JEFFERSON CITY – Lt. Governor Peter Kinder today urged Gov. Nixon and legislative leaders to back efforts to recruit firearms manufacturers to Missouri.
In West Plains, businessman John Negri has offered up land to any gun manufacturer that wants to move to the Ozarks, a proposal that has gained the support of Gun Owners of America, State Sen. Mike Cunningham and Lt. Governor Kinder. Also, the Missouri Legislature this session passed and sent the governor a measure that declares federal gun control laws unenforceable in Missouri. Meanwhile, Joplin State Rep. Bill White has filed legislation that would give similar businesses tax incentives to relocate to Missouri.
“For years, some states that are home to gun manufacturers have continued to bite the hand that feeds them, passing laws to restrict firearms,” Kinder said. “Some of those companies now are deciding it’s time to pull out and move to more friendly pastures. I encourage Gov. Nixon and lawmakers to send a concerted message to these manufacturers: Missouri welcomes you.”
Beretta recently announced it will leave Maryland, Magpul has promised to leave Colorado and Colt Manufacturing has announced that, after 175 years, it is leaving Connecticut. PTR Industries, which makes high-end rifles in Bristol, Conn., also has said it plans to leave.
Other potential gun-manufacturers that might consider leaving Connecticut are Strum, Ruger & Co., Stag Arms and Mossberg & Sons. Fox News reported the companies represent about 3,000 jobs and an estimated $1.75 billion in annual taxable revenue.
Kinder said states like Texas and Alaska already are working to lure gun makers. But, he said, Missouri is in a better position to entice those companies than other states.
“Missouri has a well-earned reputation as a ‘gun-friendly’ state,” he added. “I am proud to represent a state that values the Constitution and stands against the federal government’s attempts to infringe upon our 2nd and 10th Amendment rights.”
Kinder said Missouri’s central location with an excellent transportation network and the work ethic of its residents also are qualities manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and gun parts will find attractive.
“Our state needs to send a unified, clear message to out-of-state gun makers who face burdensome regulations, high taxes and restrictions on their products that Missouri welcomes them,” he said.