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House GOP Invites Colt and Beretta to Relocate Business to RI

Monday, April 08, 2013

 

House Republicans, taking a stance on job creation have invited the manufacturer of Colt and Beretta firearms to relocate their business from their present homes to a more business friendly environment in Rhode Island. 

Firearms legislation aside.

“This is not about firearms, but jobs,” said Rep. Brian C. Newberry, House Minority Leader.

“Tomorrow, as the Governor and Democratic Assembly Leadership plan to introduce ideologically-driven gun control legislation that will ultimately serve no good purpose and do nothing to deter criminals, we wish to remind them that they are again neglecting one of the highest unemployment rate in America and failing to focus their energies on the number one priority facing Rhode Island’s citizens – a lack of jobs,” he said.

Encouraging the Connecticut-based Colt and Maryland-based Berretta to relocate “from hostile territory,” Newberry predicated the invitation on economic development, propositioning the manufactures to consider a home base with less restrictive gun control measures. Beretta recently announced it would expand elsewhere if stricter legislative measures were passed in Maryland.

““Why expand in a place where the people who built the gun couldn’t buy it?” said a company executive.

“Our focus should be on rebuilding the economy and making Rhode Island a place that attracts high quality private sector jobs, not chases them away,” said Newberry. “Instead, tomorrow promises to be yet another high profile “social issue” sideshow that will merely perpetuate Rhode Island’s reputation as a place where we always have our eye on the wrong ball.”

Rhode Island as a welcoming environment.

In a letter dated today, Newberry asked company executives to consider moving their administrative, manufacturing and marketing activities to Rhode Island where firearms regulation is sensible, responsible and respectful of gun owners.

"Rhode Island would be a welcoming environment for [Beretta]. Rather than being just another Rhode Island company, you would be a valued community resource and a significant partner for the state from day one," Newberry said.

Gun manufacture will bring jobs to a weak employment sector.

Speaking to the need to fill vacant buildings and shore up Rhode Island’s distressed manufacturing sector, Newberry championed a jobs industry that would put Rhode Islanders back to work.

“Gun manufacturing is a high-paying industry. We have vacant facilities here that match the industry’s requirements. As well, we have a willing and available workforce with skills this industry can put to work. This is also an industry that that is essential to our national security, so it is unlikely it will disappear. While I am generally not a fan of states trying to poach each other’s industries, in a situation when states such as Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado have made it abundantly clear that these jobs are no longer wanted, we ought to be rolling out the welcome mat. Instead, the Governor and the Democrats are doing exactly the opposite, putting up a “stay away” sign by proposing hostile “feel good” legislation,” said Newberry.

Representative Doreen Costa (D-31), North Kingstown and Exeter, supported the measure in its entirety.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with firearms legislation,” she said. “This is about the opportunity to create hundreds of jobs in Rhode Island. Look what happened with North Carolina and Metropolitan. They took jobs from us. We have the opportunity to take jobs back - create a stronger manufacturing sector.”

Freshman Representative, Linda Finn (D-72), whose House Bill House 5573, calls for strict oversight, reporting and records maintenance for guns owned within the state, was hesitant to comment.

Beretta is looking for a new home. 

Beretta recently announced it would expand elsewhere if stricter legislative measures were passed in Maryland. ““Why expand in a place where the people who built the gun couldn’t buy it?” said a company executive.

“Our focus should be on rebuilding the economy and making Rhode Island a place that attracts high quality private sector jobs, not chases them away,” said Newberry. “Instead, tomorrow promises to be yet another high profile “social issue” sideshow that will merely perpetuate Rhode Island’s reputation as a place where we always have our eye on the wrong ball.”

Speaking to the need to fill vacant buildings and shore up Rhode Island’s distressed manufacturing sector, Newberry championed a jobs industry that would put Rhode Islanders back to work.

“Gun manufacturing is a high-paying industry. We have vacant facilities here that match the industry’s requirements. As well, we have a willing and available workforce with skills this industry can put to work. This is also an industry that that is essential to our national security, so it is unlikely it will disappear."

“While I am generally not a fan of states trying to poach each other’s industries, in a situation when states such as Connecticut, Maryland and Colorado have made it abundantly clear that these jobs are no longer wanted, we ought to be rolling out the welcome mat. Instead, the Governor and the Democrats are doing exactly the opposite, putting up a “stay away” sign by proposing hostile “feel good” legislation,” said Newberry.

Representative Doreen Costa (D-31), North Kingstown and Exeter, supported the measure in its entirety.

“This has absolutely nothing to do with firearms legislation,” she said. “This is about the opportunity to create hundreds of jobs in Rhode Island. Look what happened with North Carolina and Metropolitan. They took jobs from us. We have the opportunity to take jobs back - create a stronger manufacturing sector.”

Freshman Representative, Linda Finn (D-72), whose House Bill House 5573, calls for strict oversight, reporting and records maintenance for guns owned within the state, was hesitant to comment.

“I don’t know enough about the invitation - how they intend to entice the companies to move here. I’m not going to say anything that would discourage business from coming to Rhode Island,” she said.  
 

 

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