Michael Fifer, the president and chief executive of Sturm Ruger, recently told stockholders that the company would not leave Connecticut.
Connecticut has had a rocky relationship with gun manufacturers lately. Following the Sandy Hook massacre Connecticut passed some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation – so strict, in fact, that some gun manufacturers were no longer able to sell the guns they produced to other Connecticut citizens.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has been sending mixed messages to gun manufacturers, simultaneously asking them not to leave while criticizing their business practices. He argued, “Gun companies will do anything to sell guns.” He also told manufacturers that “despite the differences” between politicians and manufacturers, he hoped that gun companies “will continue to stay in [Connecticut] so that we can continue to have an open and honest dialogue."
Connecticut-based gun manufacturers like Sturm Ruger and Stag Arms have been toying with the idea of picking up and moving elsewhere, but so far they haven’t followed in the footsteps of Beretta. Several weeks ago, Beretta decided to leave Maryland and its hostile gun control climate.
Fifer explained, “Consumers ask us why we are in Connecticut and why do you support a state that doesn't support you? We've got good engineers and a small headquarters there. I'm not going to disrupt those people and move out.” He also announced plans to expand the company with 18 new jobs, which would undoubtedly offer an economic boost to Connecticut.
This proves to be a major victory for Connecticut. Ruger’s net income was $23.7 million in the last quarter, so keeping that kind of money within state lines will serve to stimulate the local economy. Additionally, Fifer has announced plans to expand the business by opening up another facility.
Still, Fifer and other gun manufacturers have concerns about their future in Connecticut. Fifer expressed fear that the company would have to grapple with “foolish legislation” in the future.
It’s a bit ironic – for a state nicknamed “the Constitution State,” one would think that Second Amendment supporters would have an easier time.
Source: Stamford Advocate