With state officials due to release their proposal Tuesday for curbing gun violence, Republican House lawmakers are inviting gun makers to relocate to Rhode Island in response to changes in Connecticut and Maryland. A legislative news release says the changes render those two states as "hostile territory":
Colt operates from West Hartford, CT, a state that has just enacted some of the most rigid gun regulations in the U.S. Beretta, of Accokeek, MD, has said it would look elsewhere if more restrictive gun legislation was passed in Maryland. “Why expand in a place where the people who built the gun couldn’t buy it?,” a company executive said recently.
“This is not about firearms, but jobs,” said Rep. Brian C. Newberry, House Minority Leader.
“Tomorrow, as the Governor and Democratic Assembly Leadership plan to introduce ideologically-driven gun control legislation that will ultimately serve no good purpose and do nothing to deter criminals, we wish to remind them that they are again neglecting one of the highest unemployment rate in America and failing to focus their energies on the number one priority facing Rhode Island’s citizens – a lack of jobs,” he said.
“Our focus should be on rebuilding the economy and making Rhode Island a place that attracts high quality private sector jobs, not chases them away. Instead, tomorrow promises to be yet another high profile “social issue” sideshow that will merely perpetuate Rhode Island’s reputation as a place where we always have our eye on the wrong ball."
Lawmakers and other officials are expected to unveil their gun proposal at 2:30 Tuesday in Room 313 at the Statehouse. Past efforts to make Rhode Island's gun laws more stringent have faced an uphill battle.