Gunmakers: We'll leave state

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by E.L., Apr 7, 2006.

  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    Gunmakers: We'll leave state

    By Kurt Erickson


    SPRINGFIELD -- Several Illinois gun manufacturers said Wednesday they will pack up and leave Illinois if state lawmakers approve a ban on assault weapons.

    The threats came as a House panel approved legislation to ban the weapons, even though the proposal’s prospects appear bleak in the Senate following comments earlier this week by Senate President Emil Jones, D-Chicago.

    In a press conference before the House Executive Committee’s 9-3 vote in favor the ban, the gun makers said they would pull up stakes and take 750 jobs with them if the ban is OK’d.

    "If this passes, we’re out of town," said Dennis Reese, co-owner of Springfield Armory in Geneseo, one of four gun makers located in the Rock River Valley town of 6,400 residents.

    "Our only course of action would be moving out of state," added Mark Westrom, president of ArmaLite Inc., another Geneseo gun manufacturer.

    The sparring comes after Gov. Rod Blagojevich said in his State of the State speech last month that reinstating the expired federal ban on certain kinds of military-style weapons was one of his top priorities in this spring’s legislative session.

    But Jones, in comments earlier in the week, said he doubts the measure will come up for a vote in the Senate because it is too contentious.

    Despite its apparently dim prospects, state Rep. Edward Acevedo, D-Chicago, pushed the legislation through the House Executive Committee. The measure could come up for a vote on the House floor this week.

    An attempt last year to move the ban through the House failed to receive enough votes.

    Gun makers and their state lawmakers argued that they operate legal businesses that are subject to tough state and federal requirements. Westrom said the state should concentrate on catching criminals, rather than on banning guns.

    "The arms manufacturers of Illinois and their customers are not the problem," said Westrom.

    Along with Springfield Armory and ArmaLite, other companies involved in fighting the ban include Lewis Machine & Tool of Moline, Les Baer Custom Inc. of Hillsdale and Rock River Arms Inc. of Colona.

    State lawmakers on both sides of aisle vowed to help block the ban.

    "The State of Illinois has almost become an enemy of my district," said state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline.

    "We will fight this with everything we have," added state Sen. Todd Sieben, R-Geneseo.

    The legislation is House Bill 2414.
  2. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Looks like Illinois is ripe for the return of the OWL party. [applaud] [applaud]
  4. 155gunner

    155gunner Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I don't understand why any gunmaker would stay in a state that is so restrictive as far as gun laws go. Why does S&W stay in Massachusetts, Colt in Connecticut, Kimber and Kahr in NY? I am sure the less restrictive states would give these companies very attractive relocation packages if they moved.
  5. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    Colt still makes guns?
  6. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    You would think they would "drop it like it's hot!"
  7. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    At Sadlak Industries, we keep getting solicitations from the "Governor or South Dakota" telling us what a gun friendly state it is and what attractive tax advantages they are willing to offer - and we don't even make weapons!!
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