Massive PR Fail – MKS Supply

Update 2011-08-01: I have received a reply from the President of MKS, in which he acknowledges the problems with the press release and takes personal responsibility. You can read his response here.


So, many in the Gunblogging Community has recently been airing some concerns about rumors that Chiappa will be installing RFID chips in its Rhino revolvers. Personally, as long as its presence is disclosed and it’s easily removable (both apparently true in this case), I don’t really care – they’re extremely useful to the manufacturer and distributor for inventory accountability and control, so they do serve a legitimate purpose.

The response MKS had to those with concerns, however, is another thing entirely. As reproduced by The Firearms Blog,, and Downrange.TV,  the MKS press release reads as follows:

RFID “Chip” in Chiappa Firearms-what’s up with that?

MKS Distributing, Dayton OH, July, 2011-Distributor for Chiappa Firearms

Recently there has been some blogger activity (credibility always guaranteed) concerning Chiappa Firearms putting a RFID (radio frequency identification) in Chiappa Firearms. Yes, but Chiappa will not be using the RFID system for at least a year.

RUMOR: (known as blogosphere food): The erroneous information about some sort of “chip” was put out by a blogger who translated Chiappa (Italian) technical information incorrectly. The incorrect translation and his interpretation came out as some sort of a GPS type tracking “chip” -which RFID isn’t as it cannot transmit anything-it has NO power source (unlike cell phones).

THE FACTS: Recently several Italian gun makers (not just Chiappa) decided to utilize RFID technology to improve manufacturing and provide more accurate inventory control. We guarantee this technology will proliferate to other gun makers world wide as it is so efficient for everything from production QC control to export/import varification. Other industries already use passive RFID technology such as on DVDs, sunglasses, clothes and even some food products for example.

Basically Chiappa RFID (again it is radio frequency identification) assists the manufacturing process, inventory control and shipping. The type of information on the RFID ties in the firearm and proof house verification; the latter is required by the Italian Government for all firearms made in Italy. Passive RFID is also a final check that verifies that what is inside the sealed box is the same thing as shown on the box exterior bar code during shipping. Now, it will no longer be necessary to open/inspect hundreds of boxes by hand prior to packing in export containers.

BOTTOM LINE: The Chiappa PASSIVE RFID can be read ONLY when passed within (2-3 inches) of an active (and powered) reader that is dialed in for the particular long antenna radio frequency of the RFID-this is not random. And it will NOT go into operation for a year or more.

SUMMARIZING: RFIDs have NO power source or GPS locator. Rest assured they are NOT transmitting your identification and location information to a Chiappa Firearm tasked CIA satellite.

RFID Removal: For those still concerned you can simply remove the grip and remove the hot glued RFID from the frame in the grip area when (over a year from now) these begin to appear. Others may prefer to wrap the revolver and their head in aluminum foil, curl in a ball and watch reruns of Mel Gibson’s 1997 film, Conspiracy Theory. Well, that’s a plan too!

[Press release copied verbatim as posted by The Firearms Blog, which matches the release as posted at Ammoland and at Downrange.TV]

What. The. Frak.

Beyond the obvious lies that make it seem like they believe we’re stupid (to be effective for inventory control, RFID chips must be readable from a distance of at least several feet, so an entire pallet can be read at once), the openly condescending mockery of a significant and vocal part of their customer base is absolutely inexcusable.

According to their website, MKS Supply distributes for Hi-Point, Chiappa, and Tuff1 Grip Covers. I suggest everyone contact each of these companies to indicate our displeasure. I’ll post a suggested letter/email here shortly.

[Source: Post at The Firearms Blog, retrieved 7/29/11]

(h/t Sharp as a Marble)

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  1. I’d boycott them if they had anything worth buying. This story disgusts me, but it really doesn’t change my behavior.

  2. More fail: Blaming it back on bloggers saying sarcastically “credibility always guaranteed” -??

  3. Sandy

     /  July 29, 2011

    Dear Chiappa and MKS,

    The condescension and misapplication of facts in the press release on RFID technology with which I am well-acquainted notwithstanding, the main issue is that there is a hidden RFID device planned to be in the guns.

    I actually like Chiappa’s product line as there’s some innovative stuff. And yes, an RFID device will save money for the supply chain, as other companies have already proved. If the plans are changed to have a visible and easily removable RFID device, then sure, no problem. But as far as taking things apart to locate a hidden RFID device? No thanks. I’ll shop elsewhere.

  4. New post up with the response from the President of MKS.

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