Once again Ronnie Barrett has shown his support for the California gun owner and has introduced a fixed-magazine version of the 82A1 in .416 Barrett that incorporates their own “Bullet Button” design magazine release. These rifles are a reality and begin shipping February 24th, 2010.
For a little background, below is a letter written by Ronnie Barrett to LAPD’s Chief Bratton over his disgust in witnessing the LAPD use a Barrett rifle as a prop to help pass the .50BMG rifle ban in California back in 2004. In response, Barrett let it be known that if his rifles were not allowed to be sold to citizens in California that he would no longer sell or service the rifles for California law enforcement agencies either. I cannot begin to describe how much respect I have for Ronnie Barrett and his support for the rights of the California gun owner and the 2nd Amendment.
Dear Chief Bratton,
I, a U.S. citizen, own Barrett Firearms Mfg. Inc., and for 20 years, I have built .50 caliber rifles for my fellow citizens, for their Law Enforcement departments and for their nation’s armed forces.
You may be aware of the latest negative misinformation campaign from a Washington based anti-gun group, the Violence Policy Center. The VPC has, for three or so years, been unsuccessful in Washington, D.C. trying to demonize and ban a new subclass of firearms, the .50 caliber and other “too powerful” rifles. This type of nibbling process has been historically successful in civilian disarmament of other nations governed by totalitarian and other regimes less tolerant of individual rights than the United States.
The VPC’s most recent efforts directs this misinformation campaign at your state, attempting to get any California body to pass any law against .50 caliber firearms. In March 2002, the VPC caused the California State Assembly, Public Safety Committee to consider and reject the issue by a 5 to 0 with 1 abstaining vote.
Regrettably, the same material has been presented to your city council. I personally attended the council meeting in Los Angeles regarding attempts to ban ownership of the .50 caliber rifle in your city. I was allowed to briefly address the council. The tone of the discussion was mostly emotionally based, so the facts that I attempted to provide were ineffective to the extent they were heard at all. The council voted to have the city attorney draft an ordinance to ban the .50, and further, to instruct the city’s representatives in Sacrament and in Washington, D.C. to push for bans at their respective levels.
At that council meeting, I was very surprised to see an LAPD officer seated front and center with a Barrett 82A1 .50 cal. Rifle. It was the centerpiece of the discussion. As you know, there have been no crimes committed with these rifles, and most importantly, current California law does not allow the sale of the M82A1 in the state because of its detachable magazine and features that make it an “assault weapon.” This rifle was being deceptively used by your department. The officer portrayed it as a sample of a currently available .50 cal rifle, available for sale to the civilians of Los Angeles. One councilman even questioned how this rifle was available under current laws, but as I stated, facts were ineffective that day.
Your officer, speaking for the LAPD, endorsed the banning of this rifle and its ammunition. Then he used the rifle for photo ops with the Councilmen, each of whom, in handling the firearm, may have been committing a felony. I was amazed.
Since 1968, with the closing of the U.S. Springfield Armory, all of the small arms produced for the various government agencies are from the private sector. Every handgun, rifle or shotgun that law enforcement needs comes from this firearms industry. Unless the City of Los Angeles has plans of setting up its own firearms manufacturing, it may need to guard the manufacturing sources it has now.
When I returned to my office from Los Angeles, I found an example of our need for mutual cooperation. Your department had sent one of your 82A1 rifles in to us for service. All of my knowledge in the use of my rifle in the field of law enforcement had been turned upside down by witnessing how your department used yours. Not to protect and serve, but for deception, photo opportunities, and to further an ill-conceived effort that may result in the use of LA taxpayer monies to wage losing political battles in Washington against civil liberties regarding gun ownership.
Please excuse my slow response on the repair service of the rifle. I am battling to what service I am repairing the rifle for. I will not sell, nor service, my rifles to those seeking to infringe upon the Constitution and the crystal clear rights it affords individual to own firearms.
I implore you to investigate the facts of the .50, to consider the liberties of the law-abiding people and our mutual coexistence, and to change your department’s position on this issue.
BARRETT FIREARMS MANUFACTURING, INC.
Ronnie G. Barrett