The consequences of proposed legislation across the USA on the gun industry are being addressed in a series of adverts and videos produced by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
The hastily conceived and proposed legislation in many states and even in the US Congress has been generated by emotion – a response to the school shooting rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14th last year. It has been propelled by a belief by some that banning particular firearms and putting an arbitrary limit on magazine capacity, and even ammunition purchases, will lessen the likelihood of the criminal misuse of firearms.
Of course, criminals don’t obey laws and, with history as a guide, the impact on incidents of crime would be negligible.
Innocent and law-abiding citizens, however, would be dramatically impacted by the passage of such legislation. And this is not a hypothetical ‘what if’ scenario.
In Colorado, for example, new legislation limits the capacity of magazines. As a result, upon the signing of these bills by the state’s governor, magazine manufacturer Magpul Industries announced it would begin manufacturing magazines outside Colorado.
Magpul’s action was just the first of several possible moves by manufacturers in those states adopting new restrictions on firearms’ features and magazine capacities. Pro-gun states are aggressively recruiting companies to move there by offering tax-incentive packages.
Leafing through the wreckage
Left behind, inevitably, are the workers who choose not to relocate with their employers.
Also left behind are the vendors who do business with the Magpuls that move their facilities. The direct and trickle-down economic impact on hard-working citizens, many of them breadwinners, is severe.
We can hope that government officials would be compassionate about the plight of these businesses and their employees. For most politicians, however, the factor that often gets their attention is votes. Each of these people potentially displaced from the workforce is a voter.
Connecticut is home to many firearm manufacturers. The Connecticut River valley, in fact, is commonly regarded as the birthplace of the firearm industry in the USA. It is also one of the states that quickly after the Newtown school shooting reacted rashly with restrictive gun-control legislation.
Connecticut is also the state where the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is headquartered.
NSSF, as the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting-sports industry, has dedicated its mission to promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports.
To help fulfill that mission, the NSSF has produced a 25-minute video in which the employees and management of three Connecticut-based companies in the firearm industry speak out about their jobs and their combined economic impact on the state.
Available on NSSF’s YouTube channel, the video, by late March, a mere month after its release, had attracted more than 16,000 views (www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsR7U6Tha78&rel=0).
That film demonstrates the challenge that new gun-control laws present to these companies and the individuals who comprise their workforce. And it should be clear that each of these people votes.
Getting the message out there
Similarly, the NSSF produced television advertisements for these same three companies – Colt’s Manufacturing Company, O F Mossberg & Sons and Stag Arms.
Featured, again, are management and employee personnel. Their message is, in part, that an outright ban on the sale of popular semi-automatic rifles and magazine bans of a specific capacity present the real prospect of decreasing good-paying jobs in Connecticut.
The ads aired on cable television around the state. If you’d like to view the ads, you can see them online as follows:
Colt – www.youtube.com/watch?v=svg68Du0Yhg
Stag Arms – www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY2UsyX1rGA
NSSF followed these up with the release of a radio ad (nssfaudio.s3.amazonaws.com/CTradio.mp3) that focused on the proposed legislation, its off-targeted intentions and the impact on the businesses and their employees.
Colt’s Manufacturing CEO, Dennis Veilleux, in a published ‘opposite editorial’ piece in a Connecticut newspaper, argues that a ban sought by the Connecticut governor on modern sporting rifles in that state would so seriously impair the iconic Colt brand with American consumers. He said that even historical ties and a highly skilled workforce may not be enough to keep manufacturing of those semi-automatic rifles in the constitution state.
The NSSF will continue to spread the word in Connecticut and throughout the nation that, while misaimed gun-control legislation may not have an effect on the crime rate, it certainly may cause an increase in the unemployment rate.