As you might have heard, several states have passed—or are in the process of passing—laws that (re)assert states rights over guns that are manufactured, sold and used within their respective states. Despite concerns about the cost of such legislation, Utah is one of the latest to join the “keep your hands off of my gun rack Jack” pack. Conventional wisdom holds that these laws are designed simply to test the Supreme Court’s mettle (and win votes). Should they make it upstream to the fount of federal jurisprudence, they’ll “help” the Court decide a fundamental question: does the federal government have the right to pass and enforce laws that fly in the face of the 10th Amendment? If the States’ cases hold up, we could be looking at the undoing of roughly 80 years worth of progressive laws; laws that have upset the delicate balance between the Feds and the “Several States.”
All that notwithstanding, the states that are passing/have passed these laws made me stop and think for a different reason. Montana was the first state to pass such a law. Not to take away anything from Big Sky country, but Montana isn’t exactly (forgive me) number one with a bullet on my list of states where gun manufacturers ply their trade. Matter of fact, I was under the impression that most gun manufacturers were located in Illinois. Turns out, I was wrong.
Connecticut far and away wins the “most gun manufacturers in a state” award, with eight. Texas (yea!), Massachusetts, New York, and Illinois come in second with four. Colorado and Virginia have three, Maryland, Montana and Ohio each have two, with twelve other states with one each.
Montana, Texas and Utah are obviously protecting their existing manufacturers, but I would think that all of these states would absolutely love to welcome manufacturers currently residing in gun-unfriendly states such as Illinois, California and New York. You’d think in times such as these, no Governor in his or her right mind would do anything to drive manufacturers (not to mention manufacturing jobs) out of their respective states. But you’d be wrong.
As for me, I’d love to see a bunch more manufacturers relocate to Texas. We have a gun-friendly culture, no state income tax, wide open spaces, easy access to transportation and local governments that would welcome them with open arms (i.e. tax breaks).