Second Amendment

Gunmakers Prepare To Exit Increasingly Unfriendly Connecticut

There's plenty of room out west

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NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — In a state desperate to maintain and revive its industrial base, Mark Malkowski thinks he should be getting gold stars.

He started a manufacturing company at age 25, and in 10 years built it into an industry leader, with 200 employees, that sells 6,000 of its products every month at roughly $1,000 each. The company, Stag Arms, is currently almost a year behind in fulfilling orders.

But when you are manufacturing AR-15 assault rifles 40 miles from Newtown in a state that has banned their sale, it is not surprising that things are more complicated.

The bitter battle over new gun laws in Connecticut has passed. But two months later, gunmakers like Mr. Malkowski are still weighing their options, including moving from a state long thought of as a cradle of the American gun industry. Meanwhile, supporters of the legislation are balancing their desire to limit guns with the jobs and taxes that the gun industry provides in a country where 300 million guns are in circulation and 5 million are manufactured each year.