A Connecticut gun manufacturer announced on Wednesday that it would leave the “former Constitution State,” one week after the state’s governor signed into law sweeping new gun legislation.
In a statement blasting the new gun laws, semi-automatic rifle manufacturer PTR Industries said it has decided to move to another state.
“The safety of its children is at best questionably improved from the day of the tragedy that triggered the events that lead us here,” the company said in the statement.
“Finally, due to an improperly drafted bill, manufacturing of modern sporting rifles in the State of CT has been effectively outlawed. With a heavy heart but a clear mind, we have been forced to decide that our business can no longer survive in Connecticut – the former Constitution state.”
PTR encouraged other firearms manufacturers to follow suit:
“We feel that our industry as a whole will continue to be threatened so long as it remains in a state where its elected leaders have no regard for the rights of those who produce and manufacture its wealth.
We are making a call to all involved in our industry to leave this state, close your doors and show our politicians the true consequences of their hasty and uninformed actions. We encourage those in our industry to abandon this state as its leaders have abandoned the proud heritage that forged our freedom.”
The state’s new laws were hailed by Gov. Dannel Malloy as the toughest in the nation, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said they should be a “model for the nation.”
Larry Keane, the senior vice president of the National Sports Shooting Foundation, the powerful gun lobby located in Newtown, Conn., warned that the new laws could entice additional gun manufacturers to move out of the state. He also hinted that there could also be a legal challenge to the laws.
Connecticut is home to a wide swath of gun and ammunition companies, including the iconic Colt Manufacturing Co.
Keane told Business Insider that the CEO of at least one other gun company besides PTR had expressed a desire to move. He thinks that more manufacturers are looking to get out of what many perceive as an increasingly hostile environment to gun owners, noting comments made by Malloy last weekend comparing NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre to a “one of the clowns at the circus.”
“We’re upset with the governor’s comments,” Keane said, adding that they were “offensive” and “slanderous” to gun manufacturers.
Keane pointed to a letter Malloy sent gun manufacturers last month, in which the governor wrote that he hoped “you continue to stay in our state.”
In an interview last week, Blumenthal dismissed concerns that manufacturers would leave the state.
“Gun manufacturers are like other businesses in looking for the highest quality workforce, the best business environment in terms of transportation and taxes and other features unrelated to any regulatory action,” Blumenthal said.
“Their markets are national. What happens in Connecticut affects only purchases here.”
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