Gun manufacturers have been under a lot of heat in recent years.
The gun control measures of the left and the Democrat Party have even caused some big gun makers like Smith & Wesson and Remington to move south, instead of staying in anti-gun blue states.
However, now gunmakers are experiencing something new: a strange new respect for their craft from mainstream politicians who want to help get weapons into the hands of Ukrainians defending their country from Russia.
One prominent example comes out of Miami, Florida, where the Kellgren family runs KelTec weapons manufacturing.
KelTec Steps Up to the Plate
KelTec is a Miami-based company employing over 300 people. It makes weapons and weapons-related products and ships them all over the world. Recently, Keltec ran into a big problem.
One of their repeat customers had ordered a large number of weapons to arrive to him in Ukraine, but they heard nothing back about it after Putin’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.
KelTec owner Adrian Kellgren was worried and didn’t know what to do. Those 400 unshipped semi-auto rifles were worth about $200,000, but they could also be a huge help to Ukrainians fighting off the Russian invasion.
That’s when KelTec made the decision to do the patriotic thing and ship them over to Ukrainian resistance members.
Kellgren himself is a veteran and said watching Ukraine get “hammered” has broken his heart. He, like other Americans, wants to do something.
KelTec's donation of 400 rifles is a rare example of Americans successfully collecting guns in response to President Zelenskyy’s promise to arm his citizens.
Many grassroots efforts are underway but have been snarled by export regulations.https://t.co/1nHOMRLODG
— Joshua Goodman (@APjoshgoodman) March 18, 2022
Red Tape Nightmare
The thing is KelTec is far from alone.
Kellgren is right that many Americans want to help and get body armor and weapons over to Ukrainian fighters. However, bureaucratic rules around weapons have stopped many people from doing this.
Kellgren and KelTec have an advantage, however. As gun makers, they had friends who could help them secure the proper export license rapidly and get the versatile 9mm semi-auto rifles on their way to Ukraine.
Once the guns arrive, Ukraine’s defense ministry will get them to the fighters on the frontline.
KelTec says this isn’t going to be the last thing they do to help Ukraine, either, and they have plans to export more weapons at a discounted price to Ukraine.
Other organizations, such as The National Shooting Sports Foundation, are also helping out by letting its thousands of members know precise instructions for how to get export clearance to send ammo, rifles, and body armor that Ukrainian civilians need.
I want to see a post from that geek Davey Hogg praising KelTec for helping the Ukrainians.https://t.co/QNPP51PgBW
— JJ Pesavento (@rdrhwke) March 19, 2022
The Bottom Line
Gun manufacturers are not the bad guy, and they never have been.
Many are run by veterans and full of patriotic Americans. The vast majority of their weapons are used for non-criminal purposes, including hunting and self-protection.
Now, we see how these companies want to do more to step up during Ukraine’s darkest moment. Congress should work to simplify it for them.