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By KSL reporter Natalie Crofts
This story first appeared at ksl.com.

Desert Tech

Utah Gun Manufacturer, Desert Tech, Refuses Sale To Pakistan

WEST VALLEY CITY —-(Ammoland.com)- A local gun manufacturer is gaining attention after announcing its decision to turn down a multimillion-dollar deal to legally supply Pakistan with precision rifles.

Desert Tech was approached with the opportunity to sell precision rifles to Pakistan in November. The company turned the deal down this week because of fears the guns could eventually be used against U.S. troops.

“The company was founded on the principle of keeping Americans and our allied forces safe,” said sales manager Mike Davis. “We’re not saying that Pakistan would get the weapons and do anything bad with them, but there’s just a heavy set of unrest over there.”

The contract would have been lucrative and the current United States administration supports foreign military arms sales to Pakistan forces, but Davis said after internal discussion they decided it wouldn’t be a good fit for their company. Some of the employees are veterans who have been to the Middle East and seen the situation first hand. Other employees have family members and friends currently serving in military engagements in the region.

“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 behind your founding principles,” Davis said.

A post by founder Nick Young on the company’s Facebook page on Tuesday has gone viral, with more than 2,000 likes and 1,000 shares so far. In the post Young asked readers if they thought the company’s concerns about selling rifles to Pakistan were legitimate.

“In 2013 we faced a moral dilemma that I wanted to get some opinions on. The current US administration is sponsoring FMS arms sales to Pakistan forces. In 2013 We had been approached with a multi-million dollar opportunity to legally supply sniper systems to Pakistan. I was never in the armed services but we employ several military veterans. Our greatest fear was that our equipment might be used against US troops. I started this company to protect Americans not endanger them. 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. I wanted to throw this out to our military friends to see if our concern was legitimate and hear your thoughts on it.

Thanks

Nick Young”

Even though Young and other employees felt turning down the deal was the right thing for the company, Davis said it was a difficult decision to make because of the amount of money involved.

“(Young) made that decision and he put the post out there, I think, because he wanted to see if he made the right choice,” Davis said. “Sometimes going with your heart and what you feel about something is the hardest thing to do.”

Weapons sales to allied nations are nothing new but it can be complicated, especially in a country with an al-Qaida presence.

“Pakistan is an ally,” said Colonel Steven R. Watt. “We do put a significant amount of aid into Pakistan. There’s a continual struggle about the amount of support and assistance we actually get. I’ve got to admire Desert Tactical for potentially turning down what could have been a very lucrative contract in the interest of protecting American service members.”

Davis said they were surprised by the response they received and have been very humbled by the support.

“The feedback has been tremendous — we’ve had literally thousands of emails and shares from military members (and) everybody just really respecting the decision we made,” he said.

The guns — precision bolt action center fire rifles — can change caliber within minutes and have the capacity to shoot as far as 3,000 yards.

The arms, ammunition and training company contracts with private citizens, law enforcement and agencies worldwide. Desert Tech has had some military contracts with other countries but declined to reveal specifics.

Desert Tech, formerly known as Desert Tactical Arms, was founded in 2007 and is located in West Valley City. Young is originally from the Salt Lake City area.

“We’re very fortunate to be from Utah and we’re very proud to be a Utah-based company,” Davis said.

Contributing: Ashley Kewish and Whitney Evans, http://www.ksl.com/?sid=28229430

  • 17 User comments to “Utah Gun Manufacturer, Desert Tech, Refuses Sale To Pakistan”

    1. donald mullaney on January 7, 2014 at 4:04 PM said:

      THANK YOU!!!

    2. To hear a company turn down a deal of this size, for the reasons they did, makes me proud to be an American. Desert Tech deserves not only America’s attention, but also a huge pat on the back for making such a wise and conscience decision. They could have easily took the money and ran with it, but they didn’t let money rule their company direction. So many more companies could learn from their choices. Now if only I could afford one of their rifles. lol…Good job Desert Tech!!!!

    3. Good for you, that’s true patriotism.

      And ahh…yeah, allies that helped to harbor and hide Bin Laden????

    4. thank you!

    5. BILL JUNG on January 7, 2014 at 9:27 PM said:

      We admire your standards and thank you for you choice.

    6. Don ( Big D ) on January 7, 2014 at 10:59 PM said:

      Thank you , and thank your Employees Whom are Veterans for their service. From Big D National V.P. Purple Heart Combat Wounded – MA . ( Military Assn.)
      Located in Plain City Utah.

    7. Darran Thomas on January 7, 2014 at 11:03 PM said:

      Thank You!

    8. Louis Bethel on January 8, 2014 at 4:08 AM said:

      I am in the market for a precision rifle. Now that I learned of your decisions…I will proudly buy one of your rifles!
      Thank you for your high ethics, morales and patriotism!

    9. Check my email again!!!!

    10. I own one of your rifles and want to thank you for the decision.

    11. Hopalong on January 8, 2014 at 6:41 AM said:

      I agree. We will need those, and more guns here at home.

    12. true American. thank you

    13. TXGnr1911 on January 8, 2014 at 11:43 AM said:

      Any American that honestly believes Pakistan is one of our allies is smoking some righteous gunge. They harbor and train terrorists. There is no question about that. Hussein continues to coddle them because he is a Muslim. So, Desert Tech, thank you for your stand to not support a radical terrorist nation, no matter what D.C. says.

    14. Thank you Desert Tech! I will buy, use and recommend any and all products you sell.

    15. Buck Crosby on January 8, 2014 at 12:46 PM said:

      My sincerest congratulations to Desert Tech manufacturing in Utah . Integrity and honor over huge amounts of money is a rare and moral standard most of the nation seems to have forgotten , especially by our elected. leaders in Washington . Again , Thank You for your huge sacrifice , I hope it sets an example for all other Americans .

    16. Don Tony on January 8, 2014 at 7:17 PM said:

      As a Army Ranger 75th in Nam. God Bless you and “Thank You” slowly Gun builders are coming around that when we give our hard work and development to countries not in my interest that’s for sure. Those weapons would be used against our Hero’s.I’ll see about buying one from you.

    17. Why would you even bid on the contract if you did not intend to provide your services. Sounds like a PR ploy to me.

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