On April 4, Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed 139 pages of gun control legislation into law, effectively telling the $1.7 billion gun industry that has called his state home for more than a century they are no longer welcome.
Speaking for Colt Manufacturing, which has been in Connecticut for 175 years, president and CEO Dennis Veilleux said, “At some point, if you can’t sell your product then you can’t run your business… You need customers to buy your products to stay in business.”
Other prominent Connecticut-based gun companies include Mossberg, Ruger, and Stag Arms, all of which are being wooed to pull up stakes and move to gun-friendly states.
In addition to the annual $1.7 billion in revenue that Connecticut would lose if these companies left the state, they would also take approximately 3,000 jobs they provide for Connecticut citizens with them as well.
Nevertheless, Malloy appears willing to lose both the revenue and the jobs which gun companies provide. Before the legislation had even made its way through the state legislature, he sent the gun companies a letter informing them his gun control “proposals, as well as the plans put forward by the General Assembly, could have an impact on [the gun industry in the state].”
Now that Malloy has signed the legislation into law, many of the products gun companies make in Connecticut cannot be sold there. Why would such companies want to remain within the state?
As the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Jake McGuigan put it: “The value of our companies’ brands and national consumer acceptance of firearms made in a state that bans them within its own borders are serious business issues.”