The Washington Post seems surprised that gun makers who threatened to leave anti-gun states, are leaving anti-gun states.
In May, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law a set of gun-control measures. At the time, firearm-maker Beretta, which has a presence in the state, criticized the law as being unacceptable despite amendments it says it was able to secure. The law “went from being atrocious to simply being bad,” Beretta said in a statement at the time. It was so offensive, in fact, that the company said it would consider making future investments out of state.
Maryland’s law goes into effect in just a few weeks and Beretta seems to be holding true to its promise. Georgia’s Upson County is developing incentive packages to attract a new Beretta plant that could house 400 employees, the Atlanta Business Chronicle recently reported. Georgia and North Carolina are among the seven states Beretta says it’s considering expanding to.
Kahr Firearms Group of New York told the Associated Press in early August that a new gun-control measure there played a role in the decision to open an 80- to 100-employee plant in Pennsylvania instead of New York.
And so forth. Several gun makers have voted with their feet to move from anti-gun states toward friendlier territory.
Why would they not do this? Every time a state passes anti-gun legislation, that state lays down a marker against the firearms industry. On the other hand, many states continue to pass laws protecting gun owners’ rights. The rational choice for gun makers is to abandon the former states and relocate to the latter ones.
It’s not just gun laws specifically that may drive gun makers from purple or blue to red states. The bluer states are lurching more and more toward the statist model, high taxes, more and more regulation, and so forth. The gun-friendly states tend to be the business-friendly states.
It’s hard to imagine anyone not understanding this.