Arms producer sues Axel Springer over criticism of assault rifles

According to Łucznik, the Grot rifles are fully compatible, functional and safe, and well-liked by the armed forces. Mateusz Marek/PAP

A Polish arms manufacturer has sued the Swiss-based Ringier Axel Springer press publisher over criticism of its firearms on a web portal.

"Łucznik," a Polish defence industry enterprise based in Radom, central Poland, which produces firearms, has demanded PLN 1 million (EUR 220,000) in compensation as well as an apology for claims published in an article on the Springer-controlled Onet.pl webportal about alleged defects in the company's MSBS Grot assault rifles.

Łucznik Vice-President Maciej Borecki told PAP on Tuesday that the lawsuit was filed in a district court in Radom on Tuesday.

The article, published last week, lists several defects apparent in the rifles, and describes them as "so bad as to be a threat to soldiers."

According to the article's authors the Grot rifles, issued to Poland's territorial defence forces since 2017, and of late to other military formations, feature a badly-fitted gas regulator which soldiers have to secure with plastic tape, tend to overheat during standing fire, are susceptible to corrosion and jam upon contact with sand. Also, the portal said, the rifle butts and ammunition magazines are prone to breakage.

The article also voices doubts as to how the rifles were introduced into the Polish armed forces.

According to Łucznik, the Grot rifles are fully compatible, functional and safe, and well-liked by the armed forces.