Fearing for his store, defying death threats, embattled gun dealer sleeps there

Brutus – and Andy Raymond

After word spread that his Rockville store would sell the nation’s first smart gun — infuriating gun rights activists who fear more regulation — Andy Raymond’s phone and e-mail inbox went absolutely berserk…

That’s because gun rights advocates think the guns will be mandated. Electronic chips in the Armatix iP1 can communicate with a watch that can be bought separately. Then the gun cannot be fired without the watch.

Somebody told one of Raymond’s workers that the store, Engage Armament, wouldn’t be selling the gun because there wouldn’t be a store — it will burn down.

Followed by death threats.

Even the store’s dog Brutus did not escape the vitriol.

Raymond was clearly shaken, and late Thursday night, he released a video saying he wouldn’t sell the gun and apologized for messing up. He also wrote a message on his Facebook page: “You call me and email me and threaten my life? You come at me, my girlfriend, or my god damned DOG I will put one in your dome. I promise you.”

And then he decided to sleep at the store. He stayed til 3 a.m., then went home, and then came back at 6 a.m. to stand guard….

…“I can’t have my shop burned down. I don’t think somebody is gonna come shoot me, but somebody could burn down my shop while I’m not here.”

The dementia of gun nuts vs ordinary lifelong gun owners, hunters, hobbyists, etc. is now out in the open.

I come from a family where three generations worked in the firearms industry – from managing one of the largest firearms factories in the United States to lead prototype gunsmithing for both civilian and military design for decades. No one in my family would advocate the violence of these nutballs threatening Mr. Raymond.

I’ve owned handguns, rifles and shotguns for over sixty years – and I’m embarrassed because someone might count me in alongside these paranoid fools.

They deserve nothing less than contempt – and maybe institutional care.

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