March 4, 2013
Thousands of Jobs at Stake in Gun Control Debate
More and more media outlets are beginning to take notice of the economic implications of the gun control debate. One direct result of the increase in sales of guns and ammunition is the increase in excise taxes collected to fund wildlife conservation. This article from the Outdoor Channel predicts a 15 percent increase in federal conservation grants to states.
The other direct impact of onerous restrictions under consideration in some state capitals is on manufacturers themselves. The industry has a manufacturing presence in virtually every state, and several state legislatures are debating measures that could force companies to relocate to states that are rolling out a more welcoming attitude towards the gun industry.
The debate under way in the Constitution State, which is the center of a region with a rich firearms manufacturing history, is receiving considerable in-state and national media attention, including long feature treatments in USA Today and The Washington Post. Connecticut manufacturers are receiving invitations from states such as Texas to relocate in other states where firearms manufacturing jobs would be appreciated and Second Amendment rights will not be under constant legislative assault. A stable business climate is critical for companies to be able to plan ahead, so the benefits of a potential move go even further than the financial incentives that states are offering for economic development.
This is serious business in a national economy that continues to sputter. The relocation of thousands of jobs away from their existing communities will devastate local economies that are dependent on the good, well-paying jobs the gun industry offers. In a state where the firearms industry directly employs nearly 3,000 and has an economic impact of $1.7 billion, indications are that at least some members of the Connecticut General Assembly have taken notice. Whether that notice will be adequate to prevent the passage of economically destructive legislation is another question.