Here’s a look inside America’s largest gun manufacturer (a bit ugly and hypocritical)

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Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm was/is the primary owner of The Freedom Group, one of the largest manufacturers in the world of firearms and ammunition. Their brands include including Remington, Bushmaster Firearms, DPMS/Panther Arms, Marlin, H&R, The Parker Gun, Mountain Khakis, Advanced Armament Corp. Dakota Arms, Para USA and Barnes Bullets.

As has been widely reported, shortly after the Newton shooting massacre (the killer used their Bushmaster weapon, and the father of Cerberus’s CEO Steven Feinberg, happened to live in Sandy Hook), Cerberus put the Freedom Group up for sale.

Here’s the press release they issued:

Cerberus Capital Management Statement Regarding Freedom Group, Inc.

NEW YORK, Dec. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — We were shocked and deeply saddened by the events that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14, 2012.  We cannot comprehend the losses suffered by the families and friends of those killed by the unthinkable crimes committed that day.  No words or actions can lessen the enormity of this event or make a dent in the pain that was inflicted on so many.

In 2006 affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. made a financial investment in Freedom Group.  Freedom Group does not sell weapons or ammunition directly to consumers, through gun shows or otherwise.  Sales are made only to federally licensed firearms dealers and distributors in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.  We do not believe that Freedom Group or any single company or individual can prevent senseless violence or the illegal use or procurement of firearms and ammunition.

It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level.

The debate essentially focuses on the balance between public safety and the scope of the Constitutional rights under the Second Amendment. As a Firm, we are investors, not statesmen or policy makers.  Our role is to make investments on behalf of our clients who are comprised of the pension plans of firemen, teachers, policemen and other municipal workers and unions, endowments, and other institutions and individuals.  It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. That is the job of our federal and state legislators.

***

Blatant LIE #1

They state that it is not their role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate.

Except that on their gun web sites they link to the NRA web site. And

they also have on one of their gun web sites “Trigger the Vote” buttons, and “Gunvote/ Don’t lose your rights” buttons. Click on one of those buttons and this is what comes up:

 ABOUT TRIGGER THE VOTE:

Don’t buy the gun to lose the freedom! This year’s 2012 elections are more important than ever for the future of our country and our Second Amendment rights. The only protection against attacks on our Second Amendment rights and the democratic process is your vote. And this year in particular, we will need each and every individual gun owner’s vote, in every precinct and every district across the country.

We’re all concerned about the direction this country is heading, and we need to make sure that our children and grandchildren enjoy the same freedoms that we do. Your rights are within range. That’s why it all comes down to your vote.

PULL THE TRIGGER – REGISTER TO VOTE!

Trigger the Vote is the NRA’s national voter registration campaign sponsored by sponsored by The NRA Freedom Action Foundation. Help us Trigger the Vote TODAY

Here’s the link:

http://www.para-usa.com/new/why_le.php

This is also on their web site:

Community

We support and encourage community outreach and provide sustainable employment. Safety, health and environmental protection take priority over economic consideration.

Suppliers

We partner with our suppliers and conduct ourselves professionally and ethically.

Society

We produce environmentally sound products and only act within the law. We will not compromise our moral or ethical principles.

Here’s how ethical, moral, safe and community conscious they are. On one of their web sites they take a little pot-shot at Clinton and a boast about how they cleverly skirted his Crime Bill to make and sell high powered magazines:

“In early 1994, Para introduced the P13•45, a tactical-size pistol with a 4.25″ barrel and a 13-round magazine. Later, that year saw the passage of America’s infamous Clinton-backed Crime Bill with its 10-round magazine restriction. Fortunately, Para leadership had anticipated this event and had produced large reserves of legally grandfathered high-capacity magazines, still available to purchasers of Para-Ordnance pistols.”

They also state that they are the world’s leading innovator, designer, manufacturer and marketer of firearms, ammunition and related products for law enforcement.

But how about this patch they sell on one of their web sites, which I’m sure all those first responders in Newtown, Connecticut and cops everywhere who risk their lives for community and family will appreciate. A patch of a fat, stupid looking pig dressed in a police uniform. Real funny — “ethical” business men take law enforcement money on gun and gear contracts and for pensions on one web site, but mock the hell out of them on another site.

http://www.advanced-armament.com/Silent-Pig_p_528.html

And how about this on their web site:

Vision Statement

We always treat our customers, employees, business partners, environment, community and nation with the highest levels of integrity.

So you’re patriots. Except when promoting your gun brand and showing that patriotism by flying the US flag, the stars replaced with a skull and crossed bones/guns — symbolizing death and killing.

http://www.advanced-armament.com/AAC-Flag-Patch_p_517.html

Guess that didn’t “shock and sadden” you back when your were hyping guns as sexy cool bad ass killing machines

And some more patriotism, Lady Liberty throwing up a Glock-like long gun with an attached silencer (silencers on guns, it’s all about Freedom). They’ve since removed it from their site (PR? Cowards? Smart capitalists? — no matter, they’ve got guns so they’re automatic patriots (but bitches, and I use the term loosely, I would call you and your executives domestic terrorists — killing our people with your products.

patch_liberty_gray-web


And how about their financials – this is from The Freedom Groups most recent quarterly report written before the election.

“We believe the continued economic uncertainty and the outcome of the 2012 presidential election is likely to continue to spur both firearms and ammunition sales.”

Ah, you wanted a recession and Romney to win so you can sell more guns — nice corporate citizens Cerberus.

“Additionally, returning military are likely to purchase firearms for recreational use and to maintain training. We believe the industry is also experiencing trends toward increased recreational and shooting sports and home defense. Further, we believe the adoption of the modern sporting rifle has led to increased long-term growth in the long gun market while attracting a younger generation of shooters. We are experiencing a renewed interest in the outdoors, which is driving increased participation in hunting and target shooting.

“We cannot guarantee that an ―assault weapons‖ ban similar to the AWB, or another version thereof, will not be re-enacted. Legislation of this type, if enacted, could have a material adverse effect on our business.

“Sales made to Wal-Mart accounted for approximately 13% of our total sales for both of the nine months ended September 30, 2012 and 2011, and 13% and 14% of our accounts receivable balance as of September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively. Wal-Mart, together with another customer, accounted for approximately 17% and 21% of our accounts receivable balance as of September 30, 2012 and December 31, 2011, respectively. Our sales to Wal-Mart are generally not governed by a written long-term contract between the parties. In the event that Wal-Mart were to significantly reduce or terminate its purchases of firearms, ammunition and/or other products from us, our financial condition or results of operations and cash flows could be adversely affected.

So are they shocked and saddened by Newton and are giving up the gun industry or are they worried that Wal-Mart, those good corporate citizens, the family values general store selling cheap milk and greeting cards and busting unions and dealing in corruption bribes overseas — they might stop selling heavy weaponry and The Freedom Group might take a hit financially. Wal-Mart, do you really need to sell guns? Why? Because you can? Because you can make money?  Have a goddamn conscience, we have 300 million guns, do you want 600 million?  What do you think will happen if this country is saturated with so many guns — accidents, impulse shootings and suicides, disputes that will escalate to gun violence. 600 million guns will make us safer? What kind of illogical, narrow fools are you?

The quarterly report continues:

“The manufacture, sale and purchase of firearms and ammunition are subject to extensive governmental regulation on the federal, state and local levels. Changes in regulation could materially adversely affect our business by restricting the types of products we manufacture or sell or by imposing additional costs on us or our customers in connection with the manufacture or sale of our products. Regulatory proposals, even if never enacted, may affect firearms or ammunition sales as a result of consumer perceptions. While we do not believe that existing federal and state legislation relating to the regulation of firearms and ammunition had a material adverse effect on our sales, no assurance can be given that more restrictive regulations, if proposed or enacted, will not have a material adverse effect on us in the future.

“At the federal level, bills have been introduced in Congress to establish, and to consider the feasibility of establishing, a nationwide database recording so-called ―ballistic images‖ of ammunition fired from new firearms. Should such a mandatory database be established, the cost to the Company and its customers could be significant, depending on the type of firearms and ballistic information included in the database. Other bills have been introduced in Congress in the past several years that would restrict or prohibit the manufacture, transfer, importation or sale of certain calibers of handgun ammunition, impose a tax and import controls on bullets designed to penetrate bullet-proof vests [!], impose a special occupational tax and registration requirements on manufacturers of handgun ammunition and increase the tax on handgun ammunition in certain calibers. In addition to federal requirements, state and local laws and regulations may place additional restrictions on firearms and ammunition manufacture, sale, purchase, possession and use.

They’re worried about taxes on bullets that are designed to penetrate bullet-proof vests? How about this line from their press release, “We cannot comprehend the losses suffered by the families and friends of those killed by the unthinkable crimes committed that day.  No words or actions can lessen the enormity of this event or make a dent in the pain that was inflicted on so many.” You couldn’t comprehend what a bullet that penetrates a bullet-proof vest would do? No actions can lessen the pain? How about the action of not being in the business of trafficking in bullets that penetrate vests?

And for all your pap about sporting, law enforcement, personal defense, the Constitution – here’s how you hype your product, like a Rambo rock star souping up would be macho militia fantasy types. Steven Feinberg how about letting these type guys, strapped, locked and loaded walk around your corporate office — the address by the way, since I know you’re all proud of what you do is 875 Third Avenue
, New York, NY 10022
– no worries though, guns don’t kill people.

And if folks want to call, I’ll just go ahead and give out their media telephone number, they say they want to hear from you:

Phone: 212.891.2100

And I guess the folks who helped pen that kind of hypocritical press release are at Media/External Affairs:

212.891.1558 or media@cerberuscapital.com

Their names are Peter Duda at 212.445.8213 and 
John Dillard at 212.445.8052.

Remember they said in the press release that they’re not statesman, so they might not give a damn about what you say or how your feel.

Press play (click Learn More, then Cycle of Operation) and rock out to the first person music/gamer video of you shooting off a whole clip from your Bushmaster ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) – “Proven reliable in the most brutal conditions on earth, truly ambidextrous and the uncompromising choice when you demand a rifle as mission-adaptable as you are. ”

Here’s the high drama video. And remember, it’s not marketing BS – it’s about Freedom, Freedom. The Constitution. And good clean sporting.

http://www.bushmaster.com/firearms/acr.asp

Full disclosure, when I was in the army I shot an M-16 (on automatic), shot a light anti tank weapon, shot a M-60 machine gun, threw grenades, but I so hate gun manufacturers and how they’re ruining my country.

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2 responses

  1. Hey! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you might be interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Superb blog by the way!

    Like

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