When You Buy These Bike Brands, You’re Supporting the Gun Lobby

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If you bought a cute little Copilot trailer to ferry your kid around town with your bike, we’ve got some bad news: Your purchase supported the gun industry.

Same goes if you paid for a Bell or Giro brand bike helmet, or a Razkulls child helmet or Camelbak water bottle. All of those bike brands are properties of Vista Outdoor, which is also the largest ammunition manufacturer in America and the maker of the MSR15, an AR15-style assault rifle.

The company is very politically active in the gun lobby, with strong ties to the NRA and its lesser-known but powerful industry cousin, the NSSF.

As Streetsblog founding editor Aaron Naparstek laid out in a Twitter thread, Vista Outdoor owns guns and ammo brands like Savage Arms, Federal Premium Ammunition, BLACKHAWK!, and Bushnell. In total, about 40 percent of the company’s business is ammunition, according to industry analysts.

Savage Arms is the seventh largest gun maker in America, Mother Jones reports. After the Newtown massacre, the company ran “around-the-clock shifts to keep up with demand.”

These days, with Obama-related paranoia on the wane among American gun owners, business isn’t booming anymore for companies like Vista. That makes its lobbying efforts all the more important to its bottom line. Choke off the revenue from assault rifles and the ammunition they spit out, which is seeming like a distinct possibility in the wake of the Parkland High School shooting, and profits would be down even more for Vista.

In 2017, Vista directly spent more than $500,000 on federal lobbying, and it is deeply enmeshed in the gun industry’s efforts to maintain sales of weapons capable of mass murder.

Vista hosts one of the largest booths at the NRA’s annual gun show each year, and Federal Premium Ammunition is a featured sponsor of NRATV, which has recently been putting out videos that aim to work people into a lather of paranoid aggression.

Robert J. Keller, the president of Vista’s “shooting sports” division, sits on the board of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which the Atlantic calls the “NRA’s smaller, highly effective cousin.” Vista CEO Mark DeYoung chairs the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, which “lobbies on behalf of ‘America’s hunters and anglers,'” Mother Jones reports. None other than Paul Ryan keynoted its annual banquet in 2015.

For people who bike, boycotting Vista brands would be like a form of divestment from the gun lobby. Bike advocacy organizations, which accept sponsorships from brands like Bell and Giro, have a role to play too. As Naparstek points out, cutting off the flow of money to Vista’s bike brands would deal a serious blow to the company right now.

  • enemies
  • Jonny

    I can assure you that won’t happen.

  • Miguel Lopez

    Stay mad

  • Ringwraith1986

    1. AR-15s are not assault rifles. Assault rifles are select fire(fully automatic machine guns) that are on available to Law Enforcement and Military. AR-15s are civilian sporting rifles that can only fire one round per pull of the trigger. And “AR” does not stand for “Assault Rifle.” It’s an acronym for Armalite Rifle. The company who first produced the platform.

    2. Good! 2nd Amendment Rights SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!

  • Midway

    Doesn’t really matter how long courts interpret something if its wrong. The 100-150 years after the 2nd amendment was written, all the legal commentary and rulings understood it to mean private citizens had the right to own weapons as a counterbalance to a standing army.

  • Midway

    Plenty of asymmetric wars over the last 50 years where a underdog force without major military assets punished vastly superior professional military and many times won. Vietnam, Afghanistan with the Russians and then later US, Syria right now, etc.

    Also you can’t just bomb cities or take any drastic measures in fighting your own citizens. The guerrilla warfare will be really hard to against your own citizens as every mistake you make will turn more of the population against you, and in a democracy that is what gives you legitimacy. Also, your army is comprised of people from all over the country and will defect if you abuse
    or deprive the liberty of their own people.

  • enemies

    Stay fat.

  • Midway

    Since you never saw one in the 80’s they weren’t for sale? Really is that the argument?

    Very first line under history..
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colt_AR-15#History

  • Roger Bombardier Jr.

    I take your point about soft targets. Whether one loves guns, hates them, or something in between; lets pretend all guns are banned tomorrow. It would still take many years for them to be removed from circulation. Then re-examine the possibility of all guns being banned anytime soon, not especially likely. So we face a reality of many freely available guns for many years to come.

  • Midway

    Good explanation! Its painfully easy to investigate what the framers were thinking when writing the 2nd amendment as well as its legal standing for at least 100 years after (should be most accurate since the authors were alive through part of it).

    The opposition seems to try and cast doubt on what it means just enough that the average easily swayed person won’t dig into it. Clear understanding of what they considered a militia to be is probably the big one they lie about.

  • Moondog

    If people really cared about saving lives they would give up this anti gun BS and focus on banning cigarettes. It’s selective outrage based on political ideology.

  • Midway

    So this is how a liberal debates..

  • BortLicensePlatez

    the FBI and local police are so horrific already, there is little more to have outrage. its obvious they’re dedicated to killing or imprisoning muslims and black people.

  • Linda G

    Thanks for the info. I will be sure to buy these brands.

  • Mike McAuley

    Right on Jeff C!

  • Bob Waters

    On my list to buy. Thanks for letting us know how we can support guns and the 2nd amamendme

  • johnaustingreenfield

    Wow, judging from this comment section, there are a lot of gun nuts out there who are also cyclists, or are at least pretending to be for trolling purposes.

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