During the War of 1812, the British captured the city of Washington, setting fire to the capitol building and the White House. In the blaze of cannon fire, Francis Scott Key,a lawyer living in Georgetown could still see an American flag waving over Fort McHenry. When the bombing suddenly stopped during the night he had no way of knowing if the flag was still there or if the American stroghold had fallen to the British. But at dawn the American flag became visible, still intact over the fort.

A placque hanging over Elizabeth Saunders' desk

For Immediate Release
March 24, 2000
For More Information:
Elizabeth Saunders - 254-799-9111

On March 17, Smith & Wesson, once a great American company, signed an agreement with the Clinton Administration and the mayors that have been illegally suing the firearms industry in a scheme to subvert our Constitutional system of government and enact law without lawmakers.

Up until that day, the industry had held firm against this onslaught and this attack on our Right to Keep and Bear Arms. We had resolved to not submit to these acts of tyranny.

Sadly, one of us has chosen to surrender their rights, my rights and, to an extent your rights. We here at American Derringer will never sign onto any agreement that takes away the rights of others, and certainly not to an agreement as one-sided as this on is. What makes this all the sadder is that the company that surrenderd our rights isn't even an American company. It is the British firm Tomkins, PLC, desperate to sell S&W, that agreed with the state-ists on Friday.

"In all the years I have been in business, I have never seen anything so blatantly un-American as that agreement," reacted Elizabeth Saunders, American Derringer CEO after reviewing the entire 24 page document. "The establishment of a government oversight commission with virtually unlimited authority and no accountability is in itself a violation of the basic American concept of free enterprise. No reasonable business person could possibly sign this thing."

The fact that these politicians have illegally used our courts as bully-bats to try to force us to either capitulate to their demands or be driven to bankruptcy is what is most infuriating. Time and again they have gone to the people's elected representatives with their false promise of less crime through the persecution of law abiding gun owners. And each time, the people's representatives at virtually every level have rejected their schemes.

So they decided to leave the people out of it. Obviously the people weren't having any of it. So they pulled their attorneys out of their bag of tricks and unleashed an unprecedented, and certainly illegal barrage of frivolous lawsuits at a perfectly lawful industry blaming us for the acts of criminals. They seek no money in these lawsuits. They seek exactly what they got from Smith & Wesson. Regulation with no law behind it.

American Derringer condemns this action, and calls upon all of those mayors to drop their attorneys and to start picking up the criminals and putting them in prison and off our streets. The woeful record of this administration when it comes to prosecuting federal firearms law violations speaks for itself. And these are the same laws they demanded and got.

"Now the Clinton administration and these mayors have a plan to somehow consolidate the purchasing efforts of the thousands of law enforcement agencies and use that purchasing power as a bludgeon to try to get more companies to sign on to their agreement. I call that extortion," Saunders commented. "That is the depth to which they have sunk in their desperation. They are willing to sacrifice the safety of law enforcement officers by forcing them to only buy from signers of the agreement."

We resent the continued implication that we in the firearms industry and that the lawful firearms owners in this nation are somehow responsible for the level of violent crime that we face. We resent the continued vilification of guns and firearms enthusiasts by the president and his minions. We resent the manipulated and twisted statistics being doled out and demand that the real numbers and real facts be presented to the American people.

Most of all, we are angered by the assault on our Constitutional rights by these people. Their claim that the settlement by just one of the many companies in this industry justifies their actions Their claim does not ring true. No other company in this industry has even given this agreement a second look. We certainly won't.

American Derringer will always support and defend the right of law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms and the right to protect family and home.

E-mail Elizabeth with your questions and comments at amderringer@aol.com

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