South Carolina lawmakers are considering a resolution that would invite gun manufacturers to relocate to their state, as other states begin to pass new gun restrictions in the wake of December's Newtown shootings.
The invitation would highlight the state's commitment to liberal gun laws, antipathy to unions, tax breaks for businesses that relocate, and low taxes on businesses overall.
Over 50 House members are currently backing the invitation. “We just want to get the word out that we’re here in South Carolina and we’d love to see good businesses,” said Ralph Kennedy (R-Lexington County). “We just want the gun manufacturers to know because they’re up in other states they don’t know us and we want them to get to know us.”
Bristol, Connecticut-based PTR Industries is considering taking South Carolina up on its offer, after Hartford lawmakers passed a law last month banning the manufacture of certain weapons and the purchase of high-capacity magazines.
“We have been forced to decide that our business can no longer survive in Connecticut,” the firm said on its web site. If PTR moves, 150 jobs will be affected.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, companies in the US that manufacture, distribute and sell firearms, ammunition and hunting equipment employ 100,000 people, with an additional 120,000 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries. The industry has a total economic impact of $33 billion.