Is Benchmade Anti-Gun? Destroying Firearms and Supporting Democrats

On Wednesday Feb 20th, 2019, the Oregon City Police department posted 3 pictures to their FaceBook page with a note thanking the Benchmade Knife Company for helping them destroy firearms but cutting guns with a bench grinder and torch.

The above image was taken a little over an hour after the post was made. By then, over 1,000 accounts had shared the post and almost as many had commented on it.

Minutes later, the Oregon City Police Department deleted the post. Presumably, this was an attempt at damage control.

However, it was too late.

Based on the overwhelming majority of negative comments against Benchmade on social media and forums, a large chunk of the online firearms community had already made up their minds: they were very angry at Benchmade.

Benchmade Destroying Firearms

Most of the ire directed at Benchmade was due to their destruction of firearms.

Many (most) of the angry commenters drew a hard-line. To them, helping police destroy firearms is inexcusable and clear proof that Benchmade was anti-gun.

Although unpopular with the mob, destroying firearms is not necessarily anti-gun.

For example, manufacturer FFLs often destroy firearms that don’t meet quality control standards. Clearly, firearm manufacturers aren’t anti-gun.

In this case, it appears that the firearms were surrendered for destruction or ordered to be destroyed by a court order. Oregon City Police made a subsequent post on FaceBook wherein they explained these details and asked that Benchmade not be blamed.

Did Benchmade Violate Federal Gun Laws?

Some close inspection of the photos shared of Benchmade’s destruction of the firearms reveals what appears to be the commission of a felony.

The pictures seem to show that someone cut the barrel of a shotgun shorter than 18″ prior to destroying the shotgun (if it was subsequently destroyed).

A shotgun’s barrel may not lawfully be cut under 18 inches in length unless the person cutting the barrel is an FFL manufacturer and a Class 2 SOT -or- the person has a currently approved ATF Form 1. The cutting of a shotgun’s barrel in such a way creates an NFA firearm subject to strict federal controls – without the proper licensing or paperwork, a felony has been committed.

These gun laws are absurd.

There is also a serious double standard in the application of these laws. Anti-gun politicians (and perhaps anti-gun companies?) are able to break these laws without recourse but average citizens go to jail.

Benchmade Donates to Anti-Gun Democrat Politicians

The biggest evidence that Benchmade may be anti-gun is not that they agreed to help police destroy firearms. Again, there can be legitimate reasons to destroy firearms.

Instead, Benchmade’s political contributions that came to light because of this issue raise some very serious questions about their political motivations.

According to, Benchmade Knife Company has a history of financially supporting Democrats.

Here’s a breakdown of Benchmade’s contributions by political party:

And here’s the totals of direct contributions to candidates in the last 5 election cycles. Overall, Benchmade has spent 1.2 million in their lobbying/political efforts.

In 2012 and 2010, they donated to Republican candidates. However, since then, they’ve solely supported Democrats.

Kurt Schrader, although a Democrat, doesn’t seem to be anti-gun. In fact, he supports national CCW reciprocity.

Martin Heinrich also supported national CCW, however, he also supports more gun control legislation and voted to ban magazines over 10 rounds in capacity and the bumpstock ban (among other gun control measures).

Ron Wyden has supported every gun control legislation he has been a part of.

Kurt Schrader is a gun-friendly Democrat. That not “pro-gun” but it’s not “anti-gun” either.

Mark Udall is an anti-gun Democrat with an F rating from the NRA And Jeff Merkley os also anti-gun.

So, is Benchmade Anti Gun?


If so, this will surely hurt their bottom-line as a major portion of their customer base is the firearm community.

If not, will they be able to convince an angry base?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

Benchmade’s Official Response

UPDATE: Benchmade has responded to the news of their destroying guns with a statement.

As of now, they have not addressed their liberal political support except to deny that they do it on their website.

“Benchmade is aware of the recent post from our local Oregon City Police Department.

We apologize for the confusion and concern that this post created. These were firearms the Oregon City
Police Department had to destroy in alignment with their policies. Oregon City Police requested
the use of specialty equipment within the

Benchmadefacility to follow these requirements, and as a supporting partner of our local police force, we obliged the request.

Benchmadeis a proud and unwavering supporter of both law enforcement and Second Amendment rights.
These are commitments that we do not take lightly and will continue to support well into the future.

When asked for clarity from Oregon City Police Department, Chief Jim Band made the following statement: “When property is to be destroyed, it is the policy of the Oregon City
Police Department to destroy property, including firearms, in accordance to our procedures and ORS.
The Oregon City Police Department does not sellfirearms.”

To us, this statement doesn’t do much to help Benchmade.

First, it completely fails to mention what may be the biggest news that came out of this whole fiasco: Benchmade supports anti-gun Democrats.

Second, it fails to address that Benchmade very likely broke federal laws and ATF rules and regulations by making an unregistered short barreled shotgun.

Third, it has a very “just following orders” vibe to it. Also note the “…had to destroy in alignment with their policies.”

If a department or company chooses to make their own policy and then they choose to follow their own policy, it seems like deflection to then blame the policy for their actions as if they “had” to do something and didn’t have a choice.

Mob mentality

In today’s outrage-driven environment, it seems that both sides of the political aisle are racing to judgment and calling for boycotts a bit too quickly.

Again, there are plenty of valid reasons to destroy firearms. If that’s reason enough to boycott someone then you’ll have to boycott me too – I, and every major firearms manufacturer, have destroyed firearms at one point or another.

The bigger story here is the anti-gun politician support by Benchmade that they, and other sources, are failing to address.

Please… read what we’ve reported, read what others have reported, think things through for yourself and make up your own mind.

Regardless of the company’s policies, my favorite EDC Knife is a Benchmade 940-2. Will this influence my future purchasing decisions? Only time will tell.

For now Benchmade should address their political motivations (and hopefully re-think them) and maybe look for a new social media/public relations strategy.


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    • Mike Johnson
      Posted February 21, 2019 4:50 am

      Thanks for the write up. To me it definitely makes them anti-gun. They’ve put their money where their mouth is.

      • ogden Johnson
        Posted February 21, 2019 2:07 pm

        Have we considered that maybe that money is a lobbying move to make sure that these democrats don’t vote on more drastic gun control laws?

        • Ryan Cleckner
          Posted February 21, 2019 2:18 pm

          I’m interested to hear Benchmade’s take on this. Currently, they claim that they don’t contribute any money. That is inconsistent with what we found. If they pay legislators money in order to get favorable treatment, we’d sure be interested in hearing that.

          • Dan
            Posted February 21, 2019 5:34 pm

            On the open secrets site they noted that “contributions to candidates from Benchmade came from individuals” do you know if that references employees or benchmade as a company?

            • brian
              Posted February 23, 2019 8:04 am

              De Asis and his wife are the ones making the contributions – saw it at another political contribution site.

          • VF
            Posted March 7, 2019 5:17 am

            Won’t be buying anything from Benchmade ever again. They made their decision.

    • John
      Posted February 21, 2019 5:19 am

      Jesus what a witch-hunt for a company taking a job offered to them to destroying illegal or unsafe products

      • JohnyV
        Posted February 21, 2019 4:35 pm

        [insult removed] Anyone who makes excuses for cutting up firearms is a traitor…. Benchmade is supported by customers who are vastly and aggressively pro 2nd amendment, so “taking a job to cut up guns”, for any reason, is not too intelligent and speaks volumes about their morals. I was a huge Benchmade supporter but now will NEVER buy another thing from them again, which sucks but I refuse to support anyone who directly or indirectly supports DEVILcrats or gun control.

        • Roosclan
          Posted February 21, 2019 9:41 pm

          “Anyone who makes excuses for cutting up firearms is a traitor…. ”
          So when a gun is recovered from a crime and the S/N has been filed off so that it is impossible to trace it back to the lawful owner (in other words, no possible way to return it, and no legal way to sell it or use it), what are the police supposed to do? Toss it into a closet indefinitely? Such a gun cannot legally be sold to the public, cannot be returned to the owner, and is really only fit to be destroyed. When the court orders certain firearms to be destroyed, are the police supposed to tell the judge to “stuff it?” What does Oregon law state? Are law enforcement agencies even allowed to sell them, or is there a bigger issue that needs to be addressed?

          So, do those “excuses” make me a traitor? I guess you better come attempt to arrest me, try me, and execute me since you consider me a traitor.

      • Lance
        Posted October 28, 2019 11:54 am

        It’s not the destruction of the firearms that is the main issue here, that was court ordered can’t really do anything about that, it’s donations to The democrats they are supporting they are definitely anti 2A.

    • Bob Oliver
      Posted February 21, 2019 6:44 am

      I will say this, they won’t get anymore of my money to support them

    • Joe
      Posted February 21, 2019 8:25 am

      Love building survival bags no more benchmade knifes!!! I love my freedom and support the constition benchmade will not get my money to support dems,socialist and communist !!!

    • Zach
      Posted February 21, 2019 8:31 am

      I believe that the sole act of destroying firearms at the request of the local police department does not make Benchmade anti-gun, but maybe pro-police. I don’t have a problem with that in most cases. The political campaign contributions are a bummer though. Anti-trump is one thing, but their contribution record shows a pledge of allegiance almost exclusively to the right. Weird and not what I expected. Guess we’ll have to see how this all shakes out.

    • Jerry Siewert
      Posted February 21, 2019 8:39 am

      They are also very proud public lands which may help explain the donations to Democrats. Considering that they tend to be propublic land while Republicans usually are trying to sell it off. Multiple angles to every story.

    • racer88
      Posted February 21, 2019 8:40 am

      It’s not that they destroyed guns. It’s that they participated in an anti-gun virtue-signaling stunt. Perhaps it was unwitting. PERHAPS.

      It was a bad decision, followed by a weak justification that only fueled the fire. They fell on their own sword.

    • Al
      Posted February 21, 2019 8:57 am

      Good article but I do not think an FFL destroying guns due to quality control compares. The bigger issue that this whole situation shed light on was the political contributions.

    • James
      Posted February 21, 2019 9:47 am

      The fact that Benchmade supports the Democratic party is enough for me to boycott them. Democrats are anti-law enforcement and push the open borders agenda. Look what the Democrat ideal has done to Portland, Oregon.

      • Robert Davison
        Posted March 24, 2019 7:20 pm

        What type of vehicle do you drive, because your call of the fact they support the Democrats is enough for you, who your vehicle manufacturer supports might come as a bit of a surprise as well.

        • Lance
          Posted October 28, 2019 11:57 am

          I drive Harley-davidson.

    • Chip
      Posted February 21, 2019 9:47 am

      There’s a huge difference between destroying a new, inferior product and cutting up a product already in circulation…
      They could be sold by the PD, same as police trade in’s….
      They can support the PD without taking part in this bs…
      That aside, the donations are my major issue..
      I do not fund anyone who uses my $$ against me or my Rights…
      This obviously limits my movie going, music, ect… but I’m done funding my enemies…
      Just this past weekend I looked at 2 knives.. a $425 Benchmade and a $170 option…..
      Looks like I just saved $$$… or can get 2….

    • Don
      Posted February 21, 2019 10:28 am

      The part I dont like is them donateing to anti 2nd amendment politicians

    • Zach
      Posted February 21, 2019 12:30 pm

      Just a thought and I am not taking sides… If these were firearms that were confiscated by Oregon City PD, perhaps the sawed off shotgun already had the barrel sawed off and that is why it was confiscated in the first place?

      • Ryan Cleckner
        Posted February 21, 2019 2:18 pm


      • David
        Posted February 22, 2019 2:26 pm

        That’s a good thought, but after looking closer at the pics I don’t think that’s the case. In the left pic the guy with the blue glove is holding the end of the shotgun barrel. In front of his hand is a silver clamp around the barrel and magazine tube, that is a grounding clamp is for a plasma cutter. They just cut the side of the barrel and mag tube which is why the front of the mag tube handguard is on fire. You can see the soot from the cutting on the handguard in the top right pic and now missing barrel (the yellow cup obscures if the barrel was removed intact from the receiver and maybe only the mag tube was cut?). Finally in the bottom right pic it looks like they are cutting the receiver based on the length of the butt stock to the plasma cutting. Of course I could be wrong about all of it, lol

        I’m not bothered by the potential SBS or destroying of firearms. What I find concerning are the donations from customer sales to the anti gunners!

      • Howard friedman
        Posted February 24, 2019 9:40 pm

        You I have bought benchmade knives for decades. Simply, no more. The police in Oregon can administer the law as they are allowed. But police departments can be anti 2nd amendment and are in counties of California, Maryland, Colorado, New York, and many others. We, who fully support legally owned firearms draw the line at assisting any government that expresses and then acts against gun ownership. Let someone else do their dirty work. Benchmade has sided with the opposition. Let’s see how many customers they can glean from the blue states. Interestingly, those anti gun forces also want to restrict access to knives that are longer than 2” and all with a lock. Just look at Europe, England, Canada, etc. who will benchmade turn to when Oregon asked their help in destroying all the fancy benchmade knives?

    • Jon
      Posted February 21, 2019 12:52 pm

      Off topic but this company has been filing countless lawsuits against small knife companies for years. Benchmade 1st started making custom knives in a small shop back in the 80’s and has now grown into a corporate powerhouse with a Walmart mentality of shutting down mom and pop stores. Anti Trump and anti gun. Benchmade is now run by Les De Asis’s son

    • Mark
      Posted February 21, 2019 3:27 pm

      I have two Benchmade knives. They are the last ones I will ever buy or own. No second chance for them. Giving to any Democrat is bad, but to give to Udall? No excuse for that. I’m done with them.

    • Dave
      Posted February 21, 2019 4:08 pm

      How wide a sidestep and how much of a contortion did Benchmade make to stomp this flaming bag of poo? Complicentcy in the guise of cooperation and public service is NOT a justification. Rather, it is a feeble attempt to cover one’s own six. The military, LE and sportsmen made this company one of this country’s best known and respected manufacturers. I carry an Auto Stryker every day. Alas, I believe I have bought my last Benchmade product.

      Whoever made the decision to “oblige” this department’s policy to destroy firearms should be terminated for cause. Such abject stupidity cannot be tolerated.

    • Eric
      Posted February 21, 2019 4:09 pm

      Microtech FTW

    • Warren
      Posted February 21, 2019 4:41 pm

      Pro-Democrat. Anti Second Amendment. And a mealy mouthed response when they got caught. Actions have consequences. Buh-BYE…

    • Ryan
      Posted February 21, 2019 7:21 pm

      Love the balance of this article. I’m in the same place. I carry 3 different Benchmades depending on the pants I’m wearing, but until I have full proof of their political motivations, I may not purchase any more. It’s so hard to tell at this point what their motives for their contributions were. One act doesn’t make them anti-gun, but I need more info to determine my final informed decision.

    • Robert Lindall
      Posted February 21, 2019 7:32 pm

      I don’t see how sidegrinders are specialty equipment; maybe Dick’s can be their exclusive retail outlet now!

    • Sierra117
      Posted February 21, 2019 9:08 pm

      Snowflakes pointing fingers at other snowflakes. Relating Benchmade’s 2A POV based on nazi-like Oregon’s political douchebag pool is like comparing the Catholic Church to a religious entity – simply no connection w/o assumptions a/o fabricating truths to fit the theory. The fact that Benchmade is located in Oregon matters only because that’s their home base, nothing more, nothing less.

      People Getting their panties in a wad over Benchmade’s support of their local LE’s request to destroy weapons already slotted for destruction is more of a limiter, and thus a distraction from objective/goal attainment. Take yr fight to the lake of hades and bring chaos to the politicians and govt’s front door – which will require a level of sacrifice most can’t comprehend a/o stomach.

      Benchmade is a good company that produces excellent pieces and moreover, has an excellent customer oriented service policy – all of which equate to Benchmade being grouped into a rapidly disappearing American company in a landscape riddled with Chinese/Asian knockoffs utilizing inferior materials, and festering in a cesspool of shitty QC and shitty CS policies.

      IMO – and yeah, I know the comparison to assholes – the only heavyweight factor that could truly dictate a customer base swing would be that of belief/value orientation – and that jury hasn’t been provided with all of the facts at present.

      Also – +1 on the shotgun being cut bf landing on Benchmade’s dismemberment table.

      Great write-up and glad to see a warrior making use of analytical/objective thinking/reasoning. Subscribed.

    • P
      Posted February 22, 2019 2:56 pm

      you’re all welcome to send your Benchmades to me…

      What a witch hunt for nothing.

    • Rick
      Posted February 22, 2019 4:36 pm

      Does anyone else notice that the 870 forearm is to the rear and that the magazine tube has been cut short to the point there is no threads on it to even mount a barrel?

      With the forearm of an 870 to the rear, like it clearly is in the pictures, the magazine tube would stick out several inches. Even with it to the forward position the magazine tube sticks out enough to allow the barrel ring (?) and threaded end cap to be installed.

      Maybe this Ryan Cleckner never encountered an 870 shotgun in the military? We had them in the Marines…….

      • Ryan Cleckner
        Posted February 22, 2019 4:58 pm

        As a Vice President of Remington, I saw plenty of 870s.

        Good eye regarding the likely absence of threads. As a firearms attorney, I can tell you that the presence threads are not necessary to be a firearm. Absurd as it sounds, even holding the barrel in place with your hands would make it a firearm. Of course, this is a stretch and semantics.

        A more important point, that you’ve caught is that there is no barrel in the picture. No barrel = no short barreled shotgun (in that picture).

        Is this Rick V? If so, it explains the good eye. 🙂

        • Rick
          Posted February 22, 2019 10:09 pm

          Nope, Rick L.
          Looking at the finish that’s likely not just an 870 but a Wingmaster.

          Kind of an odd intro to your web site. I have your book. Bought it after listening to you on a podcast (hunt backcountry ?).
          Great book, good info.

        • Rick
          Posted February 22, 2019 10:16 pm

          On second thought my 870 assessment could be wrong. It may well be a Browning BPS.
          Hard to tell, but it appears to have a tang style safety, and other BPS-esque features.

          Same issues with cut location would still apply.

    • Mark Louis
      Posted February 23, 2019 3:17 pm

      Benchmade, Surefire and Leupold walk into a bar…

      What’s interesting is how this incident has allowed people to research other companies and uncover questionable donations to anti-gun politicians. Surefire is getting hammered. Vista Outdoor is not answering questions about some of their board members and Leupold has yet to respond about the Leupold & Stevens PAC which donated exclusively to anti-gun politicians in 2014. Susan Davis (D-CA) and Mark Udall (D-CO) who both have a solid history of voting against our second amendment rights were the only people to receive support from the Leupold & Stevens PAC during the 2014 election cycle. The optics don’t look good seeing 2A companies giving money to the very people attacking our freedoms.

      Here’s some info on the Leupold & Stevens PAC:

      • Lance
        Posted October 28, 2019 12:00 pm

        Don’t forget Colt

    • Gary
      Posted February 25, 2019 11:31 am

      Please research SB 501 currently in the Oregon Legislature and you will see the concern over the financial contribution for the democratic super majority. magazines restricted to 5 round, max of 20 rounds per month on ammo purchases etc. I wonder if the idiot from the PD that posted the picture to facebook still has a job?

    • COdy
      Posted February 26, 2019 8:07 am

      After reading and researching on my own, I made the decision to take my two week old Benchmade back to where I purchased it. You’re totally right, it’s got a be a personal decision we each make for ourselves, and I’m telling you it broke my heart to do it. Now, please God, don’t let me find out that Protech and Spyderco have done the same things!

    • Gunny
      Posted February 28, 2019 3:50 am

      Every one of these companies can GTH.
      I am sick to death of lying, liberal entities with the sole purpose of reducing what FEW RIGHTS I still have left.
      Bench Made was NEVER that good to begin with and I do not own one.
      I forge better steel in my garage and am a well known thrower in the PNW.
      A WAR is coming… Wake up.

    • Michael
      Posted March 6, 2019 11:08 am

      I’ve listened to RC talk about this on Triggerwords as well. I wonder if Benchmade is contributing money to the Democraps to ban guns in hoping to increase there knife sales. Does Benchmade secretly want us to be like England? Food for thought.

    • Trackback: Is Benchmade Anti-Gun? - Ryan Cleckner
    • Joe Perez
      Posted March 15, 2019 4:21 pm

      Good enough for me. I’ll never purchase another Benchmade product again.

    • Mark Anderson
      Posted August 13, 2019 3:21 pm

      So they brought a knife to a gun fight, big deal.

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