Colt Reunites, But Will It Bolt Connecticut?

Colt Defense and Colt Manufacturing are reuniting:

The two halves of the gun-making company Samuel Colt established in Hartford in the 1850s are coming back together, with plans that include keeping a combined 750 employees in West Hartford, a company executive said Monday.

Colt Defense LLC’s $60.5 million acquisition of Colt Manufacturing Co. will reunite Colt’s military and civilian handgun businesses, a decade after they were split apart. The merger is intended to usher in a new era of growth for the company, said Gerry Dinkel, chief executive of Colt Defense, as it faces the prospect of paying off $250 million in debt.

An interesting part of the re-acquisition is that Colt felt compelled to address the question of whether the Hartford-based company would leave a state which has banned the sale of their rifles to the state’s citizens in a blatantly unconstitutional “assault weapons” ban.

Colt said they weren’t leaving at this time… but weren’t ruling out an eventual move to a more liberty-minded state:

Although tougher restrictions on assault-style weapons were not supported by Colt, company business has yet to be impacted, Dinkel said. The company plans to remain in West Hartford, but Dinkel said Colt will continue to monitor the situation. At least one company, PTR Industries in Bristol, has announced it will move to South Carolina, and other gun manufacturers have said they are considering leaving Connecticut.

“The bigger the company, the harder it is to move,” Dinkel said, but he added: “It all remains to be seen.”

Somewhere in Horry County, SC, economic development executives are smiling.