Two Gun Makers Say 'No' to Smith and Wesson-Type Fed Agreement

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

( - Two gun makers, Glock, Inc, a Georgia-based company and Salt Lake City-based Browning, have rejected the possibility of signing a Smith & Wesson-type agreement with the US government.

"It's going to be more expensive this way, but we're doing it because our company is run by one man and he's a highly principled individual. He's not going to kowtow to this kind of extortion," said Paul Jannuzzo, Glock's vice president and general counsel.

"In my estimation, Smith & Wesson has been politically drugged into giving away their own rights, the rights of everyone in the industry, the rights of licensed gun dealers and the rights of law-abiding gun owners," said Browning Vice President Rich Bauter.

"Unfortunately, a member of our industry, that is owned by an outsider, a foreign country, has caved in to political maneuvering. There would be no way we would make such an agreement," Bauter added.

Smith & Wesson is owned by Tompkins PLC, a British conglomerate. Last week, the company, this nation's largest manufacturer of fire arms, became the first such company to agree to install safety locks on its weapons in an effort to make them more child-proof.

The company also announced it would develop the so-called "smart gun" technology within the next three years.

The possibility of Glock following suit collapsed over the Clinton Administration's insistence that a so-called oversight commission, composed of local, state and federal officials, be created. "The commission is an absurd concept. It's overly broad and it's more powerful than any regulatory agency," Jannuzzo insisted.

Smith & Wesson agreed to the idea of the commission and also promised to add a hidden and second serial number to handguns. The second number would make it easier to trace the gun's ownership.

Smith & Wesson entered into the agreement in return for a promise that it would no longer be subject to as many as 30 lawsuits filed by cities and states, or to future lawsuits.