- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Idaho town seeks to lure gun and ammo makers
Woos arms makers for rejuvenation
Question of the Day
POTLATCH, IDAHO — This small community in the forested, western foothills of the Rocky Mountains was created as a company town to house workers for the nation’s largest white pine sawmill, and its tidy homes and straight, tree-lined streets are a testament to its planners.
But the town has slumbered since the Potlatch Lumber Co. mill closed in 1981. It was searching for an economic savior when an ammunition maker decided last year to move its operations from the liberal Seattle area to this more conservative region.
The move by PNW Arms was like a signal flare to business and political leaders in the town of 800 people, who were in the process of trying to determine what industry would be best to pursue.
“We were in the middle of doing our marketing plan at the time and decided that firearms is the niche we would recommend,” said Gary White of Kennewick, Wash., a business marketing consultant who is helping develop the town’s pitch to gun makers.
Potlatch, they decided, would go from timber town to gun town. It would try to lure firearms and ammunition makers, and plans also called for hunting-themed housing and retail development.
“It will help draw some out-of-towners and out-of-staters,” Mayor David Brown said.
Potlatch’s efforts piggyback on a national trend in which firearms-friendly states are trying to pry gun and ammo makers out of the Midwest and Northeast, where some states have more restrictive gun laws.
The Idaho Department of Commerce is making firearms manufacturers a recruiting priority. The state recently passed a law that protects firearms makers from liability lawsuits or excessive regulation, Mr. White said.
“Lots of states are anti-firearms states,” he said. “That is what Idaho is playing against, positioning itself as a firearms-friendly state.”
Firearms are a $3.8 billion industry that employs 90,000 people in the United States. The industry includes high-profile names such as Remington, Winchester, Smith & Wesson and Colt, but also more than 1,000 smaller companies.
“There are a number of states in the South and out West that have pitched to have companies relocate or start businesses in their states,” said Lawrence Keane, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the industry trade group.
South Dakota has had some success in luring companies, and states like Alabama, Montana, Idaho and Arizona have also rolled out the welcome mat, Mr. Keane said.
Many firearms companies have long been headquartered in states like Massachusetts and Connecticut, where the political climate has turned more hostile to firearms. Massachusetts, for example, has passed laws limiting the number of guns people can buy.
No such fears exist in Idaho.
“The regulatory environment in Idaho is friendly to guns and ammunition and we thought we could take this and run with it,” said B.J. Swanson, head of economic development for Latah County. “We’ve had two nibbles already and we haven’t even tried.”
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
- LYONS: Small-arms treaty, big Second Amendment threat
- EDITORIAL: Obamacare in intensive care
- PRUDEN: A deadly enemy within exacerbating immigration crisis
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq