Utah gun company says 'no' to $10 million contract from Pakistan

Officials feared firearms would be used on U.S. soldiers

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    Jan. 14, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    Perhaps the federal government could take a lesson from a little company in the "backward" State of Utah. Perhaps then "fast and furious" would not be a black spot on the current administration's record.

  • Reuben Dunn Whittier, CA
    Jan. 10, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    While l applaud their decision to back out due to "moral" reasons, l cannot help but wonder where this morality was when they made the initial decision to enter into the bidding process in the first place.

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    I will looking to buy my next gun from Desert Tech. I support those who do the right thing for the right reason. Congratulations!

  • Phillip M Hotchkiss Malta, Mt
    Jan. 5, 2014 7:42 p.m.

    Look at some of the gun manufactures history and why they began. Some were made to protect us from our own Government.what I am saying is most of the Gun manufactures are pro American. My favourite is Browning for that reason

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    Re: "He survived getting shot down . . . only to die at the hands of a fellow American with a gun and a temper."

    Too bad he was unarmed at what turned out to be the most important time in his life. Liberals should be ashamed if it was because of some deranged, liberal, people-control law [it's crazy to call them "gun-control laws, since they exert, not the slightest control over the 100 million or so American guns].

    As we all know, no gun control measure would have saved your uncle.

    So, why do liberals insist on sacrificing ALL Americans on the altar they've erected to enforced victimhood?

  • spydyee Asheville, NC
    Jan. 5, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    Longfellow said, "Conversely, most US gun owners are responsible individuals who are guaranteed the right to own firearms by the US constitution." Tell that to the parents of the kids who died at Sandy Hook or the parents of the kids in the school system where we live who have to go through the third degree just to go have lunch with their kid at school or visit the classroom of their child any more because of Sandy Hook. You can have a thousand good gun owners and one bad one ruins it all for them. I am sure the people that were in the Aurora, CO. theater have a different perspective than you do, too. How many people have to die in mass shootings before this the morals of the gun manufacturers get to the point that they stand care about our soldiers after they come home. My uncle did three tours though Viet Nam and was gunned down right here in the USA by a nutcase with a a semi-automatic. He survived getting shot down in his chopper twice only to die at the hands of a fellow American with a gun and a temper.

  • spydyee Asheville, NC
    Jan. 5, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    "I don't approve of young people bying guns, or getting their hands on them, but that is not the problem of this or any gun manufacturer." It should be! plain and simple It should be!

  • DVD Taylorsville, 00
    Jan. 5, 2014 1:34 p.m.

    1. Thank you Desert Tactical. 2. Thank you Desert Tactical. 3. Again, Thank you Desert Tactical. Please help spread your story further. This is an amazing example of integrity.

  • Archie1954 Vancouver, BC
    Jan. 5, 2014 12:28 p.m.

    Now that is a shock! Here we have an actual moral and ethical business in an out of control capitalist business climate, which is protective of its own nation's troops far, far more than the government of the nation itself. The US government thinks nothing of providing weapons to every hot spot on the planet, weapons which inevitably fall into the hands of enemies to be used against Americans.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 10:41 a.m.

    Re: "It is Pak army who getting these weapons n not the civilians . . . ."

    The problem is that too many Pakistanis, even military officers that you'd think would know better, have been radicalized by Wahab-leaning imams, and have come to identify more closely with their Taleban enemies, than with their closest allies. We've seen too many instances of Taleban terrorists killing Americans with weapons supplied by the Pakistani military and security forces.

    If you really lived in Pakistan, you'd already know that.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    " I'm surprised that Pakistan needs to shop for military weapons."


    Pakistan can get all the full-auto, run-of-the-mill AK-47's it wants from their own stone-age gunmakers that can create copies of them over an open fire.

    However, these rifles are precision, modular bolt guns costing several thousand dollars each. The sort of accuracy and reliability these guns have comes from advanced engineering and technology Pakistan does not have.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 9:45 a.m.


    It is not the government's job to spend money on poverty. That is the job of individual Americans. We have spent trillions on poverty programs and yet the poverty rate is about where it was 40 years ago. Churches and other charities get far more bang for the buck than does the Federal Government. Even foreign food aid often simply ends up in the hands of corrupt forign governments and not in the stomachs of the poor.

  • Longfellow Holladay, UT
    Jan. 5, 2014 7:55 a.m.

    Curmudgeon stated "So it's morally wrong to sell arms to froeigners who might use them to harm U.S. troops who may be in their country without permission, but it's OK to sell them to U.S. citizens who might use them to harm other U.S. citizens within our own country. Got it. Selective morality."

    Not selective morality, consistent and coherent morality. A substantial portion of the people of Pakistan have a demonstrated hostility towards the US and manifest that hostility by violent actions in the Afghanistan border region. Conversely, most US gun owners are responsible individuals who are guaranteed the right to own firearms by the US constitution. Therefore, even though a small minority of criminals in the US may use firearms to do harm to other citizens, it is quite moral to uphold the constitutional rights of the majority.

  • Willie deG CALGARY, 00
    Jan. 4, 2014 9:36 p.m.

    From the Great White North I say BRAVO to Desert Arms for withdrawing their proposal. If all the companies in North America had these strong ethics we wouldn't have had Worldcom, Lehmann Brothers and et al nor would we have the economic and political difficulties we are faced with today. Thank you Desert Arms.

  • Maibraina WEST JORDAN, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 2:25 p.m.

    I applaud the decision, but I have a question for Desert Tech: If this was an ethical decision, why were you bidding in the first place? It feels like you got involved in the bidding process, felt some backlash, and decided to get out. Your sales manager puts a nice spin on your decision, making you look like the hero, but the question remains.

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Jan. 4, 2014 1:27 p.m.

    Pakistani guns are far, far more likely to be used against other Pakistanis and/or Indians. It's not like we have a military presence in Pakistan for them to take shots at Americans.

    Kudos to the company, but I suspect some Chinese company is more than happy to step in and sell more of the cheap Russian knock-offs that have proliferated the region.

  • BU52 Provo, ut
    Jan. 4, 2014 1:08 p.m.

    They are holding out for the Homeland Security contract, that will push them over the top.

    Jan. 4, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    To Desert Tactical Arms,

    Thank you! You guys showed a ton of integrity in doing this.

  • bbc SLC, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 12:53 p.m.

    " 'At the end of the day, we feel our ethics are worth more than the bottom line,' said Mike Davis, sales manager for the Salt Lake City-based company."

    -Rare in a business! KUDOS and MUCH RESPECT to this company and its managing officers!

  • Lillith70 SLC, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    Back in the mid 1900's Taylor Caldwell wrote novels about the arms manufacturers being behind wars , I think the book was Captains and Kings? Interesting premise.

    Glad the Utah company chose to keep its expertise at home.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 4, 2014 11:39 a.m.

    I suppose that it is realized that the guns they are manufacturing are intended and designed for the sole purpose of killing humans. I guess we are supposed to be pleased that they discriminate as to which humans.

  • my two cents777 ,
    Jan. 4, 2014 11:11 a.m.

    Thumbs up to this company for refusing to sell arms to those who intend our troops harm. Wonderful that someone at the top had the ethics to do what is right instead of what will make him the most money. They will be blessed for it.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    I think this story shows the quality of the owners of this company. It would be interesting to know who the other bidders were?

  • dLange Los Gatos, CA
    Jan. 4, 2014 10:42 a.m.

    i am pleasantly surprised that there is at least something that a gun company will not do to get money. If only they had a conscience to urge the NRA to stop their unreasonable objections to back ground checks and registration.

  • Dr Sab Pakistan, 00
    Jan. 4, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    it's not 1st time Pak army bought usa weapons...infact from ground to Air Force ...Pak army weapons r based majorly on American technology... ( Wont go into details ..gosh!! just go n search so that it open people eyes n would help them to learn whats going on in the world exactly) N I am amazed that from where company got idea that Pak army will kill US ally soldier??? R they so naive??? Or is it really a publicity stunt??? Is it how 1 should treat their allies in war??? Infact it's so wrong decision if talking about saving US army soldiers lives...as It is Pak army who getting these weapons n not the civilians..n these weapons will b used against terrorist who kill both American as well as Pak army soldiers n civilians...n 1 more thing..it is Pak army who is fighting against terrorists at border of Afghanistan in Pakistan territory n not US army, so that, these terrorist dont spread in country n don't go to Afghanistan to kill ally forces n innocent civilians

  • Dr Sab Pakistan, 00
    Jan. 4, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    Its Only for publicity n nothing than that...for people's information ..Pakistan army is a major non NATO ally of USA in war of terrorism....give 1 article or link with proof since when an American soldier got shot by Pakistani soldier?? Yet there r times when pak army took part in mutual operations.. Look at history while being unbiased...Forgot Russian war in Afghanistan?? It shows how naive few ppl r... N what 1 can expect from an arms dealer ...they just tried to spark racism between 2 nations for cheap publicity of their company...n now look!!! They r getting praised by ppl how patriotic they r...kudos!! etc they succeeded while dividing people in 2... Typical arms dealer thinking to divide people in 2, starting wars n then sitting comfortably while they get fortunes when their arms get sold, no matter nations shoot at each other in process...also it is quite possible That it was money of USA ...that got approved by USA congress few months back to support Pak army against terrorism,( terrorists r common enemies to US army as well as Pak army n civilians) which they offered to the company...continue..

  • Charlemagne Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 4, 2014 10:28 a.m.


    I saw Captain Phillips as well. The reason the crew of the Maersk Alabama had a problem in the first place is that they did not have guns which would ahve allowed them to prevent the hi-jacking of the ship in the first place!

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Jan. 4, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    This was a wise and responsible decision by this gun maker. In world war II much of the steel that was used to make Japanese weapons including their AirCraft Carriers came from the U.S.

    That being said, we still need rational gun control regulation in this country, and gun manufacturer bear some responsibilty for producing and selling in country weapons capable of mass slaughter. It's laudible to keep such weaponry out of the hands of potential foreign foes, but then why is it not just as laudible to keep mass kill weapons out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill?

  • barndog48 AMERICAN FORK, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    "At the end of the day, we feel our ethics are worth more than the bottom line," said Mike Davis

    This guy sells sniper rifles. Sniper rifles have no other practical use than to kill human beings. I suppose his ethics are worth something if he feels the shooter will kill a human being that deserves to be dead.

  • billster36 Nies, MI
    Jan. 4, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    I am both gladdened and saddened at this story. Gladdened that they took this step, and that they allowed ethics to override their bottom line profit margin. Saddened because I fear they are the exception among corporate America. I would encourage more American companies to look very hard at who they are doing business with (including China in this) and think more about America's security, both militarily and economically.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    Ogden, UT

    "I saw a movie once where only the Police and Military had guns.
    It was called Schindlers List. Lesson?"

    And I recently saw a movie where everyone had guns. It was called "Captain Phillips". Your point?

  • Vince Ballard South Ogden, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 9:06 a.m.

    @Curmudgeon: What Pakistanis do to each other is one thing; what a paramilitary force might do to our troops is another. Apples and Orangs, a favorite ploy of gun haters.I think you should stop beating around the bush and tell us exactly what you want in terms of gun control?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 8:56 a.m.

    Wait a minute - it's not like they _had_ been selected by Pakistan and decided to back out of a deal with them. They were merely a contender, one among several finalists, and they chose not to continue applying for the contract. Bully for them, but it's not like they walked away from a competitive request-for-bids that they'd already secured.

    BTW, these are very expensive, large and heavy rifles and I'd be amazed if they're used either by criminals in the US or would become weapons of choice among terrorists or anti-US militia in Pakistan.

    If you're worried about US or US allies-made products being used against our own troops, I'd pay more attention to ammunition.

  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    At least someone has a brain and it's not all about business and money! Thank You for making a good choice amoung so many who would not have done the same. I would like to know who the other two gun makers are that he was competing against.

  • grandmagreat Lake Havasu City, AZ
    Jan. 4, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    I am apalled at the two replys I just read in regard to selling guns to Pakistan. If you are in my generation, you will realize that the decision by this company, really is for the safety of America. I don't approve of young people bying guns, or getting their hands on them, but that is not the problem of this or any gun manufacturer. It comes down to example of others, and lack of training from their parents. I agree there are far too many gun incidents in these days, but let's face it the big problem is lack of education on the part of American parents.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Jan. 4, 2014 7:37 a.m.


    In applauding this company for being ethical rather than being in business solely for to make money you know that you've suddenly plopped yourself way to the left of a lot of gay right activists and ACLU types who want wedding cake makers to keep their morality out of the public square.

    On behalf of all commie pinko liberals, I extend a hand of welcome.

  • md Cache, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    I know where I am buying my next gun. I am glad that the Constitution gives me this right. I express gratitude to Desert Tactical and have already checked out their website.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 7:14 a.m.


    Great post. I saw a movie once where only the Police and Military had guns.

    It was called Schindlers List. Lesson?

  • PLM Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    War is hell and according to our Founding Fathers, a waste of resources. Thank you Desert Tech for taking a strong pro-American stance and sacrificing for the well-being of our soldiers, my son included. "Friendly fire" has a new look.

  • 3sons Ladson, SC
    Jan. 4, 2014 6:14 a.m.

    I would hope I am speaking for true Americans, THANK YOU!

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2014 12:01 a.m.

    They made the right decision to not sell to Pakistan. They also make the right decision to sell to US citizens. If only the federal government would wisen up and stop giving weapons/aid dollars to countries where the weapons/money could end up going to those who would harm the USA.

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 11:42 p.m.

    @DN Subscriber 2

    Pakistan's murder rate is substantially higher than the United States'. So by your logic, the moral thing to do should be to flood Pakistan with guns to help them reduce their murder rate, and a collateral benefit would be that our troops over there would be a lot safer, if Pakistanis only had more guns. After all, as you astutely point out, more guns means fewer murders, right?

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 10:37 p.m.

    I commend the owners of this Company for their decision not to sell. I hope that karma brings them much more sales from law abiding US citizens. I'm surprised that Pakistan needs to shop for military weapons. Most aide that the US sends to foreign countries is in the form of weapons. It is great for the profits of the military industrial complex corporations. Not so great for the citizens of the countries that receive such aide.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 3, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    Who are they manufacturing arms for and who will pay for them. The USA, Brazil and Russia are arming the wold with arms enough to keep revolutions going for centuries.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 8:39 p.m.

    @ Curmudgeon:
    "but it's OK to sell them to U.S. citizens who might use them to harm other U.S. citizens within our own country."

    Really? Here are some facts:

    1. You obviously do not understand that this maker is tightly controlled by BATFE and reams of federal and state regulations and inspections.
    I hope you are not just arguing that law abiding U.S. citizens should not be allowed to have firearms.

    2. Perhaps it has not been reported in the Deseret News, but a recent Quinnipiac University (hardly a NRA supporting outfit) concluded that gun control laws, gun bans, assault weapons bans and restrictive concealed weapons laws "may cause an increase in gun-related murders at the state level."

    3. Today, Detroit's top cop formally encouraged law abiding citizen to carry legal self defense weapons, which he believes will LOWER Detroit's astronomical murder rate.

    In any case, I applaud Desert Tech's decision and their willingness to sacrifice profit to protect American lives.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 8:17 p.m.

    Great to hear this company pulled out. Now let's pull out our millions of dollars in foreign aid to Pakistan.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 3, 2014 7:46 p.m.


    Our country gives billions in aid to Pakistan who than offers millions to a gun conpany in Utah.

    What about the poor

  • Curmudgeon Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2014 7:33 p.m.

    So it's morally wrong to sell arms to froeigners who might use them to harm U.S. troops who may be in their country without permission, but it's OK to sell them to U.S. citizens who might use them to harm other U.S. citizens within our own country. Got it. Selective morality.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Jan. 3, 2014 7:33 p.m.


    I'd rather see gun control in Pakistan than here.

    Too bad BO does'nt see it this way.