If Rick Perry has his way, Texas may have to change its nickname from the Lone Star State to the Guns & Ammo State.
In early February, Texas Governor Rick Perry sent a letter to 26 gun and ammunition manufacturers inviting them to move their businesses to his state. Perry also made a 4-day trip to California last month and ran some ads on radio, hoping that a personal appeal might lure business away. California's Governor Jerry Brown was not impressed with Perry's efforts and told the news media how he felt about the visit as well as the media's focus on it.
“It’s not a serious story, guys…you take a little radio ad, all you guys run like lapdogs to report it. It’s not a burp, it’s barely a fart.”
MSNBC's Chris Matthews played Perry's radio ad followed by Gov. Brown's reaction to it.
Initial reports following the California trip seemed to focus on the fact that Gov. Perry did not return with a truckload of pledges from companies looking to move to Texas. However, there are rumblings off in the distance, and the number of gun companies either considering a move to Texas or actually packing up and heading to Lone Star state is increasing.
Last week, TheBlaze reported on the possibility of Maryland-based gun maker Beretta relocating to Texas. There are also indications that Colorado's Magpul Industries may move to Texas too. Magpul ran the following ad in the local papers, warning of job losses if the new gun bill is passed in their state.
Image: Magpul Industries
If Beretta and Magpul decide pull up stakes and head to Texas, they won't be the first company on the gun business to do this. Late last month, Shield Tactical (a firearms accessory manufacturer and training company) announced plans to move its entire operation to Shiner, Texas. From Shield Tactical's Facebook page:
Shield Tactical is pleased to announce that we are moving our retail division to Shiner, Texas. We are pleased to have neighbors such as TBRC and the Spoetzl Brewery (home of Shiner Beer). Shipping etc will not be substantially affected.
Our training division will remain in CA until the legislature outlaws everything.
When the company went public with news of the move, it was immediately welcomed by Texas Governor Rick Perry and many members of the pro-Second Amendment community on Facebook.
TheBlaze spoke with Shield Tactical's president, John Harrington just a few days after he arrived in Shiner, TX. His company, which manufactures custom "uppers" for a variety of weapons and also does a substantial business in firearms training is getting a "great reception" by the locals. Harrington told us, "Everyone from the gas station attendant to the sheriff has made us feel welcome."
Curious to learn if Shield Tactical can expect company from other gun makers, we reached out to Governor Perry's office and asked for an update. While no specifics were mentioned, through a spokesperson, Perry's office replied:
Gov. Perry has sent letters and also personally reached out to firearm manufacturers in states that are considering changing their regulations of the industry. He is always looking to tell Texas’ story of reasonable and predictable regulations, low taxes and fair courts to make sure companies know they have another option if their state is implementing policies that may harm job creation.
TheBlaze will continue to monitor companies on the Governor's list of 26 special invitees, and will update this story as needed.