April 06. 2013 10:33PM

Grabbing gun makers NH's big opportunity


Last week, Maryland and Connecticut approved strict new gun-control laws. Colorado preceded them by a few weeks. New Hampshire now has a rare opportunity to show that the New Hampshire Advantage is about more than tax rates. Will our leaders take it?

Maryland is home to Beretta USA. The Baltimore Sun reported in early March that "the governor of Texas, West Virginia's House speaker and an Illinois congressman" had already contacted the company to invite it to their state. LWRC International, an arms manufacturer also based in Maryland, "received offers, some including tax incentives, from elected or government officials in Nebraska, Mississippi, North Dakota, Nevada, Texas and West Virginia," The Sun reported.

Notice what gun-friendly New England state is glaringly absent from those lists?

Gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. is headquartered in Connecticut. It has manufacturing facilities in two other states: Arizona and New Hampshire. Bill Ruger Jr., former company president and son of Ruger's founder, is retired - in New Hampshire.

Yet as far as we can tell, Gov. Maggie Hassan has not shown up on his doorstep each morning with flowers and chocolates.

Colorado is home to a big gun-accessories manufacturer. All of these companies are being heavily recruited by public officials from states other than New Hampshire, which already is home to Sig Sauer and to manufacturing facilities for Heckler & Koch USA, Sturm, Ruger and other parts and accessories makers.

New Hampshire has low taxes, a good port, good access to major interstate highways and a culture supportive of responsible gun use and the Second Amendment. It is a great location for manufacturers of guns, gun parts, gun accessories and ammunition. So why is the state not aggressively pursuing these companies and the jobs they would bring with them?