The Pen is Mightier Than The Gun

by Ken Hanson

BFA's Gerard Valentino recently published an excellent article on the 100th birthday of the 1911. Enjoying this article, while at the same time wishing BFA's Linda Walker better luck running for the NRA Board of Directors than I had, reminded me of the 2008 NRA convention in Louisville. This was a special time for me, as the NRA was giving me recognition for my legal work at this meeting. Additionally, SB184 was on the cusp of passage by the Ohio House. What a pleasant long weekend – gun convention, meeting up with friends I usually only relate to online and Ohio was about to adopt a substantial gun rights bill.

The reason Gerard's article reminded me of these good times is that it was during this time frame that I wrote an article about Kimber USA's distressing habit of making special edition pistols for California Law Enforcement agencies. In spring of 2008, you could not pick up a gun magazine without an advertisement on the back cover for Kimber's latest special edition 1911, made for a California police agency.

I will not rehash the analysis I wrote, setting forth why Kimber's production of firearms for law enforcement agencies dedicated to destroying gun rights was counter-productive. Read the original article for that. However, upon reading Gerard's article, I grabbed my stack of gun magazines, going back to at least 2009, and saw that while Kimber was still the back cover advertiser, they were not advertising special edition California LEO guns anymore.

In fact, the Kimber SIS, the gun I complained about in the article, was quietly discontinued within a year, as was the LAPD SWAT edition.

I have no idea whether your letters and phone calls had any impact on Kimber's decision to stop marketing firearms linked to California LEO agencies. My original article received almost 12,000 reads, which is far from a record for BFA articles. However, I will leave you with anecdote shared by BFA chairman Jim Irvine.

Jim was talking to Kimber's marketing manager after the article appeared. The marketing manager confessed "I never thought of it that way." (Marketing guns to police departments committed to stripping civilian firearm rights.) Jim's reply was "How could you think of it any other way?"

Ladies and gentlemen, although we cannot prove that Kimber altered their ways because of your calls and letters, I don't believe in a sequence of coincidences that large. Your calls and letters, no matter if directed at a legislator or a gun company, do make a difference.

Ken Hanson is a gun rights attorney in Ohio. He serves as the Legislative Chair for Buckeye Firearms Association, and is the attorney of record for Buckeye Firearms Foundation, which filed friend-of-the-court briefs in the Heller and McDonald Supreme Court cases. The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) has awarded him with its 2008 Defender of Justice Award and 2009 Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award. He is the author of The Ohio Guide to Firearm Laws, a certified firearms instructor and holds a Type 01 Federal Firearms License.

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