Gun Control Hits Gun Valley
Gun Control took center stage in the nation’s capitol in mid-April, with the Senate failing to pass a number of proposed anti-gun/anti-industry bills. President Obama expressed outrage, saying he would continue to push his gun-control proposals.
In Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy placed his signature on what likely are the toughest gun-control laws in the nation. Unfortunately, the legislation was crafted in secret, was not presented at a public hearing and most legislators had little time to actually read the bill before casting their votes.
This, NSSF points out, “means that mistakes in what is now enacted law will have to be corrected.” One of those involves “universal background checks” of private firearm sales, which are “not permissible based on federal law and regulations governing NICS,” NSSF says.
The far-reaching law also places Connecticut-based firearm companies in a dilemma.
“Law-abiding citizens of this state now have greater restrictions on their Second Amendment and state constitutional rights, while Connecticut’s firearms manufacturers will be forced to seriously weigh the impact on their businesses and their employees of the state’s double standard of ‘you can build it here, but not sell it here,’ public policy formulation,” NSSF said in a statement.
In a CNN interview following the law’s enactment, Steve Sanetti, NSSF president, pointed out the Connecticut law bans far more than the 100 firearms reported in the media.
“They’re actually banning many, many more. It goes far beyond any reasonable restriction one might think would be appropriate. It has nothing to do with controlling violent criminals. That’s one inherent contradiction I see in the law,” Sanetti said.
Sanetti also criticized the secretive way the law was rushed through the legal process.
“That is no way to craft legislation, and I think we’re going to have to undo a lot of provisions, because they are completely unworkable,” Sanetti said.
NSSF officials indicate they are studying the new law for possible challenge in the courts.
Gov. Malloy, following his signing the legislation into law, appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” program and attacked the industry for its objection to universal background checks.
“This is about is the ability of the gun industry to sell as many guns to as many people as possible — even if they are deranged, even if they are mentally ill, even if they have a criminal background. They don’t care. They want to sell guns,” Malloy said.
The attack is in stark contrast to the governor’s March 6 letter to the state’s firearm manufacturers, in which he acknowledged the then-proposals “could have an impact on your business.”
“I recognize there are differences between us, but it is my hope you will continue to stay in our state so we can continue to have an open and honest dialogue. Additionally, some of the issues related to gun-violence prevention require the expertise of the manufacturing community, and I welcome your involvement in crafting certain guidelines and strategies,” Malloy wrote.
The new Connecticut law, coupled with the governor’s dramatic shift in tone, presents a significant challenge for manufacturers who make firearms that are now illegal in Gun Valley.
Also in early April, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley applauded the passage of his sponsored legislation, which places a ban on “assault weapons,” limits magazine capacity to 10 rounds and requires fingerprinting for handgun purchases, along with other provisions.
UN Gun Control
On the international scene, the United States reversed its position regarding the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. During the final hours of negotiations in late March, the U.S. abandoned its previous insistence that the treaty be approved only through achieving “consensus” of all the member states.
“This abrupt about-face on the longstanding United States requirement for ‘consensus’ illustrates that the Obama administration wants a sweeping U.N. arms control treaty. The United Nations treaty would have a broad impact on the U.S. firearms industry and its base of consumers in the U.S,” said Larry Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.
For more on information, visit www.nssf.org/govrel.
Ruger Reports 2012 Sales, Earnings
turm, Ruger & Co. (NYSE-RGR) announced in February that for 2012, the company posted sales of $491.8 million and fully diluted earnings of $3.60 per share. For 2011, Ruger reported sales of $328.8 million and fully diluted earnings of $2.09 per share.
For the fourth quarter of 2012, Ruger’s net sales were $141.8 million and fully diluted earnings were $1 per share. For the corresponding period in 2011, net sales were $93.2 million and fully diluted earnings were $0.54 per share.
“Our earnings increased 77 percent in 2012, driven by the 50-percent growth in sales and our ongoing focus on continuous improvement in our operations,” said Mike Fifer, Ruger CEO. “New product introductions were a significant component of our sales growth as new product sales represented $182 million, or 38 percent, of firearm sales in 2012.”
During 2012, Ruger returned $111.5 million to its shareholders through dividends.
For more information, visit www.ruger.com/corporate.
By Russ Thurman
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