Engage Armament in Rockville, MD will not sell Armatex’s safe gun. One of the co-owners, Andy Raymond, runs a small business with his fellow co-owner and five employees. In a 12 minute 31 second YouTube video, Raymond cited his reasons to collaborate with Armatex and later back away from the decision.
The iP1 pistol made by the German company Armatex uses electronic chips inside the pistol and a wristwatch the user wears. A random code given by the watch must be entered by the user to activate the pistol. Once a green light displays below the hammer, the iP1 is ready to fire. Should the weapon move out of the very short range of the wristwatch, it locks rendering it useless.
Andy Raymond, the co-owner of Engage Armament, said that offering the Armatix iP1 pistol was a tough decision, particularly after what happened at the Oak Tree Gun Club in Newhall, CA. There, the NRA and gun owners severely criticized the business to the point where the owner denied having anything to do with the weapon.
The NRA and gun owners contend that any gun safety technology short of a safety infringes upon Second Amendment rights. Any new technology would lead down a slippery slope banning all guns lacking safe gun features.
In a YouTube presentation, Raymond wanted to market the iP1 to a segment of the population who only want to fire on a range. Such people fear their children might find the gun and discharge the weapon by accident. There are also fence sitters who want an additional safety feature before lending their support. Raymond believed the Armatex pistol could make concerned parents and fence sitters strong supporters of the Second Amendment.
Raymond wondered how the NRA could oppose a gun when they upheld the belief that any gun is good in the right person’s hands. He called the NRA hypocritical for their stance. If someone is pro-gun, does it matter what kind of weapon they own? People have a right to guns. They should be able to purchase any type they want.
During his presentation, Raymond announced he had received numerous death threats, something he found classy from gun right advocates. He then stated if anyone deserved to be shot it ought to be the politicians who make gun laws. Grabbing a high caliber weapon off a shelf behind him, he stated there was one reason for guns, the protection of people’s freedom.
Raymond has never sold an Armatix pistol. The iP1 is not part of his inventory. Raymond agreed on selling the safe gun on principal. If someone wants to buy an Armatex pistol, that is fine with him. There was no conspiracy to cooperate with anti-gun lobbyists or financial support given by them.
Being the co-owner of a Maryland gun store is difficult. Raymond claimed he makes $800 a week and has not cashed a paycheck for three months. With his decision not to sell a safe gun at Engage Armament, business will not improve, particularly with Maryland’s strict gun control laws. Raymond contended that his original principals to sell the iP1 were correct. Public opinion proved otherwise.
Engage Armament maintains a Facebook page. A recent post by John Comeau used the term quisling to describe Raymond and his decision to sell a so called smart gun. Within the same sentence, Comeau admits such technology would soon be mandated.
Greg DeBernardo stated that he would never purchase anything from people hurting “pro 2A” causes. He wrote that the owners of Engage Armament had done just that and recommended people should not give them a dime.
Mark Dakos posted that he hopes that Engage Armament fails. A pistol such as the Armatix iP1 has no business on the market.
An article response in the Washington Post by a reader named pat_rat found the irony thick enough to serve with a ladle. Pro-gun lobbyists have worked themselves into a frenzy because someone has dared to sell guns they do not like, so much for the free market deciding.
The NRA fears any safe gun would have detrimental ramifications toward the Second Amendment. The decision of Engage Armament to not sell Armatex’s safe gun proves that the NRA and its supporters will pressure gun store owners to keep such products off the market.
By Brian T. Yates