The Knox Update
From the Firearms Coalition
By Chris Knox
What follows is an excerpt from Neal Knox – The Gun Rights War, a compilation of columns and essays by my late father Neal Knox.
“The State of
There’s no doubt what that writer would think about
He wrote: “Every little while some legislature or some city council presents an ordinance regulating the sale of firearms, thinking such regulation will stop crime. In every instance, it doesn’t accomplish the purpose sought.
“These laws and ordinances have only the effect of stopping the sale of firearms in legitimate channels…. If all the firearms were put into a furnace and destroyed, it would not be two weeks before burglars, holdup men or lawless characters would have firearms, thus putting the law-abiding citizen at a disadvantage.
“No legitimate dealer sells burglar tools, but burglars have them and use them, which is evidence that they cannot be prevented from securing implements necessary to their lawless trade.”
The writer was absolutely right. He didn’t identify himself, but I suspect he was the owner or manager of Fred Biffar & Company,
I received a copy of the pamphlet from Dwight Glen of the Blackhawk Gun and Auto Club,
We share the frustration of the writer, who wrote: “The second amendment of the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: ‘A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.’ This is plain English language and understood by people who read English and there should be no question as to what it does mean.
“We believe the legislature may have the right to regulate the carrying of firearms on the person, but not the right to regulate the sale of the same…. Law-abiding citizens of the
Maybe the writer was just a clerk with Biffar & Co. who was determined to protect our gun rights. And maybe he did more than he or we will ever know, plugging a trickle before it became a torrent.
When you study your guns, think of him, and those like him who have made it possible for us to own firearms. And do your part so law-abiding citizens can enjoy guns years from now.
December 28, 1986
My Editor’s Note in the book goes into some detail showing that the pro-rights position of Biffar & Co. was not the scribbling of a lone clerk, but rather was long-standing company policy. A later edition of the Biffar catalog dedicated a full, precious page to a similar editorial.
The Sullivan Law was aimed squarely at the heart of Biffar’s business. Their buyers were not the upscale clientele who could afford to comply with, or could safely ignore the law to buy and carry their fancy Colt’s or Smith & Wesson pistols. The law sought to put Biffar out of business by disarming the people who bought their wares.
That Biffar had an economic interest in selling affordable guns is perfectly excusable. They were defending their livelihood. That’s the way the system works. The market rewards those who satisfy a need. When law distorts the market, it’s certainly acceptable to push back on the law through the political process. It’s what the First Amendment is all about.
Biffar & Co. passed into oblivion in the Great Depression, but gun owners should recognize the spirit of Biffar when we see it. Do you know a company that has perhaps foregone a short-term profit in order to support the Right to Keep and Bear Arms? Or perhaps incurred an expense?
We have some ideas, but we’re looking for yours first. Drop a note to us through The Firearms Coalition web site (http://www.firearmscoalition.org), or if you’re feeling nostalgic, put pen to paper and send us a note. We’ll report back your suggestions and consider how to recognize service to the Second Amendment by a commercial enterprise.
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