Ronnie Barrett's letter - what do you think of it?


May 5, 2003, 12:21 PM
I, a U.S. citizen, own Barrett Firearms Mfg. Inc., and for 20 years I have built .50 caliber rifles for my fellow citizens, for their Law Enforcement departments and for their nation's armed forces.

You may be aware of the latest negative misinformation campaign from a Washington based anti-gun group, the Violence Policy Center. The VPC has, for three or so years, been unsuccessful in Washington, D.C. trying to demonize and ban a new subclass of firearms, the .50 caliber and other "too powerful" rifles. This type of nibbling process has been historically successful in civilian disarmament of other nations governed by totalitarian and other regimes less tolerant of individual rights than the United States .

The VPC's most recent efforts directs this misinformation campaign at your state, attempting to get any California body to pass any law against .50 caliber firearms. In March 2002 the VPC caused the California State Assembly, Public Safety Committee to consider and reject the issue by a 5 to 0 with 1 abstaining vote.

Regrettably, the same material has been presented to your city council. I personally attended the council meeting in Los Angeles regarding attempts to bar ownership of the .50 caliber rifle in your city. I was allowed to briefly address the council. The tone of the discussion was mostly emotionally based, so the facts that I attempted to provide were ineffective to the extent they were heard at all. The council voted to have the city attorney draft an ordinance to ban the .50, and further, to instruct the city's representatives in Sacramento and in Washington D.C. to push for bans at their respective levels.

At that council meeting, I was very surprised to see an LAPD officer seated front and center with a Barrett 82A1 .50 cal rifle. It was the centerpiece of the discussion. As you know, there have been no crimes committed with these rifles, and most importantly, current California law does not allow the sale of the M82AI in the state because of its detachable magazine and features that make it an "assault weapon." This rifle was being deceptively used by your department. The officer portrayed it as a sample of a currently available .50 cal rifle, available for sale to the civilians of Los Angeles. One councilman even questioned how this rifle was available under current laws, but as I stated, facts were ineffective that day.

Your officer, speaking for the LAPD, endorsed the banning of this rifle and its ammunition. Then he used the rifle for photo ops with the Councilmen each of whom, in handling the firearm, may have been committing a felony. I was amazed.

Since 1968, with the closing of the U.S. Springfield Amory, all of the small arms produced for the various government agencies are from the private sector. Every handgun, rifle or shotgun that law enforcement needs comes from this firearms industry. Unless the City of Los Angeles has plans of setting up its own firearms manufacturing, it may need to guard the manufacturing sources it has now.

When I returned to my office from Los Angeles, I found an example of our need for mutual cooperation. Your department had sent one of your 82A1 rifles in to us for service. All of my knowledge in the use of my rifle in the field of law enforcement had been turned upside down by witnessing how your department used yours. Not to protect and serve, but for deception, photo opportunities, and to further an ill-conceived effort that may result in the use of LA taxpayer monies to wage losing political battles in Washington against civil liberties regarding gun ownership.

Please excuse my slow response on the repair service of the rifle. I am battling to what service I am repairing the rifle for. I will not sell, nor service, my rifles to those seeking to infringe upon the Constitution and the crystal clear rights it affords individuals to own firearms.

I implore you to investigate the facts of the .50, to consider the liberties of the law-abiding people and our mutual coexistence, and to change your department's position on this issue.

Ronnie Barrett


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May 5, 2003, 12:27 PM
Man... you gotta respect that guy!

May 5, 2003, 12:37 PM
Would that all gunowners stood up as tall as he.

"We must all hang together, or we most assuredly will all hang seperately"

May 5, 2003, 02:13 PM
Too bad it will fall on deaf ears. Then the LAPD Br*******s will try to sue Barrett if they ever fail to stop a criminal because they didn't have access to one of those guns. :fire:

May 5, 2003, 02:19 PM
What law is there that you must sell your wares to any particular group. Why sell to them that are busily working to put you on the unemployment line?

I find it amusing that PD's and municipalities blame gun manufacturers and then clamor about their products. Tell the LAPD to just carry nightsticks like the English Bobbies. LA is ever so safe don't you know!:fire:

May 5, 2003, 02:29 PM
Doesn't a manufacturer have the same rights as a store owner/bar/taxi and many others, the right to refuse service?
After all the LAPD has armorers,
Does any body have a list put together of municipalities,state /county/city townships that have banned firearms military style or otherwise?It seems to be getting long,Maryland California ,DENVER ,county/city Where else?

May 5, 2003, 02:55 PM
I printed this article out a few months ago. It has furthered my quest to own a .50. Especially the Barrett.

I would like to know if Mr Barrett has a clause with the LAPD that states he'll send them a replacement. But not specify the type of gun he is sending them as the replacement. Can't you just see it now. The next time some media copter is following a bank robber and the cops have him cornered and on a lone building top is the SWAT sniper with his 12 inch .22 Henry lever action.

I can see the headline: Cops nab crook with... a Red Rider BB gun?


May 5, 2003, 03:01 PM
I thought the letter was great. Too bad they won't understand a word of it.

May 5, 2003, 03:09 PM
Great way to handle the situation. If all gun makers were like this, I rather doubt that Springfield Armory would still be in Geneseo, ILL, and most others would have bailed out of the northeast, too.

Don Gwinn
May 5, 2003, 03:30 PM
In their defense, Armalite and Springfield did both inform the state Senate that if it banned their products they'd simply pick up and move across the river, thus allowing Iowa to collect their taxes instead. They did not, though, to my knowledge, threaten not to sell to state LEO agencies. (The bill as presented would have made it a felony to manufacture "assault weapons" even for sale to LEO or military agencies anyway. It would also have allowed an "affirmative defense" for an LEO or soldier arrested for carrying such a weapon on duty--meaning he would be arrested, indicted and taken to trial, then allowed to argue that the weapon was necessary for his duty.)

It's easy for us to talk about standing tall, but it takes big brass ones to do what Mr. Barrett did. He has every "right" not to sell to them, of course, but that doesn't mean his business can survive it if he loses a lot of LEO sales. All I could afford to buy from him was a hat, but I did it and I suggest anyone who feels the spirit move him should buy something too. Anything at all, but let Mr. Barrett know that his gesture is not being ignored.

May 5, 2003, 03:40 PM
Wow I am impressed with Mr. Barrett. I wish all manufactures would have the same attitude towards all these gun banning morons.

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