Violence Policy Center


IndexOnline NewsPress ReleasesFact Sheets PublicationsLinksHomeAbout VPC
Looking for something?

Funder of Lott 1996 CCW Study Has Links to the Gun Industry

Research conducted by John Lott, purporting to show that relaxed concealed weapons laws reduce crime has been the subject of severe criticism not just for its methodological shortcomings, but also for its funding source. These questions have focused on the ties to the firearms industry of the funder of Mr. Lott's fellowship, the John M. Olin Foundation.

There are significant links between the John M. Olin Foundation and the Olin Corporation, which owns Winchester Ammunition (the largest producer of ammunition in the U.S. and the manufacturer of the infamous "Black Talon" bullet). Olin Corporation at one time also owned Winchester Firearms, a trade name which it now licenses out. Winchester Ammunition stands to reap financial gain from the increased sale of handgun ammunition generated by the passage of lax concealed weapons laws.

The Violence Policy Center has conducted extensive research regarding the links between the Olin Corporation and the Olin Foundation as well as the political agenda of the Olin Foundation. While the Olin Foundation has denied any links between it and the Olin Corporation, research conducted by the Violence Policy Center has revealed the following:

Although the Olin Foundation purports to have no link to the Olin Corporation, reporters and writers often note the close association between the two.

And regarding the role of business leaders on foundation boards, Olin Foundation President William Simon wrote in the preface to the Capital Research Center's book Patterns of Corporate Philanthropy: The Progressive Deception that:

business leaders can direct corporate giving along constructive lines by playing an active role on the boards of the foundations their enterprise has made possible...[C]orporate leaders have abdicated far too much day-to-day operational control of their giving to a philanthropic managerial class which sets their giving priorities for them....While businesses may understandably wish to give to traditional charities of interest to local employees and customers, it is also their responsibility to nurture the efforts of individuals and institutions which strive to strengthen the very freedoms that allow business to thrive in the first place....Companies should give as through their futures depended on it, for in a very real sense, they do.

Fact Sheet Index
Newest Files

Firearms Violence

Firearms Industry

Pro-Gun Special Interests
Federal Policy Issues
State Policy Issues
Product Liability
Women and Firearms Violence
Youth and Firearms Violence
Elderly and Firearms Violence
Contact the VPC

All contents � 1999 Violence Policy Center