Speaker of the Mississippi House Woos Gun Makers to the State

Feb 21, 2013 6:18pm
ap phil gunn nt 130221 wblog Speaker of the Mississippi House Woos Gun Makers to the State

Phil Gunn, Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives. Rogelio V. Solis/AP Photo.

Speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives Philip Gunn has made another move in reaction to potential federal gun control laws, this time wooing gun manufacturers to relocate to his state.

“Gun manufacturers are under attack in anti-Second Amendment states,” Gunn said in a release announcing that he sent 14 letters to CEOs of firearm manufacturers across the country Thursday, inviting them to move their operations to Mississippi. He said it is a state “where their industry and jobs will be appreciated.”

“We need more businesses to establish home base in Mississippi,” said Gunn, a Republican. “We can provide these companies with an educated workforce, a superior quality of life, an evolving education system for their children, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing we support their industry.”

The letters went to manufacturers from Colorado to Connecticut, from North Carolina to New York.  They included Smith & Wesson in Massachusetts, Sig Sauer in New Hampshire, Colt Manufacturing Company in Connecticut, Remington Arms Company in North Carolina and ten others.

In the letters, Gunn tells the CEOs that he has “been following the national news and cannot help but notice that your industry is being attacked.” Even though the companies are job creators in their respective states, he writes, “because of national politics you are being demonized.”

“I am personally inviting you and your company to come to the great state of Mississippi,” the letter reads. “In our state, you will not be criticized for providing goods to the law abiding citizens who enjoy hunting, shooting or who just want the peace of mind that comes with the constitutional right to protect their families.”

Last month, Gunn and  Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant held a press conference at the state capitol in Jackson to denounce the president’s proposed gun control measures and call on the state legislature to make it illegal to enforce any of the potential federal gun control proposals.

“We are here to assure Mississippians that we are going to continue to fight for their Second Amendment rights to bear arms,” Gunn said at the press conference. “These are dangerous times, and people have a constitutional right to protect themselves and their property.”

Since then, four bills have passed out of the Mississippi House of Representatives and are now headed to the state senate, where they wait to be passed before they make it to the governor’s desk.

Video: Vide President Biden Urges Stricter Gun Laws

The move comes on the same day Vice President Joe Biden warned Congress that there is a “moral price” that will be paid if action is not taken to prevent gun violence. Biden spoke at a conference in Connecticut just 10 miles away from Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20 children and six adults were gunned down in December.

“I say to my colleagues who will watch this and listen to this, I say to you, if you’re concerned about your political survival, you should be concerned about the survival of our children, and guess what? I believe the price to be paid politically will go to those who refuse to act, who refuse to step forward because America’s changed on this issue.  You should all know the American people are with us,” Biden said. “There’s a moral price to be paid for inaction.”

 

ABC News’ Arlette Saenz contributed to this report. 

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