Why do gun companies stay in anti-states?


January 13, 2003, 11:54 AM
I've been thinking about this for a while. It seems that most of our guns are made in either Mas or N.Y. where most citizens can't even own the product they make. I just wonder why does'nt Savage, Springfield etc just tell the Mass-heads to kiss off and move their operations to a more gun friendly state. Don't they know that all of the taxes their putting into the coffers are being used to destroy their own industry? Beside, I would feel more comfortable having have a good ol boy from S. Georgia or N. Florida making my gun, and you would be allowed to carry your own product with you to work.

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January 13, 2003, 12:01 PM
i heard Beretta is abandoning Maryland

January 13, 2003, 12:11 PM
Why are Aguila bullits made in Mexio?:confused:

January 13, 2003, 12:16 PM
Might have to do with legal and financial reason. It would cost a lot to move the entire business and employees. The state may be giving them a lower tax rate than they could get elsewhere. They may not be able to get the permits and licenses to operate in a state they would like to move to.

But the main reason is probably they just don't care. They don't do business with the general public. All of their products are sold through one or more middlemen. Since their products leave in boxes loaded on trucks, doesn't really matter where they manufacture them.

January 13, 2003, 12:30 PM
They're where they are because that's where they started. They apparently like it there, so there's probably not any real reason for them to move. It would be nice for them to move and show the antigun states what they're attitude causes, but I don't really see it happening.

January 13, 2003, 03:32 PM
I would think that companies would vote with their feet and move, but, for big business, the point is to make as much money as you can while keeping costs down.

Remington, based in Ilion, NY has been there for a long, long, time, and everyone who lives there (who is not otherwise legally prevented from owning a firearm) can run out and buy as many 700 rifles or 870 shotguns as their hearts desire. New York (outside of NYC) does not regulate longarms beyond the AWB (state and federal).

S&W's sellout works perfectly with the "enlightened" attitude of that state.

Connecticut, however, is an interesting case, IIRC. Didn't Joe Liberman (of CT) work to remove the Colt Sporter from the 94 AW Ban to make sure that they stayed in business?


January 13, 2003, 10:09 PM
Springfield isn't in MA, it's in IL IIRC. We have S&W _in_ Springfield of course :D

Isn't Kahr arms also in MA?

Freedom in theSkies
January 14, 2003, 02:44 AM
Maybe cause it costs too much to move the entire production facility...
Why are Aguila bullits made in Mexio?
...Yes they are... Because that's where the company is based.

The company that stikes me as singularly odd is ParaOrd. I can't even find a supplier in the country they are manufactured in...:fire:

January 14, 2003, 05:43 AM
I'm going along with the "costs too much to move" idea.

January 14, 2003, 06:20 AM
It's not only the cost of physically moving, think of your workforce. They aren't all going to pick up and follow you. It cost a lot of coin to train new workers.

Lone Star
January 14, 2003, 07:25 AM
Ruger did build new facilities in AZ and in New Hampshire. I think only the corporate offices are now in CT.

Lone Star

Sleeping Dog
January 14, 2003, 09:02 AM
Just because a state is "anti", that doesn't mean that the whole state is "anti".

NY is "anti" because of NYC and surrounding urban settings.

I'd guess the Ithaca gun co is far enough away from that to conduct their business in peace. For now.

There may be others like that.

Double Naught Spy
January 14, 2003, 09:18 AM
Why should they leave?

The idea of cost effectiveness is perfectly valid. No doubt that many gun companies set up in states that were not gun unfriendly at the time. Given more time, they may become gun friendly again or a potential move-to state could become gun unfriendly.

Short-term move costs probably are not going to be recouped in the stort-term. The company will always have shipping costs for their guns no matter where they are and being in a gun friendly state isn't going to save them very much in shipping of their product.

The company likely will not be able to afford to move materials, equipment, and all of its employees. How would you like to fire 50% or more of your workers so that you could move to another state that isn't going to let you do anything different than where you are now?

A more relevant question might be to ask why a company would knowingly set up in a gun unfriendly state.

January 14, 2003, 10:41 AM
Companies usually have offices where they have the greatest level of economic incentives via tax relief, low interest loans etc. In return the host cities get that $$ and more importantly jobs.

4v50 Gary
January 14, 2003, 11:25 AM
American Arms (Calico) moved from Bakersfield, CA to NV. It's all because of the anti-gun laws here in PRK.

January 14, 2003, 12:17 PM
The money.

No physical movement of plant, offices etc because too expensive.

No refusal to sell into an anti- state because they like the money they get from LE sales.

January 14, 2003, 12:53 PM
Cost and workforce. Moving a company isn't cheap or easy. Doing it for political reasons when you are trying not to go bankrupt paying lawyers would be downright stupid.

The Connecticut River Valley has been home to gun making since almost the very beginning of the US gun industry. It spawned a huge infrastructure of small machine-tool industry companies. These days, skilled machinists are not easy to come buy.

Several years ago, some pointy-haired boss at HP decided to move a Unix support team from MA to Oregon. Undoubtedly, it looked better to him on paper. The relocation didn't look so good to the worker-bees. IIRC, the entire 25+ person team walked en-masse to Sun Microsystems' facility in Chelmsford. Gun industry workers might be more loyal than that (particularly given the current economy), but some valued workers would walk.

I also suspect it would cost a great deal to move some of S&W's equipment (e.g., large forges).

January 14, 2003, 03:29 PM
Actually some of them should move. Colt's been a political issue for more than 20 years, but the state pension fund and the number of workers are not what they used to be. And the equipment at their facility is horribly ancient.

S&W also uses equipment that is out of date. Taurus, which bought original S&W tooling, has replaced and upgraded their machinery until there is no comparison.

Those are bad examples, but remember that these are companies that are the pride of American gun culture.

Part of the problem is that new equipment takes money. but worse is the fact that the old employees don't know how to use the new stuff. Hireing a new workforce, or retraining, costs not only dollars, but also in terms of quality. And the majority of the workforce now is old. and new hires there do not learn modern production, so they shortchange themselves (career wise) by working for an out of date company.

Also the land is long bought. Maryland practically gave Beretta their property in Acokeek in order to get the jobs. (That's why the US Military went with the 92; SIG would not relocate). Colt and S&W have an old tax base and low overhead. To move they would have to sell the property, if they could.

I'm willing to bet that if Colt walked away from it's location you'd find one heck of a toxic mess. And most gun manufacturing operations are the same. As long as they stay there's no pressure to investigate, but it they left the fines would ruin them.

Last is money. I can't think of a gun manufacturer who has a lot of cash. And it takes cash to move. Remember, they have to keep producing enough product at the old facility to stay in business (including covering the costs of the move) until the new faclity is actually up and running. That's a doubling (at least) in the cost of doing business. And those costs must get passed on.

So, bottom line. Would we, as consumers be happy to pay the companies to move to states where they would have a more supportive atmosphere? Keeping in mind that this would probably double the cost of the goods produced, it's pretty doubtful.

And say they did move. What's to keep the state from changing politically (like Maryland).

January 14, 2003, 06:37 PM

I continually wonder the same thing. Old line companies get a pass, but I just don't understand why startups like Kahr chose such states.

Kel-Tec started in Florida, and I think that's been good for Florida and the the company.

January 14, 2003, 07:07 PM
I'm willing to bet that if Colt walked away from it's location you'd find one heck of a toxic mess. And most gun manufacturing operations are the same. As long as they stay there's no pressure to investigate, but it they left the fines would ruin them.Good point, forgot about that (shouldn't have since my wife is an environmental geologist).

Actually, they likely wouldn't be fined for stuff that happened long ago (when it was legal to dump stuff out the back). They'd just be made to clean it up. Which would ruin them. Same result, just slightly different twist.

Matthew Courtney
January 14, 2003, 08:50 PM
There are very few unskilled/little-skilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Firearms manufacture is not only a very highly skilled job, but one which an entire company's reputation could be damaged by a single highly publicized incident where a malfuction causes a tragic death. Even start up operations tend to go where they can find folks with expertise in this area.

January 14, 2003, 09:05 PM
Since their last bankruptcy, didn't the state bail them out with grants and tax breaks? Plus, the military contracts probably make civilian sales a second priority at Colt's Manufacturing Company.

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