Gun Owners Rally Around Man Denied Computer By Dell
By Brian McWilliams, Newsbytes
27 Feb 2002, 5:11 PM CST

Some gun owners are outraged over Dell Computer's [NASDAQ : DELL] initial refusal to sell a notebook computer to a Pennsylvania man because his company deals in combat handguns.

According to Jack Weigand, his Feb. 13 telephone order for a Dell Inspiron notebook PC was automatically canceled days later by the computer maker's export department because his company's name, Weigand Combat Handguns Inc., raised a red flag.

"They told me they were afraid I would use the computer for illegal purposes. Somehow I was singled out," said Weigand, who is president of the American Pistolsmiths Guild and a gunsmith instructor for the National Rifle Association, in an interview today.

Weigand said he was informed by a Dell salesperson that the company implemented an order screening system following the Sept. 11 attacks on America.

"If computers are dangerous, the scary thing here is that I could have just walked up to Best Buy and purchased one," said Weigand, who holds a federal firearms license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm's National Licensing Center.

After complaining to the Dell sales rep, Weigand received an apology by e-mail from a supervisor who offered to put his order through. But Weigand said he has no interest in doing business with Dell any longer.

In a statement, Dell chairman Michael Dell today confirmed that the company cancelled Weigand's order "to give us enough time to follow up with the customer and be assured that the sale would be in compliance with U.S. export law." According to Dell, the computer firm erred in not contacting Weigand and did not live up to its service standards.

On Tuesday, Weigand posted a description of his run-in with Dell at his Web site and in three online forums, including one for Ruger pistol owners.

The message, which was redistributed on Internet newsgroups and by e-mail, concluded with a virtual call to arms.

"I for one am sick and tired of people assuming just because we are involved with firearms that we are doing something illegal. I also do not believe Dell deserves our business if this is how they intend to treat us," said the posting.

Messages of support from other gun owners have subsequently poured in to Weigand's e-mail in-box and to online message boards.

"What's next, background checks on Dell Computers?" wrote one participant who called for a boycott of the company in a newsgroup for gun owners in Dell's home state of Texas.

According to Weigand, his encounter with Dell has touched a nerve with many gun owners.

"People in the firearms community are passionate about our rights. There's been a lot of talk about profiling lately, and this incident is viewed by many as an instance of that," said Weigand in the interview.

Dell's leader said the company does not discriminate against any business, "regardless of the products or services they sell, nor do we discriminate against individual consumers. We do, however, sometimes make mistakes, as we did in this case."

Weigand's firm, which he described as a two-man operation, performs customizing, such as adding scope mounts, on several makes of firearms. After Sept. 11, Weigand said he will no longer do business with customers outside the U.S.

Weigand's site is at http://www.jackweigand.com .

Dell is at http://www.dell.com .

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I feel this sort of thing should not happen. Computers should be aviable to all who can afford them to buy. Even libarys let complete strangers basicly use their computers with no type of logging the use of whos on the computers at what time. Dell is gonna get spanked for this one..
Please feel free to show ur input.. i feel this is a interesting topic to be debated.