For Release: Friday, August 13, 1999
Results of Glock Strategy to Reach Civilian Market
The Glock pistol that self-proclaimed racist Buford Furrow used to kill a Los Angeles postal worker illustrates the deadly consequences of the Austrian gun company’s hyper-aggressive marketing to U.S. police, according to the Violence Policy Center. The Model 26, 9mm semiautomatic “pocket rocket” was sold first to the Cosmopolis, Wash., police department, which resold it to a civilian dealer.
“Glock is notorious for pushing its high-powered, high-capacity pistols on law enforcement agencies, ” said VPC senior policy analyst Tom Diaz. “Unfortunately, some police departments dump their old guns on the civilian market, available to people like Furrow. The tragedy is that many of Glock’s police sales are unnecessary, really intended to stimulate buyers in the bigger civilian market.”
Gaston Glock, the company’s CEO, told Advertising Age in 1995 that “it was a conscious decision to go after the law enforcement market first . . . In marketing terms, we assumed that, by pursuing the law enforcement market, we would then receive the benefits of ‘after sales’ in the commercial market.”
The VPC cited a 1996 report by the New York State Inspector General slamming Glock’s pistol sales to a New York state police agency. The IG said Glock sales to the Law Enforcement Division of the Department of Environmental Conservation were “premature,” “dubious,” and “highly questionable.” A Glock salesman described the guns as “the new toys.” Ironically, Glock’s sale to the Cosmopolis department was in 1996, the year New York’s IG ripped Glock’s “symbiotic” relationship with the LED.