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Wednesday, 22 March, 2000, 21:06 GMT
Gunmakers reject US control pact
Rifles on a wall
Two gunmakers say that a proposed oversight commission would be too powerful
Gunmakers Glock and Browning have said they will not sign a voluntary gun-control agreement like the one signed last week by Smith & Wesson.

Glock said that an independent "oversight commission" made up of local, state and federal officials, as outlined in the agreement, was unacceptable.

"The commission is an absurd concept," said Paul Jannuzzo, vice president and general counsel of Glock, a unit of Glock GmbH of Austria. "It's overly broad. It's more powerful than any regulatory agency."

Makers slam Smith & Wesson

As it rejected the pact, Browning blamed Smith & Wesson for the lack of a workable agreement, according to Rich Bauter, vice president of firearms marketing for Browning.

"I would think that everybody in the country should be absolutely outraged, at not only Smith & Wesson's steps, but also the US Government's steps that have intruded into the legislative process," he said Tuesday.

Smart gun technology
Smith & Wesson will develop smart gun safety technology
Smith & Wesson, the largest gun manufacturer in the US, announced the agreement last week in which it agreed to install safety locks and develop "smart gun" technology to makes its guns safer and more childproof.

Smith & Wesson agreed to the oversight commission that Glock opposes.

Crafting its own plan

In return for signing the deal, Smith & Wesson was granted some protection from lawsuits, and 15 of the 29 cities, states and counties bringing suits against the gun industry have agreed to drop their cases against the company.

A gun shop owner inspects a weapon
Glock might agree to keeping electronic sales records
Glock said that it could sign on to parts of the agreement, Mr Jannuzzo said, which could include keeping electronic records of sales and requiring employees to pass a written exam. Those measures go beyond current federal law.

Mr Jannuzzo added the company believed that it would still face lawsuits unless it signed onto the commission.

"Nobody's going to drop any of these lawsuits unless we sign on to the commission," Mr Jannuzzo said. "And we will never do that."

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17 Mar 00 | Americas
Gun safety deal agreed
13 Mar 00 | Americas
Gun control row escalates
19 Jan 00 | Americas
Clinton plans assault on guns
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