Yet another gun manufacturer looking at leaving Connecticut

posted at 4:01 pm on May 26, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Connecticut is the seventh-largest producer of firearms in the country, with gun manufacturers currently accounting for just under 3,000 direct jobs as well as the thousands of jobs supported through related industries — but thanks to the state’s recent outlawing of ‘high-capacity magazines’ and an ‘assault weapons’-ban expansion, that might be set to change. Last month, we already learned of PTR Industries’ announcement of their pending relocation from Connecticut after the state banned many of their products, and the NYT reported this week that they’re not the only ones:

In a state desperate to maintain and revive its industrial base, Mark Malkowski thinks he should be getting gold stars.

He started a manufacturing company at age 25, and in 10 years built it into an industry leader, with 200 employees, that sells 6,000 of its products every month at roughly $1,000 each. The company, Stag Arms, is currently almost a year behind in fulfilling orders. …

The bitter battle over new gun laws in Connecticut has passed. But two months later, gunmakers like Mr. Malkowski are still weighing their options, including moving from a state long thought of as a cradle of the American gun industry. Meanwhile, supporters of the legislation are balancing their desire to limit guns with the jobs and taxes that the gun industry provides in a country where 300 million guns are in circulation and 5 million are manufactured each year.

One of the most galling parts about the whole thing, of course, is that the state seems to want to be able to both have their cake and eat it, too: The new gun-control laws did not restrict gun manufacturing in Connecticut, but merely the ability of those businesses to sell and distribute what they manufacture in the state — but they sure would like for those jobs to stick around!

The disparities can look awkward. Connecticut lawmakers have been pushing to create a national park at the historic former site of the Colt’s firearms plant in Hartford — while pushing for sweeping gun legislation. And many gun opponents say they hope the gun manufacturers remain in Connecticut even if the products they produce are banned there.

Ron Pinciaro, executive director of an anti-gun group, Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said he would not want to see Connecticut employees hurt because of the vote.

“I wish they would stay here,” he said, “and I don’t really see that as being contradictory.” …

“I think companies will continue to leave Connecticut both because it’s a terrible place to be a manufacturer and because of the political environment,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the shooting sports foundation. “It’s completely hypocritical to say you can stay and make your products, but they’re so dangerous your employees can’t buy them.”

No kidding. The firearms industry, of course, is hardly a special case — if Connecticut and other such states want to keep introducing more onerous regulations and taxes that keep making it tougher for businesses to feel economically secure and stay competitive, then they better be ready to pay the price.

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Not sure if it still is, but Hartford, CT used to be a big center for the insurance industry. I wonder what its long-term outlook is post-obamacare?

virgo on May 27, 2013 at 11:22 AM

They need to move their factory somewhere that is still America…I’d suggest Idaho. Why remain with the enemy?

JIMV on May 27, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Come to Huntsville, Alabama. Plenty of resources and a great business climate.

The Second Amendment is cherished here, too.

Anti-Statist on May 27, 2013 at 1:58 PM

I’m with JFKY- if the Tide were located in Texas it would be perfect.

john1schn has a hate on Bama like a progressive does America.

Hats off to A&M for playing their best game of their season at the best possible time. They hung on and won.
I’ll be in College Station (Sing Sing on the Brazos) on 9/14 for our revenge.

Bama just destroyed the #1 for the NC, though. Bama left no doubt who is #1.

Previous year Bama lost to an unbeaten LSU, but avenged that with a mudholing of the Tigers in their backyard.

Our kids work hard, study hard, and play hard. Troublemakers aren’t tolerated.

That’s why the Tide is at the pinnacle of college football, and the program that the rest wish to emulate.

Anti-Statist on May 27, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Those manufactures that remain will be taking a hit, I know many gun owners that will not be buying their products. The gun industry says they want to remain loyal to their employees, so take them with you. Sell the new state on bring employees with you and they too need special tax breaks.

sigsauer on May 27, 2013 at 9:11 PM

Stag is more than welcome here in TX. My Model 3 is one of my favorite toys!

stvnscott on May 27, 2013 at 9:40 PM

Anti-Statist on May 27, 2013 at 1:58 PM

I loved my time in Huntsville. A very professional and productive community. Remind me sometime to exchange about the tornado though. That, was not such a good time.

hawkdriver on May 28, 2013 at 7:01 AM

Come on down to Texas. Back in the 1950s my in-laws moved to the D/FW area when LTV relocated from Connecticut. They fell in love with Texas and LTV which is now Lockheed Martin is still here. I think PTR will find a warm welcome and a business friendly environment. Heck there are so many out-of-state plates here already that they may meet up with folks from Conn. already here. In the words of Lyle Lovett “thats right you’re not fom Texas, Texas wants you anyway.”

neyney on May 28, 2013 at 8:28 AM

I’m still amazed that Kimber* is headquartered in YONKERS, NEW YORK. A mear stones throw away from Doomberg City for heaven’s sake.

*Was (a few years back IMO) THE best out of the box .45 ACP I’ve ever tested in a Ransom Rest. Now that they’ve been ‘discovered’ they are a little pricey, due perhaps, to the TAX RATES in New York?

Missilengr on May 28, 2013 at 12:30 PM