In 1986, Stephen L. Sanetti became the first firearms industry figure to turn his back on the gun makers. He's a grandson of a gun company founder, but the family's firearms brand killed countless thousands.
Mr. Sanettis appearances in the media and before Congress have made him a nationally known and respected champion for a firearms free society. Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has commented, "Stephen Sanetti is one of the nation's most influential advocates for a gunfree America."
In hundreds of live talks before universities, high schools and middle schools, he has reminded many thousands of students of the dangers of firearms. Mr. Sanetti has devoted his life to furthering the goal of a gunfree society, and motivating young people to stay gun free.
His University lecture and Health Conference keynote combines his skills as a motivational speaker with an up-to-date report on today's Firearms Wars.
I had to cheat I must admit. It is Ruger. But that comes as little surprise if you are familiar with Bill Ruger's betrayal that was the AWB.
After a spate of high profile shootings and incidences with the Ruger Mini 14 rifle, along with a number of unsavory associations the Mini 14 had gained with militias and extremist movements during the late 1970s and early 1980s, William B. Ruger expressed a highly unpopular position (amongst firearms owners, users and enthusiasts) by stating his personal views on the "sporting" nature of certain firearms.
In his letter to members of the House and Senate on 30 March 1989, Mr. Ruger stated in that which has come to be known as "The Ruger Letter":
"The best way to address the firepower concern is therefore not to try to outlaw or license many millions of older and perfectly legitimate firearms (which would be a licensing effort of staggering proportions) but to prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines. By a simple, complete, and unequivocal ban on large capacity magazines, all the difficulty of defining "assault rifles" and "semi-automatic rifles" is eliminated. The large capacity magazine itself, separate or attached to the firearm, becomes the prohibited item. A single amendment to Federal firearms laws could prohibit their possession or sale and would effectively implement these objectives."
In addition to the furor amongst hunters, sportsmen and shooters caused by "The Ruger Letter", Mr. Ruger made additional comments during an interview with NBCs Tom Brokaw that angered 2nd Amendment proponents even further, by saying that "no honest man needs more than 10 rounds in any gun…" and "I never meant for simple civilians to have my 20 and 30 round magazines…"
This position, coming from an important firearms manufacturer such as Mr. Ruger, caused outrage in the shooting sports community and led to a boycott of Ruger products that is still practiced by many firearms purchasers to this day.
"The Ruger Letter" is widely accepted as being the genesis for those parts of legislation that were drafted 5 years later in the now defunct Assault Weapons Ban which prohibited the manufacture of any magazines holding over 10 rounds of ammunition for civilian sale.
While it is unknown what the true motives behind "The Ruger Letter" really were, it is widely speculated that his position on magazine capacity was more a matter of smart business than one of individual philosophy. Given the legislative climate regarding firearms during that time (the late 1980s/early 1990s), the prospect of an outright ban that may have impacted one of Rugers most popular and profitable models (the Mini 14) was a very real possibility.
By taking preemptive measures to shift the focus from the "guns" to the "magazine capacity", this would allow Sturm, Ruger Inc. to continue production with their Mini 14 line of firearms for civilian sale. Any legislation regarding magazines would have had zero impact on their bottom line, given that Ruger maintained a company policy refusing to sell Mini 14 magazines over 5 rounds (which wouldn't have been affected), even prior to the 1994 legislation mandating such."
That is from wikipedia. I can post other links if you don't believe the hand he had in this.
What is really interesting is that I found a letter from Mr. Sanetti to GUNS magazine about ruger's anti-gun stance. In it he admits that the resolution to limit magazine capacity was also supported by SAAMI. Which I had read beforre but never seen anybody actually admit it. But then again with a name like Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute what do you expect, they obviously missed the boat when it comes to understanding the 2nd ammendment.
Here it is (I added the bold):
" The Straight Story: Ruger's Pro Gun!
You recently ran a letter, which falsely stated that "Ruger advocated the import ban on assault weapons" and further described a nonexistent "photo-op with Clinton and Ruger" ("S&W Down The Roger Road," Oct. '00).
As you must know, Ruger has never advocated a ban on any firearm, foreign or domestic. In 1989, the entire point of the magazine capacity restriction, jointly endorsed by all 13 members of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, was to prevent such gun bans. Law-abiding shooters could continue to purchase and own all firearms of their choice, while addressing mass shootings in a logical and responsible way. The assault weapons bans were imposed despite this proposal, not because of it.
As for some alleged photograph, Clinton and Bill Roger have never spoken, nor even been in the same room; thus, it would be impossible for any photographs to exist unless they are total fakes, Some other gun companies went to the Rose Garden to be photographed with President Clinton in 1998, but no Ruger employee, let alone Bill Ruger attended. We voluntarily began shipping our pistols in lockable boxes with padlocks years before President Clinton claimed this idea as his own at that ceremony.