States that have adopted gun control are now, in addition to killing the freedom to which Americans have grown accustomed, killing jobs. More than simply being bad public-safety-policy, gun control is shaping up to be bad economic policy. Beretta has announced that they will be moving their Maryland manufacturing facility to a state more amicable to firearm production. In an open letter, the CEO of the world famous firearm manufacturer articulated his reason for leaving Maryland in no uncertain terms:
My family has operated our business from the same small town in northern Italy for 500 years. This means that when we make a commitment to a local community, our hope is to do so for decades, if not centuries, to come. We apply this same philosophy to all of our factories and locations throughout the world. Such a commitment is not a one-way street, though. In return for our investment in jobs, facilities and assistance to the local economy, we ask for respect and a supportive business climate. We deserve such respect. We make the standard sidearm for the U.S. armed forces. We also make firearms that police and consumers use to save their lives and the lives of others.
Beretta decided, after Maryland’s recent adoption of restrictive gun control measures, that the state no longer deserves his companies hard earned tax dollars. The decision came as the company was preparing to expand its Maryland facility. As Ugo Gussalli Beretta pointed out in his letter, there is no reason to remain in a state that treats his industry as “a necessary evil”.
And Beretta is not the only company making such decisions. Smith & Wesson recently announced that they will no longer be selling their firearms in the state of California, because of recently introduced “micro-stamping” rules.
Micro-stamping is a process where firearms are equipped with a special firing pin that leaves a serial number on every ammunition casing it strikes. Such technology is costly, and easily thwarted by any criminal equipped with a metal file. Smith & Wesson, rightfully, decided that the additional cost of the technology, in addition to the blatant disrespect for Second Amendment rights, is reason enough to limit their market share to friendly neighboring states. Sturm Ruger recently also came to similar conclusions.
And let’s not forget Magpul, the weapon accessory manufacturer from Colorado, who decided to find a new location for business after the Governor of New-New York signed legislation banning high-capacity magazines.
These business decisions have a real impact. In California, citizens will find less options available for personal defense. In Maryland and Colorado, citizens will find less opportunity for employment. Tax revenue will drop, jobs are sure to be lost, and local communities will no longer see the benefit of housing a world-wide manufacturing brand.
What’s worse, is that these jobs are not being lost as a cost of increased public safety. Will LA be any safer with fewer legal firearms in law abiding gun shops? How much safer will that single mom be in her house when she can’t afford a new “micro-stamped” firearm for personal protection? How much safer will Maryland be with one of their large manufacturers moving out of state?
These jobs are being lost (or relocated) as a consequence of knee-jerk, and irrational, fears over the very idea of firearms. Heck, some Chicago school officials expressed concern last week over the fact that their “no-firearms” signs on school property include the silhouette of a handgun. (Yeah… They were upset about the picture of a gun. I was upset about the circle and red line that was placed over the silhouette.)
Irrationality is no way to lead a nation into prosperity. A professor from Stanford recently tried to explain that “restriction” must be a central part of the Second Amendment. I wonder if he feels the same way about voting. Or about free speech. Or, for that matter, about abortion. Can “restriction” be a central part of tenure? (That would probably do more good for the next generation than restricting their choices for personal protection.)
It is about time manufacturers begin fighting back. Kahr Arms is located in Massachusetts. Why? Remington is located in New York. Why? When states express clearly through their legislation, and regulation, that certain products are not welcome within their borders, certain industries should oblige by moving their revenue into alternative jurisdictions.
Gun restrictions are generally bad for common citizens. Such laws tend to create a dependency on undependable government services for fundamental, and basic, protection. Restrictive gun laws limit the ability for average citizens to protect their lives, their freedom, and their property (coincidentally those are the three pillars of liberty that drove our nation into revolution). And, as we’re now finding out, these types of gun laws are also bad for workers, communities, and state coffers. Liberals appear to have a knack for destroying jobs while simultaneously stripping citizens of their rights. (Just look at Obamacare.)
A single gun-owner’s voice in California, or Maryland, might not carry much weight… But tax dollars sure do. The CEO of a 500 year old company in Italy just hit back at the anti-gun forces in Maryland, by taking his job creation and tax revenue to a more liberty inclined state. If some of the nation’s other premier gun companies begin to follow suit, states like Texas and Tennessee might soon be rewarded for their traditionally liberty minded laws.
Of course, none of this is likely to matter to the “leaders” of states like Maryland… They would rather see their citizens disarmed than employed.