Rep. Sarbanes: Some Gun Makers Build Sales Models on Assumption 20% 'Will Get Sold Illegally’

By Eric Scheiner | February 7, 2013 | 3:37pm EST


Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) (AP Photo)

( - Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) told Maryland county officials that some gun manufacturers build their sales models “on an assumption that at least 20 percent of the weapons will get sold illegally.”

While addressing the Montgomery County Council on Jan. 29, Sarbanes discussed his support of Vice President Joe Biden’s recent gun control recommendations saying, “I want to note that the resistance to it, the organized resistance to it, doesn’t just come from organizations like the NRA, which gets a lot of attention, but there’s a lot of moneyed interests behind it. The gun manufactures have a pretty strong lobby as well in Washington.”

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“There’s some information that suggests that some of these manufacturers build their sales models on an assumption that at least 20 percent of the weapons will get sold illegally," said Sarbanes. "So the industry is even building on the assumption that this is happening out there and there are many reasons this is the time to respond.” repeatedly contacted Rep. Sarbanes office asking for the source of the information the congressman used in making his statement that some weapons manufacturers build sales models assuming a percentage of their weapons will be sold illegally. Sarbanes office has not responded.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms trade association, did respond to Rep. Sarbanes’ comments. NSSF Vice President Larry Keane e-mailed a statement that read, “Congressman Sarbanes' outrageous statement alleging that responsible, law-abiding members of the firearms industry anticipate and calculate into their business plans that 20 percent or more of their products will be illegally sold is highly offensive, absurd on its face and patently false.”

The organization is demanding that Sarbanes immediately provide the factual basis for his claim or retract his comments and apologize to members of the firearms industry. has made Sarbanes’ office aware of the NSSF comments but still has received no response at this time.

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