Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gunmaker Says New Law Forcing it to Leave Connecticut by Phil Gast

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, 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 and loss of sales, Fiorini said, his company will be unable to make payroll.

John McNamara, vice president of sales, said PTR Industries has 42 employees. "Indirectly, we employ 15 to 20 local vendors at any given time who have up to 15 to 30 employees each," he told CNN on Wednesday.

All of the company's rifles are semiautomatic.

PTR Industries sells its products to national distributors, and they are resold to federally licensed retailers across the country, said McNamara.

McNamara said he did not have data on current sales in Connecticut, but he said the law makes the company's rifles illegal for sale or transfer within the state.

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