Gun control backfires? Rick Perry lures Connecticut gunmakers to Texas. (+video)
Strong gun control laws were recently passed in Connecticut and New York, so Gov. Rick Perry will visit gunmakers in both states this week to try to bring them to gun-friendly Texas.
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The irony is that politicians are attacking an industrial heartland that is intimately tied with the founding of the nation. The Connecticut River Valley in New England has been dubbed "Gun Valley." The Springfield Armory in Springfield, Mass., was the primary manufacturer of US military firearms from 1777 – before the defeat of the British – to 1968. Its diaspora created the heart of the American firearms industry.Skip to next paragraph
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Today, Colt manufactures many of the core firearms of the US military, including the M4 and M16. The No. 1 and 3 gunmakers in the US, according to a report from The Blaze – Smith and Wesson (Springfield) and Sturm Ruger (Newport, N.H.) – are also both from Gun Valley. (No. 2 is Remington Arms in Madison, N.C.)
None of the companies employs a huge workforce individually. Colt, for example, employs about 670 workers, while Stag Arms has about 200. But collectively, they represent an ecosystem of codependent industry. Most of the parts for Colt guns not made on the premises come from suppliers within a 50-mile radius, according to a CNN report.
Moreover, Colt is intertwined with the history of the state and the country. Its original factory is a national historic site, and its iconic product, the Colt .45, is a token of America's westward expansion. "Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal," was a post-Civil War saying.
Ahead of Governor Perry's trip this week, Texas launched a $1 million radio and television ad campaign in the Northeast that speaks of the state's pro-business laws. "Texas is calling," Perry says in the ad. "Your opportunity awaits."
So far, gunmakers say they are simply exploring their options.
“While we have been proud to call Connecticut home for 175 years, as we look to future growth we have a responsibility to consider all options that ensure we remain competitive and meet the needs and expectations of our customers,” said Dennis Veilleux, CEO and president of Colt's Manufacturing, according to a Fox News report.