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A .50 Caliber "I Told You So" by Brian Puckett

A .50 Caliber "I Told You So"

... and will some gun owners - and Smith & Wesson - ever get it?

by Brian Puckett

April 8, 2003

Back in January of 2000, I wrote an article for Handguns Magazine called "A Plan to Restore the Second Amendment".

It contained these words:

By means of state and federal legislation, every fundamental principle relevant to the Second Amendment has been violated - freedom to bear arms in public, government permission to own or carry, firearm transport, bullet design, firearm storage, firearm style/design, magazine capacity, arbitrary designation as a "destructive device", waiting periods, limits on purchases per month. Every one of these aspects of gun law establishes a precedent which -- unless challenged now -- can and will be expanded upon to virtually eliminate the Second Amendment.

In July of 2001 I wrote an article for titled "Either Turn Bush Around on Second Amendment, or the Game is Over", which stated in part:

The Democrats are pushing now to ban .50 BMG caliber rifles, which have been legal to own and shoot for about 80 years. You don't care? You will care when precisely the same rationale for banning it (too big, too powerful, no one really needs a caliber/cartridge/bullet that big) is used to ban all .50+ caliber cartridges and bullets, including black powder. You will care when precisely the same rationale is extended to ban your .458 Winchester Magnum, and then your .375 Weatherby Magnum, and then your .30-'06.

I'm sure many mentally scoffed about a .50 BMG (Browning Machine Gun) ban being expanded to include such warm and fuzzy .50 caliber firearms as muzzleloaders. Hey, it's just the "evil" .50 BMG they're after, and who needs one of those?

In case you didn't notice the Newslink [see article by clicking here] on this subject way back in February, you can pick up your latest copy of Gun Week (March 20, 2003) and read on page 2:

LA Eyes Ban on .50 Ca. Handguns

Los Angeles City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo said in February that he will urge the City Council to ban the sale and possession of .50-caliber handguns such as the Smith & Wesson (S&W) revolvers that are expected to hit the market nationwide soon. In a letter to Council President Alex Padilla, Delgadillo said he will include the new revolver in a proposal that his office is drafting, at the council's request, that would ban .50 caliber rifles, The Los Angeles Times reported.

In case you haven't gotten the message from the anti-gun fanatics, here it is:

"First we'll ban the .50 BMG, then all .50's, and then we'll start working on the rest. The .458 Win Mag is certainly too powerful to serve any useful purpose in North America. We'll give your big-bore muzzleloader a pass for now, but we'll come back for it later."

There's more bad news. Even under new management, S&W's first response to L.A's proposed .50 caliber handgun ban is to save its own rear end first. Apparently one S&W boycott wasn't enough. According to the Gun Week article, Bob Scott, chairman of the "new" Smith & Wesson, did not come out swinging for the Second Amendment. Instead he is quoted as saying Delgadillo's reaction was "premature and overly dramatic."

I have no idea what the "premature" means. One might interpret it as admitting that later on, after the facts are out, Delgadillo may well be correct -- .50 caliber handguns should be banned.

Much worse is this statement attributed to Bob Scott: "This [new .50 cal S&W] revolver does not have the range a rifle has, and it is designed for big game hunting and silhouette shooting."

Thanks a lot, Bob, for sticking up for us .50 BMG rifle owners. I appreciate your drawing a distinction between S&W's reasonable "big game hunting and silhouette" .50 caliber product and those possibly unreasonable .50 caliber firearms of Barrett, Armalite, Serbu, LAR, State Arms, Anzio, McMillan, EDM, etc., not to mention the .50 caliber ammunition made by AAA, Arizona Ammunition, Mitchell's Mausers, etc.

I suppose as a gun writer, and one who has recently touted Smith & Wesson's products, I should be more circumspect about this sort of thing. But I don't wish to be. Especially in light of the fact that director Angel Shamaya wrote a letter [see letter following this article] and made two phone calls to Smith & Wesson urging them to take a strong Second Amendment stance against efforts to ban their new .50 S&W gun. They never responded to the letter or phone calls.

Dear firearm manufacturers: Get this straight -- we're all in this together. We don't care about your particular product, we care about all of them, because an assault on one can be extended to others. And we don't care about your particular company if you aren't willing to stand up for all of us. You'd think Smith & Wesson would know this by now.

By the way, the goal of ending such unconstitutional idiocies as the LA City Council's proposed ban is exactly why we need to get the main issues of the Second Amendment settled in the U. S. Supreme Court now.

Want to help us do that? Read this:

From: "Angel Shamaya" <>
Date sent: Mon, 17 Feb 2003 23:52:05 -0700
Copies to:
Priority: urgent

Smith & Wesson
Ken Jorgensen
Media Relations

Amy Armstrong
Investor Relations

Angel Shamaya
Founder/Executive Director
(928) 522-8833
National gun rights org. with members in every state

February 17, 2003


We see that these anti-gun jackasses are already trying to ban the new S&W 500 Magnum revolver.\Culture\archive\200302\CUL20030217b.html

If you guys play your cards right, you could win lots of customers back after your previous owners lost them over the Clinton agreement. I suspect you are all too aware that many gunowners have sworn off of S&W for eternity due to that agreement. But I see an inroad back into good relations, Ken.

Amy is CC'd in on this message as it's very much about improving return on investment for your shareholders.

I'd like to talk to you about the possibility of helping restore faith in the Smith & Wesson name and ending the S&W boycott that many, many gunowners still abide -- while simultaneously putting the people who want to ban your new handgun in their places with a thud.

If you're interested, give me a shout. I live up in Flagstaff and run one leg of our organization from here. You should jump on this while it's hot and make some lemons into some tasty lemonade.

Angel Shamaya