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Gun company CEO sacked over Obama support

By Nick Juliano
Friday, October 31, 2008 8:22 EDT
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Conservative gun enthusiasts have succeeded in forcing a Montana-based rifle manufacturer to oust its CEO after he revealed his support for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Dan Cooper, founder of Cooper Firearms, resigned his position with the company after a wave of condemnation from gun owners who don’t believe Obama’s assurances that he plans to protect gun rights.

Cooper, founder and part owner of Cooper Firearms, told USA Today in a story published Tuesday that he has voted for Republicans for most of his life, but he is backing Obama ‘probably because of the war. And also because the Republican Party has moved so far right in recent years,’” the paper reported. “Cooper said he was attracted to the Democrat’s message about ‘the retooling of America, which involves the building of middle-class jobs and helping American small business be competitive with those overseas.’”

The article “sparked outrage from some gun owners and bloggers, including an open letter on a blog called Firearms and Freedom, urging people to boycott the company’s products,” USA Today said. “Many gun enthusiasts believe Obama will try to restrict their right to bear arms, although he has said he respects the Second Amendment.”

“I don’t believe that what’s being said about Obama and his policies about guns are accurate,” Cooper said in part of the paper’s interview not originally published. “I have had a conversation with the senator … he is a stanch supporter of the right to hunt and the right to bear arms.”

Soon after Tuesday’s article, gun owners began calling on Cooper Firearms for Cooper’s head.

“It is obviously impossible, or at least very impractical, to boycott all businesses that support candidates that a person opposes. However, due to the reckless disregard for our liberties, and the industry that supports and protects you, I will not be patronizing your business, and will encourage others to do likewise,” read an open letter to Cooper.

On its Web site, Cooper Firearms issued a statement noting that “the fallout” from Cooper’s support “may affect the employees and shareholders” of the company and asked for his resignation.

 
 
 
 
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