The gun industry is warning liberal states that pushing for anti-gun policies and taxes will speed an already active escape by weapons makers to friendlier states such as South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry lobbying and information group, is encouraging its members to look at the trend away from anti-gun states including New York and Maryland.
At its upcoming SHOT Show, the biggest of its kind, NSSF plans to host supportive governors to let them talk up why gun companies should move.
So far, at least 17 gun firms have moved over the past few years, according to a new list compiled by NSSF. Moves often take jobs and hurt local economies.
During the January show in Las Vegas, NSSF Senior Vice President Lawrence G. Keane will host a forum for governors from nearly a dozen states to discuss the crackdown on the industry in other states.
“This is a unique opportunity to hear directly from several governors of the importance of the firearm industry to their state,” Keane said. “NSSF has hosted governors in previous shows, but we wanted to be able to give each of the governors an opportunity to talk about why they want to bring this growing and vibrant industry to their states.”
Planning for the forum comes as several gun groups led by NSSF are suing New York over its “public nuisance” law, which could lead to lawsuits against the industry for unlawful firearms crimes in the state, even if the guns were sold out of state.
Three of the firms on the NSSF list of companies moving used to be in New York. The full list and where the firms moved is below:
- Remington Outdoor Company moved much of its production from New York to Huntsville.
- Kimber expanded production to Troy, New York, over Yonkers. It later relocated the corporate headquarters to Alabama.
- Dark Storm Industries is relocating production from Oakdale, New York, to Titusville, Florida.
- Les Baer moved from restrictive Illinois to LeClaire, Iowa, in 2007.
- Lewis Machine & Tool Company left Illinois after 40 years to relocate to Iowa in 2019.
- Olin Corporation’s Winchester Ammunition moved from East Alton, Illinois, to Oxford in 2011.
- Sturm, Ruger & Co. expanded production in Mayodan in 2013.
- Kahr Arms moved its headquarters to Greeley, Pennsylvania, from New York after the latter state rushed through passage of the SAFE Act.
- American Tactical Imports relocated 100 jobs and its manufacturing from Rochester, New York, to Summerville, South Carolina, in 2013.
- PTR Industries left Connecticut for Aynor in 2013, where it set up shop.
- Beretta moved firearm production and engineering and design to Gallatin, Tennessee, from Maryland in 2015 over concerns of increasingly strict gun control legislation.
- Mossberg expanded production in Eagle Pass, Texas, in 2013 instead of growing its New Haven, Connecticut, plant.
- Colt Competition moved from Canby, Oregon, to Breckenridge, Texas, in 2013.
- Magpul Industries left Boulder, Colorado, after the state passed magazine restrictions and moved production to Laramie, Wyoming.
- Weatherby’s Adam Weatherby announced at the SHOT Show in 2018 he was moving the company from California to Sheridan, Wyoming.
- Accessories maker HiViz announced in 2013 it was leaving Fort Collins, Colorado, to Laramie over restrictive gun control legislation.
- Stag Arms announced in 2019 it was opening its new facility in Cheyenne, Wyoming, after leaving its former headquarters in New Britain, Connecticut.