OK, so Beretta is considering leaving Maryland, Magpul’s already bailing on Colorado (while, RUMINT says, preparing to pour resources into crushing its Colorado politician enemies at the polls, in hopes of reversing the Hickenlooper Ban, and saving their corporate HQ and many of their employees’ jobs), Colt’s hinting at dumping its 150-plus-year residence in Connecticut, so why not LWRCI?
Most civilian gun owners haven’t seen the products of the company based on the economically backward Delmarva Peninsula, but the company operates in the high-quality niche of the ever-growing AR market. LWRC has had a long and convoluted history (it has been the Leitner-Wise Rifle Company and the Land Warfare Resources Corporation before its current iteration)
Its customers include the government itself, friendly foreign governments (LWRC supplies Britain’s designated marksman rifle), local police agencies and discerning individuals who don’t mind getting in the queue behind, say, Saudi Arabia’s $100-million order. They’re perhaps best-known in the market as dedicated promoters of the CQB-optimized 6.8mm SPC round in the AR. But, while their executives might be able to retire rich as Croesus just on their US and foreign military orders, they want it known that that’s not how they roll. They sent a key EVP, Darren Mellors, to testify to that effect in the Maryland Legislature, and his testimony is posted on the company’s Facebook page:
The direct jobs that would be lost if LWRC was move out of state belong to the least of your Maryland brothers and sisters. These are people and communities that have access to very few resources, who can’t simply drive to another county to find another job.
LWRCI will bring in excess of $130 million dollars into Maryland this year. This money is put to work in Dorchester County, one the most economically distressed Counties in MD, and the money is spread throughout the state through subcontract work to Maryland businesses, the purchase of capital equipment and technical services, the rental of properties, contracting construction for expansion, employee’s payroll dollars and corporate taxes. The millions of dollars we bring from outside of MD into the state do more to stimulate the economy than any scheme legislators or members of the State and Federal executive branches ever could.
We have invested every dollar back into expansion and growth. We invest in our employees, training them in high tech skills like machining, programming, drafting and other skilled jobs. We use the Maryland institutes of higher education offering tuition reimbursement to our employees. Our goal from the first day of operations was to expand and build something of value, not take annual dividends. We have invested in Maryland, our communities, and its people.
This one where you really have to go to LWRC’s Facebook page, and — you know what we’re going to say — Read The Whole Thing™.
The testimony is quite lengthy and reveals, for example, that none of the 60,000 LWRCI rifles shipped to qualified buyers has ever turned up in an ATF crime trace. (Not surprising, really. Their market is not exactly the Chi-town gangbanger set, or the ATF’s own SInaloa Cartel Purchasing Authority). But the bottom line is in this question: “”
Mellors’s threat is not in the least veiled, unlike Colt’s or Beretta’s.
The legislation as written seems to be window dressing for political gain by a few in the face of ineffective crime control. The real issues of public safety as they relate to gun violence go largely unanswered. The MD government is making it clear through its actions with this legislation that we, nor Beretta nor other firearms manufacturers are welcome in MD. It sends the message that this is not the State to expand in.
This legislation also sends a clear message to MD citizens that wish to exercise their rights under the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution; that they are no longer welcome in MD. For criminals, it will be business as usual. As such, if this unconstitutional ban passes as written, we will comply with your wishes and move our companies out of Maryland along with as many employees and their families that wish to go.
He signed off “Respectfully.” That seems to be the one insincere word in the whole thing, unless he’s referring to respect for constitutional state offices, not for the bozos that currently occupy them.
Reportedly, the de-facto one-party state legislature, and Governor Martin O’Malley, have told their supporters that “LWRC can’t leave because they depend on government contracts,” and they’re pulling in chits with the Obama administration to cancel LWRC’s USG and FMS orders if the company moves. That would be a blatant violation of the DOD’s arcane but toothy procurement regulations, and would lead to the mother of all contract-cancellation lawsuits. That’s even before the market reacts to pick up the government’s slack. The USG only uses about two to two-and-a-half million AR-type rifles, total, for all services and agencies, and that’s the fruit of 60 years of AR-buying. Civilian sales of ARs were running at a million a year before the re-election of the man with the ban on his mind.
If you strike LWRC down, you will only make them stronger.