Anita Britt, the chief financial officer at St. Thomas University in Florida, was sent packing after she refused to resign from serving on the Board of Directors for American Outdoor Brands, parent company of gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson. Ave Maria Law professor Brian Scarnecchia defended Britt: “A Catholic can work for a firearms company in good faith.”
Professor Brian Scarnecchia, a professor at Ave Maria School of Law in Florida told CNA that while St. Thomas University is free to make personnel decisions, Britt’s position on the board of American Outdoor Brands does not conflict with Church social teaching.
“The president of St. Thomas University had it right the first time. There is no inherent conflict in working for a Catholic institution of high education and being on the board of a firearms manufacturing company. Both provide morally neutral products and services,” Scarnecchia said.
“A Catholic can work for a firearms company in good faith. A Catholic could not work for Planned Parenthood or Playboy magazine in good faith. The difference is that a firearm is a neutral product, but the principal products and services of Planned Parenthood and Playboy are not,” he added.
“I say a firearm is a neutral product because it has no inherently bad or good purpose. A firearm may be used for home defense, recreational target shooting, hunting or murder,” he said, whereas pornography and contraceptives can only be used for evil.