Wait, you mean firearm manufacturing and related firms are actually good for a state’s economy? They provide real jobs and tax revenues? Shazam! Coming a little late to the party is the state of New York. Brian Kolb, the Assembly minority leader and Tom King, head of the NY State Rifle and Pistol Association are leading a push to try to counter efforts by other states to entice some or all of New York’s firearms industry to move to friendlier climes. Firms like Remington, Kimber, Kahr, Turnbull and Dan Wesson along with ancillary companies mean 10,000 jobs for the Empire State which needs every private sector job and samolian it can scrounge. To wit…
Kolb and King say they want the governor’s regional economic development councils to make the gun industry a top economic development priority for the Empire State. Whatever that means. Sounds suspiciously like bleeding taxpayers to pay companies to stay.
Gun manufacturers have been treated like red-headed stepchildren in New York despite the thousands of jobs and millions in revenue they contribute to the deficit-ridden state. Other more competitive states have noticed, are raising their skirts and sticking their legs out.
Doug Turnbull, the owner of Turnbull Manufacturing Company in Bloomfield, said this is key, especially since other states are trying to acquire this type of business.
“South Dakota is a big one that’s been pushing to get smaller companies to go there,” he said. He added that he’s heard of offers from a South Dakota economic development group that was offering $15,000 per person to move to Sturgis, S.D. Turnbull currently has 16 employees; the owner said he wouldn’t take a similar deal.
“I’ve got family here; I grew up here,” Turnbull said. However, he did admit that a move may make things easier.
“If I was anywhere west of New York, it’s be easier (to get employees),” Turnbull said. “New York has a bad reputation in the firearms business.
Probably more important to the companies, though, is relief on the regulatory side.
Kolb also urged the rejection of government mandates like microstamping — technology that imprints specific markings on the cartridges, which can then be recovered by police and examined by forensic ballistics experts. Kolb said these mandates aren’t helping New York’s gun industry. (Doug) Turnbull agreed.
It’s good that at least someone in New York is acknowledging the problem. Whether they have the foresight and ability to do something about it is another matter. While the gun lobby is no ninety-eight pound weakling, it’s an open question as to whether they can kill efforts such as mico-stamping in such a firearm-averse state. In the mean time, those other states are sure to continue their flirting.