Remington, which also moved 900 jobs in the process, was the second iconic U.S. gunmaker to flee the politically caustic North for a friendlier climate in the South. In October, Smith & Wesson said it was leaving Massachusetts to build its guns in Tennessee.
But while Remington and Smith & Wesson received plenty of attention for their moves, they were just the latest players to relocate in an ongoing and widespread migration within the firearms industry.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, or NSSF, an industry lobbyist group, last week released a list of 17 gun companies that have fled blue states for red ones in recent years.
Beretta, Sturm, Ruger & Co., Mossberg, and Weatherby are also some of the industry’s big names to have relocated.
The NSSF notes that in some instances the companies shift production from blue states to red to avoid anti-gun legislation or higher taxes. In other cases, the companies opt to expand production in red states rather than look elsewhere.
The Washington Examiner, in reporting on the issue, noted that the NSSF is “encouraging its members to look at the trend away from anti-gun states.
That migration will be a major topic of discussion when the NSSF hosts its annual trade show in Las Vegas next month.
The group has scheduled at least nine Republican governors to participate in a forum to talk about “the importance of the firearm industry to their state, efforts to attract firearm and ammunition-related businesses, and the benefits of firearm-related businesses to their state economies,” the NSSF said in a press release.
They list includes Govs. Mike Dunleavy, Alaska; Asa Hutchinson, Arkansas; Brian Kemp, Georgia; Brad Little, Idaho; Greg Gianforte, Montana; Pete Ricketts, Nebraska; Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma; Kristi Noem, South Dakota; and Mark Gordon, Wyoming.
Lawrence Keane, the NSSF senior vice president of government relations and public affairs and its general counsel, will host the forum. In a statement, he said, “This is a unique opportunity to hear directly from several governors of the importance of the firearm industry to their state.”
“NSSF has hosted governors in previous shows, but we wanted to be able to give each of the governors an opportunity to talk about why they want to bring this growing and vibrant industry to their states.”
While it does not correlate exactly with gun purchases, the FBI’s background check count indicates the gun-buying market remains robust.
Through the end of November, the FBI had conducted 35.8 million background checks for gun purchases. That is the second-highest total since the FBI began counting in 1998.
The largest number – 39.7 million – occurred last year.
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