VuurwapenBlog Legal Defense
My name is Andrew Tuohy and I have written at Vuurwapen Blog since 2009. Along with my new friend Everett Baker, a chemistry student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, I wrote several articles detailing the results of scientific testing from three different laboratories which showed, according to three different PhDs in chemistry, that a gun oil called FireClean was "probably a modern unsaturated vegetable oil virtually the same as many oils used for cooking" as well as "nearly identical" or "virtually identical" to canola oil. In addition, I showed there were significant discrepancies in a video test performed by FireClean and Vickers Tactical which purportedly proved the effectiveness of FireClean by causing more smoke to leave the gun.
Recently I discovered Fireclean was suing myself and Everett in retaliation for these articles. This didn't come as a huge surprise as they had both threatened to sue me before I published the first article and also told me they'd "throw money" at anyone who could perform a test which they clearly expected to show other products being inferior to theirs - and repeatedly suggested I perform that test, reminding me that I'd be paid for my time. Neither the carrot nor the stick worked and I published the initial results as well as a followup with more data.
However, defending against frivolous lawsuits costs money, and I need your help with that. I'm estimating initial costs at $15,000, but they may go beyond that amount.
While there are larger implications for bloggers and journalists here, the bottom line is that Everett and I sought or performed and published multiple rounds of independent testing from three laboratories to answer a question many were asking, then published the results of that testing. The company reacted poorly - deleting any critical or questioning comments on Facebook, claiming that people who used cooking oils on their firearms might be seriously injured or killed, making the FireClean Lube Test video private - and now they're attempting to shoot the messengers.
I'd greatly appreciate your support in defending against this lawsuit so that companies know they can't bully into submission those who earnestly seek to report the truth.
Fireclean has subpoenaed me in their lawsuit against George Fennell. They are seeking every last sliver of information regarding this topic that I might have, including but certainly not limited to "all communications between you and anyone else that pertain or refer to Fireclean."
I am represented in this matter by Dan Barr (the author of a book on reporter's privilege) and Katherine May of PerkinsCoie.
I don't know that I could possibly have better representation for this challenge, a statement I would also make about Jay Brown and Jeremy Kutner of LSKS, who successfully represented me in the lawsuit Fireclean filed in Virginia earlier this year.
The costs of my legal defense in that case exceeded $120,000. While they were largely borne by LSKS, this situation has been no small matter for me. Needless to say, all proceeds have been and will be applied to the direct costs of legal defense in the various legal maneuverings attempted by Fireclean.
Y'all need science. Andrew didn't just make these things up. He had 3 separate labs determine the chemical composition via light spectroscopy. He then published those findings on his blog. He also showed, using Fire Clean's own video, how they produced more smoke out of a pistol. Fire Clean's reaction speaks volumes. Opposed to showing their own research or divulging their product's contents they've chosen a last ditch effort.
Tuohy's objectivity is second to none in this industry and we could use ten more just like him... don't let these unethical folks at FireClean bully an unpaid independent journalist for the crime of revealing the truth. That kind of thing cannot be tolerated, whether you like their product or not.
Just because JSOC tested and approved the stuff doesn't mean it isn't just canola oil. It just means that canola oil is a good firearms lubricant. Also, Fire Clean and Vickers Tactical blatantly and clumsily falsified the test to show that "more smoke" was expelled from a pistol treated with Fire Clean by using a standard pressure round in the "before" footage and a +P round in the "after" footage.
I've been reading this blog since a year or two after it was started. Of all of the gun blogs, it is the one that I trust the most, as Andrew doesn't seem to be influenced by outside money. He writes the truth, and in this case, provided a great deal of evidence to support his conclusion. While companies have a right to defend themselves against slander, if a conclusion is true, it is most often legally realized as not being slanderous. I'm hopeful that Andrew and Everett are successful in their defense of their right to free speech.
From the FIRECean Complaint "25. As its patent application states, FIREClean® is a "[a] method of removing or preventing carbon fouling on a mechanical component of a device," consisting of a proprietary blend of at least three"natural, non-petroleum, non-synthetic oil[s] derived from a plant, vegetable or friut or shrub or flower or tree nut,or any combination of natural, non-petroleum, non-synthetic oils derived from a plant, vegetable orf ruit or shrub or flower or tree nut," where each oil has a smoke point above 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and the total volume of the at least three oils is at least 25% of the total volume of the oil composition. " FIREClean openly states that their product is a vegetable oil. Andrew merely concluded the same thing noting its chemical composition resembles Canola oil and IR Spectroscopy does not suggest a strong presence of additives. Andrew doesn't even suggest that it isn't a fine product in terms of its lubricating abilities. Plant derived oils like canola oil peanut and castor oil have a long history of industrial uses. His only real claim against FIREClean seems to be their claims of corrosion resistance and their denying it will not degrade over time in the presence of oxygen, high temperatures or UV Light.
Has none of you heard of anti-SLAP laws? So, when some first amendment hating asshole files a frivolous suit with the intent of suppressing your speech, you can make them show a judge that they have some valid claims before they cost you much money, and if they don't convince a judge, THEY HAVE TO PAY YOUR COSTS. https://popehat.com/2012/06/07/why-yes-i-am-into-slapping/ Popehat is a law blog that is deeply into freedom of speech, and can even help you find a pro bono (free to you) lawyer for cases like this. Read their site, learn about a different critical amendment!.