Gun Maker Chairman Quits

Feb 27, 2004

By George Anderson

James Joseph Minder has resigned as the chairman of Smith & Wesson after it was learned he served more than 10 years in prison during the 1950s and 1960s for armed robbery and an attempt to break out of prison.

Mr. Minder had only just been elected chairman of the board at the gun maker back in January. He hadn’t disclosed anything about his criminal past, according to the Associated Press because “Nobody asked.”

Following his release from prison, Mr. Minder founded and ran the nonprofit Spectrum Human Services agency for delinquent and disabled Michigan youths until his retirement in 1997.

Moderator’s Comment: Should the board of directors at Smith & Wesson have accepted
James Joseph Minder’s resignation?

This is a story that should have been a celebration about one man’s success in rehabilitating his life and helping others do the same.

Instead, it became an embarrassment because Mr. Minder was not forthcoming about his past.

We certainly understand why the Smith & Wesson board had to accept Mr. Minder’s resignation. We also can’t help wishing they had chosen not to.
Anderson – Moderator

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