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Report: Gun companies fleeing Democratic-controlled states in favor of GOP strongholds

Mass exodus allegedly playing out over a decade.

Published: August 30, 2022 2:28pm

Updated: August 30, 2022 2:48pm

Gun manufacturers around the country have reportedly been fleeing Democratic-controlled localities in favor of more solidly conservative ones, with the exodus playing out over the course of the last decade of contentious gun politics in the U.S. 

"At least 20" gun companies of varying types "have moved headquarters or shifted production from traditionally Democratic blue states to Republican red ones over the past decade," the Washington Post reported this week.

Those companies were lured to their new locations in part by "tax breaks and the promise of cheaper labor," the Post said, though the biggest motivating factor was "often was the push for stricter gun laws in many of the Democratic-leaning states," the paper claimed. 

The shifting bases of U.S. gun manufacturing have occurred during what is arguably the most contentious decade of gun politics in U.S. history, beginning with the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in December of 2012, when a gunman shot and killed 26 people, 20 of them children. 

Since then, gun control advocates and their Democratic allies in Congress and at the state level have become both more vocal and more aggressive about what they say is the pressing need for more stringent gun control measures around the country, up to and including outright bans on huge classes of common semiautomatic weapons. 

Among the changes: in 2014, Beretta USA left Maryland for Tennessee; Stag Arms left Connecticut for Wyoming; Smith & Wesson last year moved from Massachusetts to Tennessee; and Kimber Manufacturing left New York for Alabama.

“They’re going where they’re wanted,” John Harris, the executive director of the Tennessee Firearms Association, told the Post.

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