CNBC aired a documentary on America’s #1 hunting rifle, the Remington 700, which takes a critical look at safety issues that may be have been responsible for over 2 dozen deaths and 100 injuries. The program, entitled Remington Under Fire: A CNBC Investigation, takes a look at the trigger mechanism which has been around for decades.
Over 500 million of the popular Remington 700-series rifles have been sold and although they’re known for being accurate, they’re also getting a reputation for firing without touching the trigger.
Remington has not issued a recall and maintains that the Remington 700 is safe and free of defects. But the documentary paints a different picture and cites internal documents that show Remington has been struggling with concerns over the weapon’s safety for the past 60 years. One of the fixes that Remington considered would have cost only 5.5 cents per rifle.
One family says the tragic death of their 9-year old son, Gus Barber, in 2000 was a direct result of the Remington 700 misfiring. Barbara Barber talks about the tragedy:
I went to the funeral home and looked Gus right square in the eye and I said, ‘Son, it ends here and now,’ Barber said. I promised him I would never be bought off and I would never quit until I’ve effected change.
Remington was sued by the Barbers and because of the lawsuit, Remington agreed to modify older models for a fee of $20. The suit never escalated from there and to this day, a formal recall has not been announced.
The fact is that guns are dangerous–along with a billion other things in the world. But if Remington knows there is a defect and is blatantly ignoring it, that’s another story entirely.