| CHARLESTON, S.C., June 20
CHARLESTON, S.C., June 20 A firearms
manufacturer is leaving Connecticut for the gun-friendly state
of South Carolina to avoid the tough gun-control law passed in
the wake of the Newtown school shooting that killed 20
first-graders and six adults last December.
PTR Industries, a maker of military-style rifles, picked
South Carolina over Texas and four other states, lured by its
pro-Second Amendment politics, lower costs and coastal location,
economic development officials said on Thursday.
"One hundred percent of our product line is illegal in
Connecticut," said John McNamara, PTR's vice president of sales.
"They just want to collect our tax dollars on a product that
they don't think is safe to own."
The Connecticut law, one of the toughest gun-control
measures in the United States, bars high-capacity ammunition
magazines of the kind used in the Newtown shooting and adds to
the firearms covered by the state's assault-weapons ban.
South Carolina's Senate, on the other hand, passed a
resolution this spring that encourages gun manufacturers to come
to the state.
PTR, which stands for Precision Target Rifles, is the first
Connecticut firearms company to announce it is leaving. Others
have threatened to move out of state.
Stag Arms, which also makes military-style rifles, has
narrowed its list to South Carolina and Texas as final
contenders for relocation, said Brad Lofton, president and chief
executive officer of the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic
South Carolina economic development officials are also in
talks with several Connecticut ammunition manufacturers, he
"We don't have a gun-manufacturing strategy per se, but
metalworking and precision metalworking is one of our target
industries," said Jeff McKay, executive director of the North
Eastern Strategic Alliance, a regional economic development
organization that represents nine South Carolina counties.
PTR's relocation to a business park near Myrtle Beach will
be announced at a formal ceremony with Governor Nikki Haley on
Monday, and the gun maker hopes to move its operation by year's
end, McNamara said.
The company will bring 24 employees to South Carolina and
must expand to 140 employees after three years in the state,
(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Eric Walsh)