By Allen Thompson
Maryland, New Jersey, and New York are infamous for their highly restrictive gun laws these days. In New Jersey, a handgun purchaser is required to get a specific Permit for Purchasing a Handgun, which is only good for ninety days and five handguns. In New York, we’re all familiar with the arrests of folks following the law and checking their handguns at the door of the Empire State Building. And Maryland has recently passed some of the most stringent gun control laws in the country.
As bad as that is for our neighboring states, restrictive guns laws on the Mid-Atlantic is a very good thing for the Pennsylvania firearms industry. Numerous firearms dealers have flocked to Pennsylvania to escape the strict anti-gun environments of the surrounding area. The Washington Times reports that Angus MacGregor’s Trading Post is heading to Rockwood, PA because his Maryland firearms dealers license has not been renewed. In true defiant fashion, the owner of MacGregor’s has stated he plans to use the stack of expired papers as target practice.
Likewise, Kahr Firearms Group, located in New York, has announced that it will be moving into Pennsylvania. Fox News reports that Kahr is merely the first manufacturer to announce its exit after New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act – one of many laws passed after the Newtown shooting. Kahr’s move will eventually include its manufacturing plant (which had been set to go up in New York) and the corporate headquarters.
Shotgun News reports that Sarco, one of the largest wholesalers and retailers of firearms, has recently made the jump across the Delaware from New Jersey. Sarco is (or was, rather) located in New Jersey for 50 years before packing up and heading into Easton. Sarco exited the Garden State due to – surprise – New Jersey’s heavy-handed regulation of all-things-weapons-related.
We rightly debate the constitutionality of gun control measures and focus on the larger picture. But underneath the big picture are stories like these. Not only is moving a business a difficult task – paperwork, location shopping, packing, moving, sometimes hiring new employees and letting go of employees from the prior state. Employees that were working in New York, New Jersey, and Maryland are now no longer employed, a direct result of gun control laws that drive employers from the state. We also need to remember that the citizens of New Jersey, New York, and Maryland are now left with fewer choices in the firearms market – the more manufacturers and dealers that leave our neighboring states, the less choice our fellow citizens have in the firearms market. That, in turn, affects pricing, which affects sales, which affects dealers’ decisions to remain in business, which affects availability, which affects pricing…
While the firearms dealers noted in this blog article are merely the ones that have been in the news recently, there are numerous other dealers and law-abiding citizens flocking from the iron-fisted regulation of anti-gun states. Let’s use the example of our neighbors as a lesson in the importance of vigilance, so that we do not find ourselves in the same situation.
Written by Allen Thompson, who expects to have his PA Bar results this month. Reviewed and approved by Joshua Prince, Esq.