Local Company Sold James Holmes His Assault Vest; Receiving Threats

Categories: News

Blackhawk urban assault vest.jpeg
A vest matching the description on Holmes's receipt from Tactical Gear.
After James Holmes allegedly murdered 12 people in an Aurora movie theater, it didn't take long for authorities to trace his arsenal back to the original sellers. That included items purchased online from Chesterfield-based Tactical Gear.

The company's owners have been criticized for selling Holmes a "Blackhawk urban assault vest," two magazine pouches, and a "Be-Wharned" silver tactical knife for $306.79, and shipping it 2nd Day Air to him early this month.

Now, the company has released a statement saying their employees are being threatened.

Once the connection was made to Tactical Gear, this post was put up on their Facebook page. To be clear, TG specializes in the kind of gear and armor Holmes used, they do not sell guns:

Everyone at is shocked and appalled that the alleged shooter purchased tactical gear from us for use in this horrific attack. We process thousands of orders a day which include this type of equipment and there was nothing unusual about this particular order. We primarily serve members of the armed services and law enforcement professionals. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families of this terrible trajedy.

The company's COO Andrew Hoefener then gave an interview to KMOV, saying "I think if any additional scrutiny needs to be paid, it's probably to ammunition sourcing online and firearms, and how those are purchased."

Those sentiments got the company in trouble with everyone. Second Amendment advocates condemned Hoefener's statements, other critics refused to believe that Holmes's order was properly vetted. One article specifically mentioned that Holmes's protective gear and its ready availability is scarier than his arsenal: "The best way to stop a good guy with a gun is a bad guy with body armor. And judging from Holmes' vest receipt, he wasn't even buying the serious stuff."

A "Be-Wharned" tactical knife.
Now the company CEO Chad Weinman is speaking out one more time on behalf of his employees, saying they've been brought to tears with calls accusing them of having "blood on their hands" and receiving threats. It emphasizes that the company is pro-Second Amendment and rattles off the whole "if someone in the theater had had a gun" thing:

In the wake of the tragedy, we have done our best to cooperate with the media and law enforcement agencies by passing on any relevant information. We have since been inundated with countless phone calls, emails and interview requests. Much of this communication has been quite hostile and threatening in nature. We have been falsely accused of selling Mr. Holmes firearms and ammunition over the Internet illegally without conducting the mandated background checks. Some members of our customer relations team have been brought to tears by people insisting that we have "blood on our hands." . . .

We want to set the record straight and publically state that we fully support the 2nd amendment. The spirit of what we were trying to communicate was that tactical clothing and equipment should not be put in the same category as firearms and ammunition. Firearms and ammunition are subject to considerable regulation, and the notion that tactical gear should be as well is outrageous. Unfortunately, in some instances our choice of words were poor and misguided. For this, we accept full responsibility and sincerely apologize to anyone that took offense to these comments.

I am very proud of It is a great company with a great staff. Each day we wake up thinking about how we can better serve our customers the gear they need when they need it. We work tirelessly to achieve these goals, and we are passionate about what we do. Many of us are avid gun owners and enthusiasts. We frequently visit the local shooting range and keep firearms in the office. We wholeheartedly support the freedom Americans enjoy to legally purchase guns and ammunition. I personally believe that if some members of the audience had concealed carry weapons at hand that night perhaps less blood would have been shed. No amount of gun control is going to prevent a sociopath hell-bent on terrorism from hurting a large group of people.

Read the entire statement here.

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Wow, this vest is a non armored vest, its made to carry extra Magazines and other gear.  This Kit is used by the Military and this particular blackhawk vest was designed for the US special forces and is used by many special forces around the world including the Canadian  SF division.

I mean I Carry enough gear with me each day in Cargo pants and shorts should we make those illegal as well? I don't think so as the highly fashionable liberal elites would be up in arms if that ever happened, Tac clothing is becoming more fashionable these days thanks to the EDC community which I am a part of.


On the point that a CCW or CHP holder could of stopped this shooting are accurate, but inncidents like this highlight these so-called "gun free zones" as what they really are " free fire zones" which only lead to more innocent people being killed. It seems that all of the recent spate of these mass shooting terrorist incidents happen in these "free fire zones" maybe if the anti gun crowd would wake up and realize that these zones are being targeted because the shooters know that they will not face any opposition to there quest of death.


Has anyone stopped to realize that a LBV(Load Bearing Vest) such as the one pictured and purchased by the perp does not in any way shape or form act as a bullet proof vest. The vest is made out of nylon or condura and is very thin and light weight. They are only made for carrying ammo and other essiential items for military or LEO personnel. The perp could have just as easily put all his ammo and magazines in a cargo pant pocket. Then would your anger want Old Navy or Abercrombe shut down for selling cargo pants? 


The argument that allowing CCW in a movie theatre could have ended the massacre earlier is absurd. Armed, but not highly trained, civilians in a very dark movie theatre trying to spot and aim for the gunman and only the gunman, just think about that for a minute. More bullets in poor visibility would be the worst possible addition to a tragic situation. I can't believe people argue otherwise. No amount of time at the range could prepare a civilian for that; even a veteran cop would sweat for sure.


"The company's COO Andrew Hoefener then gave an interview to KMOV, saying "I think if any additional scrutiny needs to be paid, it's probably to ammunition sourcing online and firearms, and how those are purchased."


Nice job, Andrew. 


You're being attacked by idiots without justification, so you deflect the attacks to other innocents. 


Second thought, you deserve it. 



KITTY did nothing wrong. Their products are available to anyone. Their products are not illegal to purchase or possess.  Blaiming Tactical for what a deranged killer did with their legal products is as absurd as blaming GMC because a drunk driver was driving a Chevy when he struck and killed an old lady waking across the street. Yes, it's a sad day. Personal behavior of the killer is the problem, not the  legal products he used to carry out his evil deeds.


 @KRLy "No amount of time at the range could prepare a civilian for that; even a veteran cop would sweat for sure."


How exactly is it that you think Military and Law enforcement prepare for armed encounters? 


Plus, the CEO of the very company that made his full-body armor is saying that his own product could've been rendered ineffective if someone in the theatre had a CCW? Not the best statement to make in a statement in which just an excerpt has two typos I could find. Disclaimer: certainly does not deserve blame or death threats especially for this tragedy. They should probably rethink the name of the "urban assault" vest, but I feel for their staff at this time.


 @Your_Momma military and law enforcement training. which i should hope takes a while.


 @KRLy So you propose we disarm the military and Law Enforcement as well?


Just wait until the shooter runs out of bullets or targets, then ask him to turn himself in?


 @Your_Momma it's that "fumbling idiots with firearms" part that could get dangerous in a dark theatre where CCW is permitted. I just don't see how more bullets from multiple shooters, civilian or uniformed, skilled or unskilled, would make the situation any safer as there was also tear gas in the room, and so multiple shots would probably be needed.




Well KRLy, I hate to burst your bubble but there is nothing super-natural about Military or Law Enforcement training


Firearms training and qualification for these jobs happens on... get this... a firing range. By normal people, human beings. 


Civilians can go through police academies in as little as 3 months. Military can put soldiers through basic training and ship them off to fight wars in as little as 3 months. 


Military and LEO are not super-natural. Some are fumbling idiots with firearms. Others demonstrate amazing skill and natural abilities. This holds true for civilians as well. 

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