While the base of ownership for guns continues to broaden in the U.S., the atmosphere for gun manufacturing is looking better and better below the Mason-Dixon line.
Although background checks for gun sales in 2013 destroyed previous records, there remains a raw hostility to guns in some Northeastern portions of our country. In turn, this has spawned a culture war that is driving gun manufacturers to greener pastures.
As the International Business Times observed, caught in the middle of this cultural war are “gun manufacturers (mostly small companies that sell a legal product), and millions of gun owners (the overwhelming majority of which do not commit violent crimes).”
If 2013 was any indicator of what’s to come, the outworking of this culture war will be a steady re-location of gun companies from the Northeast to the South.
In October, American Tactical Imports (ATI) uprooted from Rochester N.Y. to relocate in Summerville, S.C. Driven partially NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) SAFE Act, ATI did not want to be in a state where the very weapons they import would be illegal for sale.
Renowned NY-based gun maker Remington Arms is actively looking for a place to relocate in Dixie as well. Right now, it appears Nashville, Tennessee will be spot.
Like ATI, Remington fears what the SAFE Act “will do to its bottom line.” Remington has employed generations of New Yorkers and if they leave, local school superintendent Cosimo Tangorra said “it would be the last nail in the coffin of the Mohawk valley.”
In June 2013 Connecticut-based PTR industries announced its move to South Carolina’s Horry County. PTR CEO Josh Fiorini cited the growing regulation in Northern states. He estimated doing business in South Carolina will be lower simply because “of lower labor and electricity costs.”
But PTR’s John McNamara cited gun control specifically: “One hundred percent of our product line is [now] illegal in Connecticut. They just want to collect our tax dollars on a product they don’t think is safe to own.”
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