Fairfield’s Ruger gets into the federal gun fight

Fairfield-based gunmaker Sturm Ruger, says more than 635,000 people have already taken action in the company’s effort to stop the federal government from expanding gun control.

The publicly-traded Ruger has launched the “Take Action Now!” campaign on its website and is tracking how many people participate. The campaign provides a visitor to Ruger’s website with a  pre-written letter opposing gun con that can be emailed to a congressional delegation.

Ruger did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and generally does not.

On its website the company explained its reasoning behind the campaign.

“”At Ruger, our motto is “Arms Makers for Responsible Citizens.” It is not just a slogan; it is a genuine recognition that millions of law-abiding citizens use our firearms safely and responsibly eery day. We are mechanics, doctors teachers, police officers, firemen, nurses, factory workers, and every other occupation you can name. We are a vast and too-often silent majority… and our rights are under attack.”

While some might say Ruger’s profits are also under attack, the gunmaker’s stock has not reacted as though its facing major hurdles for future sales. Shares in Ruger have actually climbed more than 15 percent to more than $52 a share since the Dec. 14 massacre at a Newtown elementary school occurred and set in motion a gun control movement.

Still, Ruger and other gunmakers have enjoyed four of the best years for gun sales. Ruger even sold more than 1 million guns heading into 2008 and donated $1 from every sale to the NRA, which had a stated goal to stop President Obama’s re-election.

Many other gunmakers’ websites did not have direct campaigns for customers to join. A check of former Connecticut gunmakers, Marlin Firearms and Remington did not find any postings on Monday.

Privately-held Hartford-based only had this on its website:

“Colt and its employees join the rest of the world in mourning the tragic events that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday, December 14.  Our hearts go out to our fellow Connecticut residents in the wake of the unimaginable losses they have suffered.”

Massachusetts-based Smith & Wesson, another publicly traded gunmaker, did have a  link to the NRA, which itself is mounting a similar letter writing campaign. However, the NRA allows people to edit the letter, so presumably if someone agrees with some gun control measures they could express that, while questioning others.

Ruger’s  letter, however, cannot be edited. Ruger also said it is reviewing new gun laws passed in New York that limit magazines to 7 rounds.

In the meantime, the White House is mounting its own web campaign where people can actually read the recommendations, which includes limiting clips to 10-rounds, banning assault weapons, improving background checks and increasing school resource officers and mental health treatment. The last three items have garnered some support from the NRA and mental health and background check improvement are both things supported in Ruger’s pre-written letter.

Rob Varnon