Michelle Malkin

And so it is with the rest of the industry. Despite tough economic times, firearms and ammunition companies have created nearly 27,000 well-paying jobs over the past two years alone, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Businesses in the United States that manufacture, distribute and sell firearms, ammunition and hunting equipment employ nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. and generate an additional 110,000-plus jobs in supplier and ancillary industries.

"These are good jobs, paying an average of $46,858 in wages and benefits," the NSSF reports. In addition, "the firearms and ammunition industry was responsible for as much as $31.84 billion in total economic activity in the country ... (and) the industry and its employees pay over $2.07 billion in taxes including property, income and sales based levies."

In my adopted home state of Colorado, where unemployment hovers near 8 percent, nearly a dozen businesses are being forced to consider leaving their home state because of extremist gun-control proposals. Vice President Joe Biden himself leaned on Democratic lawmakers to support an arbitrary 15-round limit on ammunition magazines. So, what have Sheriff Joe and his gun-grabbing pals wrought? Denver-based ammo magazine manufacturer Magpul served notice that it will take its 400 full-time employees and subcontractors somewhere else. Magpul generates some $85 million in spending in the state.

As the Denver Post reported, the privately held company makes an array of consumer products in addition to sales to the military, law enforcement and gun owners. And because Magpul has made a conscientious effort to support other Colorado companies, the ripple effect could reach far beyond the gun industry -- including several cutting-edge innovators in the plastics-injection-molding business. One of Magpul's most important contractors, Denver-based Alfred Manufacturing Co., employs 150 residents. It, too, will "relocate part or all of our operations out of state" if Democrat Gov. John Hickenlooper enacts the stringent gun-control regime pushed by Biden and company. The company has already put expansion plans on hold.

Smart lawmakers from Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma, Arizona and South Carolina are now courting Remington away from New York and Magpul away from Colorado. For now, these states can offer business-friendly, Second Amendment-defending climates that support a demonized industry. But how much longer will it be until Obama and the pro-jobs hypocrites on Capitol Hill find new, more nefarious ways to obstruct this innovation-driving, wealth-producing sector of the American economy? Make no mistake: Gun-control demagoguery is a lethal weapon.


Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010).

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