The gun company Mossberg has begun shipping guns as part of the company's collaboration with the Robertson family, known for their hit A&E reality show, "Duck Dynasty." Mossberg announced its collaboration with the Robertson family in November and is planning to release nine different shotguns, two semiautomatic rifles and a semiautomatic pistol; all featuring the company logos and the words "Faith. Family. Ducks" emblazoned on the side.
The special line of guns is not affiliated with the A&E television network or the "Duck Dynasty" reality show, but is rather sponsored by the Robertson family's duck call business, Duck Commander. Mossberg spokeswoman Linda Powell told CNN that the company has begun shipping some of the specialized shotguns to distributors, but neglected to say who the distributors were.
Along with the Mossberg and Duck Commander logos, each gun will feature "waterfowl" camouflage coloring and a bonus American flag bandana, similar to the one Willie Robertson wears on the reality show. One of the pistols, as well as one of the rifles, reportedly features a military design and a high capacity magazine.
When the two companies announced their partnership in November, Ivan Mossberg, CEO of the gun company, said in a statement on the Duck Commander website that "Mossberg is extremely proud to partner with Duck Commander to further promote hunting, shooting sports and family values."
"The Robertson's widespread appeal and ability to cross over into the mainstream has bridged millions to the traditions of hunting and sharing time in the field with family."
Duck Commander CEO, Willie Robertson, said in his own statement: "The Duck Commander franchise was built on hard work, family values and our great American heritage. As an iconic, hard-working American product, made by a family-owned company, Mossberg is a perfect partnership for our team."
The A&E show "Duck Dynasty" follows the lives of the Robertson family in West Monroe, La. as they spend their time hunting ducks and making duck calls. The family patriarch, Phil Robertson, who started the Duck Commander family business 40 years ago, was recently targeted by gay activists for comments he made regarding homosexuality in an issue of GQ Magazine. Robertson stated his belief that homosexuality is a sin, leading gay activists to call for his show, Duck Dynasty, to be dropped by the A&E network.
A&E temporarily gave in to the demands and suspended Robertson from the show. However, after just nine days on suspension, he was reinstated as hundreds of thousands of Duck Dynasty fans signed up to petitions calling for his reinstatement. Many had expressed they would boycott the A&E network for its treatment of Phil Robertson.
The restaurant chain, Cracker Barrel, also seemingly panicked at the initial protests by gay activists and temporarily stopped carrying some "Duck Dynasty" products in some of its stores. However, that decision led to large public outrage against the chain, and within days a U-turn was announced and the Duck Dynasty products were placed back on shelves.