- Associated Press - Sunday, May 18, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Arkansas Economic Development Commission is making a summer trip to the Czech Republic to recruit more firearms-focused businesses to operate in the state.

The commission’s list of targeted industries changed in 2014 to include firearms, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1geBZjS ).

“We have a strong sector here in Arkansas,” Commission executive director Grant Tennille said of the industry. “We think there’s room for more.”

Grant told the newspaper that the 10-day trip includes meetings in Prague with government and business representatives across a variety of sectors, including firearms and firearms accessories. He declined to name the particular businesses for competitive reasons.

The July trip by Gov. Mike Beebe and his staff will also include a visit to England and Paris.

Tennille said the idea to visit the Czech Republic came after the commission sent a delegation to a shooting, hunting and outdoor industry show that featured products from the country. Vendors, he said, were interested in trying to crack into the U.S. market.

Lenka Horakova, the commission’s international project manager for Europe, will be a big help on the trip, Tennille said. Horakova is a University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate, hails from the Czech Republic and still has family there.

Meanwhile, Madison, North Carolina-based Remington Arms is working on a $32 million expansion at its Lonoke ammunition plant that is expected to add more than 50 jobs. The plant designs and manufactures ammunition for hunting and shooting sports, as well as for military, government and law enforcement uses. Fort Smith is also home to three companies with ties to the industry.

Tennille said the summer trip is only part of the commission’s strategy to expand the firearm and ammunition industry in Arkansas. The commission also purchased a full-page ad in the June issue of “Guns & Ammo” magazine.

“‘Guns & Ammo’ is the Bible for that industry - for the consumer and the businessman,” Tennille said.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com

Copyright © 2016 The Washington Times, LLC.

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