NRA Show Buzz

There was quite a lot of buzz at the NRA this year. The names Springfield and Rock River were often mentioned and not for the reasons they may have hoped. It should be said that I’m a fan of both companies’ products. I personally own a Springfield 1911 and rifle, and a Rock River rifle as well. I think Rob Latham is the man, and the list of positives could go on for a while.

Springfield might have hoped that the buzz around their booth would surround the release of their new XD-E, but there seemed to be more individuals coming up to voice their protest concerning SB1657 (An Illinois Gun Dealer Licensing Act). It appeared to many that both Rock River and Springfield were prepared to fight against this act until an option was provided that wouldn’t affect their business directly. To many, it seemed that their needed voices grew silent at that juncture. Whether good or bad, market voices help direct and re-direct large organizations. A ground swell often affects a business’ decision as they seek to forecast stewardship of the bottom line. It seems that the groundswell heard face to face with consumers at the NRA show in Atlanta is creating just such a response.

Springfield’s Statement:

Springfield Armory has always fought hand-in-hand with the NRA, NSSF, ISRA and many others for legislation that fiercely protects the Second Amendment, individual rights and the industry as a whole. Our fight continues today as some members of the Illinois legislature are pushing to overregulate the industry through Gun Dealer Licensing Act (SB1657).

“At the time of my initial statement to the media, I was ill-informed of the ramifications of this bill and its detrimental effects to the Second Amendment, which I have personally fought to protect my entire life. I can tell you now, we at Springfield Armory are unequivocally 100 percent against this bill and will continue to work with the NRA and others to ensure that it is defeated,” said Dennis Reese, Chief Executive Officer, Springfield Armory.

Springfield Armory, like Rock River Arms, was not aware of the actions taken by our trade association, IFMA, until after the fact. We take this situation very seriously and are looking into how this very unfortunate lapse in communication occurred.

Springfield Armory has fought and defeated legislation like this in Illinois for the past 15 years. We are wholeheartedly against this bill and will fight to see it defeated as the unnecessary and harmful overreach that it is.

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Rock River’s Statement:

For immediate release: May 1, 2017

Rock River Arms, Inc.® (RRA) wants to assure the Illinois (and national) firearms community that we are still 100 percent opposed to the Gun Dealer Licensing Act – SB1657, the house version of the same bill, and any potential final legislation that may come from those bills along with any other infringements on the gun rights of law-abiding citizens everywhere.

For more than twenty years, Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory have actively opposed gun control legislation at the local, state, and federal levels. In 2009, we partnered with other manufacturers to form an organization geared towards representing our interests – The Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA). Historically, that organization has done well in representing us in Springfield, Illinois. We had no reason to believe that it was doing anything beyond representing the firearms community’s (Illinois firearms manufacturers, dealers and gun owners) best interests, keeping us well-informed on relevant legislation and issues, acting on our behalf. In the case of SB1657, there was a disconnect and that representation was misguided.

While we do believe that IFMA acted in what it felt was the best interests of its members, we were as shocked as everyone else to find ourselves exempted from provisions of SB1657 and that IFMA was no longer opposing that bill, even though RRA still opposed it.

Again, Rock River Arms wants to emphasize (regardless of anything that may have been said or done, mistakenly or otherwise, by any other party on our behalf) its continued total opposition to SB1657, the Illinois House version of the bill and any final legislation that may emerge. This includes any provisions found in Gun Dealer Licensing Act SB1657, along with any other threats that may infringe upon our gun rights.

If you have any further questions or require more information about our position, please contact:

Sarah Larson, General Manager or Steve Mayer, LE, Government, and International Sales Manager at 309-792-5780.

Thank you.

Chuck Larson President/Owner Rock River Arms, Inc.

Join The Conversation

I’m curious to hear your reaction to these statements. Would you share them with me in the comments below? Do you think these companies are primarily interested in serving their own interest first, or primarily interested in defending freedom? I know that the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You (the gun buyer) have proven that time and time again. If you feel that a company is trustworthy in defending 2A principles, you open your wallets and support them. I look forward to hearing and engaging with your thoughts!

This article was originally published on The Arms Guide and written by