Connecticut gunmaker PTR Industries was the first to announce relocation as gun control bills were introduced and passed in their home state. Following the example of industry names like Magpul and Stag Arms, PTR found it impossible to stay in due to the strict new laws making it illegal to buy their products in Connecticut.
Where exactly they will be moving has been a mystery, although it was rumored that Texas was among the front-runners. This appeared to have been confirmed by Texas Governor Rick Perry’s recent visit to Connecticut, during which the governor had hoped to convince a few gunmakers to move to the Lone Star State. Not so fast. Instead, PTR told the Sun News that the company has its eyes on Horry County, South Carolina. PTR will be making the transition over the next three years and will likely be hiring local workers once settled. PTR CEO Josh Fiorini said that many current employees will also be relocating to South Carolina.
“These are good jobs. Those are skilled tradesmen. Whether they’re the welders, the machine operators, machine programmers, toolmakers, these are the kind of manufacturing jobs that used to be the backbone of the northeast economy,” Fiorini told NPR, “and the rest of the country is saying ‘Hey, if you don’t want ’em, we’ll take ’em.’ ”
PTR is not the only gunmaker interested in Horry County either. Fellow Connecticut manufacturer Stag Arms is also looking to move to this quiet industrial center. Stag Arms owner Mark Malkowski met with Rep. Alan Clemmons (R-South Carolina) earlier this month. Clemmons was the same lawmaker who met with PTR and announced the company’s move on his Facebook page.
“PTR, prior to passage of Connecticut’s anti-gun law, was poised to double it’s production capability so as to shorten it’s five-year backlog of rifle orders,” Clemmons wrote. “Fiorini will now move into PTR’s new facilities in Aynor, just down the road from Myrtle Beach, with twice the production capacity, of their current Bristol, Connecticut plant.”
The company manufactures the popular PTR91 series of firearms based off the HK91 and G3 rifles, among other products.
It is expected for PTR to make an announcement regarding the move sometime next week. You can hear Fiorini personally speak about the move and Connecticut gun laws below: