Conn. firearms industry believed to take hit after new gun laws


HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- The toughest gun control laws in the nation are expected to be on the books here in Connecticut within the next 24 hours and Connecticut's large firearms industry could be the first economic casualty.

The State House and Senate are scheduled to be gaveled into session Wednesday morning to take up this massive re-write of the state's gun laws.

It should get final approval from the House before the day is over. The Governor assured on Tuesday that he will sign it as quickly as possible.

At the Stag Arms plant in New Britain they make about 6,000 of the popular AR-15 rifles every month. Most of them will be illegal in Connecticut under the new law. The owner now says he has had offers to move from 21 states.

"We're getting more and more pressure from our people, our customers, who are saying that they're not going to want to support a company that operates in a state that has such unfair gun laws," said Mark Malkowski, president of Stag Arms.

Jonathan Scalise says his Ammunition Storage Components company makes 80,000 ammunition magazines a week and that he, like Stag Arms, is taking a beating on social media from people around the country saying they don't want to do business with companies that operate in a state they believe infringe on second amendment rights.

"Our concern is that there's going to be a tremendous damage to our brand based on the actions of the legislature, not based on our actions," said Scalise.

Both companies employ hundreds and spend millions every year on subcontractors and vendors nearby.

"I will send yet another letter to the manufacturers that as long as they're manufacturing a product that can be legally sold in the United States, we would like them to stay in the state," said Gov. Malloy.

"It's frankly quite insulting to find such a hypocritical statement where our products are so inherently dangerous that they can't be sold in the state of Connecticut but they can be made here and sold to the rest of the country. I find that quite insulting," said Malkowski.

Both men believe the new laws could drive the firearms industry out of the state along with many, many jobs.

"That the real fear is that there's going to be a tremendous damage to any brand in Connecticut, not just my brand, at A.S.C. but any manufacturing brand in the rifle or pistol industry in this area," said Scalese.

Many gun owners are expected at the Capitol Wednesday to make their displeasure known about this.

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Connecticut (change)

Connecticut has 169 cities and towns, which serve as the fundamental local political subdivision of the state. Connecticut is the 5th of the original thirteen United States.
Offices & Officials

Governor: Dan Malloy
Lieutenant Governor: Nancy Wyman
Attorney General: George Jepsen
State Treasurer: Denise L. Nappier

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