A Utah gunmaker is choosing patriotism over profits, turning down a $15 million offer in rifle sales from Pakistan because he feared the weapons would be used to harm U.S. troops. Nick Young, the founder of Desert Tech, revealed his decision in a lengthy Facebook post last week and said that while it wasn’t an easy decision, the company was confident it was the right one.
“I started this company to protect Americans, not endanger them,” he wrote. “In consulting with other arms companies the general responses I got was, if they don’t buy it from you, then they will get it somewhere else, or money is money. After much internal review we elected not to sell to Pakistan. As a business owner, you want to be successful. Ethically and morally, you want to go about it the right way and stick to your founding principles.”
When asked how a starting company can turn down $15 million, Desert Tech CEO Tommy Alexander told reporters that “you just say ‘no.’ “It’s not an easy decision. … That’s a tremendous amount of money, especially for a growing company.”
The sales to Pakistan would have been perfectly legal, but the U.S. has have frequently launched drone strikes into areas on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Furthermore, the government has been regularly accused of supporting Islamic terrorist groups. Desert Tech weapons can shoot as far as 3,000 yards, so the prospect of them being used to harm U.S. troops was not unreasonable to consider.
“We have friends and family serving in the military over there; you’re kind of in an unrest environment,” said Alexander. “You just truly don’t know where the weapons are going to end up.”