A firearms company turned down a $15 million, life-changing deal with Pakistan after reaching out to veterans on Facebook for advice.
Nick Young, the president of Utah-based Desert Tech, was approached by a Pakistani government representative to supply Pakistan with his company’s sniper systems, but instead of the accepting the huge deal, which a Desert Tech rep called "massive," he turned it down.
Young said in a Facebook post that his biggest fear would be that the weapons could be used against U.S. troops, echoing his company’s mission to protect U.S. citizens. "The company was created to protect the freedom of the United States of America, our allies and people,” read the statement. Young also said that the company employs several veterans.
The post went viral with more than 1,500 shares, 3,819 likes and 1,672 comments. A majority supported the company's decision, for different reasons. One user, for example, wrote, "Thank you very much, you saved countless lives with your decision", and another said: "I am glad that this contract has been turned down. It will enable Pakistan to rely on its own resources and look on to new horizons other than so-called allies."
The United States counts Pakistan as an ally and exports to the country are allowed, but sales manager Mike Davis told local Utah media that the company "just ended up not feeling right" about selling to a country where the sniper rifles could end up in the hands of enemy combatants.
“As a business owner, you always want to be successful, but I think ethically and morally you want to go about it the right way and stick to your founding principles,” Davis said.
However, not everyone feels that way. Mark Serbu of Florida-based Serbu Firearms Inc. says that if the State Department is allowing such deals, then his company would take on a similar deal with Pakistan.
"Pakistan is our ally and they may need the weapons to help the people in that country. They might not be going to al Qaeda but [rather] being used to defeat them," said Serbu.
If you want to follow the debate, click here: https://www.facebook.com/deserttacticalarms