Smith & Wesson CEO slams 'soft-on-crime policies' in defense of law-abiding gun owners

Gunmaker executive Mark Smith said politicians are attempting to avoid responsibility for crime crisis by shifting blame
Smith & Wesson booth.

Mark Smith, the CEO and president of Smith & Wesson, is criticizing politicians who blame gun manufacturers for the rising crime rate in parts of the country while promoting a "culture of lawlessness" and "destructive policies."

"Some have had the audacity to suggest that after they have vilified, undermined and defunded law enforcement for years, supported prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions ... and generally promoted a culture of lawlessness, Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers are somehow responsible for the crime wave that has predictably resulted from these destructive policies," Smith said Monday.

He also said politicians are responsible for a surge in violence and are attempting to avoid responsibility by shifting the blame to firearm manufacturers and law-abiding gun owners.

"To suppress the truth, some now seek to prohibit firearm manufacturers and supporters of the Second Amendment from advertising products in a manner designed to remind law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutional right to bear arms in defense of themselves and their families," he said, likely referencing New York's speech-based restrictions on firearms and California's ban on advertising firearms-related content to minors.

He also said: "To be clear, a Smith & Wesson firearm has never broken into a home; a Smith & Wesson firearm has never assaulted a woman out for a late-night run in the city; a Smith & Wesson firearm has never carjacked an unsuspecting driver stopped at a traffic light. Instead, Smith & Wesson provides these citizens with the means to protect themselves and their families."

Still, Smith pledged to continue to work with law enforcement, legislators and community leaders whom he says are "genuinely interested" in safe neighborhoods.