Industry News: Volume 4, Number 3

EPA Denies Latest Anti-Hunting Group Petition to Ban Traditional Ammunition
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied yet another frivolous petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) – an established anti-hunting group – calling for a ban on the traditional ammunition (containing lead-core components) for hunting and shooting.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, applauds the EPA’s latest decision and called upon Congress to immediately pass the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Sports Protection Act (S.838/H.R.1558).  In the House of Representatives, the bill is also included in the Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012 (H.R. 4089), an important piece of legislation that combines three other legislative priorities for sportsmen.  The bill (S.838/H.R.1558) amends the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to clarify that the Congress has excluded traditional ammunition from regulation by the EPA.  The legislation is supported by more than 35 national conservation and sportsmen’s groups.  The bill is even supported by the Fraternal Order of Police because a ban on traditional ammunition would apply to law enforcement and the U.S. military.

NSSF opposed the petition, which was filed by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) and other like-minded groups.  This was the second attempt by the CBD to ban traditional ammunition since it first petitioned the EPA in August of 2010.  In rejecting the CBD’s latest petition the EPA agreed with NSSF, telling the CBD that it did not have jurisdiction under TSCA to regulate ammunition.  The CBD’s petition purported to narrow the scope of the ban sought, but the EPA concluded that this change was a “distinction without a substantive difference.”  The EPA went on to say the new petition “contains no new information.”

Canadian Long-Gun Registry Finally Destined for Scrap Heap of History
Good riddance to the long-gun registry – possibly the most unfair and useless legislation ever to have been passed by Parliament of Canada.

In the wake of many hours of debate and anti-gun rhetoric from the opposition and lobbyists, the Conservative party has successfully laid the registry to rest with Royal Assent on Bill C-19.  Few issues have prompted so many Canadians to sound off on the shortcomings of a Canadian law.

“The Firearms Act has been a thorn in the side of hunters, sport shooters, farmers and heritage firearms enthusiasts for 17 years,” says Tony Bernardo of the Canadian Shooting Sport Association.  “We know the registry was a cheap political ploy from a previous government that pretended to keep Canadians safe.  It wasn’t gun control, and it wasn’t designed to do anything but frustrate honest, law-abiding firearms owners.”

The Senate of Canada passed 3rd reading of Bill C-19 to scrap the registry on April 4th.  Meanwhile, the Government of Quebec has vowed an injunction to try to prevent the data from being destroyed so it can be turned over to the province.

“Quebec wouldn’t know what to do with this data if they got it,” says Bernardo.  “The data is legendary for its inaccuracy and it’s way beyond its stale date.  Quebec couldn’t build a workable registry from the dregs of this white elephant because it was never workable in the first place.  It’s hard to believe that Quebec voters want their tax dollars fed into a paper shredder like this.”

The demise of the registry is the result of a coordinated effort by firearms enthusiasts, wildlife federations and associations from across the country.  The Conservative party campaigned on scrapping the registry and its recent majority provides evidence of the widespread appetite for getting rid of this offensive legislation.

SIG Sauer is Expanding
SIG Sauer announced plans to expand the company’s domestic production capabilities through the acquisition of a new facility at the Pease International Tradeport in Newington, New Hampshire, U.S.A.

As part of the firearms manufacturer’s strategic global expansion plan, the new campus will be home to the company’s corporate and manufacturing areas.  The state-of-the-art property will provide SIG Sauer with three times the usable work space of its current Exeter, N.H., headquarters.

“This campus will bring the majority of SIG Sauer’s employees and manufacturing under the same roof,” said Ron Cohen, SIG Sauer President and Chief Executive Officer.  “This will allow us to maximize our production capabilities as well as improve efficiency in manufacturing.”

Originally acquired in 1990, the Exeter facility has undergone a series of updates and enhancements to improve manufacturing processes.  “Our current headquarters has reached its maximum manufacturing capability.  Demand for SIG Sauer products has grown to the point where expansion is a must,” Cohen said.

The transition to the Newington site is expected to take 12 to 18 months and be completed by mid-2013.  The new site offers double the company’s current square footage and includes a 700-stall parking lot.

Freedom Group Announces New CEO
George Kollitides has been appointed acting chief executive officer and executive chairman of the board for Freedom Group, Inc. (FGI).  Kollitides, an avid hunter, shooter and firearms enthusiast, sits on three NRA committees, is a trustee of NRA Foundation and is a director of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association.  He is a past director of the Safari Club International, Connecticut Chapter.  Kollitides was previously a managing director of Cerberus Capital Management, where he was the architect of FGI and its lead director.  Kollitides stated, “I am ecstatic to join the FGI team, where we have the greatest employees and a 200-year history of 100 percent American made.”

Former Glock CEO Convicted of Racketeering
Following a week of testimony, it took a Cobb County, Georgia jury slightly less than six hours to find former Glock CEO Paul Jannuzzo guilty of racketeering.  The racketeering charge was reached as the jury found Jannuzzo, 55, guilty of two other charges: stealing a pistol and conspiring with former Glock executive Peter Manown to skim millions from the Smyrna, Georgia-based Glock.

When Jannuzzo is sentenced, he could face 30 years in prison for the conviction.  His attorney, Robert Citronberg, says he will appeal the conviction.  Peter Manown pleaded guilty to three counts of theft in 2008 and was sentenced to 10 years probation and no jail time.  In return, he provided prosecutors with a statement outlining the embezzlement he and Jannuzzo had allegedly engaged in.

Jannuzzo was originally indicted in 2007, but was reindicted in 2008 so prosecutors could add the charge of obstructing law enforcement when he allegedly lied to Smyrna Police during questioning.  Had he not been reindicted, the statute of limitations would have expired on the gun theft charge.  Without that charge, Jannuzzo would not have been in jeopardy under the racketeering charge.  Glock founder Gaston Glock did not testify in the proceeding.

New Department of State / Directorate of Defense Trade Controls License Codes – United Kingdom ITAR Exemptions (SGB) and Australia ITAR Exemptions (SAU)
Effective March 30, 2012, two new License Codes for United Kingdom ITAR Exemptions (SGB) and Australia ITAR Exemptions (SAU) will be added to the Automated Export System (AES).

The International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) is being amended pursuant to the Security Cooperation Act of 2010 (Public Law 111-266).  Title I of the Security Cooperation Act, the Defense Trade Cooperation Treaties Implementation Act of 2010, implements the Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom, done at Washington, D.C. and London on June 21 and 26, 2007, respectively.  These revisions will include amending the ITAR to include “§126.17 Exemption pursuant to the Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty between the United States and the United Kingdom.”  The ITAR will be amended to add the provisions for the Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty between the United States and Australia when the Treaty enters into force.  It is anticipated that this treaty will enter into force later this year.

General Casey Elected to Colt Defense Board
Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., U.S. Army (ret) has been elected to the governing board of Colt Defense.  Gen. Casey served as chief of staff of the U.S. Army for four years, from April 2007 to April 2011.  Previously, he was commander, Multinational Force-Iraq, from July 2004 to February 2007.  Said Gerald Dinkel, Colt Defense president and CEO, “His experience and success as a military leader in the most challenging and complex environments makes him an ideal person to contribute to our strategic planning, business execution and overall corporate governance.”

SHOT Show Arrests Lead to Dismissal of All Charges
Those in the industry will remember the January 2010 arrests at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas.  In late 2009 and early 2010, a District of Columbia grand jury indicted 22 defendants, for allegedly violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).  The indictments all related to a purported deal to sell $15 million in military and law enforcement products to the Ministry of Defense for Gabon.

The FCPA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq., makes it illegal for U.S. companies and citizens, foreign companies listed on a U.S. stock exchange, or any person acting while in the United States to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business.  The FCPA specifically prohibits a person or company from making a bribe to a foreign official to influence that official to violate his or her lawful duties, or to secure an improper advantage in obtaining or retaining business.

Originally, the grand jury issued 16 indictments against the 22 defendants, but a grand jury later consolidated all 22 defendants into one case, the largest ever for an FCPA case.

Before going to trial, three defendants pled guilty.  In 2011, the first group went to trial, but the Court declared a mistrial after jurors could not reach a verdict.  The second group went to trial in September 2011.  One defendant was acquitted based on insufficient evidence before the jury even received the case.  In early February 2012, the jury acquitted two other defendants and the Court declared a mistrial when the jury could not reach a verdict on the remaining defendants.  After the string of legal losses, the U.S. Government moved to dismiss the indictment and entire case with prejudice, which the D.C. federal court granted.  End result:  Dismissal of all charges against the 19 defendants that chose to go to trial.