Up In Arms

By: Robert Gorkin

Blog Category: The Economics of Gun Control

The recent tragic killing of elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut sparked an immediate, emotionally-charged national debate to heavily restrict or even disallow gun ownership by private citizens.  Proposals to enact gun-control legislation have predictably run into stiff Second Amendment opposition.  States with restrictive laws include New York, California, Illinois, and Hawaii. As some states have attempted to ratchet up gun controls, gun manufactures and retailers have struck back in an interesting twist to the “law of unintended consequences.”

A growing number of gun manufactures have issued policy directives cancelling current business and rejecting any future business from military and law enforcement agencies in anti-Second Amendment states.  Within several weeks, the list grew from a handful to more than sixty companies. For example, one Colorado company ran ads warning that it could be forced to leave the state, resulting in a loss of jobs. In Maryland, a potentially serious economic loss could come from Beretta U.S.A. This threat is not idle. In the past, when Maryland increased its gun-control restrictions, Beretta moved its warehousing to Virginia. At one point the company was the second-largest employer in southern Maryland and indirectly provided even more Maryland jobs through its contracts. Today, in addition to making a number of other weapons, Beretta manufactures the standard sidearm for the U.S. military and remains a major economic player in Maryland’s economy. Beretta warned that a proposed assault-weapons ban could force the company to leave the state.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.


Mike Opelka, Update: The Latest Complete List Of Gun Makers & Sellers Saying ‘No!’ To Law Enforcement In Anti-2nd Amendment StatesThe Blaze (Feb. 24, 2013, 10:15 AM), available at  http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/24/update-the-latest-complete-list-of-gun-makers-sellers-saying-no-to-law-enforcement-in-anti-2nd-amendment-states.

Erica Ritz, ‘Berettas Don’t Bluff’: Major Gun Company Threatens To Leave Maryland Over New Gun Control Proposals, The Blaze (Feb. 24, 2013 7:07 PM), available at http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/02/24/berettas-dont-bluff-major-gun-company-threatens-to-leave-maryland-over-new-gun-control-proposals.

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