The editor of a firearms magazine is backing down after saying that civilians should not be allowed to purchase the MP7A1 -- a concealable submachine gun that was specifically designed to penetrate body armor -- because the weapon had no "sporting applications."
"[T]he MP71A [sic] is unavailable to civilians and for good measure," Editor Jerry Tsai wrote in the latest issue of Recoil magazine. "We all know that’s technology no civvies should ever get to lay their hands on. This is a purpose-built weapon with no sporting applications to speak of."
Heckler & Koch began manufacturing the MP7 series of personal defense weapons in 2001 after high-quality body armor rendered earlier submachine guns ineffective. Gunslot describes the MP7A1 as a "scaled down assault rifle" with a projectile "designed so that the bullet tumbles in tissue after it penetrates the body armor, thus causing much more damage."
But many gun enthusiasts took Tsai's remarks as an attack on the Second Amendment and mounted a social media campaign to pressure advertisers to stop doing businesses with the magazine.
"Over the weekend, a justifiable firestorm exploded over the comments of an editor of RECOIL magazine regarding firearms access and ownership in America," weapons manufacturer Bravo Company Manufacturing wrote on Facebook. "The BCM and Bravo Company USA teams share the outrage of the firearms community and will not support any organization that so directly opposes the core principles our company and country was built on."
Other manufacturers like Silencerco, Magpul, Haley Strategic Partners, Imminent Tactical Solutions, Panteao Productions and Surefire also pledged not to advertise in Recoil.
"We were furious when we read Jerry’s statements," Silencero's Gary Hughes told Military Times.
In a Facebook comment on Monday, Tsai attempted to defend his statement.
"[The MP7A1] is made to put down scumbags, and that’s it," he explained. "Mike Cabrera of Heckler & Koch Law Enforcement Sales and veteran law enforcement officer with SWAT unit experience points out that this is a gun that you do not want in the wrong, slimy hands. It comes with semi-automatic and full-auto firing modes only. Its overall size places it between a handgun and submachine gun. Its assault rifle capabilities and small size make this a serious weapon that should not be taken lightly."
The editor later added: "Is it wrong that HK decided against selling a full-auto pocket sized machine gun that can penetrate armor from hundreds of yards away? It’s their decision to make and their decision they have to live with not mine nor anybody else’s. I accepted their answer for what it was out of respect for those serving in uniform."
After those remarks seemed only to further enrage his readers, Tsai caved and issued a full apology.
"First and foremost, I’d like to apologize for any offense that I have caused with the article. With the benefit of hindsight, I now understand the outrage, and I am greatly saddened that it was initiated by my words," a statement on Recoil's website said. "I retract what I wrote in the offending paragraph within this article."
"By no means did I intend to imply that civilians are not responsible, nor do we lack the judgment to own such weapons, if I believed anything approaching this, clearly I would lead a much different life," Tsai continued. "I believe everything published in RECOIL up to this point (other than this story), demonstrates we clearly understand and completely agree that guns do not need to have a sporting purpose in order for them to be rightfully available to civilians."
"Again, I acknowledge the mistakes I made and for them I am truly sorry."
Watch this video of the MP7A1 from Discovery.