Last Friday, in the aftermath of the most recent mass shooting in San Bernardino and the latest attempt by Obama to impose further gun control measures, ostensibly by executive order, we pointed out the one thing, or rather person, who even the NYT begrudgingly admitted in an article on "What Drives Gun Sales" has been the primary driver of gun sales in the US: US president Barack Obama.
The irony in all this, of course, was that just last Friday the stock price of Smith & Wesson hit an all time high on expectations gun sales are about to hit even greater all time highs in the coming weeks.
Alas, as it turns out, Obama is not a fan of efficient market irony and instead of letting the chips on gun control fall where they may especially if it means record stock prices for the shareholders of SWHC and RGR, the president - in pulling a page straight out of the "US Government vs Exxon" in which the company will soon be prosecuted over its Global Warming denials as reported previously - has decided to take his vendetta with US gun makers to the next level and as the NYT reported overnight, "the New York City public advocate on Monday asked federal regulators to investigate whether the gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson had made adequate disclosures in its financial statements."
One would think that being in compliance with all existing SEC regulatory requirements would be sufficient, but when one is on Obama's black list there are additional requirements for "adequate disclosure" one must follow, especially the ones that one does not know about because they appear only after the fact.
The NYT continues:
In an eight-page letter, the public advocate, Letitia James, said the Securities and Exchange Commission should examine whether Smith & Wesson misrepresented or omitted information about how often its products are involved in crimes and what it has done to keep its guns out of the hands of criminals.
In the letter "public advocate" Letitia James says that "with the increase in mass shootings, public concern about the proliferation of firearms has animated a national dialogue about gun control measures, interstate gun trafficking, and whether gun manufacturers should take additional steps to ensure that their products do not end up in the hands of criminals," the letter says. “Smith & Wesson knows that it is at risk of grave reputational harm.”
It probably also did not know that the US government is capable of extortion when it does not get its way; it will be quite aware of that now.
Ms. James' punchline: "shareholders would want to know whether Smith & Wesson faced heightened regulatory scrutiny or significant litigation risk."
They would, especially now that the administration of the world's biggest democracy is taking a "negotiating tactic" page right out of Stalinist Russia.
To be sure, this is merely the latest escalation in Obama's witch hunt against gunmakers, of which Lelita James has tasked herself with being the mouthpiece for the administration's relentless attempt to crush the US gun industry.
Ms. James is opening a new avenue in her fight against gun sellers and makers. Earlier this month, she called on TD Bank, a big lender, to stop financing Smith & Wesson. This summer, she convinced the New York City Employee Retirement System, the city’s largest pension fund, to explore divesting itself of its holdings of gun retailers like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Smith & Wesson, which makes 50 percent of all the revolvers owned in the United States, did not respond to a request for comment, although we can imagine what it would say: "If Obama has determined that the best way to protect the nation against CIA-funded terrorist organizations is by a creeping nationalization of the gun industry, then so be it."
Finally, if it was Obama's intention to force the shareholders of Smith & Wesson into selling their shares from record high levels, he succeeded, if only for the time being.