Smith & Wesson Shrugged

August 10th, 2011

Why would gun manufacturers liek Colt, Smith & Wesson, and Winchester remain headquartered in Northeastern states that hate guns. Why wouldn’t they shrug, and move to states that respect the right to keep and bear arms. Well, they might.

From the Times:

For more than a century, the nation’s firearms industry, including iconic brands like Colt, Smith & Wesson and Winchester, has been concentrated in Northeastern and Midwestern states that now have restrictive gun-control laws.

But recently, states like Idaho, Alabama and Montana have presented a novel argument as part of an effort to lure the firearms industry’s high-paying jobs south and west: Gun makers would be happier and more successful among citizens who regularly use firearms than they would be remaining in states trying to limit gun rights.

The approach is the latest twist in the interstate competition for scarce jobs, with hard-pressed states supplementing or even bypassing traditional enticements like tax breaks in favor of pitches that sell a lifestyle: greater personal freedom, low or no state taxes, minimal regulation, the absence of troublesome unions and of course, the unfettered right to bear arms.

Sign me up!

Plus concerns about microstamping are a big reason to move:

Gun manufacturers say proposed micro-stamping laws could drive Colt out of Connecticut and Remington out of New York, which are among more than half a dozen states where the legislation has been introduced. California, which employs more firearms industry workers than any other state, has already approved a micro-stamping law that is pending.

Carlton S. Chen, a vice president at Colt, said the company would have few qualms about leaving Connecticut if micro-stamping became law.

“At that point, we and other firearms manufacturers doing business in Connecticut would need to seriously consider whether we should completely move ourselves out of Connecticut and relocate to a friendlier state,” Mr. Chen said in written testimony to a state legislative committee in 2008. “The upshot would be a loss of thousands of jobs.”