Rock River and Springfield Respond to Gun Bill Controversy

The firearms industry has had a quite the shake-up this past week. The NRA Annual Meeting kicked off on Friday, April 28th. Hours before, the news broke that notable firearm manufacturers Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory had spent lobbying dollars that allowed Illinois SB-1657 to pass. SB-1657 was a strict gun control bill opposed by the NSSF, NRA, and other gun rights group. After the news broke at the NRA Annual Meeting many attendees confronted both Rock River Arms and Springfield representatives. Both companies have now issued official statements on the topic.

What is SB-1657?

Sen. Don Harmon, Democrat in the Illinois Senate

Sen. Don Harmon, Democrat in the Illinois Senate


SB-1657 was authored by Democrat Don Harmon, a long time gun control advocate, and sponsored by numerous other liberal state senators. The bill focused on making new licensing restrictions on who can and cannot legally sell firearms in the state of Illinois. Among the new rules put in place would be a five person licensing board, yearly gun purchase limits, and dealer shut downs for a slew of new reasons. The scariest part of this, besides the state controlling who can and cannot sell firearms, is that anyone who transfers (buys, sells, or takes possession of) ten or more firearms within a calendar year is instantly considered a firearm dealer, and as such would need to have the proper paperwork filed. Those who transferred 10 or more guns without an approved firearm sales license would then be guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor for the first offense, and a Class 4 Felony for the second offense. Needless to say, this bill is no good. Unfortunately, the bill needed 30 votes to pass gthe state Senate, and the final vote was 30-21, sending the bill to the state house.

Why Did Gun Companies Support It?

Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory are both major donors to the Illinois Firearm Manufacturers Association. At $50,000 each, these companies probably are the biggest contributors to the Manufacturers’ association. Jay Keller, the registered lobbyist for the IFMA, began lobbying against the bill. However, Keller made a deal with the bill’s sponsors. If the authors of the bill offered to “carve out” or exempt the manufacturers from the restrictions of the bill, then Keller would stop lobbying against the bill, and switch his position to neutral. A neutral position would then, in turn, signal to senators on the fence that they could vote in favor of the bill and not jeopardize future campaign contributions from the IFMA. In the end, this signal was heard loud and clear…by the firearms community.

Statement from Rock River Arms

President and Owner of Rock River Arms, Chuck Larson, sent out this message on May 1st:
Rock_River_Arms_logo

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.

Statement from Springfield Armory

On May 1st, Springfield Armory released this initial 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.

springfield_logo

Springfield CEO Makes a Statement

Then, on May 2nd, Springfield Armory released another statement; this one from CEO Dennis Reese:

The Executive Director of the Illinois Firearm Manufacturers Association (IFMA) acted without our prior knowledge and against our principles and those of the industry as a whole with respect to the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. We no longer have confidence in IFMA and after speaking to other directors we have made the decision to sever all ties with the organization, effective immediately.

I take full responsibility for my failure of oversight in this case and deeply apologize to my employees, customers and industry partners for the distraction and divisiveness this situation has caused within our tight-knit community. Our industry has always stood strong and fought fiercely together in the past and I am personally committed to defeating this harmful legislation. To that end, I have pledged to the NRA that we will bring the full resources of my company to bear in this fight.

We are not new to this battle, Springfield Armory has fought and defeated legislation like this in Illinois for decades. We are wholeheartedly against this bill and will fight shoulder-to-shoulder with the NRA, National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Illinois State Rifle Association and others to see it defeated as the unnecessary and harmful overreach that it is.

We want to assure all Americans, like us, who fight to protect the Second Amendment that we and our industry partners will leave no stone unturned to defeat this bill.

What are your thoughts on this scandal? Do you blame Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory for the lobbyists’ actions? Will you ever purchase a firearm from these companies again? Let us know what you think in the comments!

160 Comments On This Article

  1. Not my idea of a scandal. Threats about never buying a firearm again from these companies is blatant political pressure to conform. There is some necessary regulation because we all have seen idiots on the range and in the woods and we have all seen dealers with serious conspiracy paranoia. If you think the NRA’s major push for Trump is perfectly fine then you have chosen party over country just like much of the GOP. Glad for the second amendment as a gun toting liberal.

    • Reading comprehension is not your strong suite I see. Some Necessary regulation ? I guess Shall Not be Infringed in your under standing of the English language is the same as the Ten COMMANDMENTS actually meaning the Ten SUGGESTIONS?

    • The government should have no dominion over the right to keep and bear arms. It is true that some people are idiots, however the closer the government comes to a monopoly of force the more likely we i.e. the law abiding American will face organized official corruption by the entity the militia was intended to protect against. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. What left-wing pro government anti-individualistic fools do not get is that the dispersion of power amongst more of “the people” as- expressed in the concept of Militia- is the greatest stroke of genius the world has ever known. It is one of the few real obstacles to total government/total regulation/control by autocrats/oligarchs who eventually and with absolute certainty will arrogantly subsume all private agency with their own. When governments make mistakes- in the personage of idiotic/stupid/power-hungry government agents and/or operations their power in suppressing it is unparalleled i.e. you will most likely never hear of it. There are idiots/morons/corruption et al. worldwide in every civil/government organization/institution worldwide but the power to not give the citizens/subjects or even slaves the knowledge of how idiotic/moronic or corrupt the government is in it’s operations and human fallacies is the least likely to be advertised- since government servants/agents do not want to undermine the “faith” we have in government itself. The point being is that you are advocating for the entity most likely to be corrupt i.e. the government to regulate- use or threaten to use force (up to and including armed force)- against the party least likely to be corrupt i.e. the American people.

  2. I don’t know the circumstances that prevented the respective companies from knowing the full ramifications of the legislation. It is my belief that complacency is a factor when it is critical that those envolved be hyper-vigilant. This is so serious, whether or not the anti-gun legislation passes, that maximum accountability measures are demanded. In other words, FIRE the culprits in the two companies not just opt out of the representative association.

    • This is the same type of complacency or ignorance of facts that caused the last eight years of Americas slippage into socialism accelerating like a Trident missile.

      • There will be none because the IFMA – is – RRA and SA. They are the lobby arm of those two companies and those two companies alone. The statements from both companies are lies. They got caught with their pants down and what you see is just a quick pull and buckle up.

  3. I was considering and likely planning on buying a Springfield Armory Range Officer this summer until I discovered this article. I cannot believe a mistake of this magnitude can be made through a simple accident on the part of these companies. If in fact it was an accident, it is probably still going to adversely affect them down the road. I know at this point, I have decided to purchase the new adjustable sight Ruger 1911 instead of the Springfield Range Officer. I can’t help but blame these companies to some degree for helping the anti-gun cause.

    • You can place blame on anyone you please ! But hese two fine pro- 2nd Amendment companies are not to blame for the actions of the lobbyists they mistakenly trusted ( and paid a lot of money as well ! ) to fight against this onerous gun control legislation ! The lobbyists screwed R.R.arms and Springfield both ! As well as Americans everywhere !
      They have both immediately severed all ties to the IFMA ( who acted against both companies and all gun owners in the state ! And both companies have good records of pro 2nd Amendment activities in the past ! They got conned ! And they have vowed to fight even harder for our rights ! Great !
      OUR comunity needs to stick together and fight gun grabbing politicians ,no matter whom they ARE !

        • Are you a gun guy or a school teacher; or maybe both. When reading blogs I concentrate on the content and the message instead of correcting or editing the author.

          • I’m a gun guy , Jim , who spelled something incorrectly ,and couldn’t figure out (at first )how to edit “stock together ” to read “stick together ”
            … I probably should’ve used “who” instead of “whom ” in the final sentence too !… Definitely not a school teacher ! :-)

  4. Hell yes i would buy from them but that’s not to say they don’t need one of there fingers bit off in the sales department.

      • These companies were trusting that the IFMA was working for their best interest and the interest of the gun owners. Ufortunately we all have known people or organizations that have disappointed us at times. I don’t blame RRA or SA. There has been a history with IFMA that would lead them to believe that their money was being used wisely to fight for gun rights. Unfortunately IFMA for some reason kowtowed to the libtards. They’re the one that I’m pissed at.

        • Unfortunately I wrote the above post before I read Tad’s post below. I did not realize that IFMA was basically 4 people which include the owners of rra and sa. So much for integrity.

      • No , but I’d buy a firearm from either of these two 2nd Amendment supporting companies…stop shaking your head and it might be easier for you to think ! The bad actors are the Democratic politicians pushing these Anti-American , anti gun LAWS !
        Springfield and RockRiver have decades of pro gun , pro 2nd Amendment history ,of fighting for OUR rights and have spent millions of dollars to help our causes !
        Attack the real enemy , liberal gun grabbers and anti gun leftists !

  5. If both of these companies are headquartered in Illinois, my first question is why? If they are, I will not buy one of there guns, until they move to a gun friendly state!!!

    • That is kinda harsh on their employees who ,for one reason or
      another , can’t pull up stakes and move along with the company ?

      • Who, in their right minds, would want to live in Illinois? I left 45 years ago, and am still happy about it. Dysfunctional liberal. Nut cases run the place. Other manufacturers have left other state for better places. No reason these two couldn’t do the same.

  6. Denny Lee Penticoff

    When you contribute $50,000 annually to an organization (i.e. lobby group) that is allegedly dedicated to defending the Second Amendment at the state level for the benefit of your business and consumer base you ought to have someone at your company that liaisons on a regular basis with the organization (i.e. IFMA). There are not a plethora of weapon manufacturers in the draconian State of Illinois. Therefore, I accept Springfield’s Armory apology since it disassociated itself with the IFMA. I do NOT accept Rock River Arms excuse (“I know nothing.” like Sargent Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes). My instinct tells me that someone high up the food chain at IFMA took a bribe to sell out consumers Second Amendment rights from some progressive anti-gun group. Illinois is a notoriously corrupt state. Rock River Arms should follow Springfield Armory’s lead and send the IFMA to where it belongs, the trash heap of Illinois politics. I will but from Springfield, but Rock River will be boycotted indefinitely.

  7. Knowing, FULL WELL KNOWING, the liberal tenacity, especially in states like Illinois, to completely dismantle and eradicate the 2nd amendment, it seems EXTREMELY implausible, improbable or an outright lie that a law that so deeply impacts the firearms industry is being pushed forward in the state legislature and both Springfield and RRA claim ignorance to knowing what the bill and it’s impact would have on the firearms industry even when it was being negotiated and “opposed” by an entity that was for by the two firearms manufacturers. Sounds to me like they got caught trying to cut a deal for themselves while leaving all others hung out to dry. Now that they have been found out by the gun owning citizens of this great country they are just doing damage control and lip service so they don’t lose customers, I’m afraid it’s lo late for SA and RRA as there are many other companies making quality AR rifle platforms and many companies can import firearms from Croatia that are too expensive.

  8. Springfield and RRA should move to Indiana where we have the same terrain, skilled but underemployed manufacturing workforce, and believe in the USA, freedom, and most importantly the 2nd Ammendment!!!!

  9. As a die hard Springfield fan, I have to admit that I find it difficult to believe “communication” or “lack of knowledge” are viable excuses. On it’s face, the obvious and more probable reasoning would be more control and less competition. When you hear hoof beats, think horses not zebras. I sure hope I am wrong though.

  10. Springfield Armory makes, arguably, the best production 1911 platform pistols on the market, and sells them at a very competitive price. I will continue to buy their products, as I believe the situation with IMFA was simply a lack of due diligence by Springfield Armory, not deliberately deceitful on their part.

  11. Harold from California

    Hey guys, lets cut them some slack… you have no idea how miserable it is living in a state that is populated (most of your neighbors) by a bunch of obsessively miss-guided (totally ignorant of the Constitution and valid research relating to gun usage for self-defense) progressive (Democrats in my state) gun fearing (bordering on psychosis) brain washed (thanks media) gun haters. Welcome to the wonderful world of lobbyists…

  12. I disagree with Clete. Living on the Iowa side, but close to both RRA and Springfield Armory, I have dealt with both locations and know many of those employed by both locations — at all levels. When I retired from the military, Springfield treated me right with a super deal on both a custom 1911 and M1A. Both companies are ran by good people — true patriots. And knowing lobbyist, my belief is that the lobbyist “thought” they were working in the best interest of the companies, but misdirected in their actions, leaving both companies holding the sh**ty end of the stick, so to speak.

    • Yes ,both companies got screwed ! But their pledge to spare no expense to stop this bill from becoming law is a good thing ! Let’s see what happens !

  13. Lest one forget that good ol S&W once sold out every other gun manufacturing entitys with their providing all pertinennt registration info immediately to feds.
    They then used it as a market crunchrr by restricting sales of even used S&W Firearms unless their sellout to feds was followed.
    Did the gun community, the american citizen , not corporate elites, stop purchasing its products: no way and in fact increased sales resulted.
    Its all about the Dollars in corporate and the comfort level of the gun buying peasantry.
    As long as the peasants can buy cheap weapons and the more affluent their toys, “Where is the beef.

  14. I find their story pretty plausible. Should they have had better oversight? Maybe, but does anyone remember when the NRA supported the “assault weapon ban?” They did, because their lobbyists said it was the best they could hope for at the time. I’m a member and I didn’t agree, but I didn’t know about it until after the fact. This could asily be the same kind of situation.

  15. I agree with Clete. No way that RRA and SA DID NOT KNOW what this bill was about. By trying to broker a deal for themselves – they were OK with screwing the very fabric of the 2nd amendment, ie, the common man!!! They might as well donate to Bill, Hillary and Obama. Maybe they can still help fund Obamas libarary. I had intended to buy a SA XDe but will get something else instead. A very sad day indeed. As a USAF retiree, I am disgusted.

  16. Every time a manufacturer sells out the rights of citizens for their own gain, I remember it and place that company on my personal never again purchase list. I remember when George Bush the first created his semiautomatic ban and Ruger thought it was fine because their Mini-14 was not included on it. I immediately sold any Ruger I owned and have never bought another Ruger. Both Springfield Armory’s and Rock River Arms’ comments are the equivalent of a politician coming out to make excuses only after the light has been shined on their bad behavior. I will immediate sell the Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms products I own and will never buy another product from either. If is inexcusable for any firearms manufacturer to sell out the rights of the citizen. I will remember their horrific actions forever.

    • LOL Russ. Soon you will not be able to buy any guns with that attitude! I would not want you managing my budget with knee jerk reactions such as this. Good luck!

    • Your loss ,Dude ! You’ll miss out on some great firearms ! Because you are so easily
      fooled ? The real culprits are the gun grabbing politicians !
      Neither company sold out anyone ! Can’t you understand these companies trusted a lobbyist group to represent them ,AND GOT SCREWED !
      Springfield and RRArms actively support the 2nd Amendment , always have and all ways will ! The provide some great firearms Russ , they help us support our gun rights , and they certainly aren’t our enemies !
      Try chilling out till you find out the real story !

  17. Sounds to me like these 2 companies were trying to feather their own nest. I don’t buy the “we didn’t know” bullshit. I own weapons made by both of these companies. I won’t be buying anymore of their products. They should think about moving their opeeations to a gun friendly state and let the people of Illinois know why some of their citizens are losing their jobs and why the state is losing tax revenue.

    • Absolutely, they should move out of Illinois and far from Chicago. Both are and have been a problem for God fearin, honest Americans.

    • In CT, formerly the arms manufacturing center of the world, most of the majors have packed it in and moved out after Gov. malloy came up with the most ridiculous set of laws in the US. Think Remington, WIn, Mossberg, Marlin, Stag etc. etc. Colts in a pickle. There are many former mfg plants now vacant, most people lost their jobs. But it’s all for the “better”. Take the hint RRA and SA. Get the hell out of there, don’t be the boiling frogs.

  18. They both screwed up badly and will now make gun ownership in that State difficult for thousands of people. I guess it is up to the individual to decide whether to support these 2 manufacturers in the future, but I can’t imagine myself supporting them in the future, as there are so many choices out there.

  19. If these two companies are able to lobby against this bill successfully – meaning that they are instrumental in defeating it completely, then I would purchase their products again. If this onerous bill is able to pass and become yet another oppressive law as a result of their inaction, if not complicity, then I will never consider their products in the future.

    • I agree , except they contributed ( to a group of lobbyists {the IFMA } ) over a hundred thousand dollars to fight AGAINST this bill being passed ! The IFMA took their money then screwed them by NOT fighting against the bill like they were supposed to ! But now these companies have said they will work to defeat this crappy Bill from becoming a law , And have severed all ties with the IFMA ,
      Let’s see what happens next !

  20. This seems like a case of manufs. trusting (IFMA), but not verifying. The manufacturers should not blindly trust anyone, friend or foe, when it comes to gun rights, b/c for some people their principles are more flexible than others. Or maybe it was an overt attempt to gain a competitive advantage by selling out their principles. Hard to tell.

    Also difficult to understand why IFMA didn’t inform their membership of the change in their mission statement.

    But Principles matter.

  21. Just as some of the elected Delegates to the Presidential Nominating Convention decide to ignore the will of the people and to “vote their conscience” , which translates into “cutting their OWN deal”, the IFMA representing the Firearms Industries apparently cut his own deal as well. Springfield Armory severed its ties with the IFMA, but needs to go further and file a lawsuit against that organization to recover ALL of the funds ever contributed to them , based on the IFMA’s failure to operate in their company’s best interests. The other manufacturers should do likewise. They are already morally bankrupt, so let’s bankrupt them financially as well. Defund the bastards and keep records on who they employ, to prevent them from reorganizing under a new name and coming back to continue their treachery.

  22. If they have that kind of money to give the anti gunners I’m glad none of it was mine….I have a match grade m1a that’s old enough to drive…and have been looking over Rock river parts,trust me all of my gun people will know about this very soon….

  23. First, who would donate money to someone or something that they dont follow thru with, or know what it is they are doing with the money. They are just trying to cover their ass so their sales dont suffer. I will NEVER buy a gun from either one of the lying companies again.

  24. If they follow thru on their statements, I won’t have a problem with them. I would like to know what actions they take to defeat the bill i.e. how much money and effort the put in to defeat the bill, and what they do to correct the IFMA action.

  25. Just 2 more companies selling out our right to own firearms so they will be exempt from this law. I am tired of companies and congress people doing the same thing for monetary reasons only and for personal gain. Are there no personal ethics in existence for corporate and personal actions when it comes to “business” or is everything kosher when it comes to MONEY? Does only money dictate action taken? Sounds like this is the case in point here!!!

  26. Both companies had better do EVERYTHING necessary to assure the defeat of the Illinois Senate version of this bill! If they don’t, I’m sure their profitability will be all but erased. They have used profits from OUR purchases against us! We’re watching…

  27. I agree wholeheartedly with everything Clete, Russ, Mike and Earl said. They said it is clearly as I could have so there is no reason to reiterate our position.

  28. This sellout is despicable. The poor citizens of IL were, once again, sold out, by those who want Americans to be docile slaves of their repressive government that would restrict all rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights

    • Yes those selling out are the politicians who pushed this onerous bill !
      And the double dealing lobbyists (IFMA ) who took $100K from Springfield and RRA to lobby against this bill , and did not !
      And I notice a lot of selling out by keyboard warriors willing to throw a couple of Long Time 2nd Amendment supporting companies under the bus because of rumours and innuendo ! Keyboard Commandos who are ACTUALLY doing the work of those gungrabbing anti-gun politicians ,who want all gun companies out of business ,and gun owners to eat their own and fight amongst themselves
      We need to stand together !

  29. They should have been smarter and more diligent in their associations with those groups. Better communication with NRA and other reliable sources would have warned them as to what was afoot. These are big companies with supposedly smart CEO’s. They don’t make political and policy mistakes like that.

    • Ed, I sincerely believe that both SA & RRA are quite familiar with IFMA as they apparently were instrumental in founding the association. If you read through the article in it’s entirety you will see; ” In 2009, we partnered with other manufacturers to form an organization geared towards representing our interests – The Illinois Firearms Manufacturers Association (IFMA). ” This was stated in the message sent by Mr.Chuck Larson, the President and Owner of Rock River Arms…..

  30. This is a case of companies not realizing that they should not bite the hand of those who feed them. I don’t live in Illinois but I will not be buying from either company anymore.

  31. Sounds like total BULLCRAP to me……they got caught and are now making excuses?? I was seriously considering the XD-E as a possible edc gun……NO MORE!!

  32. I have never bought or owned any Rock River Arms products and looks like I never will. I have owned a Springfield Armory M1A rifle in the past and it was sweet shooting and I was getting ready to purchase another one till I saw and heard what they did. I will never own another product from them . Shame on you Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms ! Enjoy your stay over on the ” Dark Side”.

  33. Would you spend that kind of money for a pig in a poke ? Seems like that is what they did and then try to justify what they did by claiming ignorance. None of their products for the me. Pure and simple sell out 😬

  34. I am saddened to learn of this betrayal by two big firearms companies. I have both companies represented in my personal collection. However I will pledge never to purchase anything from them again.
    Jim

  35. Stephen Anderson

    Oh what a web we weave, when we practice to deceive.

    Since when do corporations not know what’s being done with $50,000.00?
    Will they sue to recover those funds? After all they were misrepresented weren’t they? I think it’s bullshit and firearm owners/dealers are betrayed again, but this time it’s worse, it comes from our side.

  36. Both statements are a lie. The IFMA has two members, RRA and SA. The only purpose of the organization is political action by those two companies. To say they had no idea they were exempted from the bill and had no idea what IFMA was doing just makes the situation worse. Springfield Armory doesn’t even make guns anymore, it’s been reduced to a name bought a few years ago and now just imports guns – rolls their name on them and sells them trading on their traditional American name. Both companies are dead to me and won’t see another nickel.

  37. While it was disheartening to hear about what happened with RRA and SA, the true fault is with the Illinois Firearm Manufacturers Association, who turned away from the fight for there own purposes. The IFMA is a lobbying group that sold out the firearms industry and the members of said group should drop out of it and go with another organization that has the best interest of the industry and the second amendment as their heart and soul. Springfield and Rock RIver were both blind sided by this.

    • The IFMA IS Springfield and Rock River. The IRS organization filings show that the IFMA consists of four officers -Dennis Reese and his wife and Chuck Larson. The fourth is the registered lobbyist Keller. To say they have severed all ties to the IFMA is to say they have severed all ties to themselves! This info is all over multiple web sites. They got caught and are now backpedaling as fast as possible. They thought we weren’t smart enough to catch them, then thought we weren’t smart enough to figure out who they really are. Screw ’em! And I was really interested in the new XD with the hammer. Not anymore

    • Scott in Atlanta

      HA! You believe that? Hey, I’ve got a beachfront condo in Iowa for sale, for the low low price of only $2,000,000! Today only! You’d better jump fast! The Caribbean’s waiting!

  38. so having been exempted themselves it look’s like their ( IFMA ) support was to prevent other companies from moving into Ill, and to prevent new star-ups in firearm manufacturing, it’s hard for me to believe that both were “unaware” of what IFMA was doing, ON THEIR BEHALF.

  39. It sucks getting caught playing both sides doesn’t it!. Springfield (SA) and Rock River Armory (RRA))…Apparently these 2 companies think that everyone in this country are products of the public school system, which have been socially promoting a bunch of, “I’m an entitled driven millennials and please tell me what to do”. Well amigos, you were wrong and now is time to pay the price. Although I don’t own any RRA I do own a Springfield Range Officer, and it will be the last one I own. I was in the market for a Saint, but I think I’ll save my money and get a Yankee Hill Machine or Alexander Arms (made by Americans with love for America). Bad form SA and RRA!. You’all need to really show your American Pride so that you can regain our trust, your costumers. We, as proud Americans, are a very forgiving and willing to give a second chance, as long as you make it right and don’t do it again. This is a warning, Don’t do it again!, or I will not only stop buying your products but I’ll make sure that all I meet will know what you did to your faithful consumers. Writing a letter claiming ignorance is just a cap out and we’re on to you guys. You obviously need a change in management personnel and style. Delegation is a good thing , but don’t forget to verify. Good luck with damage control.

    Hugh

    • The same with Springfield and all the other Mnfg’s selling Neutered ARs in Ca. They are in it to make money first and yet they say they’re behind us while Fking us by complying in these fake laws that were passed by the Dumbshit Dems. I will not purchase anything from them or anyone else making these Neutered ARs. They owe everyone a reach around while Fking everyone from behind. On notice…yeah right!
      “If A Law Is Unjust, A Man Is Not Only RIGHT To Disobey it, He Is OBLIGATED To Do So.” “When Injustice Becomes Law, RESISTANCE Becomes DUTY!” Thomas Jefferson…It’s time for people to get off their asses.

      • Dude , you remind me of a fascist liberal anarchist . BOTH of these companies have decades of historically supporting our 2nd Amendment rights ,wlile spending megabucks to advance pro gun projects and legislation ! What have you done ,other than complain and whine !
        If companies didn’t produce California compliant weapons how would people living there obtain them ? Or don’t you care ?

  40. At present I do not own any RRA or SA firearms and now​ I will not even entertain the thought of purchasing one of their firearms.

  41. Anyone who believes the bs excuses coming from both companies needs their heads examined. So what’s Springfield’s excuse for donating thousands of dollars to anti-gun politicians and legislation over the past 5 years?? Anyone want to try and defend them over that bs?? If you continue giving either you’re business at this point you are just as bad as the anti’s.

    • Where only democrats control the legislatures in a city or state ,sometimes you must donate to some of them ,so they will answer your phone calls ,or meet with you to discuss a piece of upcoming legislation ! You can’t tell them what our side needs
      if they won’t answer the phone or meet with you !

  42. The only thing worse than being sold out by someone in the industry is the blatant lies to cover up the dirty deeds.
    I don’t believe for a minute that they didn’t know what the IFMA was doing.

  43. Just like S&W and Ruger, back in the day, just like Zumbo, Metcalf and Weishuhn and Troy so now Springfield and RRA, it’s them who are for them and not really for us, the gun buying public, nothing new, keep your powder dry America! And for some time now I find the NRA questionable at best.

  44. Boycott. Springfield Armory stole the good name of a legitimate U.S. Armory and claimed it as their own. The current Springfield Armory Company should never have been allowed to take the name. Wonder what the payoff was to get the name? Yet another reason to boycott. They sell mostly re-branded imports anyway. Their current run of M1A’s are cast crap. No interest in their substandard products. As for RRA they are irrelevent . Lots of other good manufacturers out there to choose from.

  45. Let’s vote on their actions with our money. At a time where the supply is catching up with demand, we will have a bigger impact when we chose to buy from another manufacturer who doesn’t sell out their customers. Nice try you double talking greedy Delta Bravos! Don’t let this be forgotten.

  46. Kinda like shooting yourself in the foot ain’t it? Do these companies want to stay in business? I have been getting emails about this bill for months and I’m just a nobody. You mean to tell me that no-one in either one of these companies knew how bad this bill was? Someone was asleep at the switch somewhere. This lobbying outfit was way out of line and really needs an overhaul ASAP.

    • They knew and spent $100k on a lobbyist to try to stop it …lobbyists screwed Springfield and RRA(and gun people everywhere ) ! They trusted , they got screwed !

      • I remember a certain guy’ in our recent history that said “Trust But Verify”. I guess you don’t think thats neccesary. Good luck.

  47. I’m just starting to purchase some of the firearms that I’d like to own. Good timing for me, I know where NOT to look from now on.

  48. I am not buying the line that RR and SA are spewing.It sounds like a case of them getting caught red handed and then making up some chicken shit excuse to win back the consumer. My Rock River is gonna be for sale tomorrow.as well as my XD40,

  49. If these two companies disavow and defund their membership in the “Manufacturers association, only then would I even consider buying one of their products.

  50. I believe they knew exactly what they were doing and the companies sold out the gun owners and gun shops of Illinois to protect themselves. No matter how good their products are citzens of Illinois would only be hurting themselves by buying the products of these two companies as they would be funding the gun takers. In their actions they have shown that they only care about their profits and not about the gun owner rights. It does not matter which state they are located in, they only care about their profits, when their profits are at stake they see no rights but there own. This makes them worse than the gun grabbers as they see the issue as a moral issue not a financial issue. If they move to your state look out they may end up supporting the gun grabbers in your state. This is just my opinion, I will NEVER buy one of their guns again as I live in Illinois and the gun grabbers are constantly trying to take my gun ownership rights from me.

  51. Back in the day, there was a name for deceptive, immoral, soul-less floozies that sold mind, body and soul for profit. IFMA, you personify that name. IFMA, you are all a pack of whores.

  52. Mark Ethridge Woodward

    Just like Russ above, when the Ruger Mini-14 was exempted and I heard Bill Ruger state that it was OK with him, along with being exempted from any large mag ban, I said then that I’d NEVER buy a Ruger and I’ve stayed true to that promise. Same thing with Springfield when they CONTINUE to sell their M1A’s with the bayo lug shaved off. I’ve NEVER purchased another Springfield and now I have a GOOD reason to remove Rock River from my shopping list. Springfield and Rock River need to put on their “Big Boy” pants and do their own lobbying if necessary, NOT write a $50K check to some 3rd party and then NOT keep tabs on what is being done with their (and originally their CUSTOMERS) money!

    Springfield and Rock River are some lame wingnuts and I happily bid them farewell…

  53. Sold 3 SA pistols and will not buy SA products again. As far as RRA, there are better built/cheaper AR platforms out there, CORE 15 for example!!!

  54. With Rock River Arms and Springfield, being the two largest supporters of the IFMA, it is hard to swallow that they did not know what was going on.
    It is equally hard to swallow, that this organization would dare take a breath without the blessings of Rock River Arms or Springfield.
    I would suspect some kind of back door deals have taken place.

  55. Once in a while you get slickered or snookered. It is embarrassing to anyone when it happens…unhappily, this is an embarrassment to the “firearms community”, not just the companies named. Trusting political entities is risky in the best of circumstances…in Illinois, it is probably foolish. (Not living there, I cannot be sure.) Hope they don’t flush money down the political toilet again.

    • They didn’t sell any one anywhere ,wake up silly , you’re attacking the wrong target ,the gungrabbers are the enemy ,not pro 2nd Amendment companies like Springfield and RRA who have been supporting our freedoms for many decades !
      The liberals in Chicago are laughing at you guys eating your own and not fighting them like you should ! YOU are selling us out by attacking companies who have fought for the 2nd Amendment ,meanwhile doing nothing about the jerks who are voting to steal our rights …the politicians !

  56. Just another example of people in government involved in deal-making. I believe that is what is behind every bizarre result of an otherwise “no-brainer” piece of legislation we see… Now more than ever…

  57. Political double talk,another instance of covering your own ass to the detriment of the common good .I’ll never buy anything from either company.

  58. It’s a real shame that two very good firearms companied would lie and say they didn’t know that this was going on when their CEO’s are directly affiliated with the IMFA! Since this is the first I’ve heard about this I will share the story on facebook on the firearms sites I frequent. No more RRA or Springfield products for me!

    • Sure ,go ahead spread some more hearsay and rumors ,throw a couple of Long Time staunch 2nd Amendment supporting companies under the Anti-gun bus , do the gun-grabbers work for them !
      Instead of fighting the politicians who introduced this awful bill ,it’s much easier to take your hours of meticulous investigations into this
      “STORY” and spread it over the internet !
      Oh ,wait ….it’s the first you’ve heard about this issue ? ….Well who cares about the “FACTS ” ? Even if it’s not true , Like a true keyboard commando , and SJW We Will share this on Facebook ,and on all the firearms sites !
      God help us all …we are our worst enemies !
      Please , we must stop eating our own ! We must stand United AGAINST all Anti-American Anti-gun Fascists ,who would take our Freedoms !
      The only boycott weare should consider in Chicago is Boycotting Anti-gun Democrats ,period !

  59. Shameful Excuses if you ask me. Excuses only made after the fact that these companies got caught. Before I would look at any of their products I will want to see there announcements of moving their manufacturing to a State that actually supports America and all our rights as citizens. God Bless America.

  60. It’s a real shame that two very good firearms companied would lie and say they didn’t know that this was going on when their CEO’s are directly affiliated with the IMFA! Since this is the first I’ve heard about this I will share the story on facebook on the firearms sites I frequent. No more RRA or Springfield products for me!

  61. Absolute BS. As others have noted, IFMA IS RRA and Springfield. 4 people on the board. I was looking at a new Springfield 1911. Now I’m not, and I’m spreading this all over Social media.

  62. I should think the biggest question is: Are they putting their money where their mouth is? Have they contributed 50,000 dollars each to whoever IS opposing this bill?

  63. Would never have bought any of their stuff anyhow, but what they did was not a smart move. I find it almost more reprehensible that they are trying to ‘whitewash’ this by stating they were just a member of the IFMA when in fact (?) they built & owned it fully themselves. If you ‘F’ up, admit it fully and try to fix the mess, not compound it.

  64. well gee, the response of these 2, rock river & springfield armory, it looks like they want to mislead, then eat their cake to. I have an idea, let these 2 companies file a lawsuit against IFMA, for fraud, then I would maybe believe their statements.

  65. Both companies must think we are idiots to believe that horse pucky. Of course they knew They were in waist deep and thinking they pulled one over on Us Just purchased one of their 9 mm /1911 clones for a tidy sum .Damn poor timing on my part .lwas all excited re: buying their new XDE fuggetabout it.They can stew in their own juices .A reputation is hard to regain once you you flagrantly scr,ew your customers and folks like me who once thought you had a super company.

  66. This sounds like the 2 gun manufacturers have in essence become politicians. Their crawfishing and damage control is identical to what a politician does when they are caught doing something horribly wrong then trying to lie to cover up. Personally this kind of betrayal to gun owners and 2nd amendment loyalist pisses me off more than anything. I hope that both companies file bankruptcy and close their doors forever. I will NEVER buy a product from either and will make sure that everyone i know and speak with wont ever again. Goodbye SA and RRA. Go fuck yourselves!

  67. As far as the statements issued by RRA and Mr. Reese of SA it sounds as if they are blaming this inexcusable incident on a lack of knowledge as to exactly what was contained in Illinois SB1657. I have a great deal of difficulty in accepting their claim of ‘ignorance’ especially having the knowledge that they made a donation of $50,000.00 EACH ! !
    The other thing I find quite troubling is the fact that both companies had knowledge of the ‘DEAL’ brokered by Jay Keller, “If the authors of the bill offered to “carve out” or EXEMPT the manufacturers from the restrictions of the bill,” …….. Someone is lying but ‘who’ must be determined before any of them can be believed.
    HOPEFULLY, the truth will surface ! !.
    Having been an FFL dealer in the past I would NOT purchase any products made or endorsed by RRA or Springfield until the truth is known. Is there a chance that the Executive Director of the IFMA may be facing a criminal investigation if he was responsible for any misrepresentation of the funds donated by RRA and Springfield Armory ? ?

  68. As they can see from the comments here, they have a lot to make up for. They could start by contributing a few million more dollars to PRO gun groups, like NRA-ILA or GOA.

    • More than they already do ? And have done for over 40 years (Springfield ) and over 20 years in the case of RR ? Why don’t people complain about Democrats pushing this anti-gun legislation rather than rumers and innuendo ? How willing you guys are to attack a gun company without knowing All the FACTS Sad !

  69. I don’t know how many arms manufacturers there are in IL, or how many are members of IFMA. But I would think the goals of the association should have been detailed and agreed upon by the members. Was Jay Keller, the only registered lobbyist for the IFMA? Why was he chosen to represent the association if he didn’t understand what he was expected to do to support his clients? If the lobbyist was so inept that he thought he could make the deal he did without communicating with the associations members about the details, he should be looking for a position with the gun-banners, if he hasn’t already. Maybe the deal he made was his marketing effort to swap horses mid- stream, to the anti-gunners

    If Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory each gave IFMA $50K, I would think they should be more interested in what the association was doing to support the interests of RRA, SA, and the other members. On the other hand, aren’t these type of single-industry associations supposed to know what is needed to support their members? Despite being late to party, it seems like SA’s CEO Dennis Reese had the proper response to the dilemma; cut IFMA and their lobbyist loose immediately.

  70. These two companies should move out of a state that is against gun owners. If they stay there I will never buy another gun from either company and would advise all other potential gun buyers to do the same. To plead insanity is not a defense. They are members of the community of gun owners and they knew what they were doing. It is time for all Americans that value their rights to own a gun to start to exerting their influence on not just the politicians but also the companies that are making and selling guns. Why would you as taxpayers want to do business in a state that is unfriendly to you and your customers? That is allowing them to use your money to defeat us as gun owners and also to defeat you as a taxpaying corporation. Use your heads for something besides a hatrack.

  71. Scott in Atlanta

    I see a lot of dancing, dodging, and use of legalese and two-dollar words here. Allow me, if you will, to rephrase their defenses into a more understandable, plain-English form so we can better decide if they make sense. “We poured tens of thousands of dollars into an organization that played F your buddies with our money, thereby making sure we were protected and everyone else was hosed. But we were too stupid, naive and gullible to have the first clue they were doing this. Goooolly, Sergeant Carter, surprise surprise surprise! Now that we’re caught, we are going to ever-so-slowly pullllll our hands out of this cookie jar, back away and swear we never touched those cookies, and hope like hell you believe us over your lying eyes.” I hope this version makes it easier for you guys to decide whether to believe them or not. Other than the part of the paragraphs that state the CEO’s names, I don’t believe one word.

  72. RRA makes a good product, but over price. Springfield, on the other hand, I will never understand why anyone would want to own their products. The craftsmanship on the Springfield’s is below average at best.
    This just further confirm why I will never own any of either company’s products.
    Negative publicity is a powerful thing.

  73. Jackson in Mobile

    If this is not corrected. Future purchases. Just like when Ruger supported bill clinton’s assault weapons ban. I will buy no more of their products and tell others what they did.

  74. Bryan in California

    I personally own an Springfield XD .40, but this B/S about not knowing what your investing 50 grand in and didn’t read the fine print or due your homework on this Bill.
    Sounds like a lot of back stepping to me I’m not sure if I will ever buy another Springfield product I’m not sure I trust them after this.

    • Yes, Kelley was as RRA and SA are no longer contributing the 100K he was getting paid (by them). There are only 4 “key people” on the board…. RRA, SA & Kelly.

  75. Not good at all. I will not be adding any of there products to my collection. I will also do my best to inform others so they can do the same.

  76. I will no longer by from these manufacturers until they have this bill removed since they are the reason it has been passed. I will also tell everyone I know, see and meet of this action and not to purchase any of their products. I was just going to buy a new Springfield Pistol but not now.

  77. I own a rather extensive firearms collection, but I had yet to add anything from Springfield. I have always appreciated the reputation and form-factor of their handguns and one was guaranteed to be my very next purchase; especially after their XD-E Series announcement. Unfortunately after reading their bullcrap excuses I will never be adding a Springfield or Rock River firearm to my collection.

  78. Stuart in Philadelphia

    I have what many people would consider a large gun collection, but nothing from Springfield or Rock River yet. My next purchase was going to be an AR-15, and included S&W Sport II, Savage, and the Saint. While the contest is close and none of these guns would be a mistake, I was leaning towards purchasing the Springfield Saint this week.

    HOWEVER, after all this happened I cannot in good conscience support Springfield Arms. If it is true that this was simply “an oversight”, then that says a lot people who lead Springfield and I would rather not be associated w/ this company. Plus, what other oversights have they made lately, surely this cannot be their 1st oversight. How many “oversights” are in their guns?

    People have been fired for much less…

  79. From an outsider (non resident of Illinois) looking in, a trusted/ trusting manufacturer hires someone to pay attention to something they feel they can’t devote enough time to. Springfield and Rock River both put up substantial sums of money in the belief that the money would help to protect them and their customers from unwanted legislation.
    What are the guidelines the trade organization was operating under? Are these guidelines in sync with the goals of the gun owners of Illinois and the nation as a whole? Did the organization follow its guidelines and act in the interest of Illinois gun owners and gun owners nation wide?
    What is the response of the manufacturers to their trade organization and the “mis communication”? This response should tell gun owners how to respond to these manufacturers. This response should be shared with the mass communication in the state and gun owners nation wide through the gun media.
    Mistakes are made, the response to the mistake will show gun owners the proper response to the manufacturer. Rock Island and Springfield have been our friends for many years. Good friends are had to find. This battle with foolish legislators will still be being fought by our grandchildren.

  80. Michael David Perez

    Gun buyers need to stop purchasing from these two companies for one full year, both companies should have known better!

  81. Douglas L Perle

    The IFMA association is despicable and back stabbing the very manufactures they are suppose to support. The so called leadership of the IFMA needs to be sacked and held accountable.

  82. I know most of these people and it is beyond belief they would pull a stunt like this considering the success non-Chicago Illinois has had fighting the gun grabbers to this point.
    Les Baer who I also know, jumped the Mississippi to literally across the bridge in LeClaire Iowa to escape this crappola and I am sure he has few regrets given the ridiculous anti-gun, anti-business, anti-American garbage Chicago keeps shoving at all of us.
    There is small talk of petitioning for a referendum to split Cook and DuPage counties from the rest of Illinois. That would be a good start.

  83. Everybody should start flooding Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner with cards, letters, phone calls and faxes to veto this bill upon receipt if it makes it to his desk. Because I doubt you’ll get very far in a Democrat controlled State House and Senate.

  84. Ever here of “lie down with dogs and get up with fleas”? Same applies with Lobbyists.
    You cannot trust one because what drives a lobbyist is money and only money. They have no loyalty to anyone. I believe the firearm dealers statements. I would buy a weapon from Springfield anytime. I never heard of the other company so likely would not buy from them.

  85. james santorsola

    I don’t believe for one second that they did not know what they were doing. been involved in politics before and hog wash on the bull they try to defend them selves with.

  86. John Dale Langford

    Just like when s&w, colt, ruger and the NRA got caught I have not purchased any products from these companies and have not rejoined the NRA. Now as an era are on my NO LIST.

  87. John Dale Langford

    Just like when s&w, colt, ruger and the NRA got caught I have not purchased any products from these companies and have not rejoined the NRA. Now sa and rra are on my NO LIST.

  88. The one thing that most are missing is that this ” lobbying group” that is being referred to consisted of a paid lobbyist and the 2 CEO’s of SA ans RRA. How could they not have known? And I am a huge fan of SA. I own 3 of their handguns. I think these 2 made a business decision based on money, pure and simple. They got their carve outand sold everyoneelse, including their customer base and their rights, down the river. And it was Ruger and S$W that sold their souls to the devil, not Colt

  89. Unless the two companies, Rock River Arms and Springfield Armory publicly do everything possible to defeat this restrictive legislation (SB-1657) I may be forced to do all I can, to convince people I know, not to purchase any items from either company.
    Our right to bear arms without infringement is under assault and we do not need companies who should be 100% in taking a position of protection going against this.
    I say to those companies, lay aside all excuses and take an upfront and public action against any restriction to our second amendment right… R/Jim

  90. They got caught, they were IFMA. Lets see whats really going to happen. Springfield and RRA are not going to make the final decision. Contact your state representatives and have them vote this thing out. We have the power to overcome bills like these. Also, if dealers are going to clear their shelves of Springfield and RRA items, Im going to help!! Springfield has been around along time and will continue to be.

  91. Ignorant or Complicit, I don’t really care for excuses on an important subject like this. Both companies have lost my business. I own both companies products, but will never buy another. I really wanted an M1A Scout, but I’ll make do with an alternative.

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