On 01JAN05, the ".50 Caliber BMG Regulation Act of 2004" took effect in the state of California – more commonly known as "Kalifornistan" on this site. This law required existing .50 BMG rifles in the state to be registered with the state government within a year or be labeled "illegal firearms", and furthermore prohibited any sale of any rifle so chambered; unsurprisingly, law enforcement officers and agencies were exempted from this law.
Sometime in April of 2005 (I have been unable to dig up the exact date), Ronnie Barrett, the owner and CEO of Barrett Firearms Manufacturing, Inc. – possibly one of the largest .50 BMG rifle manufacturers in the world – informed that state’s government that "we will not sell nor service any of our products to any government agency of the State of California".
Since then, Mr. Barrett’s example has been held up as something of a gold standard for what pro-rights activists expect out of companies when state and federal governments overstep their Constitutionally-prescribed boundaries. Unfortunately, not many other companies have stepped up and met that standard… until recently.
As most of my readers are already aware, New York state recently passed an amazingly draconian "gun control" law functionally prohibiting the overwhelming majority of semi-automatic firearms, banning all magazines over 10 rounds in capacity, and limiting remaining magazines to a mere seven rounds. I have little to no doubt this law will eventually be ruled unconstitutional, for obvious reasons, but for the time being, New York residents are basically prohibited from purchasing one of the most common and most popular rifle platforms in America these days.
Well, some companies, including LaRue Tactical, Olympic Arms, Templar Custom, Extreme Firepower Incorporated, LLC, and others, have informed the state of New York that if they cannot sell products to private citizens, they will not sell products to any governmental entity in that state either.
Sounds good to me.
Sean has been doing the yeoman’s work of maintaining a list of corporations currently boycotting the government of New York state, and I echo his exhortation to contact SIG, Smith and Wesson, and Glock and encourage them to get onboard with the boycott as well.
Likewise, I have sent the following email to Barrett:
As a pro-rights activist, former California resident, and fellow Tennessee resident, I would like to take a moment and thank you for taking a stand against that state’s government and deciding that if the state will not allow you to sell your products to its residents, neither will you sell those products to the state. It took some serious nerve to do that, especially considering the number of large police departments in that state, and I appreciate your willingness to stand by your fellow Americans.
However, the assaults on our freedoms and liberties never stop, and now it is the state of New York which has decided to unjustly relegate average Americans to "second-class citizen" status. You may have heard that the NY Legislature recently passed a law enforcing a "one-feature" "assault weapon" test on its residents’ rifles, and prohibiting the purchase of new magazines that can hold more than 7 rounds. So far as I can tell, that would functionally ban your entire product line, excluding the bolt action rifles.
I know this is asking a lot, as I imagine the NYPD is quite the customer of yours, but I would like to ask you to extend your boycott of California’s governments to include New York’s governments as well. Companies like LaRue Tactical, Olympic Arms, Extreme Firepower Incorporated, Templar Custom, and others have already taken this step; can we add your name to that list as well? Thank you for your time.
Unfortunately, I can neither afford nor rationalize a single thing Barrett makes, but, given the increase in ammunition prices, I have been meaning to expand my .22 firearm collection, and the Whitney Wolverine, resurrected by Olympic Arms (if they still make it – reports vary), looks like way too much fun. Likewise, my next/first quick-detach optic mount will come from LaRue, and while I do not need any custom firearm work done and cannot afford / wait for a new AR platform, I will do what i can to support the other companies who are also participating in the NY boycott.