Top three gun manufacturers have received more than $105 million in subsidies

Subsidy amounts updated on August 5, 2019

Posted: October 2, 2017

While the country mourns yet another mass-shooting, little attention is being paid to the fact that the companies producing the weapons are being subsidized by taxpayers. The nation’s top three gun manufacturers have received more than $105 million in taxpayer subsidies, most often as inducements to move their manufacturing plants.

Large subsidies came in the wake of the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. When legislators in Connecticut and other northeastern states that are part of "Gun Valley" passed more restrictive gun laws, firearm makers let it be known they wanted to move to more friendly locales. Southern states with loose gun regulations launched a bidding war to lure the companies.

The biggest beneficiary of these auctions was Remington, which received $68.9 million to relocate a plant from New York to Alabama (in total, over the years, the company has received at least $86 million in business incentives). Another big winner was Sturm, Ruger & Co., which received $9.4 million in subsidies to open a plant in North Carolina (the company has benefited from over $12.5 million in taxpayers assistance).

These subsidy packages may have been unnecessary. If the main point of the moves was to escape from states seen as being unfriendly to guns, then the companies would presumably have ended up in those Southern states even without the financial incentives.

Here’s a break-down of subsidy totals, according to Good Jobs First’s Subsidy Tracker;

Company Subsidy (in millions)
 Remington Arms $86.1
 Sturm, Ruger $12.6
 Smith & Wesson $6.5
Total $105.1

                                                                    Source: Subsidy Tracker