Probably the Ideal State for Gun Manufacturers

With big names like Beretta leaving Maryland, and the Outdoor Channel leaving Colorado, Glenn Reynolds thinks Tennessee is a great destination. I agree. I can’t think of a better state, honestly. We’ve had some Pennsylvania politicians making gestures to gun manufacturers to come to the Keystone State, but it’s worth noting that our state’s economy is still built on the “blue model”  and remains a business unfriendly state.

More importantly, gun rights in Pennsylvania has been sustained on the backs of many pro-gun, rural Democrats, which are becoming more and more an endangered species here. Short term, this has helped the GOP take control of our House, retain control of our Senate, and Governor’s mansion, even in a time of Democratic ascendency at the national level. But we are still a state in flux. The GOPs hold is tenuous, and the Democrats are increasingly abandoning gun rights here. With more and more people relocating here from New Jersey and New York in the eastern part of the state, and with the rapid depopulation in the western part of the state, it’s not a great place for gunnies to move to if you don’t plan on fighting. In the next 20 years, Pennsylvania could go either way. It depends greatly on how much gun owners here plan on fighting.

22 thoughts on “Probably the Ideal State for Gun Manufacturers”

  1. I’m already plotting my departure from PA. The leading locations are TN, AL, GA, TX. Time will tell where I end up.

  2. I’m one of those rare people that migrated INTO western PA recently (my wife is originally from here). Not only that, but I’m also one of the rare NY natives that bring a pro-2A attitude into their new home, thanks to my upbringing and coming here via VA. I already know full-well the typical attitude of people who live in the eastern part of the state, but such situations with geographic differences exist in every state (Upstate NY vs. NYC, Northern VA vs. downstate, Front Range vs. the rest of CO).

    I’ve always been of the attitude that it’s much better to fight in states that are either strong on gun rights but may be wavering, as opposed to simply running away to a “free state”. With changing demographics that list may grow smaller by the year. CO was once viewed as a safe haven before a massive influx of CA transplants changed that, VA is strong now but with the growing northern section of the state filled with northeastern transplants and gov’t workers that may not last long, and there are even murmurs of TX eventually becoming a purple state due to immigration and transplants coming for jobs.

  3. I am less interested in leaving than fighting. Eventually if the flight reaction takes, gun owners will be rounded up into one state in the nation, and then what?

    Stay and FIGHT.

    This is why we should press on for incorporation of an unquestioned 2nd amendment right in all 50 states + DC. No one should be deprived of their constitutional rights based on where they live.

  4. I’ve also gone back and forth on this, and I think the gun industry should also not be leaving these states. It’s not like CT has ever been gun friendly, yet Ruger stayed all those years. Same with MD and Beretta. If gun manufacturers are seen fleeing, that does not help our cause and the anti-gunners will have won part of the PR battle. Gun companies also have the ability to channel more efforts into activism efforts in their home state which the NRA doesn’t appear to be doing.

    Like I say, stay and FIGHT. The same goes for manufacturers. I understand the principles behind leaving, but what good does it do as long as you can sell across state lines? What better to further the efforts toward actually using the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution for, well, actual interstate commerce? What a novel concept!

      1. As an SR1911 owner I discovered this recently, actually. However, I believe that a gun manufacturing presence in both of these states can have a positive impact.

  5. To the Democrats, driving out conservative voters is a feature, not a bug of oppressive gun laws.

  6. I was born in Pittsburgh and raised in eastern PA. Last year I moved to the midwest and hated it. I recently came back to PA, and don’t plan on leaving again. I love my state, and I’ll fight these bastards tooth and nail.

    I’m only 70 miles west of the Philly cesspool, and while its a bit fudd-ish, guns are very popular around here. The gun culture in PA is much stronger than it was where I was living on the Missouri River. In the Omaha area, there is exactly 1 outdoor shooting range within reasonable driving distance. And there is exactly 1 indoor shooting range. And that’s in a red state with tons of open land.
    In Lancaster County, PA there are more outdoor ranges than I can count. And here I don’t need a permit to purchase a firearm. And I don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars and take a class to carry concealed. I had to be fingerprinted by the PD just to own a pistol on Omaha. And that’s in a state that’s been much redder than PA for a long time.

    Moreover, the fudd types around here almost always make hunting and the outdoors a family affair, so love of firearms gets passed down through the generations. I also see a strong gun culture 2.0 emerging. The Call of Duty generation are strongly on our side, and I suspect they’ve been becoming first-time gun owners in huge numbers in recent years. And they’re currently getting a great lesson in gun politics and fighting for their rights.

    I’m more optimistic than Sebastian on the future of PA, but he’s spot on about the fighting spirit that will be required of us.

    1. that’s in a red state with tons of open land

      And that shows you why there’s less demand for organized shooting ranges. Shooting ranges don’t make a pro-gun culture. Yes, they are important for a more organized community, but plenty of folks learned how to become safe shooters and eventually gun owners shooting on the family farm. The east, where land is more expensive and it’s less likely that middle income folks can afford vast expanses, is really the hotbed of organized shooting ranges. It’s out of necessity.

      You say you’re 70 miles out, well, it’s the districts that are only about 5-30 miles out where we have the problems. Once those lawmakers start voting with Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, they will outvote the rest of you. Add in a periodic pick-up by anti-gun advocates in unexpected pockets in the state, and Pennsylvania is at risk.

      1. The shooting ranges might not be the best example, but the gun culture here is unmistakably stronger. You can tell just by mentioning guns in a conversations with people in each state and gauging reactions.
        And the number of people with a “family farm” is actually pretty small and shrinking even further very rapidly. The population out there is flocking to the urban areas.

        And I’m not saying we aren’t at risk, I just see some positive signs that make me believe we can stay ahead in the fight.

        1. Dear RP,
          I live on my own farm about 80 miles West of Omaha. Mrs. Bitter is absolutely right. We set up our own “shooting ranges” on our own farms. For the heavy caliber rifles, we all go to a neighbor’s farm that has a deep draw and shoot down into it for target practice. He bar-b-q’s a hog and we feast after the shooting’s over (and the hard beverages come out for those who partake of such). There are no fees or taxes or licenses – we are all free to shoot whenever and as much as desired. My home farm is pretty flat so I would need to build a large earthen backstop for .50 cal and 20mm practice; but my shelter belt handles all the handguns and game rifles. I once even set up a skeet range with a portable puller for shotgun practice. We get plenty of deer and pheasant hunters visiting from our of State and there’s an unofficial Nebraska State militia (unorganized) that “trains” for what we hope will never happen. So for most of Nebraska, the gun culture is pretty awesome!
          Omaha is an isolated cesspool of anti-gun liberals. Their mayor is a Bloomburg wannabe. Although I travel to an Omaha suburb for Sunday services with a wonderful conservative congregation, the city as a whole stinks of tyranny. They gave Obama onevof Nebraska ‘s electoral votes in 2008 because Nebraska splits theirs by district. So although Nebraska overall is a red State, Omaha is a blue island in that sea of red. I think you would have loved the culture 80 miles west!

    2. Just in the small amount of time I’ve been here, I’ve seen that the gun culture here in western PA is definitely more on the 1.0 or “fudd” end of the spectrum. I think that’s just natural due to the larger elderly population, strong hunting heritage, and the lack of an influx of younger folks. The key is reminding all those old-timer NRA members and hunters that the divide-and-conquer strategy has been in the anti’s playbook for a long time, and it won’t stop with scary black guns.

      Northern VA was an interesting place. Hunting isn’t very big there because it’s a suburban wasteland, but being VA, the gun laws are quite nice. What you have is a lot more yuppies going to indoor ranges to shoot their $2,000 ARs. They are very much gun culture 2.0 but also very naive since many of them didn’t get into it until they moved there.

      1. And just to add, if I had to choose between the two, I would take PA any day of the week. I may get a few more odd looks when I talk about an AR, but this place is filled with a lot more down-to-earth folks than you would ever find in the very materialistic DC suburbs. I don’t think I need to mention the cost of living benefits either. I think PA definitely has some things going for it that will keep it a strong state for gun rights. Maybe we can get Philly annexed into NJ or something.

        1. “Maybe we can get Philly annexed into NJ or something.”

          I certainly hope not; That would give NJ a foothold on this side of the river, which they would then seek to expand until they took over the entire Commonwealth. Give an inch and they’ll take a mile.

  7. I have made it my personal mission to reach out to those incoming NY and NJ people and train them on gun safety and the virtues of gun ownership.

    If we want to keep our gun rights we must win as many Non-Gun owners over to our side as we can.

    I ask that all gun owners invite non-gun owners to the shooting range with them and teach them to safely shoot some .22’s.

    Very important to start off woman especially with .22’s so that they enjoy shooting.

  8. Don’t be so down. Demographics are helpful: Ds are concentrating themselves in urban areas–that helps keep a 203 member House in GOP hands. Reapportionment will help solidify that next year.

    And outside of Philly, a lot of the Ds who are elected are pro-life, pro-gun. We have a large Catholic and rural D population, and they kick back against the blanket liberal D stereotype. I don’t see that changing soon.

    We’ll continue to be a pro-gun state. I’ve work for the legislature for over 20 years, and there’s not a single inkling that we’ll do any gun legislation now–and if there were any time to do it, it would be right now. It’s not even discussed, and we’re very “ears to the ground” for political ramifications. If the GOP were worried about inaction on guns leading to al

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