Colt Exerts Influence in Connecticut, Cradle of U.S. Gun Manufacturing


Gun-control advocates have long viewed Connecticut politicians as hospitable, even though that state is relatively liberal state and already has more gun restrictions than most. Democrats control both houses of the legislature. But the state is home to a number of gun manufacturers, and they sometimes get their way with lawmakers by threatening to leave the state, reports the New York Times. In 2009, legislators declined to approve gun microstamping, which makes guns easier to trace. They also declined to push a bill last year that would have banned high-capacity ammunition magazines — the very accessory used by Adam Lanza to kill 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.

During a microstamping hearing in 2009, a Colt executive, Carlton S. Chen, said the company would seriously consider leaving the state if the bill became law. “You would think that the Connecticut government would be in support of our industry,” Mr. Chen said. Now, in the aftermath of the Newtown massacre, the lawmakers are formulating new gun-control measures, saying the state must serve as a national model. Connecticut is a cradle of the American gun industry, and it remains the seventh-largest producer of firearms in the country. Colt, based in Connecticut since the 1800s, employs roughly 900 people in the state. Two other major gun companies, Sturm, Ruger and Mossberg and Sons, are also based in the state. In all, the industry employs about 2,000 people in Connecticut, company officials said.

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