company's Facebook page, "Olympic Arms would like to announce that the State of New York, any Law Enforcement Departments, Law Enforcement Officers, First Responders within the State of New York, or any New York State government entity or employee of such an entity -- will no longer be served as customers." Wrote Schuetz:
In short, Olympic Arms will no longer be doing business with the State of New York or any governmental entity or employee of such governmental entity within the State of New York - henceforth and until such legislation is repealed, and an apology made to the good people of the State of New York and the American people.
If the leaders of the State of New York are willing to limit the right of the free and law abiding citizens of New York to arm themselves as they see fit under the Rights enumerate [sic] to all citizens of the United State through the Second Amendment, we feel as though the legislators and government entities within the State of New York should have to abide by the same restrictions.
Olympic was founded in 1956 and has been producing arms in the Olympia area since 1975 - it's offices are located just outside Lacey. The gunmaker is one of the few manufacturers to make every major AR-15 part in-house. (AR stands for ArmaLite, the rifle's original maker, and not for assault rifle; the military uses the automatic version of the rifle, the M16).
Schuetz invited other firearms manufacturers, distributors and dealers to join his boycott, and at least a half-dozen have followed. The press release has drawn more than 700 Facebook comments and gotten 11,000 likes. Some NY legislators are reportedly rethinking the changes and the NRA is filing a lawsuit today seeking to have the law thrown out.
Olympic has also announced it is refusing to advertise in the FOP Journal, the official magazine of the Fraternal Order of Police. "It is well known that the FOP is a staunch supporter of Gun Control, had backed the AWB [assault weapons ban] under Bill Clinton, and supports the current AWB under consideration that was introduced by Diane Feinstein," says Olympic.
Such a stand is "reprehensible and shameful" says Olympic, calling the police group "a rogue organization supporting tyranny, not an organization sworn to uphold the laws of the land, to protect, serve and defend their constituencies." The proposed assault weapons ban was mortally wounded in the Senate earlier this week.