Nutmeg State firearms workers speak out for their industry, jobs

Workers from two Nutmeg State gun manufacturers spoke out against politicians exploiting gun violence in a video released Feb. 25 by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the national firearms and ammunition trade organization.

The workers and managers in the video are from O.F. Mossberg & Sons of North Haven, Stag Arms and Ammunition Storage Components, both of New Britain.

In a statement released in response to Connecticut Gov. Dannel O’Malley’s anti-gun rights legislation, the NSSF said, “We are troubled by the Governor’s apparent change in attitude and seeming impatience with the approach of the General Assembly’s bipartisan Gun Violence Task Force and even his own commission.”

The NSSF wants to be part of the solution, it said.

“We do not believe a rush to quick-fix legislation is likely to produce real public safety solutions, while it holds the clear potential to hurt good-paying manufacturing jobs in our state,” it said.

“We applaud the General Assembly’s bi-partisan task force for working to fully evaluate all the issues and points of view, including that of our industry, in an effort to craft an effective public policy response. We hope the Governor will give the General Assembly the opportunity to get it right,” it said.

NSSF, which in based in Newtown, Conn., the same town as the Dec. 17 Sandy Hook School shootings, said that it and its companies based in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts have been working for several weeks to help educate legislators and the public about the economic impact of the firearms industry in the Constitution State.

The Connecticut River Valley is the traditional heart of the nation’s firearms industry.

The firearms industry in 2011 directly employed nearly 3,000 in Connecticut, while supporting another 2,400 supplier positions in the state, the NSSF said. The total economic impact to the state exceeded $1.7 billion.

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