Some gun makers try to keep their guns out of police hands

A few weeks ago, New York State passed a new gun law, restricting what kind of guns New Yorkers can own. Now, some gun manufacturers say they won't do business with the State of New York.

A few weeks ago, New York State passed a new gun law, restricting what kind of guns New Yorkers can own. That upset a lot of people, including gun manufacturers, and a few of them have taken the matter into their own hands.

“It just didn’t make sense to us,” Brian Schuetz says. He co-owns Olympic Arms, a company that specializes in AR-15s -- a firearm that is now illegal in New York State.

“If a citizen, you know, can’t own it, I don’t understand the reasoning why the law enforcement community should have it.”

From now on, they won’t be able to have any Olympic Arms guns. Schuetz says the manufacturer won’t do business with the State of New York

LaRue Tactical made the same decision. So did a company called EFI, which makes long-range precision rifles. 

According to its president, Melinda Meador, there shouldn’t be exceptions for a police officer or a sheriff.

“If I can’t sell it to a member of the public, I’m not selling it to him,” she says.

EFI added New York to a list that already includes Washington, D.C., Chicago, and California -- places that also have strict gun laws. 

Meador estimates government sales account for about ten percent of her business. 

“To tell you the truth, Dave, we’re not worried about it,” John Grebert says. He is the executive director of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, a group that supported the new gun law in New York State.

But, he adds, “I think it’s pretty unfortunate that any business thinks they can bully us.”

Because people in law enforcement deal with criminals every days, Grebert thinks they have, “a greater right” to weapons, "to deal with potentially violent situations.” And Grebert says he’s confident police will still have access to the equipment they need “to get the job done right.”

About the author

David Gura is a reporter for Marketplace, based in the Washington, D.C. bureau.

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