(Reuters Reported) – The first gun manufacturer to leave Connecticut after it enacted tough new gun control laws last year in the wake of the Newtown school shootings presented a commemorative rifle on Monday to the governor of South Carolina, its new home. PTR Industries Inc is among a wave of firearms makers moving or expanding away from the industry’s traditional base in the U.S. Northeast to the more gun-friendly South.
Gun sales in the United States have grown steadily over the past 30 years and spiked last year after the Newtown shootings because of fear of coming restrictions, analysts said.
“Everybody who is looking to expand in new factory space is looking outside the Northeast. The reasons are taxes, labor and laws,” said Brian Ruttenbur, an analyst with CRT Capital Group.
A maker of expensive target rifles, PTR announced an $8 million investment in South Carolina, and moved about 45 jobs to a factory near Myrtle Beach in January.
PTR’s limited edition commemorative rifle, which sells for $1,200, is stamped with the South Carolina logo and the words: “We the people shall not be infringed.”
Alabama announced in February that Remington Outdoor Co Inc was moving some production lines from Ilion, New York, where it has been based since 1816, to Huntsville, Alabama, with a $110 million investment that promises to bring 2,000 jobs to the Southern state.
Connecticut-based Sturm Ruger & Co Inc is building a 220,000-square-foot facility in North Carolina, the company’s first major expansion in more than 25 years, it said.
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