Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop is putting the lives of his officers at risk by telling manufacturers they must comply with authoritarian “social responsibility questions” to bid on city firearms and ammunition contracts.
New Jersey’s second-largest city is adopting a novel approach to gun control by requiring weapons-makers bidding on municipal contracts to answer questions about their positions on gun safety issues.
Jersey City, a city of 250,000 across the Hudson River from Manhattan, is believed to be the first U.S. municipality to incorporate social responsibility questions into public contract bids. Mayor Steven Fulop says he wants municipalities to use their purchasing power to influence America’s gun-safety conversation.
The bid specification going out Wednesday — for roughly $200,000 worth of guns and $150,000 in ammunition — includes six questions measuring vendors’ gun safety record. One asks whether the manufacturer would commit to preventing its weapons from appearing in violent video games. Another asks what the company does to combat illegal gun trafficking.
“I think we can reshape the dialogue based on how we award contracts,” Fulop told The Associated Press. “We can’t do it ourselves. The hope is that will be replicated in other urban areas, and that we can get them to lead where Washington couldn’t.”
Here are the “socially responsible questions” from Fulop, a member of Michael Bloomberg’s citizen control group, “Mayors Against Illegal Guns.”
- What do you do to combat illegal gun trafficking and illegal gun crime?
– Do you manufacturer and sell assault weapons for civilian use?
– Do you agree not to sell certain models of firearms for civilian use?
– Are you requiring your dealers to conduct background checks?
– Do you fund research related to gun violence and smart gun technology?
– Will you commit to prohibiting your brand name from being used in violent video games?
If manufacturers don’t agree to humor Fulop and answer his list of questions, they won’t be considered as possible suppliers, even if the manufacturer’s firearms are the most reliable, accurate, easy to maintain, and otherwise the “best tool for the job at the best price.”
Fulop is playing a very dangerous game with the lives of his officers.
While police agencies buy can buy large blocks of firearms in a single purchase, manufacturers make very little money on each individual deal, and sometimes even take a loss. They primarily bid on these mid-size municipal contracts because of the marketing potential that law enforcement agency sales represent. When a company can claim that their firearms are used by certain law enforcement agencies, it functions as a marketing vehicle to help the company profit in the much larger commercial market, where there are far more buyers and much higher margins.
This strategy only works, however, if dealing with these police agencies is viewed as a positive thing, and you can rest assured that any gun company that bends to Fulop’s demands is going to face a public relations nightmare.
After Fulop’s MAIG-sponsored grandstanding, any manufacturer who submits a bid to Jersey City will risk feeling the wrath of the retail commercial firearms market whether they complete his questionnaire or not. It’s a smoking grenade.
It would be market suicide for FNH USA, Glock, Heckler & Koch, Ruger ,Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson, or any other manufacturer to pander to Fulop’s citizen control questionnaire to sell a few hundred guns. Does any manufacturer want to take that sort of risk in a day and age where Second Amendment supporters are networked via the Internet, and in a much less forgiving mood?
We do, however, know the perfect company for the job, and it’s one that New Jersey Democrats who like Mayor Fulop are already swooning over.
Sure, the Aramatix 1P1 only works 90-percent of the time, and that means it will fail even single magazine. And yes, it is true that the 1P1 only comes in .22LR, and can’t be used by even the authorized shooter if he needs to use his other hand.
But the Aramatix is the “smart gun” that New Jersey’s anti-gun Democrats demanded, and I can’t think of a more “socially responsible” gun for the Jersey City Police.