By Larry Keane, National Shooting Sports Foundation
Long before Mayor Michael Bloomberg decided to make restricting our Second Amendment rights his cause célèbre, billionaire investor George Soros was trying to destroy the firearms industry. Soros made a reputation as a liberal activist for gun control even before he became widely known in America as an economic tour-de-force. From 2000 to 2011, before the rise of the super PACs that have allowed Bloomberg to “legally” fund his efforts, Soros gave almost $7 million to various groups that work to advance gun control measures. He also gave almost $15 million of his own money in a desperate effort to stop the re-election of President George W. Bush.
However, many have long believed that Soros’ activism goes far beyond generous donations. A few years ago, it was rumored that Soros was secretly behind the Freedom Group, a private equity fund that acquired several firearm manufacturers including Remington, Marlin and Bushmaster. The central feature of this rumor was his nefarious plan to slowly but surely dismantle the gun industry. Fortunately, the rumor was completely untrue.
Soros was aggressive in a legal effort to take down the firearms industry, financing frivolous litigation against manufacturers with the hope of bankrupting them. He gave noted anti-gun lawyer Elisa Barnes as much as $800,000 to pursue two baseless cases in federal court, both of which were heard by one of the most liberal anti-gun judges on the federal bench – Jack B. Weinstein.
Of course, firearm manufacturers ultimately prevailed in both cases but were forced to spend tens of millions of dollars in legal fees to defend against this baseless assault, which in turn led to a number of equally baseless municipal suits against the industry. The onslaught of courthouse-based attacks did not cease until President Bush signed the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in 2005 –several hundred many millions of dollars in legal fees later.
Given Soros’ past antics, Second Amendment supporters have become rightly wary of what exactly he might try to do next. So our interest was piqued last week when we learned that several NSSF member companies, including gun, ammunition and accessory manufacturers, had received inquiries from one of the research minions at Soros Fund Management. One example of the emails is below.
From: Hasan, Jawad
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Cc: Kapp, Disa
Subject: Soros Fund Management/15 Minutes to Speak Next Week Regarding the Ammunitions Industry?
I hope this email finds you well. By way of background, I am an investment research analyst at Soros Fund Management, the $30 billion investment family office of George Soros. I am currently researching the ammunitions industry wanted to reach out to you to see if you have 15 minutes or so to speak next week. As a leader in the industry, your insights into the industry would be very much appreciated. Anything discussed would be used for our internal research purposes to make investment decisions only, and nothing would be published anywhere.
Please let me know which days/times would be most convenient for you and Disa (cc’d) can help schedule. Thank you in advance for your time and I look forward to speaking with you.
Soros Fund Management
The note is too vague to reveal true intent. What does “researching” mean? If it ultimately develops that the Soros Fund is really interested in investing in the industry that the man behind the billions once tried to bankrupt it would reveal that he is a world-class hypocrite. As for the email, we can’t imagine anyone will be in a rush to reply.