Savage Arms just laid off 37 manufacturing workers in Massachusetts.
Palmetto State Armory is expanding, adding 300 jobs in South Carolina.
It’s part of a dramatic recent trend that is seeing a near-overnight geographic shift in the balance of small arms manufacturing in the United States. For almost 200 years, manufacturers and inventors in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts formed the heart of America’s firearms industry. That all changed seemingly in the proverbial wink of the eye in the wake of a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Rabidly anti-gun governors in several states used the tragedy to ram through blatantly unconstitutional citizen control laws and cast the gun companies in the roll of villains.
The gun companies are responding with their feet, as Joe Songer notes:
Southern states have opened their arms to these manufacturers offering lower taxes, a knowledgeable work force and more favorable gun laws. After the Newtown Conn. tragedy, most states where these companies are located passed more restrictive guns laws making it tougher to operate.
Tennessee and Georgia have seen several manufacturers expand recently. Beretta, the oldest gun company in the world, opened a facility near Gallatin, TN and Barrett opened one in Murfreesboro, TN both suburbs of Nashville. Glock has been a fixture in Smyrna GA for years.
There are many more firearms companies taking a serious look at the south. John Zent with American Rifleman had this to say. The following is some of what Zent said in his article with a map of where gun manufacturers have expanded operations.
“The firearm giants are bolstering a decades-long migration pattern driven by factors such as labor costs, lower taxes and less restrictive regulation, in addition to ever-more-pressing political concerns. Remington moved its corporate headquarters to North Carolina in 1995, and the new Alabama plant will be the company’s third in the region. Other iconic brands, like FNH/Winchester and Ithaca Gun (South Carolina) and Mossberg (Texas) also made strategic decisions to relocate.”
Songer’s AL.com article punctuates the “Southern shift” with an infographic noting just some of the gun companies that have moved south in recent years.
In a world with increasing short news cycles, the rapid migration of gun companies to more friendly climates has strangely gone almost unreported in the national news, and this is likely by design. Slanted heavily towards anti-gun liberal views, the mainstream media would rather stay quiet about the very real cost of their politics, including the thousands of engineering and manufacturing jobs lost and the tens of millions of tax dollars slipping away from their states.
The newsrooms will continue to be as quiet as their newly empty factory floors.