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CT Gun Laws Drive Record Sales

Meanwhile, other states continue to court gun manufacturers, and one will be heading south in January.

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
By Gary Jeanfaivre

Amid the uncertainty of what Connecticut's gun laws would look like in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook School in Newtown — and after the state passed what has been rated as the second-toughest gun laws in the nation — firearms sales spiked this year.

Efforts to court Connecticut-based gun manufacturers to move out of state have also been fast and furious.

One manufacturer, Stag Arms based in New Britain, has received offers from 42 different states, according to a report by WNPR. Stag Arms makes assault rifles, similar to the one a 20-year-old used to kill 20 students and six educators at Sandy Hook School on Dec. 14, 2012.

Despite the offers, even visiting two southern states, Stag is staying put, WNPR reports. The company owner tells the public radio station that his employees, 200 of them, make excellent products here in Connecticut.

Also, despite the states' stricter gun laws, sales have been swift and steady — even as far south as Florida. At Stag, they're up 40 percent from the same time last year, according to WNPR.  

That's not surprising given that gun permits were being taken out at unprecedented rates this year. In May, state police were facing a backlog of 62,000 background checks for gun permits — a workload that led to a request for more manpower — as a cloud of uncertainty hung in the air while a special task force crafted the state's new laws and President Barack Obama pushed for tighter controls at the federal level, too.

Not all of the state's gun manufacturers are staying put, though. At least one, Bristol-based PTR Industries, is heading to South Carolina in January, taking with it 40 jobs.

“Along with other companies in the trade, we were deeply apprehensive at the hurried process to develop new gun laws and fearful that it would generate unintended consequences for our industry,” PTR Vice President John McNamara said in April.

A month later, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the new gun laws.

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