"Colt Misled Government "


April 22, 2003, 05:57 PM
Court Orders Firearms Manufacturer Colt to Release Document Suggesting Colt Misled Government

Colt Maintained Misleading Position on "Smart Guns" in Congressional Testimony on Immunity Legislation

San Diego, CA - Responding to a motion by attorneys for the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Judge Vincent P. DiFiglia of the California Superior Court today found Colt Manufacturing, Inc. in violation of a court order protecting only legitimate trade secrets and ordered the immediate release of Colt internal documents. These documents suggest that in 1999, Colt was close to introducing a childproof "Smart Gun," but that Colt misled the public and the government about the status of the gun in order to encourage the federal government to give out $20 million to $40 million in research money.

Among the documents ordered released by the Court is a draft of the Offering Memorandum to raise capital for iColt, the new company Colt was forming to develop a "Smart Gun." The documents also cast doubt on testimony offered by Colt before Congress earlier this month.

The document states that Colt had made "exceptional progress" on the "Smart Gun" "which may result in a quicker time to market" than the "two to three years" it claimed to the public. However, the document reveals that Colt "has not kept the public informed with its recent exceptional progress" because it could jeopardize Colt's efforts to "put $20 million to $40 million in the federal budget for research on 'smart gun' technology." Colt stated that, "[d]epending [on] how the press reports the current state of the 'smart gun,' it could be perceived by Congress that further research dollars are not needed." Until today, the document had been kept secret by Colt, and was marked by Colt "highly confidential."

Colt General Counsel Carlton Chen testified on April 2, 2003 in support of H.R. 1036, a bill that grants sweeping, unprecedented legal immunity to the firearms industry. In his testimony, Mr. Chen did not inform Congress that Colt's public statements regarding the status of "Smart Guns" have been inaccurate. Instead, he testified that the reason Colt has not sold personalized guns that would prevent children and unauthorized users from accidental shooting deaths is because of litigation expenses. Chen testified:

"we were stymied by all this gun litigation and as a result all our money is being diverted to defend ourselves in these lawsuits and we have had to slow down in our smart gun technology development."

Based in part on Colt's testimony, on April 9, 2003, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1036, which bars most negligence and product liability suits against gun manufacturers, sellers and trade associations and requires the immediate dismissal of virtually all such pending cases in all state and federal courts. The bill would affect ongoing lawsuits brought by gun violence victims such as the Washington, DC-area sniper victims as well as dozens of cities and counties and the NAACP.

A companion bill, S. 659, will be debated soon in the U.S. Senate.

"Were it not for the lawsuits brought by California communities ravaged by gun violence, the truth about the Colt 'Smart Gun' project would never have seen the light of day," said Dennis Henigan, Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center. "This document suggests that Colt concealed its progress toward child-proof guns to ensure the continued flow of taxpayer dollars to the company's coffers. It is hardly surprising that Colt's General Counsel would be urging Congress to shut down the lawsuits that are exposing the truth every American has a right to know."

While these Colt documents were ordered released today, numerous other internal industry documents have been made public in the last few weeks. A report released by the Brady Center, entitled "Smoking Guns: Exposing the Gun Industry's Complicity in the Illegal Gun Market," highlights the revelations contained in other previously secret gun industry documents, statements from industry whistle-blowers and sworn testimony from a host of industry executives showing that firearms industry businesses have actively and knowingly allowed guns to be sold into the illegal market. This report, along with the documents made public today, are available at

The documents released today were produced by Colt in the case of People v. Arcadia Machine & Tool brought by eleven California cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco, and Los Angeles County. Attorneys for the Brady Center, along with other counsel, represent the plaintiffs in this case. The case is presently scheduled for trial on May 19, 2003 against two California dealers and three distributors.

Last month, the court dismissed the case against several gun manufacturers and trade associations and the plaintiffs have until June 9, 2003 to appeal that ruling. Appellate courts in several other states, including Illinois and Ohio, have reinstated cases against the gun industry originally dismissed by trial courts, and two-thirds of city cases against the gun industry are still active at the trial level or on appeal.

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April 22, 2003, 06:21 PM
If Brady was really for preventing violence and accidents, they would urge congress to further fund smart gun technology.

Yet they back the lawsuits, and when a company says "we cant afford to do smart guns right now", they call BS.

Either the lawsuits are expensive or they are not.

If they are expensive, then where is Colt supposed to get the money? I know, if they stop making guns, they can use the money they use to make guns that they sell to pay for all te lawsuits!

Typical liberal blindness to cause/effect and market forces, not to mention failing to understad why a company they want out of business wants to stop making guns that Brady approves of to fight legal action brought on by Brady.

Such a sham.

April 22, 2003, 06:35 PM
The devil's bargain.:evil:

April 22, 2003, 09:35 PM
Could we make a gun smart enough to know when a major Anti was looking down the barrel ?

:what: :neener: :evil:

April 22, 2003, 11:28 PM
Pendragon, yeah but then they'll have to add the 'barf' feature, to achieve a proper response under the stated circumstances, and that's gonna cost big bucks - even without the sound effects!:what: :D :barf: [sorry couldn't resist!]

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