In light of rifle manufacturer PTR Industries threatening to leave the state of Connecticut over new gun control legislation, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is urging them to move to the Lone Star State.
Gov. Perry tweeted on Friday, “Hey PTR...Texas is still wide open for business!! Come on down!”
A new Connecticut law bans high-capacity ammunition like that used in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.
PTR, makers military-style rifles, employs over 40 people. Citing "unintended consequences" after Connecticut passed the new legislation, PTR Vice President John McNamara said the company would make a more formal announcement of the move in the next six months.
Stag Arms, another Connecticut gun manufacturer, makers of AR-15 style rifles, also threatened to leave for a more gun-friendly state.
"We want to send a message that Texas is wide open for business, whether you're a weapons manufacturer or whether you're a tubular steel manufacturer," Perry told reporters in Austin on Friday.
"There is still a place for freedom that is very much alive and well," the Republican governor added. "That place is called Texas."
The Texas Senate gave preliminary approval to a bill on Tuesday that allows Perry to encourage gun makers to move to Texas. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, creates an incentive program for gun manufacturers relocating there.
As new gun legislation is passing in states like Colorado and Connecticut, news of gun makers leaving for greener pastures is becoming commonplace. Even Beretta, the oldest firearms manufacturer in the world, announced it is leaving Maryland over stricter gun control measures.
Perry himself said his office sent out letters to 34 firearms and accessories manufacturers this year urging them to set up shop in Texas.
Magpul Industries, which announced it would be leaving Colorado after the state passed new gun legislation, was wooed Texas as well as Wyoming, Alaska, West Virginia, and Alabama.
The recruitment effort led Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, to question whether it would be more practical to push for more grocery stores in the state of Texas.
"We have a lot of areas in the state without any grocery stores," West said.