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Texas & South Dakota Governors Visit Connecticut Recruiting Firearms Manufacturers to Home States
By Larry Keane

Larry Keane

Larry Keane

NEWTOWN, Conn --( The economic report card for the State of Connecticut is in and the results are not good.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that Connecticut was last in the nation in economic growth in 2012, the only state where the combined value of goods and services produced (GDP) was lower than in 2011.

In fact, total state GDP fell a quarter of a billion dollars last year, the same amount it fell in 2011.

On the heels of that report, the Manufacturing Alliance of Connecticut released the results of a survey that revealed Connecticut manufacturers predict a bleak outlook for the state’s economy and the health of their industries. The survey reported that a majority of the state’s manufacturers have been recruited to expand or relocate to another state and that they would consider doing so, most citing “government attitude” as the reason.

We see a direct connection between the state’s nation-trailing GDP performance and the attitude of state government. So does Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He is coming to Connecticut to see if he can recruit Connecticut companies to relocate to the Lone Star State — our firearms manufacturers based here foremost among them.

Connecticut’s firearms and components manufacturers have been the rare exception to the state’s dismal economic performance in recent years. Colt, Mossberg, Stag Arms, Ammunition Storage Components, to name four such companies, have added hundreds of jobs in recent years and, as a result, have contributed more in local and state taxes, even as other industries have cut back and moved facilities and jobs out of state.

So, as Gov. Dannel Malloy and the leadership of the Connecticut General Assembly earlier this year considered new gun-control legislation in the wake of the tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, we expected that we would have the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution and to lend our expertise to the proceedings. In the end, we were dismissed and locked out. A secretly and hastily-assembled package of new restrictions was passed – not a single provision of which would have done anything to prevent the murderous actions of that mentally disturbed and socially isolated young man. We are sorry to say that, but it is true.

Emotions ran high. We understand. But underpinning these actions was the same attitude toward business that the state’s manufacturers reported in the survey. The Governor took the opportunity to further show his disdain for our industry by vilifying us in the national media. Given the opportunity to explain or apologize, he doubled down.

Gov. Perry understands all this. So he is coming to Connecticut. So too, is South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who next week will also be recruiting these same manufacturers for his state.

Gov. Malloy is said to be livid at this effrontery. He will deny it, or again go on the offensive, but the situation is of Gov. Malloy’s own making and the majority of the General Assembly from both political parties is equally responsible. Gov. Perry sees an opportunity to bring good-paying jobs to a state with a proven record of economic growth.

Our manufacturers will conduct the required due diligence and make their own decisions — but they are listening and are very interested.

Larry Keane is senior vice president and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @lkeane.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 6,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to

  • 9 User comments to “CT’s Economy Languishes, its Firearms Makers Lambasted, Texas Gov. Perry Comes A-Courting”

    1. TexStan on June 14, 2013 at 8:11 PM said:

      Thank you Gov. Perry. Whatever we can do to help we will. Come on down y’all.

    2. Our republic works when people can ultimately vote with their feet

    3. hipshotpercusion on June 15, 2013 at 7:17 AM said:

      Here in Florida we have a very healthy business climate, tax situation and we are a gun friendly State. Our Governor Rick Scott is also out talking to manufactures in other States.

    4. Hopalong on June 15, 2013 at 7:55 AM said:

      ARIZONA is a great place to live, and work.

    5. durabo on June 15, 2013 at 8:08 AM said:

      Come to Arizona, home to Ruger handguns, McMillan, Galco and others, as well as the Ben Avery Shooting Facility,the largest public range in the USA.

    6. Truthbeknown on June 15, 2013 at 11:32 AM said:

      I would like to see the gun mfg’s leave that state. They should get what they ask for. I personally will not do business with any of those who stay as long as the state continues on its current path. Its the only way we the people have to fight back. Hit the fools in the wallet that and power is the only things the liberal and progressive idiots understand.

    7. Does anyone else spot the irony, or perhaps double standard? NSSF is supposed to be a leading voice in the industry. This article comes off like petty grudge holding. Get over it already…move on. NSSF should lead from the front and by example. For credibility’s sake, be the first to leave, don’t sit on the side lines and wait for a member to move first.

    8. Artimus on June 15, 2013 at 2:15 PM said:

      Stuttering Dan is in a good position to criticize people. Look where he’s taken Connecticut:

      Barron’s rated Connecticut’s debt situation as the worst in the country in 2012 ranked Connecticut as the 2012 worst state for retirement
      The Institute for Truth in Accounting ranked Connecticut’s financial status as the worst in the nation with a debt burden of $49,000 per taxpayer
      Connecticut’s credit quality was ranked 50th in the nation by Conning Inc’s State of the States Municipal Credit Research Report in 2012
      Connecticut’s Tax Freedom Day of May 5, 2012 was the latest in the nation according to the Tax Foundation
      Connecticut’s Achievement Gap is the worst in the nation according to the Connecticut Council for Education Reform
      The Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors by the Cato Institute gave Gov. Dan Malloy an “F”

    9. Jeffrey on June 15, 2013 at 2:58 PM said:

      I hope ALL THE GUN COMPANIES LEAVE that turncoat state!. Most of the gun companies their have roots back to the Revolutionary War and some new aged liberal crusading PUKES have pulled the plug basicly!! Next yr after all the Companies leave and ppl are pissing & moaning how their economy sucks, or they lost their jobs, on welfare for 1st time. I wont feel bad for them AT ALL!! THEY VOTED THESE BUNCH OF LIBERAL CRUSADERS INTO OFFICE AND ARE JUST AS MUCH TO BLAME WITH TANKING CT ECONOMY AS THE OFFICIALS VOTING ALL THESE INFRINGING GUN BANS & LAWS INTO OFFICE!!

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