Authored by Kevin Stocklin via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Of all the businesses that are moving out of blue states, those in the gun industry lead the pack.
Storied firearms manufacturers, some of them having operated in northern states for centuries, are now heading South. Remington, founded in 1816 and America’s oldest gun maker, announced in November it was moving its headquarters from New York to Georgia.
In announcing the move, which will include a $100 million investment in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility and create 856 new jobs, Remington CEO Ken D’Arcy said, “the decision to locate in Georgia is very simple. The state of Georgia is not only a business-friendly state, it’s a firearms-friendly state.”
Also exiting New York is Dark Storm Industries, a gun manufacturer and retailer. They will be moving to Titusville, Florida, where they have begun construction on a new manufacturing plant, bringing up to 75 jobs to Florida.
“If you’re in the gun industry and you have the opportunity to move to Florida, you’re figuring it out, that’s where you want to be,” Dark Star Communications Manager Kevin Elder told The Epoch Times. When the company asked its employees if they would consider moving south, they didn’t hesitate, Elder said, “they were ready to go.”
Dark Star was founded to make firearms that are compliant with New York’s strict regulations, “but they just keep adding on more and more restrictions and more hoops to jump through,” Elder said. “Our clientele is very friendly, and our community, and we try to give back as much as we can. We do a lot of charity work and local law enforcement loves us. But as far as the state itself, they don’t want that kind of stuff up here.”
Elder said that Dark Star’s problems in New York went beyond state regulations to also include banks and payments companies. “We had to change credit card processors,” as well as the company’s bank, he said, because they were denying service to firearms companies, despite their strong creditworthiness.
Tennessee has been another popular destination, attracting Smith & Wesson in September and Troy Industries last May, both from Massachusetts. Even before these moves were announced, Tennessee was already home to more than 20 firearms manufacturing companies.
Smith & Wesson’s move to Maryville, Tennessee, will include a $125 million investment and create 750 new jobs. Among the many reasons cited by CEO Mark Smith were new laws proposed by Massachusetts’ Democrat-led legislature banning the sale, possession and manufacture of “assault weapons” and “large-capacity magazines” for civilian use. Smith noted that these products comprised 60 percent of his company’s revenue.
Steve Troy, CEO of Troy Industries also cited the “changing climate for firearms manufacturers” in Massachusetts, which “determined the need for our relocation to Tennessee.” Troy Industries will invest $7 million in Clarksville, Tennessee, adding 75 jobs.
Other firearms companies leaving blue states include Kimber Manufacturing, which left New York for Alabama; Winchester Centerfire, which left Illinois for Mississippi; Stag Arms, which left Connecticut for Wyoming; and Magpul Industries, which left Colorado for Wyoming and Texas.
The migration of the firearms industry is part of a wider movement by American firms to escape high-tax, high-regulation states like California, New York, Illinois, and New Jersey. But gun makers are in a particular hurry to exit these states in response to new laws and regulations seemingly intended to drive them out.
What all of the destination states have in common is that “they are respectful of the contributions that these businesses make to state economies,” National Shooting Sports Foundation Managing Director Mark Oliva told The Epoch Times. “And they are respectful of the Second Amendment rights of consumers who are buying these firearms.”
Read more here…