SC lawmakers target Connecticut gun manufacturers

Connecticut's loss could be Horry County's gain. A gun manufacturer may be moving to the Grand Strand.

Bristol, Connecticut-based PTR Industries is looking to relocate.

PTR is among that state's gun makers who are unhappy with Connecticut's tough new gun control law that was passed in response to the school shootings in Newtown last December.

PTR manufactures several models of firearms, including a rifle marketed mostly to law enforcement agencies and the military.

After Connecticut's legislature passed its new law last month banning certain types of weapons and the purchase of high-capacity magazines, PTR put out a statement on its web site: "We have been forced to decide that our business can no longer survive in Connecticut."

"The day after that announcement, I received a copy and I initiated contact with PTR's executive staff," said St. Rep. Alan Clemmons of Myrtle Beach.

Clemmons is co-sponsor of a House resolution inviting gun manufacturers to make South Carolina their home.

Clemmons says PTR is just one company that feels unloved in Connecticut, a state with a long history in the firearms industry.

"Colt, Stag Arms, I've reached out to several others around the country, as well. Not just Connecticut has decided to pass these Second Amendment regressive laws."

Clemmons says PTR officials have visited Horry County, like what they see and think South Carolina would be a good fit for them, though other states are in the running.

He says South Carolina should also pursue others in the firearms industry, like makers of bolt casings and gun stocks.

"And our hope is that we will be able to attract to this area a major player like PTR, that they will come to this area and they will send out the message to others in the industry that Horry County and South Carolina is a good place to do business, a good place to call home," he said.

Clemmons says PTR would bring about 150 jobs to its new location.

Officials with Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation say they're putting together an incentive package and are looking at a location, but can't disclose where that is.


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