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Smith & Wesson clarifies and makes nice

Yesterday we told you about a cease and desist letter sent by Smith & Wesson to certain custom gunsmiths involved in the so-called “Dream Gun” project. It did not go over well.

It did not go over well at all.

At about 08h30 CST today Smith & Wesson Corporation's President James Debney, a member of the NRA's Golden Ring of Freedom since 2013, released the following statement.

“I would like to clarify that we fully support the Brownells Dream Guns® Project and we appreciate that it showcases the many ways in which our customers – loyal fans of our M&P brand – can choose to customize their M&P firearms. Our decision to contact the companies that worked on the project was intended to protect the trademarks that support the M&P brand. When a product bears the Smith & Wesson and M&P trademarks and is purchased new with our lifetime service policy, we want to be sure that the consumer knows it has passed our demanding quality standards. In our efforts to protect that promise and to preserve the brand that we and our customers cherish, we did not fully understand the intent of the Dream Guns® Project and we overlooked the opportunity to convey our enthusiasm for the creativity and innovation that Brownells and all of the companies involved have demonstrated. We look forward to seeing the firearm on display at the upcoming SHOT Show in January and at the NRA in May.”

Brownell's president, Matt Buckingham, likewise issued a statement.

“I have spoken with James Debney, President of Smith & Wesson, who called me regarding the M&P® Brownells/Apex Dream Gun™,” said Matt Buckingham, Brownells President. “It was a simple misunderstanding about the intention of the project.  He made it clear that Smith & Wesson is excited to have their product featured in this fun and unique way.  For our part, we are honored to include it in our Dream Gun lineup. Smith & Wesson is a legendary brand in this industry and we continue to be proud partners with them.”

Smith & Wesson Cease and Desist Letter statement from president

It certainly didn't take the firearms manufacturer long to react to the response their cease and desist letter evoked on social media. That response might best be described as a “shit storm”. That's apt enough because from a PR perspective the letter and its delivery probably falls under the heading “shit show“. Though many believe S&W's intent was a righteous one, no one can argue the delivery was abysmal. We'll see if their speedy response calms things down at all. Personally, I'd like to know if any parties involved actually spoke to one another the old fashioned way — man to man, or at least on the phone. If it wasn't deemed necessary before the letter, it certainly seems like a good idea now. Then perhaps everyone on both sides can achieve their desired goal.

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