Does Smith & Wesson’s Viral 2A Post Atone for Their “Hillary Hole” Mistake

Smith and Wesson is definitely on a short list of firearm manufacturing companies that even non-gun owners know. Gun enthusiasts both love and loath the company that made Dirty Harry's iconic .44-cal. Model 29 revolver. Yesterday Smith & Wesson Brands Inc. President and CEO Mark Smith, posted on social media a strong statement supporting the Second Amendment and gun manufacturers. For those who haven't forgiven the company for a foolish decision over 20 years ago?

Smith & Wesson Statement Defending Second Amendment —

In the recent post, Mark Smith unashamedly defends S&W, the firearm industry, and gun owners, against what he believes to be slanderous attacks from “politicians and their lobbying partners in the media.” And he is completely right. Often, the anti-gun rhetoric is misstated at best, and intentionally untruthful at worst. The full text of the statement is as follows:

A number of politicians and their lobbying partners in the media have recently sought to disparage Smith & Wesson. Some have had the audacity to suggest that after they have vilified, undermined and defunded law enforcement for years, supported prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions, overseen the decay of our country's mental health infrastructure, and generally promoted a culture of lawlessness, Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers are somehow responsible for the crime wave that has predictably resulted from these destructive policies. But they are the ones to blame for the surge in violence and lawlessness, and they seek to avoid any responsibility for the crisis of violence they have created by attempting to shift the blame to Smith & Wesson, other firearm manufacturers and law-abiding gun owners.

It is no surprise that the cities suffering most from violent crime are the very same cities that have promoted irresponsible, soft-on-crime policies that often treat criminals as victims and victims as criminals. Many of these same cities also maintain the strictest gun laws in the nation. But rather than confront the failure of their policies, certain politicians have sought more laws restricting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, while simultaneously continuing to undermine our institutions of law and order. And to suppress the truth, some now seek to prohibit firearm manufacturers and supporters of the 2nd Amendment from advertising products in a manner designed to remind law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutional right to bear arms in defense of themselves and their families.

To be clear, a Smith & Wesson firearm has never broken into a home; a Smith & Wesson firearm has never assaulted a woman out for a late-night run in the city; a Smith & Wesson firearm has never carjacked an unsuspecting driver stopped at a traffic light. Instead, Smith & Wesson provides these citizens with the means to protect themselves and their families.

We are proud of our 170-year history. We are proud of the commitment of our employees to making a quality product. We are proud to provide law-abiding citizens and law enforcement – our customers – with the tools to provide for their security and independence. We are proud of our responsible business practices.

We will continue to work alongside law enforcement, community leaders and lawmakers who are genuinely interested in creating safe neighborhoods. We will engage those who genuinely seek productive discussions, not a means of scoring political points. We will continue informing law-abiding citizens that they have a Constitutionally-protected right to defend themselves and their families. We will never back down in our defense of the 2nd Amendment.

Mark Smith. President & CEO
Smith & Wesson Brands

Thank You Smith & Wesson —

On its face, Mark Smith's statement, which has been shared all over social media, is factual, and unambiguous. In reading lots of readers' comments on the post, it's clear many liked the bold statement. Many law-abiding gun owners feel like they are under constant attack from politicians and the media, and Mark Smith's statement captured that sentiment.

But not everyone is on board with Mark Smith's statement. Of course, the anti-gunners will contend with his words, but there are a couple of other gripes even pro-gun people have with Smith & Wesson's public statement..

Never Forget the Hillary Hole Decision —

For some gun owners, what the company did back in 2000 makes them untrusting of any pro Second Amendment statement coming from the company, and it has to do with something called “the Hillary Hole.”

Heere is the brief synopsis of a decision S&W made in 2000 that nearly bankrupted the gun manufacturing giant.

Back in 2000, when slick Willie was president, Smith & Wesson made a deal with the devil to stay in business. The devil, being the Clinton administration/Federal Government. Unsurprisingly, the Clinton Administration pushed gun control. Just like today, the call was for manufacturers to build guns with pointless internal “safety features” and restrictions on magazine capacity. Well, even though congress didn't pass the laws, S&W voluntarily agreed to the Clinton/Bloomberg crafted gun restrictions. They began manufacturing revolvers with a ridiculous key lock built into the frame. Someone called it the ‘Hillary Hole' and the name stuck.

hillary shocked

En masse, gun owners walked away from S&W, as the NRA and other groups openly called for gun owners to boycott the company for its capitulation. The pressure worked and the company nearly went under.

That was over 20 years ago, and S&W has a restored reputation in the gun community. Not only that, but any members of the team that had a part in that disastrous agreement are no longer with the company. So on one hand, yes S&W messed up, because they lacked the fortitude to stand up to anti Second Amendment political pressure. They thought they could earn favor with the enemy and continue selling guns, while other companies who didn't comply would fail. On the other hand, that decision was made over 20 years ago, and the people who made it aren't even employed by Smith and Wesson anymore. So, maybe it's time to move past the Hillary Hole debacle.

smith and wesson revolver with internal lock

The Statement Doesn't go Far Enough —

The other complaint is that the statement doesn't call out the blatant misuse of the DOJ and ATF against gun owners and the Second Amendment. The ATF is acting as a quasi-legislative body by changing definitions in order to restrict gun ownership and criminalize law-abiding gun owners. The ATF is doing this because federal gun control legislation is not as popular as the media and politicians want us to think. At the state level, we actually see more gun legislation favorable to gun owners.

So the beef some have with Mark Smith's statement is that it just doesn't go far enough. I think that is a fair critique, however not talking about abolishing the ATF it doesn't negate the rest of his words. My opinion is that the ATF is overstepping it's authority and like any other governmental agency, is far too large and powerful. That is a conversation for another time, and perhaps that is why Mark Smith didn't address it.

Or maybe he fully supports the ATF as some speculate.

Support of Law Enforcement —

In his statement, Mark Smith says:

We will continue to work alongside law enforcement…

Some see this as openly supporting all law-enforcement, even those federal officers who dutifully put conscience aside and carry out what many believe to be unconstitutional laws. Some comments asked if the company will continue to work with LEOs who wilfully violate the people's Second Amendment rights. They also believe the statement is disingenuous because S&W would not want to lose their lucrative military and law enforcement contracts.

I don't think anyone could reasonably argue that all law enforcement is unnecessary or corrupt. I don't see S&W's statement of support for law enforcement as a negative thing. If Mark Smith had included a qualifier like “We will continue to work alongside all law enforcement who uphold and recognize the constitution” would people still object? You know they would. So it probably couldn't have hurt, but the skepticism would still be there for some.

What do You Think —

The political temperature will continue to increase as we get closer to mid-term elections and I don't see it slowing down. Who knows how crazy and polarized the country will be for the next couple of years leading to the presidential election? What do you think about S&W's statement? Are you more likely to support the company or is their strong 2A stance just for show? Do you think that more companies will be forced to make public declarations on where they stand in their support for the Second Amendment? Should we even expect companies to make statements like this? I'm curious to hear your opinions, so leave us a comment.

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About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. Clark Kent on August 16, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    IMHO this type of bold statement was LONG overdue from the firearms industry. Will we now hear the same from the CEO’s of Ruger, Colt, Beretta, Walther and SIG?

  2. johnnyguitar on August 26, 2022 at 5:16 pm

    Good first statement. Now if they’d remove the “Hilary Hole” on all of their revolvers that would be a good second statement.

  3. Shane Gericke on August 31, 2022 at 5:52 pm

    Who among us has not made mistakes, even serious ones? Yes, it’s to move on. But for completely forgiveness, I require S&W to get rid of that damn infernal hole. Forget Hillary; it ruins the otherwise flawless beauty of a Smith revolver. I will never buy one with the hole and that stupid arrow; it bothers me far out of proportion to its size. Plus, it can lock up the revolver, a catastrophe in real life.

    Fill the hole, Smith! I’m sorry if you will lose sales from the locking mechanism company you own or used to own, but that’s the price of being re-embraced.

  4. Dan Guido on September 1, 2022 at 12:30 am

    I recall that at the time S&W was getting cozy with the anti-gun crowd, the company had been purchase by a British firm. I wrote to them and told them what I thought of their
    anti-Second Amendment / pro Bill and Hillary policy and that I would no longer purchase S&W products and to please remove me from their mailing list.

    I accept this action by Mr. Smith and welcome S&W back to stand with those who believe that the Second Amendment is more than ink on paper, that was put there by some old white guys.

    I would ask Mr. Smith to consider asking fellow gun industry leaders to write their own letters or make a statement agreeing with his letter. I would also ask that any company involved in the firearm industry, no matter what the product may be, to move out of any state that is not pro Second Amendment. There are many states that would welcome companies in the firearms industry to their state.

    Hey Mark, put me back on the mailing list.

  5. Eric Turner on January 14, 2023 at 8:31 am

    So what? Words. What is it with gun owners who get so gushy because someone used words and this weird obsession with writing letters. Their pistols still have the Hillary Hole, so turns out, you all fell for Words again. Actions are all that matter. Words can come after, or not. Gun owners are so gullible. Remove this Hillary Hole, word-man. In the meantime Thank God for Colt for releasing their snake revolvers without the idiotic hole. Action. Not words gun owners. Think. Learn. Go buy a Colt and forget about this useless S&W company.

  6. GrabUm! on August 1, 2023 at 9:29 am

    The new Colt Python is looking better and better. I have several older Smiths.. Personally I like a Smith over a Colt, all things being equal… That said, I will never purchase a Smith, new or used, with a Hillary Hole- the chance of one locking up the revolver under stress is just too much.
    Just sayin…

  7. James Dion on November 21, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    The S&W President that made the agreement with the government in 2000 ended up being removed from his job. He did this all on his own and no employee know about it until watching the news or reading the newspaper. Us employees know it was a very bad decision. The man had no knowledge of the industry and customers. S&W was sold a short time after back in American Ownership.
    As employees we were very happy when that President was gone and very happy to be back in American Ownership. For your added information current S&W President and CEO Mark Smith joined the Company years later.

  8. John on April 1, 2024 at 3:50 pm

    It’s April 2024 and it still bugs the hell out of me. Getting rid of the “Hillary Hole” will likely cause the craftsmen to come in and work for free just to get the most this classic back on the shelf.

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