Firearms-makers to politicians on gun rights: You balk, we walk

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Firearms companies ranging from gun shops to machinists are joining forces to oppose new gun control laws. Some are threatening to move away from states that crack down on guns, others are refusing to sell gear to police that can’t be sold to citizens.

A growing number of firearm firms in the US are vowing to reverse-boycott local and state governments that enact any new infringements on the Second Amendment.

Vowing to close what they’re calling “the police loophole,” at least 50 US companies, ranging from gun machinists to gun shops, are now saying publicly they’ll refuse to sell weapons and gear to police in places where governments have banned the use of the same gear by civilians.

Quality Arms, located in Rigby, Idaho, writes on its website that it “will not supply any firearm or product manufactured by us or any other company, nor will we warranty, repair, alter or modify a firearm owned by any state, county or municipality that infringes on the right of its citizens to bear arms under the 2nd Amendment.”

The move comes as Congress and some state houses are considering new gun controls in the wake of the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The most direct target of the “police loophole” movement seems to be New York State, which put into law a raft of new gun control regulations, including limiting the size of magazines, last month.

“Based on the recent legislation in New York, we are prohibited from selling rifles and receivers to residents of New York [so] we have chosen to extend that prohibition to all governmental agencies associated with or located within New York,” York Arms of Buxton, Maine, writes on its website.

So far, none of the major gun manufacturers have joined the list, and it’s an open question whether the smaller companies are bluffing or would even have occasion to sell directly to governments in New York State, for example.

“Unless S&W, Springfield Armory, Ruger, Remington, etc. get on board, these boycotts are practically useless,” writes an anonymous poster on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog.

Meanwhile, the push for more gun control continues across the country, led by President Obama.

On Friday, Obama’s political advocacy group, Organizing for Action, held over 100 events across the country, including letter-writing parties, rallies with police chiefs and mayors, and candlelight vigils, to push for Obama’s federal gun control plan, which includes beefing up background checks and banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Nevertheless, at least one of the companies on the “police loophole” list, Predator Intelligence of Phoenix, Ariz., says its pushback against new gun control laws is having an impact.

“We have police from LA and NYC that contact us about purchasing Magazines if they provide proof,” the company wrote recently on Facebook. “Why should we consider sending them to states that want to enforce laws that are unconstitutional?”

Indeed, the lack of support from police may have led the Minnesota State Senate this week to drop proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

“The assault weapons ban and high-capacity magazine ban proposals are highly divisive,” Sen. Ron Latz, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, noting that those proposals had not received strong support from police.

While Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, for example, has said it’s time for new limits on some guns and ammunition, threats by a major Colorado arms manufacturer, Magpul, to take hundreds of jobs out of state if the governor signs such laws appears to have given Mr. Hickenlooper some pause.

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Cal Thomas: Ben Carson owes Obama an apology

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What is wrong with Cal Thomas? Ben Carson owes the emperor an apology? Cal has been in Washington too long.

Our politics have become so polarized and corrupted that a president of the United States cannot even attend an event devoted to drawing people closer to God and bridge partisan and cultural divides without being lectured about his policies.

Last Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, Dr. Ben Carson, director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and a 2008 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, broke with a 61-year-old tradition and publicly disagreed with some of the president’s policies, such as Obamacare, taxation and the national debt. Disclosure: I have attended this event since 1971 and host a dinner the night before for members of the media.

Several in the audience of 3,000 applauded Carson’s remarks, which must have made the president feel even more uncomfortable. (And the President has made millions of citizens uncomfortable….so too bad if he was uncomfortable for  once.)

am no fan of the president’s policies, but the National Prayer Breakfast is billed as one of the few nonpolitical events in a very political city. Each year, the co-chairmen, one Democrat and one Republican from either the House or Senate, put aside their political differences, as they do in weekly gatherings, to pray for the nation’s leaders.

Carson, who spoke at the same event several years ago, has a compelling and inspirational personal story. He and his brother grew up in Detroit. His parents divorced when he was three. His mother kept an eye on her children and made them turn off the TV and read books. Carson said he did poorly in school and was mocked by classmates until he later caught the learning bug. He retold part of that story, but it was overwhelmed by his criticism of the president’s policies.

Carson is a great example of what perseverance can accomplish and his success is a rebuke to the entitlement-envy-greed mentality. By lowering himself to mention policies with which he disagrees, he diluted the power of a superior message.

His remarks were inappropriate for the occasion. It would have been just as inappropriate had he praised the president’s policies. The president had a right to expect a different message about another Kingdom. I’m wondering if the president felt drawn closer to God, or bludgeoned by the Republican Party and the applauding conservatives in the audience (there were many liberals there, too, as well as people from what organizers said were more than 100 nations and all 50 states).

If Carson wanted to voice his opinion about the president’s policies, he could have done so backstage. Even better, he might have asked for a private meeting with the man. As a fellow African-American who faced personal challenges and overcame them, the president might have welcomed Dr. Carson to the White House. Instead, Carson ambushed him.

Carson should publicly apologize and stop going on TV doing “victory laps” and proclaiming that reaction to his speech was overwhelmingly positive. That’s not the point. While many might agree with his positions (and many others don’t as shown by the November election results), voicing them at the National Prayer Breakfast in front of the president was the wrong venue.

Organizers for this event tell speakers ahead of time to steer clear of politics, but Carson apparently “went rogue” on them. I’m told organizers were astonished and disapproving of the critical parts of Carson’s keynote address. The breakfast is supposed to bring together people from different political viewpoints and cultures. It is supposed to bridge divides, not widen them.

If Obama and future presidents think their policies will be prey for political opponents at the prayer breakfast, they might decide not to come. That would be too bad for them, and too bad for the country.

Examiner Columnist Cal Thomas is nationally syndicated by Tribune Media.

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