Mississippi House Speaker urges Connecticut gunmakers to relocate to his state

Posted at 4:44 PM, Feb 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-23 16:44:38-05

(CNN) – Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn has invited gunmakers such as Colt to relocate to his state from Connecticut, where firearms have been a controversial issue since last December’s elementary school shooting left 20 students and six adults dead there.

The gun industry in Connecticut is being attacked and “demonized” because of national politics, Gunn said in a letter this week to Colt’s Manufacturing Company CEO Dennis Veilleux.

He also invited gunmaker Magpul Industries Corp. of Colorado to relocate to Mississippi.

Gunn, a Republican, said firearm manufacturers are “under attack in anti-Second Amendment states.”

“In our state, you will not be criticized for providing goods to the law-abiding citizens who enjoy hunting, shooting or who just want the peace of mind that comes with the constitutional right to protect their families,” Gunn wrote to Colt on Thursday.

“We welcome you with open arms!” he said.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said Gunn sent letters to three gunmakers in his state and called Gunn’s proposal “preposterous.”

Connecticut residents support the Second Amendment and responsible gun ownership, “far from demonizing firearms products made here,” Blumenthal said in a statement.

“This preposterous pitch to companies with long, successful histories in our state shows the need for national standards and statutes to reduce gun violence,” the senator said. “Competition among states for less protective laws is a race to the bottom that should be avoided. The poison of illegal gun trafficking respects no state boundaries and threatens to cause more horrific tragedies like Newtown and the 1,900 gun violence deaths that have occurred since then.”

Newtown is the name of the Connecticut town where last December’s mass shooting occurred, at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Representatives for Colt and Magpul couldn’t be reached immediately for comment Friday.