States Pitch a Lifestyle to Lure Gun Makers From Their Longtime Homes

For more than a century, the nation’s firearms industry, including iconic brands like Colt, Smith & Wesson and Winchester, has been concentrated in Northeastern and Midwestern states that now have restrictive gun-control laws.

But recently, states like Idaho, Alabama and Montana have presented a novel argument as part of an effort to lure the firearms industry’s high-paying jobs south and west: Gun makers would be happier and more successful among citizens who regularly use firearms than they would be remaining in states trying to limit gun rights.

The approach is the latest twist in the interstate competition for scarce jobs, with hard-pressed states supplementing or even bypassing traditional enticements like tax breaks in favor of pitches that sell a lifestyle: greater personal freedom, low or no state taxes, minimal regulation, the absence of troublesome unions and of course, the unfettered right to bear arms.

New York Times
8/9/11