The owner of a popular Maryland gun shop is feeling the pressure. Not from opponents, but from gun rights advocates regarding a new smart gun.
Andy Raymond is under fire. He owns Engage Armament in Rockville and he is getting hammered online.
"I had a really good reputation and now all that stuff is gone,” he said.
The attacks are because of a gun. The Armatix smart gun only shoots if it's near a chip inside in a watch. It's like something out of James Bond.
But it's no movie. When Raymond told a talk show he would be interested selling the Armatix because of Maryland's anti-gun laws, the floodgates opened.
"Well, the phone calls are where people actually threatened me and the emails were really bad,” said Raymond.
The hate mail wasn't from anti-gun people, but from gun owners accusing him of being a gun rights traitor for being willing to sell a weapon some owners see as a threat to the Second Amendment.
Things didn’t quiet down when Raymond posted a 13-minute video to the haters and worked himself into a rage.
Regarding his video post, he said, "I made a mistake and I'm sorry to anybody who I hurt.”
Raymond admits he may have gone overboard in his video, but not nearly as overboard he says as the comments and threats he has received.
The Facebook posts he has received can’t be said on television. The nicer ones said they "would never buy from you again" and "I hope your business fails.”
"That's what you're dealing with here,” said Maryland gun owner Michael Myers. “A lot of people are not reasonable.”
Raymond’s longtime customers say it has gotten out of hand.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Vince Roa. “I know Andy has spent a lot of money helping with gun rights in Maryland.”
“I understand exactly what he was trying to do. It may have been a mistake, maybe not. I don’t know. We may never know," said Jeff Nealy.
As for Raymond, the backlash has been brutal. He says never sold an Armatix gun and never will.
He now hopes his apology and explanation hits the mark.
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