The CEO of iconic American gun maker Colt’s Manufacturing Company, LLC, Dennis Veilleux, threatened to initiate the process of moving the company headquarters from Hartford, Conn., as lawmakers in that State mull tough gun laws that could even include an AR-15 ban.
In an op-ed in the Hartford Courant, Veilleux said that recent calls by Connecticut lawmakers and Governor Dannel Malloy for strict gun laws that would make illegal some of the products Colt manufactures could bring the gun maker to pick up its 175-year roots in the State and move the operation to a more gun-friendly environment.
From the op-ed:
We can educate gun owners and enforce laws on the safe storage of firearms in the home (Imagine if the firearms criminally and insanely misused in Newtown had been stored securely.) I have two young children and like so many in our state, I identify with, but can only imagine, the searing pain of those parents who lost children in Newtown. If I thought a ban would make the state and especially its children safer, I could not write these words.
The fact is bans don’t work. We tried to ban alcohol nearly 100 years ago, which just drove a regulated activity underground.
I know one thing that the governor’s proposed ban will do: It will irreparably damage — if not destroy — the brand of any Connecticut firearms manufacturer.
Our customers are unusually brand-loyal. In many cases, they personally identify with the firearm brand they choose. Although our Connecticut heritage has historically enhanced our brand, that will change overnight if we ban the modern sporting rifle.
The CEO said that the only real result of a Connecticut ban on certain classes of weapons would be to hurt the Colt brand name — as well of that of fellow Connecticut-based gun makers Mossberg and Stag Arms — as costumers opt to do business with companies located in gun-friendly States. Veilleux also said that Colt is constantly approached by other States with relocation offers, something the company would consider if tough gun laws are passed.
Earlier in the month, Veilleux closed down Colt for a day in order to have 400 workers visit the Connecticut State capitol to discuss with lawmakers the threat new State gun legislation poses to jobs at the firearm plant.
A similar situation happened in Colorado recently. When lawmakers passed a high capacity magazine ban in that State, gun accessory maker Magpul Industries made the decision to move its 200-man operation elsewhere.