As some states that are home to manufactures of guns and gun components move to pass stricter gun regulations, two Pennsylvania state representatives have laid out a welcome mat in hopes of drawing the companies to the state.
Representatives Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, and Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler County, issued a joint news release Monday that announces they are reaching out to several out-of-state gun and gun component makers, including Beretta, Magpul and Remington, and encouraging them to move to the Keystone State.
"We'll be more than happy to have additional manufacturing," Grove said. "Pennsylvania is known all over the country for clinging to its guns, and it's time that we use this reputation to our advantage."
In reaching out to the companies, Pennsylvania has joined a long list of states that have already done so.
Hopeful: With a high number of gun owners and supporters of the Second Amendment and a pending bill would make any new federal gun control laws unenforceable in Pennsylvania, Metcalfe said, the state is a good fit for gun manufactures.
"With America's single largest per capita representation of National Rifle Association members and more than one million licensed hunters and anglers ... Pennsylvania is a natural fit for any of our nation's major producers of guns, ammunition or accessories that are currently looking for a new home," Metcalfe said.
Of the three companies, Grove said it would be logical for Accokeek, Md.-based Beretta USA Corp. to move north of the Mason-Dixon Line, hopefully to York County where "world-class employees" reside.
In light of the Maryland legislature's advancement of a ban on assault weapons coupled with Beretta's history of moving operations, Grove said the company could opt to move out of the state.
West Virginia and Virginia are also looking to capitalize on the company's dissatisfaction with the measure.
Jeff Reh, a member of the Board of Directors for Beretta U.S.A. Corp. testified last month before Maryland state officials that Beretta has two other companies in Maryland that import or sell firearms. Together, the companies employ about 400 people in the state. Reh also noted that the companies are projected to pay about $31 million in taxes to the state from 1997 to 2014.
Reh testified that the nearly 500-year history of the Beretta family shows commitment to the community in which it locates its business. The state, however, isn't reciprocating by advancing the gun-control bill, he said.
"Instead we are confronted with a state government that wants to ban our products at a time, by the way, when numerous other state governments are courting our investment," Reh said in written testimony to a Senate panel. "It is worth noting that these states also do not try to blame a product for human misconduct."
Unlikely: Grove cast doubts that Colorado-based Magpul and Remington Arms, based in New York state, would move to Pennsylvania. Remington, which makes guns and ammunition and employs about 1,000, has been based in the same town for more than 200 years.
Pennsylvania is one of a number of state to approach the company after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law regulations earlier this year that have been touted as the "toughest gun control laws in the nation."
Magpul, which makes gun components, including high-capacity ammunition magazines, threatened to leave the state if it bans individuals from owning magazines with more than 15 rounds. The company employees 200 people.
Since the company is nearly across the country, Grove said its unlikely Magpul would move east to Pennsylvania.
Metcalfe and Grove are also calling on Pennsylvanians who support gun rights to attend the state's annual Second Amendment Action Day on Tuesday, April 23 at 10 a.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda. Supporters can also sign the Armed Pennsylvania: Say to No Gun Control petition by visiting RepMetcalfe.com.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. - Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.