In a sharply worded memo to its employees, Remington Outdoor Company refuted claims that it was being purchased by a digital technology company, calling the move a "publicity stunt."
"A small, unknown investment entity publicly announced its desire to acquire the Remington Outdoor Company," says the memo, which was written by company CEO George Kollitides and obtained by Grand View Outdoors. "If this wasn't disruptive to our employees and customers, we would not acknowledge the news and recognize it for what it is: a publicity stunt from an agenda-driven group with no credible financing options."
The gun world erupted March 12 when news of the pending takeover broke, with Palm Beach, Fla.-based Global Digital Solutions Inc. announcing in a statement it planned to submit a purchase bid for the firearms manufacturing behemoth for $1.08 billion in cash. The company calls itself a "leader in providing cyber arms manufacturing" and security technology and says buying Remington would help it take advantage of a growing market for so-called "smart guns."
"In this dynamic environment, we see enormous opportunity to consolidate this market with a program of targeted acquisitions, including the proposed [Remington] transaction," Global Digital Solutions said in its statement. "Technological convergence is the future in the cyber/smart arms arena and we're eager to leverage our proven history of success by helping [Remington] and others navigate the transition from analog to digital."
The company says it has developed technology that can catalog and track firearms, adding the technology is "perfectly suited to the military armament industry, an industry that is heavily fragmented and evolving rapidly toward a RFID/WiFi-enabled technology platform."
The announcement comes as the debate over smart guns continues to heat up. Advocates for the technology — which is intended to disable a firearm unless it is operated by an electronically matched shooter — say smart guns would cut down on firearms theft, suicides and accidental shootings. Some states are considering mandating the sale of smart guns and one U.S. senator has proposed forcing all future handgun sales to incorporate the technology.
But opponents argue smart guns aren't reliable and warn against forcing industry and consumers to buy into the technology.
"Further evidence of [Global Digital Solutions'] misguided agenda is all over the entity's website that displays logos of every major firearms maker and lays out a mission to introduce smart gun technology to the industry; something the consumer doesn't want," Kollitides' memo says.
A scientific poll commissioned last year by the National Shooting Sports Foundation showed nearly 80 percent of those surveyed wouldn't buy a smart gun and 70 percent said they didn't want the government to mandate smart gun ownership.