Who owns Kahr Arms?

    Browsing the Kahr Arms website, I noticed an advertisement (pictured below) that claimed Kahr was 100% American owned and operated. This surprised me because it is commonly accepted that the company is owned by the Unification Church of South Korea.

    Wikipedia states that the company is owned by the Saeilo Corporation, which in turn is owned by the Tongil Group, a holding company founded by Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon. On the Tongil Group’s website they have published an New York Times article, written by Choe Sang-Hun, which states that the church owns Kahr Arms

    The church owns the Washington Times newspaper and the New Yorker Hotel in Manhattan, as well as the New York-based gun manufacturer Kahr Arms.

    Justin Moon, the son of Sun Myung Moon, became the CEO/President of Saeilo in 1992. Two years later the Kahr Arms division was formed to develop and produce the pistol design Justin had invented. In 2005 he became the chairman of the Tongil Group.

    Back in 2001, Massad Ayoob interviewed Justin and asked him about the ownership of the company. Mr Moon said …

    Ayoob: There is speculation on the Internet that your father or his church own your company Your response?

    Moon: I currently am the majority shareholder of Kahr and operate my business to provide high quality firearms to the public and to make a profit.

    Moon Kook-Jin (Justin Moon)

    A few years later Writer Christopher S. Stewart interviewed Justin Moon at SHOT Show and published a scathing article about him and the Unification Church. Stewart claimed that the company was owned by a network of church-owned shell companies …

    Zilliox traced Kahr, one of more than a dozen Moon family companies in the U.S., through an intricate chain of firms to a mothership holding company called ­ Unification Church International, which he says was formed to support and perpetuate the Unification movement. U.C.I. shares a building in Falls Church, Virginia, with its single subsidiary, One Up Enterprises, the central holding company of some of Reverend Moon’s most prominent and influential businesses. Among these are True World Group, a global seafood business run by Motoo Furuta, a church member; News World Communications, owner of U.P.I. and the Washington Times, led by Chung Hwan Kwak, another Moon follower; and Saeilo, which has offices in Japan and the United States, among other places. Saeilo lists Justin Moon as its C.E.O. and president.

    I contacted Blue August, the PR agency that represents Kahr, to find out who owns the company. They contacted Frank Harris, VP Sales & Marketing of Kahr Arms. Frank said …

    Kahr Arms was never owned by the Tongil Group.

    It has always been owned by Justin Moon who is an American citizen. His father, Sun Myung Moon founded the Tongil Group sometime in the 1960s in Korea which may be where the confusion lies.

    In a follow up email Frank said …

    Here are the facts plain and simple for the guy from the Firearms Blog. You can give him this info below.

    Unification Church does not own Kahr Arms – Kahr Arms is owned by Justin Moon who is an American citizen and has lived in America since he was four years old.

    Personally I believe Frank Harris. The Tongil Group owns hundreds of companies all over the world so it seems absolutely plausible that Justin’s wealthy father would have give him ownership of Saeilo when he became the CEO. I think folks are always going to be suspicious and their suspicions will not be alleviated while the Tongil Group, chaired by Justin Moon, continues to publish an article claiming it owns Kahr!

    Steve Johnson

    I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!