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Don't say I didn't warn you:


When it comes to guns, Idaho economic development officials are starting to see green.

The Gem State, eager to attract new jobs and industry, is positioning itself as the best possible home for the nation's 200 small arms manufacturers - companies worth a collective $2 billion per year but unwelcome in many of the states that have long been their home.

It appears that the attraction is mutual.

"Like any smart business, gun manufacturers are looking for places that facilitate low operational costs, such as business taxes, utility costs and a good place for employees to live," said Richard Schelowitz, an analyst for AFC, which monitors the firearms industry.

"But unlike some businesses, this industry is also growing weary of regulations and public perceptions that might make it more difficult - and therefore more costly - to do business."


During the past decade, several small gun manufacturers have relocated to Idaho. More may be on the way.

In recent weeks, at least one supplier of parts for internationally known gun manufacturer Armalite visited Southern Idaho to survey potential manufacturing sites.'s clear that state officials are working hard to court major players in an industry that is valued at $2 billion-a-year in civilian sales alone.


Idaho's campaign to put out the welcome mat for gunmakers comes at a time when other states would be happy to see them go.

Illinois, home to gun manufacturers such as Armalite, DS Arms and the Springfield Armory, is one of 12 Eastern and Midwestern states that have either passed or are debating legislation that would restrict firearm sale and production.

Illinois is mulling a ban on manufacture of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Connecticut, meanwhile, is considering a ban on sale of "assault-style weapons" and semi-automatic handguns - including those made near its own state capital by the legendary Colt company

"In the '90s, gun control campaigns turned their focus from regulating the sale of firearms to regulating the manufacturing of firearms as a way to slow the trickle of guns into the civilian market,"said Schelowitz, the industry analyst. "Right now, I don't think you are seeing a mass exodus of large manufacturers from states that are imposing tighter regulations, but some of the smaller and more mobile ones are leaving. If the trend continues you should expect to see even the large ones make the move to states that are perceived as 'gun friendly."

LOTS of tax revenue is leaving your state because of your politicians' anti-gun stance. It's not too late to do something about it.
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