No, Gun Publications Are Not Being Bought and Dismantled (And Other Gun Conspiracy Theories)

Rather than focusing on more relevant matters, I’m spending time debunking yet another anti-gun conspiracy theory. Via the Daily Caller:

Employees: Obama donor in process of buying up and ‘destroying’ America’s top pro-gun media outlets

Employees of Obama donor Leo Hindery Jr.’s media conglomerate Intermedia Partners, which now owns most of the top gun-culture media outlets in the country, believe that Hindery plans to gut and destroy all of them as part of a business plan that has already led to numerous layoffs and the virtual shuttering of prominent television production facilities in Minnesota and Montana.

Hindery, who was in consideration to be President Barack Obama’s secretary of commerce, is managing partner of Intermedia Partners. The New York-based media private equity fund owns Intermedia Outdoor Holdings, which publishes 17 hunting, fishing, and shooting magazines, including Guns & Ammo, Handguns, Gun Dog, Rifle Shooter and Shooting Times.

The article goes on to describe how Leo Hindery Jr., at the helm of Intermedia Partners, has been buying up gun publications and going through the messy process of consolidation.  The Daily Caller covered all the bases, citing people who are upset they are losing their jobs, or having their work load cut.

“That studio in Brainerd was a real staple in that community for years. We used to joke that it was the Microsoft of Brainerd County. Everyone was impressed if you worked there. You made money, you did well, you had this dream life. Then Leo Hindery Jr. bought it and just completely gutted it,” said the employee. “It’s sad. I know a lot of good people in Brainerd who lost their jobs and had their houses foreclosed on.”

Rather than drawing the logical conclusion Intermedia Partners is consolidating businesses to make them profitable, the article cites unnamed individuals who claim it is a ploy to dismantle all the gun publications (this despite citing claims of high pay and how expensive and underutilized the facilities were, or that they would help relocate employees).

As a person who knows all too well how hard it is to make a living slaving away on the proverbial printing press, I’m sympathetic to anyone losing their job in the media business. Because of that I’m not going to debate the morals or ethics of venture capitalism or cutting jobs and consolidating businesses. I’m here to debunk the theory that this is all part of a much larger ploy to secretly destroy pro-gun media.

This story has been ran by numerous people within the pro-gun media and publishing industry, and has come back to me with an overwhelming rating of B.S.. But if you don’t want to take my word for it, take Cam Edward’s, the host of NRA News:


For those of you who don’t know, the NRA partnered with the Sportsman Channel (included in the aforementioned merger) and brought Cam Edwards and NRA News to the network back in January.  Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is not some grand anti-gun conspiracy out there to buy up and destroy pro-gun media.

Unfortunately this story is far from being the only case I have encountered.  Stories like these are forwarded to me all the time.  Not long ago I received an email claiming major ammo manufacturers were secretly being ordered by the government to limit production. Apparently this rumor was so prominent that ammunition manufacturer Hornady felt necessary to debunk it on its website:

The current political climate has caused extremely high demand on all shooting industry products, including ours. Empty retail shelves, long backorders, and exaggerated price increases on online auction sites – all fueled by rumors and conjecture – have amplified concerns about the availability of ammunition and firearms-related items.

If the information you hear doesn’t originate from Hornady Manufacturing, don’t believe it.

Here are some of rumors we’ve heard, and questions we’ve received:

  • Have you stopped production, or has the government forced you to stop?
    • Not at all.
  • Did you stop selling bullets so you could only make loaded ammunition?
    • Absolutely not.
  • Since we can’t find your product you must be selling it all to the government.
    • Nope, less than 5% of our sales are to government entities.
  • Why can’t you make more? Ramp up production? Turn on all the machines?
    • We’ve been steadily growing our production for a long time, especially the last five years. We’ve added presses, lathes, CNC equipment, people and space. Many popular items are produced 24 hours a day. Several hundred Hornady employees work overtime every week to produce as much as safely possible. If there is any question about that – please take a tour of the factory. You’ll be amazed at what you see.

Then there was the rumor that Walmart was going to discontinue selling ammunition, which too proved false. reported Monday that Walmart had suspended further ammunition orders until the findings of the Biden gun-control task force are released.

To set the record straight: Walmart tells that the store’s ammunition policy has not changed.

“We continue to offer that product to our customers and you know, we’ll continue to do so,” Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, told us on Tuesday. “We haven’t made any changes in the product mix in that category.”

And then there is the zombie (just won’t die) conspiracy theory that George Soros is secretly buying up firearms and ammunition manufacturers through Cerberus and Freedom Group and plans to dismantle them.  The NRA debunked it years ago, yet I still see it around the interwebs and in my inbox.

An old rumor has once again resurfaced alleging that Cerberus–the private equity firm that owns Freedom group, a holding company that in turn owns a number of firearms manufacturers, including Remington, Marlin, Bushmaster, and DPMS–is in some way tied to George Soros.

This rumor is completely false and baseless.

Following is a statement from Freedom Group, Inc., addressing the rumor:

Despite rumors to the contrary, Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., the firm which owns Freedom Group. Inc. (FGI), the holding company for such firearms manufacturers as Remington, Marlin, Bushmaster and DPMS, is in NO WAY affiliated with anti-gun activist George Soros.

George Soros has never been a part of Freedom Group or Cerberus.  Further, as Cerberus is a privately owned corporation, run by sportsmen, shooters and firearms enthusiasts, we can say with great sincerity and certainty that George Soros will never be a part of the Freedom Group family of companies.

Look, I get it. With the amount of gun grabbing legislation being proposed,  everyone has their nose to the ground sniffing around for even the slightest scent of infringement upon their Second Amendment rights.  While I commend you for your heightened sense of awareness and willingness to fight for your gun rights, far too often people go off the deep end, running with every little salacious story that comes along, without bothering to do even the most basic fact checking to find out if it’s actually true.  As Winston Churchill once said, “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth even puts its pants on.”

If you’re one of these people who encounters a salacious story and simply hits the forward button on your email or clicks retweet on Twitter without giving it a second thought that it might be false, shame on you.  The problem with latching onto these ridiculous conspiracy theories is that far too much time and effort is spent addressing them instead of focusing on the real issues.  There are real battles to be fought and won in the gun-control arena that are not getting attention because people are preoccupied with nonsense like this.  Stop spreading rumors and conspiracy theories, you are only hurting our cause.

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