By: Friedrich Seiltgen
Remington, Magpul, PTR, Mossberg, Kahr, Colt, Beretta, Sturm, Ruger & Co.
What do these names have in common? All influential gun companies, yes. But they’re also all firearms manufacturers that have abandoned states run by liberals.
Many of these manufacturers have been in operation in New England’s “Gun Valley” for decades. Unfortunately, though, increasingly progressive policies have forced them to leave their home states for greener (or should I say, “redder”?) pastures in the south.
Because of the 2013 Gun Violence Prevention and Children’s Safety Act, Colt moved their target rifle line from Connecticut to Breckenridge, Texas.
In 2016, Beretta invested $45 million and created 300 jobs when they moved operations from Accokeek, Maryland to Gallatin, Tennessee after the state banned certain types of “assault weapons.” The new laws were so insane that it made it illegal for Beretta to import some of its own manufactured weapons into the state, even for military and police!
Kahr Arms moved from New York State in 2015, opening a 40,000 sq. ft. facility that employs 60 workers in Pennsylvania. Kahr has been working to expand other lines under the Kahr Group, such as Desert Eagle and Thompson.
Magpul, founded in 1999, left their home of Erie, Colorado in 2014 after the state enacted sweeping gun control measures with HB 1224. Magpul warned state legislatures that the company’s expansion plans were on hold pending the bill’s outcome. The new law banned the sale of “high-capacity” (more than 15 rounds) magazines, but allowed further manufacture. Magpul left anyway and built facilities in Austin, Texas, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Magpul contributed $85 million to the Colorado economy with 200 jobs at its facility, along with 400 supply chain jobs. Colorado also lost two more companies that supply Magpul.
Mossberg recently expanded its Maverick Arms division in Eagle Pass, Texas by 116,000 sq. ft., and now more than 90 percent of Mossberg’s products are produced there. Mossberg’s CEO, Iver Mossberg, said investing in Texas was an easy decision. “It’s a state that is not only committed to economic growth, but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearms freedoms it guarantees for our customers,” Mossberg said.
PTR left Connecticut when draconian gun control laws were enacted after the Newtown school shooting. Their new plant near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina was an $8 million investment that provided 45 new jobs.
Remington Arms, headquartered in Ilion, New Yok since its founding in 1816 (they have some operations in Madison, North Carolina, too), invested $110 million and created 2,000 jobs when the company moved some production lines from Ilion to Huntsville, Alabama. New York State’s SAFE (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) Act of 2013, which implemented more intense gun regulations, reportedly had a lot to do with that decision. New York Sen. Chuck Schumer famously boasted of the Bushmaster Firearms division of the company relocating to his state in 2011, but in 2012, said the U.S. should reinstate the assault weapons ban. In 2014, the Bushmaster Rifle (which makes AR-15s) and Remington Model 1911 lines moved to Alabama.
Sturm, Ruger & Co. moved from Connecticut to a new facility in Mayodan, North Carolina, after strict gun laws were passed in “The Constitution State.” Ruger invested $26 million and created 450 new jobs in North Carolina in 2013.
‘The Barret Effect’
Many gun manufacturers are tired of being harassed and are going even further than relocating their businesses. Several companies refuse to sell their guns and ammunition to law enforcement agencies in anti-gun states. It’s been referred to as “the Barret effect,” because in 2005, California banned the sale of .50 Caliber rifles to the public. In response, Barret refused to sell any of its products to California law enforcement. Several other gun manufacturers have implemented similar policies as part of the movement. Springfield Armory, for instance, has cut ties with Dick’s Sporting Goods over its gun control stance.
Larry Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting sports foundation (NSSF), explained the situation well:
“CEOs have expressed to us that they’re tired of doing business in states with governments that don’t respect their products and that are openly hostile to Second Amendment liberties. New York politicians, for example, have essentially said, ‘It’s OK to make guns and magazines here, but you can’t sell them to our citizens.’ Consider the hypocrisy of that. If the products are so dangerous, then why are politicians OK with exporting them and collecting tax dollars? It bothers gun makers deeply.”
Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He currently conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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