The plaintiffs in the Supreme Court case D.C. v. Heller scored a victory in their bid to invalidate Washington’s handgun ban. Now each of the six named plaintiffs will win something else: a commemorative gun from Smith & Wesson.
The Massachusetts-based gun maker has announced plans to give the plaintiffs engraved Model 442 revolvers in honor of the June 26 ruling in the case. The phrases: “D.C. vs. Heller,” “Second Amendment” and “The right to keep and bear arms” will appear on the gun along with an image of scales pf justice. They will be presented to Shelly Parker, Tom Palmer, Gillian St. Lawrence, Tracey Ambeau, George Lyon and Dick Heller.
The rest of the commemorative firearms will be sold in the fall, with a portion of sales going to the Second Amendment Foundation, which partnered with Smith & Wesson to make the special edition guns.
In it’s announcement, the company praised the Second Amendment Foundation’s “pivotal role in the Heller case and its ongoing efforts to preserve the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens.”
“We are proud to work with Smith & Wesson on this project,” Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, was quoted as saying in the announcement. “June 26 saw a landmark victory for the Second Amendment, and for all Americans. This is a fitting way to commemorate a significant moment in history, and support future efforts that will continue to strengthen our constitutional rights.”
The blog DCist notes that the announcement has ruffled some feathers, including those of Josh Sugarmann, founder and executive director of the Violence Policy Center, who called the move a snub to law enforcement.
“Smith & Wesson, which manufactures a ‘vest busting’ revolver that can penetrate the body armor worn by law enforcement, issues a special ‘commemorative’ revolver to celebrate the end of a law strongly supported by Washington, DC police and other national law enforcement organizations . . . the same week as the 10-year anniversary of the same caliber and type of Smith & Wesson handgun being used to kill two Capitol Hill police officers,” Sugarmann wrote on the Huffington Post. “Now what was that about the gun industry’s insularity and ubiquitous tin ear for irony?”