Headquartered in Columbia, South Carolina, Palmetto State Armory is a large, vertically integrated gun manufacturer and retailer. Along with producing its own firearms under the Palmetto State Armory brand name, the company sells firearms and components from other gun manufacturers, including those of sister company Lead Star Arms, online and at several brick-and-mortar stores across Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

The company states that its “core principle” is to “sell as many guns to as many law-abiding Americans as possible,” which helps explain its rock-bottom prices on firearms. But this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Palmetto State Armory’s dangerous practices.

For example, Palmetto State Armory produces several assault weapons, including AR-15s — like the rifle used by the Jacksonville, Florida, shooter in August 2023 — and AK-47s. The company also produces and sells “state-compliant” models that are slightly modified to remain legal under select states’ assault weapons bans but can be just as deadly, and Palmetto State Armory offers AR- and AK-style “pistols” with arm braces, such as the Lead Star Arms Grunt AR-15 used by the Nashville shooter.

In addition, Palmetto State Armory sells complete assault weapons, build kits, parts, and high-capacity magazines produced by other manufacturers.

According to the company, “Our mission is to maximize freedom, not our profits. We want to sell as many AR-15 and AK-47 rifles as we can and put them into common use in America today. Our focus isn’t to make massive amounts of money but to spread freedom as far and wide as possible. Our legacy will not be about money; we want our legacy to be about maximizing American freedom.”

Palmetto State Armory supports rate-of-fire enhancements that make assault weapons even deadlier, including bump stocks and binary triggers. For example, after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) finalized a rule to ban bump stocks in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, Palmetto State Armory published a blog post claiming that the rule is not only a “scary concept,” but also unconstitutional and tyrannical. The blog post’s author even suggested that the government be overthrown for the bump stock rule by providing a link to the Declaration of Independence, which he called “instructions on what the founders thought should happen to tyrannical governments.”

Palmetto State Armory also filed an amicus brief in support of the plaintiffs in the case that led to the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the bump stock ban.

Further, at the 2024 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, Palmetto State Armory debuted a compact and easy-to-conceal firearm designed for using high-velocity 5.7x28mm ammunition that can travel twice as fast as a typical 9mm round, and the company’s CEO, Jamin McCallum, stated that his company is already working to develop a binary trigger for the gun, enabling shooters to fire one shot when they pull the trigger and another when they release the trigger, effectively doubling their rate of fire.

Three Palmetto State Armory retail locations have been identified by the ATF as selling a significant number of crime guns. Palmetto State Armory’s Columbia, Greenville, and Ridgeland, South Carolina, locations were all included in the ATF’s 2023 list of retailers who sold 25 or more firearms traced to a crime in the previous year that were sold within the past three years, as reported by USA Today.

Palmetto State Armory has marketed products to political extremists. In the past, the company offered a “Big Igloo Aloha” AK-47 with a Hawaiian-shirt-themed paint job associated with “boogaloo” extremists who want to violently overthrow the U.S. government. According to The Trace and The New York Times, Hawaiian shirts have become the unofficial uniform of these extremists, and “big igloo” is a play on “boogaloo,” the nickname for their proposed war against government forces.

Palmetto State Armory previously sold a T-shirt depicting a boogaloo supporter guarding a pile of toilet paper rolls in the midst of pandemic shortages as well as a Hawaiian shirt emblazoned with AK-47s. Both have been discontinued.

The company also offers “meme” lower receivers, the basic building blocks of AR-style rifles, so that its customers can “[m]ake a statement,” with engravings including the Gadsden flag, calls to “Build the Wall,” and “Let’s Go Brandon” — gun parts that, at best, trivialize the seriousness of owning a deadly weapon and, at worst, could appeal to political extremists.

Relatedly, Julian Wilson — a co-owner of Palmetto State Armory’s parent company, JJE Capital, and the son of U.S. Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC), who infamously shouted “You lie!” during a speech by President Obama in September 2009 in front of Congress — had the company create limited-edition AR-15 lower receivers with “YOU LIE” engraved on the left side.

Palmetto State Armory has posted images of children holding AR-15s on its Facebook page with the captions “Raise them right!” and “This is why we do what we do!” While attending one gun show where children were photographed holding its rifles, the company noted that it was “[s]uch an honor to work with future generations on firearms education and safety!”

The company also created a commercial in 2019 of a child reading a Bible verse before wishing everyone a merry Christmas from Palmetto State Armory. The boy then hangs an AR-15 lower receiver on the Christmas tree behind him like an ornament.

In the past, Palmetto State Armory sold “ghost gun” parts and kits from companies like Polymer80, allowing customers — including those prohibited from owning firearms — to build their own unserialized, and thus untraceable, guns at home in minutes. 

Additionally, Palmetto State Armory produces its own line of striker-fired “Dagger” pistols that are compatible with Glock parts and, like Glocks, do not feature manual safety mechanisms. In other words, there is no manual safety lever or button that prevents unintentional discharges if the trigger is depressed. If someone, such as a curious child, attempts to pull the trigger on a loaded Dagger, the gun may fire.

Palmetto State Armory uses a direct-to-consumer business model, meaning prospective buyers can purchase firearms online, directly from the company’s website, and pick them up at an FFL’s location. The company also offers “shoot now, pay later” financing through Credova on eligible firearms. Buyers may not even need to make their first payment for 30 days.

Palmetto State Armory’s sister company offers so-called “murder insurance.” In November 2021, Palmetto State Armory’s parent company, JJE Capital, launched Right to Bear Insurance, which provides concealed-carry liability coverage like the NRA’s failed Carry Guard program and those products currently offered by U.S. LawShield and the U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA). Right to Bear’s slogan is “Speak Freely, Live Fully, Defend Liberty.”

Palmetto State Armory is a leading industry supporter of the NRA. The company allows customers to donate to the NRA when they checkout through its website, and it is part of the NRA Foundation’s “Round-Up” program, which allows “customers to round-up purchases of their products to the next dollar” and send the difference to the NRA Foundation.