Smith & Wesson hit back in a letter against the Democrats’ House Oversight and Reform Committee subpoena against the gunmaker, Breitbart News can exclusively report.
On August 15, Smith & Wesson, represented by Schaerr Jaffe, sent a letter to House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) regarding the committee’s subpoena, which has was issued on August 1.
Smith & Wesson CEO Mark Smith said the subpoena was nothing more than politicians and the media trying to “disparage” Smith & Wesson. He said in a statement Monday:
A number of politicians and their lobbying partners in the media have recently sought to denigrate Smith & Wesson. Some have had the audacity to suggest that after years of vilifying, undermining and dismantling law enforcement, backing prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions, overseeing the decaying health infrastructure mentality of our country and generally promoted a culture of lawlessness, Smith & Wesson and other gun manufacturers are in some way responsible for the crime wave that has predictably resulted from these destructive policies. But they are the ones responsible for the rise of violence and lawlessness, and they seek to avoid responsibility for the crisis of violence they have created by attempting to shift the blame onto Smith & Wesson, others gun manufacturers and law-abiding gun owners. .
It’s no surprise that the cities that suffer the most from violent crime are the very ones that have promoted irresponsible and soft on crime policies that often treat criminals as victims and victims as criminals. Many of these same cities also maintain the strictest gun laws in the country. But rather than face the failure of their policies, some politicians have called for more laws restricting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, while simultaneously continuing to undermine our institutions of law and order. And to suppress the truth, some are now seeking to ban gun manufacturers and 2nd Amendment supporters from advertising products in a way designed to remind law-abiding citizens that they have the right constitutional right to bear arms to defend themselves and their families.
Mark Paoletta, an attorney at Schaerr Jaffe representing Smith & Wesson, noted that Smith & Wesson had attempted to respond to the committee’s request for information on its Modern Sporting Rifle (MSR) sales figures.
The left often incorrectly refers to these rifles as “assault weapons”.
As previously documented by Breitbart News, Smith & Wesson previously disclosed to the committee that MSRs account for the majority of its sales and that less than ten percent of its advertising focuses on MSRs.
The gun company also said it could not track deaths or injuries, crimes attempted or committed with semi-automatic rifles.
In a missive to Maloney, Paoletta explained that the court precedent already details how Congress doesn’t need very specific information about exact units sold or revenue.
The letter details numerous court cases to back up its legal argument, in what could be the basis for a legal argument against the Democrats on the committee should they wish to pursue legal action against Smith & Wesson:
And, in fact, Congress recently proved that it doesn’t need such precise information about exact units sold and revenues to do its job. On July 29, 2022, the United States House of Representatives (the House) passed a ban on what you incorrectly call “assault weapons.” This only confirms my earlier argument that the Committee does not need “every bit of potentially relevant information” to legislate. Trump versus Mazars USA, LLP, 140 S.Ct. 2019, 2036 (2020); OK Com. on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives v. United States Treasury Departmentno. 21-5289, 2022 WL 3205891, at *8 (DC Cir. August 9, 2022) (“[T]The legislative process does not necessarily require full disclosure of all facts as criminal prosecutions do. “)
Smith & Wesson response letter 8/15/22 by Breitbart News on Scribd
Paoletta also notes that court precedent, which includes legal opinions from current Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, that there is no constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles :
“There is no basis for Heller for making a constitutional distinction between semi-automatic handguns and semi-automatic rifles. Heller v. District of Columbia670 F.3d 1244, 1286 (DC Cir. 2011) (Kavanaugh, J., dissenting) (discussing District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 US 570, 628–29 (2008)). See TRO at 10 a.m., Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Town of Superior#22-cv-01685-RM-NRN (D. Colo. July 22, 2022), ECF #18, where a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order directing the city to, among other things, prohibit MSRs: “The Court supports the City’s stated reasoning. However, the Court is unaware of any historical precedent that would allow a government entity to entirely ban a type of weapon commonly used by respectful citizens laws for lawful purposes, whether in an individual’s home or in public.
Paoletta also wrote “Congress needs to clearly articulate even more precisely why it needs the granular level of information,” citing an example like the Supreme Court’s decision in Americans for Prosperity Foundation. c.Bonta.
The attorney representing Smith & Wesson noted that Democrats on the committee did not allay Smith & Wesson’s concerns about the confidentiality of the company’s proprietary information:
Unfortunately, these protocols did nothing to ensure that my client’s proprietary information would be kept confidential by the Committee. On the contrary, these protocols simply state that the committee has agreed to only discuss with my client, as far as possible, the possibility of disclosure, and that the committee reserves the right to disclose this information. , whatever objections my client may have. . And, in fact, our concerns were justified, as evidenced by the Committee’s decision to release similar confidential business information from other firearms manufacturers, despite their objections.
Paoletta also noted that Maloney allowed Sig Sauer, one of the largest firearms manufacturers, to settle for less information than what Smith & Wesson disclosed to the committee. Sig Sauer “refused” to disclose total revenues and only told the committee that MSR sales were less than 3% of his total revenues.
By contrast, Smith & Wesson has previously told the committee that MSR sales account for the majority of the company’s annual net sales.
Smith & Wesson has already attempted to comply with the committee’s request for a hearing; however, the company did not want its CEO, Mark Smith, to be the only guns executive present at a hearing on gun violence and potential gun control proposals.
Paoletta argued that the subpoena was only intended to punish or embarrass Smith & Wesson::
In Mazarsthe Supreme Court said, “Investigations conducted solely for the personal aggrandizement of investigators or to ‘punish’ those under investigation are indefensible.” Trump vs. Mazars USA, LLP, 140 S.Ct. 2019, 2032 (2020) (citing Watkins v. United States, 354 U.S. 178, 187 (1957)). Based on the Committee’s actions, my client further objects to providing this additional information because, to any reasonable observer, the subpoena is intended to punish Smith & Wesson for declining an invitation to testify at the recent hearing. of the Committee. Finally, my client objects to Request 4 because it is only intended to punish or embarrass Smith & Wesson. Indeed, the information requested is simply not relevant to the legislation as there is nothing that any of my client’s senior executives or directors could have said in the aftermath of these horrific shootings that would be relevant for any purpose. legislation, especially since the House has already passed a ban on MSRs. The Committee already knows which MSRs were used in these shootings. He already knows how they were obtained. And he already knows what can happen if MSRs – or any other firearm for that matter – are misused by criminals. Nothing more — especially the thoughts that my client’s leaders may or may not have shared among themselves about particular tragedies — is needed to legislate.
Maloney, who has come out as a strong advocate for gun control reform, was not present in person to vote for gun control in late July. Instead, Maloney voted by proxy, choosing to raise funds in Manhattan instead.
Suraj Patel, one of Maloney’s main opponents, criticized her for voting by proxy. He said she was “demagogic” on the issue of gun control.
“I would have been 100% present for the vote if I had been in Congress,” he said.
“We will continue to work alongside law enforcement, community leaders and legislators who are genuinely interested in creating safe neighborhoods,” Smith concluded in his statement. “We will engage those who are genuinely looking for productive discussions, not a way to score political points. We will continue to inform law-abiding citizens that they have the constitutionally protected right to defend themselves and their families. We will never back down in our defense of the 2nd Amendment.