Utah Senator Hopes to Give Incentives to Relocating Gun Manufacturers

| by Dabney Bailey
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Utah Senator Howard Stephenson (R) is hoping to attract gun manufacturers to the Beehive State by offering tantalizing tax incentives.

Stephenson states in a blog post that he has his eyes on gun manufacturing company Beretta. Just recently, Beretta announced its plans to relocate after its home state of Maryland passed strong gun control legislation. Stephenson writes, “In Maryland, Beretta has paid more than 31 million dollars in taxes. They currently employ more than 400 people. According to a exclusive from yesterday, Beretta has significant plans for growth and investment.”

Those numbers would look tempting to any politician, regardless of where he falls along political lines. Stephenson jumped on the opportunity by opening a bill file. He says on the post, “My initial proposal will be to reduce obstacles and offer incentives to gun manufacturers located in the Beehive State. This might include eliminating sales taxes on machinery, equipment and replacement parts which are used in the manufacture of guns.”

He also believes that he has a co-sponsor lined up, though he hasn’t named any names.

Clearly, Stephenson still has a long ways to go if he hopes to lure Beretta and other gun manufacturers to Utah. He still needs to figure out what type of break he is going to offer gun manufacturers, and even then he will be a long way behind other pro-gun states like Missouri. Gun fans in Missouri have offered free parcels of land to any gun manufacturer to decide to move to Missouri. Meanwhile, Wyoming legislators have encouraged gun manufactures to set up shop in their state.

Beretta’s departure from Maryland will undoubtedly hurt that state’s economy and tax budget, but they say that one man’s loss is another man’s gain. Gun-friendly states are poised to reap the benefits from states that want to tax and regulate the gun industry into the ground.