Social media exploded in a flurry of virtual pitchforks and torches last night after the Oregon City Police Department posted three images and a simple statement on Facebook: “Thank you Benchmade Knife Company for assisting us today by cutting up guns that are ready to be destroyed.” Those words, along with the imagery of a pump action shotgun and an SKS being sliced to pieces, enraged both gun and knife owners nationwide. Many supporters of the Oregon-based knife company felt betrayed; after all, guns and knives go together like apple pie and vanilla ice cream.
Admittedly, I was outraged myself: how could an iconic knife maker like Benchmade participate in the symbolic act of destroying weapons, using the same tools they probably use to make the knives that many gun owners around the world carry with them every day.
In some areas of the country, weapons used in crimes that are being held by police as evidence or guns turned in by the public, can be sold at auction to raise money for equipment and special projects. According to Oregon City PD, they are not allowed to sell firearms. So it appears that with or without help from Benchmade, these guns were destined for destruction.
The We understand some of our followers are upset with Benchmade knives because of a recent post we put out. The post did not give everyone the full story on why the guns were required to be destroyed.
We receive guns that are turned in from community members that they no longer want the guns and want them destroyed. We also have guns that are evidence and when a case is adjudicated the guns are ordered by the court to be destroyed. These guns were required to be destroyed. We reached out to Benchmade to do us a favor at our request.
Benchmade is a strong supporter of law enforcement and the Oregon City community. We were present when the guns were cut and we took them for final destruction.We apologize for not informing everyone on the initial post.
Benchmade is an excellent company and we urge everyone that had said they no longer support Benchmade to reconsider once they have all the information. Again, we apologize for not informing everyone with our recent post.
Respectfully, Chief Jim Band and Mayor Dan Holladay
We reached out to Benchmade’s Media Relations late last night, and to their credit, in the middle of what has to be a virtual sh*t storm for them, I received a statement regarding the event:
Benchmade Helps PD Destroy Guns: Official Statement
Benchmade is aware of the recent post from our local Oregon City Police Department.
We apologize for the confusion and concern that this post created. These were firearms that the Oregon City Police Department had to destroy in alignment with their policies. Oregon City Police requested the use of specialty equipment within the Benchmade facility to follow these requirements, and as a supporting partner of our local police force, we obliged the request.
Benchmade is a proud and unwavering supporter of both law enforcement and Second Amendment rights. These are commitments that we do not take lightly and will continue to support well into the future.
When asked for clarity from Oregon City Police Department, Chief Jim Band made the following statement: “When property is to be destroyed, it is the policy of the Oregon City Police Department to destroy property, including firearms, in accordance to our procedures and ORS. The Oregon City Police Department does not sell firearms.”
There’s no question that Benchmade made a poor business decision: in the current climate, gun owners are on high alert for any company or organization that is not in favor of individual liberties. The bigger question is, is this one event related to a broader anti-gun stance by Benchmade? The discussion involves partisan politics, and, as out motto goes…
Thanks for reading TFB.