AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File
A lot of venerable gun companies are located in the northeastern parts of the country. This stands to reason as back in the day, that was where you found the industry. Those companies came into existence during that era and stayed put.
A side result, however, is that many other companies end up located in the same place despite manufacturing capability existing pretty much anywhere. There are a lot of reasons why this is true that I don’t want to get into, but it’s true. It’s not universal–gun companies exist in pretty much every state–but there is a pile of them up that way, which is funny because gun control is an almost universal norm.
Now, it seems at least one firearm manufacturer is getting the heck out of Dodge and heading for friendlier waters.
After more than 15 years in New Britain Connecticut, AR maker Stag Arms said they are pulling stumps for somewhere with “significant support for the firearms industry.”
The announcement, posted last Friday, said the move is part of the company’s “strategic initiative to significantly improve the overall customer experience.” While the new location has not been selected, Stag says their Board of Directors has “narrowed down the options to a short list of vibrant communities where there is significant support for the firearms industry.”
Local media in Connecticut described the pending move, to be accomplished in coming months, as being out of state.
That’s not overly surprising. Connecticut isn’t friendly to guns or gun owners, so why should gun manufacturers stick around? Especially since they’re making products that many gun-grabbing politicians want to bar their constituents from owning entirely.
The folks over at Guns.com also point out that Stag Arms is far from the first to make this move.
The shift from Connecticut by Stag is not the only time that a gun industry vendor has shifted states for more friendly digs. In recent years, magazine and accessory maker Magpul has left Colorado for Wyoming and Texas, citing strict new gun control laws as the impetus for their relocation. They were joined in the Cowboy State this year by Weatherby, who left California for similar reasons.
Although Olin-Winchester is still headquartered in Illinois, for the past several years they have been rapidly shifting manufacturing jobs to their plant in deep red Mississippi, a key ammo maker for the military that produces everything but shotgun shells. Similarly, rifle maker LMT moved from their Illinois home of 40 years to more accommodating Indiana.
These are jobs that pro-gun states are going to benefit from.
If places like Connecticut want to hold onto these jobs and the associated tax dollars created by these companies, they need to take a step back and recognize that if you’re going to make it a mission to signal that they’re not welcome, gun makers will take the hint. They’ll take it and head somewhere else.
While we don’t know precisely what that “short list” includes, I’d be very surprised to see anywhere in the Northeast or West Coast. The phrase “significant support for firearms” suggests that gun-grabbing states need not apply.