Through a social media post on the Oregon City Police Department’s Facebook page people learned late yesterday of a recent event where the popular Benchmade Knife Company assisted the department with the disposal of a number of firearms. The response from customers has been immediate and swift with most expressing anger and disappointment with the company’s decision to take part in the dismantling.
Oregon City PD later removed the post without warning or explanation. A short time later an explanation was put up in its place:
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.
Chief Jim Band and Mayor Dan Holladay
It appears based on this statement that some of the guns in question were voluntarily surrendered to the department by community members.
Some have expressed that while they might have been understanding and able to overlook the situation if they were guns requiring disposal such as in the case of guns with removed serial numbers or illegal modifications; the fact that some of the guns were not involved or used in any crimes or investigations and because Benchmade was not forced to participate by court order, was too much for them to accept.
Responses ranged from a few still supporting them and vowing to continue buying their products to many expressing a desire to boycott the company. And some even swore to destroy or throw away their Benchmade knives.
Just after I learned of the situation, I sent an email to Benchmade’s public relations firm, Hayter Communications, requesting a statement along with additional information. Matt Glass responded to me just after midnight with the following:
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.”
A copy of that email:
Let us know what you think of Benchmade’s involvement in the cutting and disposal of these firearms below!