The gun control advocate, speaking at a protest at Smith & Wesson’s factory in Massachusetts over the weekend, had a list of demands.
David Hogg, who catapulted to the national spotlight for his role in the March for Our Lives campaign following the Parkland, Florida school shooting earlier this year, was a featured speaker at a rally organized by 50 Miles More and the Boston chapter of March for Our Lives.
With a crowd estimated by the Boston Herald to number about 100 on Sunday, Hogg helped voice the group’s demands for the gun maker to donate $5 million to gun violence research per year and halt the production of firearms outlawed under the state’s assault weapons ban.
Should the company decline, Hogg tweeted, “We will destroy you by using the two things you fear most. Love and economics :) see you soon.”
Although Massachusetts enacted an assault weapon ban in 1998 and double-downed on it in 2004, the iconic gun maker has been headquartered in the state since the 19th Century and continues to make various models for the larger market that are unavailable inside the Commonwealth due to the regulations.
According to data from federal regulators, Smith & Wesson manufactured 1.4 million pistols, 396,710 rifles, and 294,680 revolvers as well as a smaller number of miscellaneous firearms and shotguns in Springfield in 2016, the most recent year for which figures are available.
While a move to reinterpret the Commonwealth’s ban by state Attorney General Maura Healey in 2016 ended the market for Massachusetts-compliant AR-15s in the state for S&W, the company continues to produce them for sale outside the state.
Smith & Wesson, with some 1,700 employees, has been lauded by industrial trade groups in Massachusetts for their contributions to the state economy and a “rich legacy of supporting philanthropic efforts in the community throughout the decades,” to include creating manufacturing technology application programs seen as a model for the rest of the commonwealth and leading efforts to go green through the use of solar energy.