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Paul LePage read TTAG. Or something firearms related. Because the Republican Governor of Maine knows that gunmakers are looking to leave states where their products have been banned, restricted and vilified. So he’s written an open letter to the firearms industry asking them to reconsider their southern exodus strategy. [Make the jump for the full text.] He wants them to head north, to the Pine Tree State. You want cold? Never mind. He’s promising Beretta, Colt and Magpul lobster. And “I will never sign anti-gun legislation that erodes the rights of Maine citizens, drives your business away or infringes on the U.S. Constitution or the State of Maine Constitution.” Yes, well, I bet previous governors of New York, Connecticut and Maryland made the same pledge. Just sayin . . .

When Americans think of Maine, they often think of rocky coasts, lobster and moose. But Maine also has a long and proud tradition of military service, a legacy of world-class manufacturing, and a high percentage of personal firearm ownership.

That’s why I invite manufacturers of firearms and related accessories—some of which are under siege in their home states by politicians pushing anti-gun legislation—to come to Maine. As a state that is fiercely protective of our right to bear arms, we will welcome you and your business.

When a Bangor daily newspaper in February tried to get the names, addresses and dates of birth of all Mainers with concealed-firearms permits, we leapt into action, drafting and passing a bill in 48 hours to temporarily shield the personal information. Democrats joined Republicans to swiftly enact this emergency legislation. (Legislation to permanently shield the information is in committee.)

Although Maine has one of the highest rates of firearm ownership in the country, we also have one of the lowest rates of gun violence. We are a safe state, and we plan to keep it that way. Even better, our dedication to protect the rights of law-abiding gun owners crosses party lines. Maine Democrats, many of whom serve rural areas where hunting and gun ownership are a way of life, readily agree with Republicans that the rights of firearms owners must not be infringed.

We are dismayed to see strict anti-gun legislation in states that are home to some of our country’s best firearms manufacturers. Beretta USA Corp. in Maryland, Colt Manufacturing Co. in Connecticut and Magpul Industries in Colorado are facing hostile—and hysterical—legislation from politicians who slap them in the face for providing their states with jobs, opportunity and revenue.

Beretta, Colt and Magpul: Come to Maine. Our tradition ranges from Hiram S. Maxim, inventor of the first fully automatic machine gun, who was born in 1840 in Sangerville, Maine, to the renowned Bath Iron Works, which produces the world’s most advanced surface warships. As the Navy said during World War II, “Bath-built is best-built.” Other firearms and defense contractors in Maine include Smith & Wesson and General Dynamics GD -1.02% .

When it comes to firearms, the rugged individualism of Mainers is alive and well. Richard Dyke acquired Bushmaster Firearms in the late 1970s and produced high-quality, AR-15-type rifles until 2006, when he sold the company. The new owner consolidated manufacturing with its operations in New York, vacated the facility in Windham, Maine, and laid off the local employees.

But Mr. Dyke still owned the facility. So he started another company, Windham Weaponry, and in 2011 he put his former employees back to work making high-quality rifles that are already considered some of the best on the market. That’s how Mainers do it.

Maine is home to L.L. Bean, the supplier of outdoorsmen and women, as well as Kittery Trading Post and national retailers Cabela’s CAB +0.11% and Wal-Mart,WMT +0.99% all of which offer firearms to consumers. Just as we welcome and support these companies and the jobs and opportunities they create, we would welcome and support the manufacturers of firearms and accessories.

Beretta, Colt, Magpul and any others: In Maine you will find air, rail and seaports that can carry your exceptional products across the country and across the globe. You will find hardworking Mainers, and you will find a governor who is ready to provide incentives and guarantees that will make it attractive for you to set up shop in our state.

I will never sign anti-gun legislation that erodes the rights of Maine citizens, drives your business away or infringes on the U.S. Constitution or the State of Maine Constitution.

Come to where you are welcome and where you will be appreciated. Come to Maine. I’ll even throw in some lobster.

Paul LePage, Governor of Maine

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  1. I had the privileged of working on a show about the construction of Arleigh-Burke class destroyers at the Bath Iron Works (where my grandfather worked as an engineer in the 40s and 50s.) They build an amazing ship up there.

    • My family has been doing that as long as I can remember. The Kittery Trading Post and recently Cabela’s are always go-to destinations.

      • No…Maine isn’t “full libtard”….as a town chair for Maine Republican Party, I can tell you Maine is split almost right down the middle. Most elections do go blue when you look at the state results, but individual county results usually put both parties within a few points of center. That means all it takes is an extra degree of effort from republicans to take control every time…….getting people off the couch and to the polls is another story all together.

        Liberals vote to get something they don’t have……conservatives vote to keep what they already have. Our rights are being eroded, and Maine conservatives ARE waking up!

    • Y’know, Medicare and 2A arent mutually exclusive.

      The people of Main take their liberties seriously, and don’t elect fools. Should someone have a change of heart while in office, they depose the fellow.

      So go wear a “ban women from the professions!” brown shirt, contard.

    • NO.
      Maine and New Hampshire (along with much of Vermont) may not fit the description you are looking for in a “Red State”, but they’re about as gun-friendly as you’ll find.
      Let’s put it this way- Vermont is a constitutional carry state, and both Maine and New Hampshire are open carry states with shall issue carry permitting. NFA firearms are legal in all 3.
      Folks in these states generally have a very strong urge to stay the hell out of the business of others, and expect the same in return.

        • How many readers of this blog would trade silencer laws for constitutional carry?
          Any one of them not in WY, AK, or AZ.

        • Maine is currently working on a constitutional carry legislation and a full roll call will be forced…..making ALL representative’s position known publicly.

      • I live in NH and am beginning to get a little nervous. The new, Democrat controlled legislature just repealed the stand-your-ground law passed in the previous administration. And our Democrat senior senator just voted to ratify the UN Arms Trafficking Treaty.

        And the general trend is becoming more clear with a 12 cent/gal gasoline tax just passed.

        What happens here is that Republican Legislatures run surpluses, then Democratic ones start running deficits – but also emplace more government so that even if Republicans take over again, there is a ratcheting effect to the left.

        Texas is beginning to look more attractive every day.

      • MN, NH and VT are oh so gun friendly, huh? Proving what, exactly? Nothing more than that we all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others.

        Those three isolated, semi-rural states average 91.5% white populations (Census data as of 2010). Come on down Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Oklahoma way, where the white population ranges from the upper 50’s percent and flat skyrockets, SKYROCKETS, I tell you, to the low 70’s percent. Come down here to the land of sanctuary cities, international drug trafficking and inner city detritus that is the insane inscape of Taker Nation.

        Live life in these environs, where the wildlife is armed with more than antlers, and we’ll see how well the ski slope patriots hold to their alleged 2A allegiance.

        • What are you talking about? I Am from Maine and live in Louisiana. What is it you are asking me to do now? Prove I support the 2nd? How does one go about proving that to you?

    • “Isn’t Maine nothing more than another libtard blue state?”

      When I lived there, though it was 10 years ago, I didn’t get that impression at all. In fact, all I saw was unrelenting disdain toward libtardism. Maybe it was the part of Maine I lived in–up toward Eastport.

      • I know you are right that people moving there to escape MA then seem to immediately set about trying to make NH more like MA, but there’s still quite a divide between the two…..and compared to RI, the state I currently call home, it is still HEAVEN.
        I tried moving away from New England once because I just couldn’t take it anymore. Turns out I’m so miserable without the people I love within a few hours that it just didn’t matter. I came back. In light of that, NH is by far my best option. I’ll be moving up within the next few years, and my wife and I will do our best to cancel a couple of those Masshole votes 😉

      • No…Maine isn’t “full libtard”….as a town chair for Maine Republican Party, I can tell you Maine is split almost right down the middle. Most elections do go blue when you look at the state results, but individual county results usually put both parties within a few points of center. That means all it takes is an extra degree of effort from republicans to take control every time…….getting people off the couch and to the polls is another story all together.

        Liberals vote to get something they don’t have……conservatives vote to keep what they already have. Our rights are being eroded, and Maine conservatives ARE waking up!

    • Conservative Governor, Independent Senator King (historically works with Democrats, supported by Bloomberg in election), Republican Senator Collins (crosses aisle regularly, NRA C+ rating), Democrat Representatives Pingree (Southern district gun-grabber) and Michaud (Northern district, endorsed by NRA & NRA-PVF). Southern district is where most of the population is, and gave the President his win in the state. Northern district is overwhelmingly conservative.

      At a minimum, the Governor and Michaud get it. He is good at his word, for as long as he’s there, gun rights are safe, which is definitely better than a goodly number of states can say today. King and Collins are on the wrong side of universal checks, but on the right side of opposing the second coming of the AWB. Both have been wishy-washy about magazine capacity restrictions.

    • Northern New England is far from perfect. The winters are long, the soil is rocky and you can’t get there from here. But a lot of the people one would call liberal up there are closer to truly being liberal than they are to the corrupted and hijacked Liberalism pitched by the Democratic party.

      I spend a good part of every October hunting birds up there and I can tell you there are few places in the country where you can walk around with a .44 on your hip at the gas station, at the diner and around town and get fewer sideways glances.

      A lot of flatlanders from NY and MA may have moved up there and they’ve diluted the old Yankee character, but I can assure you that most natives and transplants have a mind-your-own-business attitude and have a total aversion to meddling in the lives of others.

      Blue yes, but statists no.

    • @Patriot – does it keep you up at night that there are Liberals who are gun owners, hunters, pro-2nd amendment, military veterns and all around decent people?

    • does it keep you up at night that there are Liberals who are gun owners, hunters, pro-2nd amendment, military veterns and all around decent people?

      • We do exist and are trying to carry on the good fight here in California. God help the Republicans if we ever convince the DNC to really support the 2nd ammendment and drop gun control. Stranger things have happened.

  2. California and Hawaii are pretty far south… Wyoming, Montana, Oregon, Naine, New Hampshire… north.


    • Don’t forget Washington! Any gun control measures proposed at a state level here are going to get shut down.

    • Come to Florida, great beaches, great gun laws, and we also have a manufacturing industry, flush with layed-off nasa engineers. Knights armament is based down here, among many other firearms manufacturers.

  3. Only the brainwashed tv viewers and sensationalized radio listeners see or think of “red vs blue.” the red and blue divide is purely conjured up to keep the masses quarreling instead of us realizing the only color the people of power care about is “green.” our battle should be a financial battle not a liberal/conservative battle. We have been bamboozled.

  4. The fact that the guy had the stones to brag about Bushmaster being founded in Maine is pretty impressive.

    • He’s had some quotable quotes, to be sure. Told the NAACP to “kiss his butt” around MLK Jr day. He and his wife adopted a Jamaican-born boy years ago.

  5. It’s hard to tell where ttag commentary begins and ends. Can you indicate which parts are which?

    • Skylar
      Please engage your critical thinking skills, both when reading an article and when complaining that you chose not to comprehend what you have read

  6. Masshole refugees are slowly turning Maine and New Hampshire blue. LePage’s election was an anomoly. We sent RINO Collins to the Senate and she supports gun control. New senator Angus King is a liberal disguised as an “independent” and he will do the same.

    • King talks about his position on current gun control topics:

      He’s wrong on universal background checks and wrong on magazine capacity restrictions and wrong on who calls AR-15 style rifles “assault weapons”.

      He’s right about his positions being irritating.

      Collins positions found here:

      • Y’know, back before AWB version 1 – long, long ago – AR15s, AKs, neutered UZIs et cetera were marketed as assault weapons.

        Something about marketers wanting to more effectively attract the 22-25 year old, testosterone-poisoned demographic.

        The name stuck. Deal.

    • Don’t be too quick to generalize. I originated in Mass and I will tell you that everyone of my family members and friends who have relocated to Maine did so for sanctuary from the lunacy in Mass. Most of those of us heading north have done so to meld with-not change Maine. The majority of us also served in one branch or another of the military. Included in my 26 years of service in the Corps is a deployment to the Gulf where I led a platoon of Scout Snipers, all Mainers with a sprinkling of Massachusetts residents and all are conservative, constitjtionalists and gun owners. BTW; Lepage is good-to-go. Collins is a chameleon, King is a spineless coward. All three are born and bred Mainers.

  7. Government Pledge, it goes on shiny, the gloss just doesn’t last long though. As others splained any state can go full retard fast except some of the southern ones They are not totally immune either, but I sure wouldn’t want to be pushing gun control in Texas, a person could wake up dead, Randy

  8. Gunmakers, stay out of New England and the Northeast where the infections known as New York City and Boston have spread like smallpox. If you’re already there, move to a state where POS-POTUS was trounced in the election. Regard every Obama voter as an enemy, and every Obama vote as a nail in your collective coffins.

    Maine is Obama country. Avoid it. They will sell out everything for enough free sh1t.

  9. Florida is very Firearms friendly and our Governor is a gun owner and big supporter of new business and the unions (read Mob) do not control the job market… and the weather is great too… YOUR IDEAL move……..

    • Man, you need to pack a gun in Florida. Those bugs are so fracking big they just think raid is a food seasoning.

  10. If moving to Maine (or NH / Vermont) would make those states more pro-2A, then I am all for it. But, if they wait to long and the states go blue, then move sown south or out west (no colorado) and make a stand…

    • I can’t speak for NH or VT but I can tell you Maine is politically paradoxical. The majority vote Middle to left, East of Rte 95, and yet are pretty protective of second amendment issues. Again; I don’t know anyone moving in from Mass that is left leaning but I am in the Western Mountain region where things tend more conservative anyway.

      I agree about Texas. For me, it would appropriate for Texas to be the last bastion of constitutionally sound thought. I sincerely hope they hold out. I/we would consider moving there except my only Son is buried here (KIA 08/14/2009). We live pretty “deep” and I am one of the few here with actual, usable field skills. I have been teaching much of that here to folks in these past few years and they are very serious about building these skills. Maybe we are all “strategically” placed for a reason.

      I can’t help but love The very idea of Texas though.

  11. Don’t know Maine is still liberal even GOP there look at Susan Collins. Idaho Utah and Texas are the safest place to do business.

  12. I would think the executive strategists with these gun manufacturers are thinking long and hard about if they will make a move, and where in fact they will go. As someone else pointed out, a state can become stupid almost overnight. I would think Maine is a bad choice for relocation, sorry. Love the place but the cancer will spread there eventually. The only sure things are Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Alabama in no particular order. I myself would be overwhelmed with joy to live in these southern states, the last bastions of true freedom and self-reliance in America. These places aren’t perfect either, but the weather, people, sane cost of living, and of course the common sense firearms rules make them nearly so. I am myself a Southerner, whom went to college and earned the wrong education now I’m stuck in a Slave State as there is no industry for my profession back home. I should have listened to my mother! Aye eye eye. Northeast=bad news period. I heart NY, love the lobstahs of Maine, VT is beautiful, etc etc. But for a manufacturer, you gotta think about the long term.

    Glock, HK, and FNH will be very, very successful while our own homegrown American companies, older than dirt, will be hamstrung into insolvency unless they pull their heads out of their lower intestines and move south. They should have done this a long time ago. These foreign companies already produce the world’s most influential and trendsetting products as it is. It is my theory that the mgmt at Smith, Colt, Ruger, et al have been asleep all these years, to let these foreign companies come and outplay them at their own game, ironic as there is no civilian market or outlet for their wares in their own respective countries. I love these foreign products too, but I suppose that’s the story of all industry in the USA. Complacency will kill even the strongest juggernaut. I want our companies to be the innovators, I want foreign companies to be forced to resort to copying them, not the other way around. The oppressive atmosphere of the northeast and CEO complacency are the root reasons I’d rather have a Glock than an M&P.

    If they do what’s right and make this move, it will end up being much more profitable for them in the long term no matter what the upfront cost ends up being. The states they move to will be enriched in turn. Everybody wins, nobody loses (except for the libs in the NE and in such case who cares, let them reap what they have sown). The South could possibly rise again. Perhaps eventually the renaissance could promote a market for my profession and I could move back on down to GA where I belong.

    These Stupids, these liberal fools, these circus bears on tricycles, have zero understanding of economics, human nature, the laws of physics, or world history. These are the types of individuals that don’t pump their own gas, and hire brown people to cut their lawns instead of doing it themselves like normal civilized human beings of substance. My God am I tired of being up here!

    • Scurvydog, from your post it sounds like you must be living in a NY suburb. Maybe Westchester or Fairfield counties? Perhaps some time spent in the real New England would educate you a bit regarding the politics of the northeast. NY city and Boston are in no way representative of the majority here, and besides, you sound predisposed to judge “Yankees” harshly. That does not say much for you intellectually or morally. You hate your life, yet still choose to live it as it is. Only have yourself to blame for that, bud! Nobody owes you a living, or a job, or either of those in a location of your choosing. Georgia has one of the highest incidences of welfare per capita, and one of the lowest of secondary education. No wonder you had to leave to find work. Still, you act as if someone owes you, and external forces keep you from where you want to be. Let me tell you something. Most Mainers are self employed, self suffucient, well educated, and hard working. Could have some bearing on why you feel you would not fit in. Add to that they are very welcoming and generally not judgemental. You seem to be developmentally stuck in the Antebellum south of a century and a half ago. The south will rise again? Rise to what, exactly? If you want to rise, rise to the challenge of creating your own job in a state that you prefer to live in. Rise up off your butt and be proactive instead of blaming others. You knock the NE. At least these Yankees were ambitious enough to create jobs, and gracious enoug to give you one.
      Quit your self pitying whining and go make the life you want, where you want to live it. Crying about it doesn’t cut it here. Maybe it does in Georgia, though I fail to see that as a successful strategy for getting ahead.
      Any of these displaced manufacturers would be hard pressed to find a better trained, harder working labor than we have in Maine. Maybe the hard winters weed out the weak ones, you have to have a degree of commitment to make it here. And commitment seems to be something lacking in most other places. Like, possibly, Georgia.

  13. The Gov. is a standup guy who doesn’t take any s**t from anyone. He was elected to curb the spendthrifts who have overspent this State and he is doing a great job. He is a humble man who says what he means and means what he says. If anyone proposes to bring jobs to this State, he will do everything in his power to slap the naysayers into line and make it happen. Real Mainers still live here and want our children to remain here. He enjoys the support of the Maine people Who want our State to remain free and sane.The exodus of our youth in search of jobs must come to an end. This is just one of the reasons the Gov. has made the invitation. I just hope that the companies can see clear to take Gov. LePage up on his offer.

    Maine has many suitable locations throughout the State which would make excellent location choices. We also have many talented young people who are extremely interested in these companies. Some have become engineers and are looking into weapons engineering as a lifelong pursuit. Should any company company decide to come here, they will find that it is an excellent place to raise a family. The hunting and fishing is great. The Machias River Expedition (canoe) is one of the finest in the world. Our ports are top notch and would handily lend themselves to export worldwide. We do not seem to have any crazies on our State and local police forces. The Sheriffs depts. are made up of people we went to school with who were also born here. They are our neighbors and we know where they live. At least in the rural areas. City and town councils are local citizens who generally work for little or no compensation in order to keep our local taxes to a minimum and services functioning at an acceptable of performance.

    Our local fire Departments adapt themselves to the requirements placed upon them and are almost all fully volunteer throughout the State. There are very few paid departments. They are among the best trained wild-lands firefighters in the world today and are sent all over North America and Canada during the fire season. Our Hazardous Materials units are established by MEMA and are controlled by a State, County, local personnel. Many with college degrees in Fire Sciences, Engineering, Chemistry, etc. The concept in combined services dispatch and management was developed in Downeast Maine in the 1970’s and spread throughout the country in the interim. This is truly the place to be for a new or existing company who wants to share in the Maine experience. We are spread out and costs are higher than we would like but we feel the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. We hope the companies at least take the time to consider us.

    ps. The last deer I shot was at 80 yds, out the bedroom window. It was only 185 lbs dressed out. Not the biggest one around but not bad. One shot with my Colt AR-15 60gr Hornady hand-load. I switched to the AR because my BAR 30-06 is hard on the arthritis.

    • Amen! Lepage is a good man and one of the great things about living in the Western Mountain is precisely that; you can shoot through the long axis of the house to hit a target 100 yards away-without a “sensitive” neighbor railing.

  14. LePage will do what he says. King and Collins are traitors. The Tea Party elected LePage and with the renewed threat to the 2A, we will get him back in. Look for Maine to veer right over gun control and to take care of business when TSHTF.

    Fred in the central highlands

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