BAYONNE, NJ, Dec. 26, 2012
Bayonne gun manufacturer urges caution, compassion in wake of Sandy Hook tragedy
Bayonne's Henry Repeating Arms urges compassion and caution in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., mass shootings, even as the country comes to grips with increasing calls for stricter gun control.
“We extend our condolences to all of the families and people in Newtown, Connecticut,” said Anthony Imperato, president and owner of Henry Repeating Arms. “We would have done anything to prevent what happened from happening.”
Imperato said that Henry Repeating manufactures historic rifles, not the assault-style rifle that was one of three weapons used in the shootings. Imperato also said that he is not worried about sales as a result of killing of 20 students and six faculty members at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“We have no concern about sales,” Imperato said. “It doesn't affect us.”
In the wake of Sandy Hook, many politicians, including New Jersey Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, are calling for stricter gun control measures. Lautenberg, a longtime advocate of gun control, plans to reintroduce legislation that will prohibit the sale of high-capacity magazines.
California Sen. Diane Feinstein plans to introduce an assault weapons ban at the opening of the next session of Congress. Feinstein personally experienced gun violence when she succeeded San Francisco Mayor George Moscone after he was shot and killed along with City Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978.
Imperato said Henry Repeating does not sell high-capacity magazines or assault rifles so this legislation does not pertain to the company. When asked about calls to make purchasing any gun more difficult, Imperato said it is too complex of an issue for sweeping legislation.
"Urban America and the media shouldn't make decisions for the national country at large," he said. "In rural America and most of suburban America, guns are a safe way of life. But in light of any tragedy, people should be looking at any and all ways of how to prevent it from happening again."
Imperato also said he hopes to prevent future gun violence, but cautions against making emotional decisions.
“It's difficult when it's the heat of the moment for everybody to have a clear head and deal with something like this,” he said. “I think it just has to calm down and everybody can put their best foot forward and try and work out something to try and prevent something like this from happening again. That encompasses a lot of things and it is a deep-rooted issue beyond gun control. ”
Imperato also said that while the company does not plan to do any outreach, he will be happy to speak with anybody wishing to consult the company about issues pertaining to the gun industry.
Read the story at NJ.com: Bayonne gun manufacturer urges caution, compassion in wake of Sandy Hook tragedy
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