Gun manufacturer leaving Connecticut over new gun laws

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Photo courtesy of PTR industries

By Phil Gast

CNN

(CNN) — A manufacturer of military-style rifles says it is leaving Connecticut and is encouraging other companies to do the same after last week’s signing of sweeping gun legislation.

PTR Industries of Bristol said the bill approved by the General Assembly was “fraught with ambiguous definitions, insufficient considerations for the trade, conflicting mandates and disastrous consequences for the fundamental rights of the people of Connecticut.”

In a statement posted late Tuesday, the company said it hopes to pick a site by summer and move by the end of the year.

Gov. Dannel Malloy on Thursday signed what advocacy groups call the strongest and most comprehensive gun legislation in the nation.

The law bans some weapons as well as the sale or purchase of high-capacity magazines like those used in the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting in December that left 20 children and six adults dead. It also requires background checks for all gun purchases.

The Connecticut measure adds more than 100 guns to the state’s list of banned assault weapons, limits the capacity of ammunition magazines to 10 rounds and bans armor-piercing bullets.

While the new law allows current owners of magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds to keep them, it requires those people to register the magazines with the state and forbids owners from loading them with more than 10 rounds outside their homes or while at a gun range.

“At any given time, we own 100,000 or more 20-round magazines,” PTR Industries CEO Josh Fiorini told CNN affiliate WFSB. “How are we supposed to individually register all of those magazines?”

With the restrictions, Fiorini said, his company would be unable to make payroll in Connecticut. The company has a few dozen employees.

Critics have argued the Connecticut legislation will do nothing to stop someone like Adam Lanza, who carried out the Sandy Hook school killings December 14 with an assault-style weapon and high-capacity magazines.

“In his case, he stole the guns and went on a murderous rampage,” Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, previously has said. “Limiting magazine capacity or mandating registration will only affect law-abiding persons, not criminals bent on murder.”

Republican House Minority Leader Larry Cafero, a member of the bipartisan task force that drafted the bill, reassured gun owners they wouldn’t lose their guns or ammunition magazines, “so long as they follow our rules and register,” he said.

PTR Industries said the safety of children was “at best questionably improved” since the shootings.

“Due to an improperly drafted bill, manufacturing of modern sporting rifles in the State of CT has been effectively outlawed,” it said.

PTR Industries called on other gunmakers to leave Connecticut and “show our politicians the true consequences of their hasty and uninformed actions.”
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