Beaverton scope maker Leupold sponsors Oregon sheriffs' org
A local manufacturer of rifle scopes and other shooting accessories is back in the news — this time for partnering with the group representing the interests of every sheriff in Oregon.
The sponsorship creates a new relationship between the scope maker and each of Oregon's 36 elected sheriffs and their staff of deputies, jailers and unsworn employees.
"We couldn't be more excited to partner with a company as well-respected as Leupold & Stevens," said Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, the president of OSSA. "They're a local Oregon manufacturer, and they build some of the world's most reliable performance optics."
Leupold & Stevens' last major partnership — with the Portland Trail Blazers — was publicly extinguished in late September. That decision came after sustained pressure by the local chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, who have strongly criticized Leupold for supplying the Israel Defense Force and U.S. Border Patrol, among many other customers.
The protests culminated a year ago, when DSA member Josuee Hernandez hijacked the segment of the basketball game sponsored by Leupold, revealing a t-shirt blasting the partnership on live TV.
The Blazers, however, say their contract with Leupold simply expired after the last season, and the manufacturer made the call not to renew. "Their decision was business-related and not influenced by external pressure as being misreported by certain media outlets," the Trail Blazers said in a statement in October of this year.
Statement by Portland Trail Blazers regarding Leupold & Stevens partnership pic.twitter.com/ToTHMZ1idb— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) October 11, 2019
With the new partnership on the books, the Oregon State Sheriffs' Association will award a "Leupold & Stevens Valor Award" each year at the OSSA banquet and conference. "We are ecstatic to be working with the OSSA to help enhance community safety for our families and our many neighbors throughout Oregon," noted Leupold President and CEO Bruce Pettet.
Founded in 1916, the OSSA's members include the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett serves on the group's executive committee.
But Portland DSA co-chair Olivia Katbi Smith says local socialists will keep Leupold in their sights.
"The only unions Leupold seems to respect are those that aren't really unions at all — associations like OSSA, which serve as propaganda machines and only exist to further empower the racist and corrupt institution of policing which DSA is working to dismantle," Katbi Smith said. "It's a shame that a company like Leupold exists in our Oregon community."
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