Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is urging Gov. Jay Nixon and legislative leaders to send a clear message to gun manufacturers by backing efforts to recruit them to locate in Missouri.

Kinder points to a West Plains businessman who has offered up land to any gun manufacturer that wants to move to the Ozarks, a proposal he says has gained the support of Gun Owners of America.

The Missouri Legislature has passed and sent the governor a measure that declares federal gun control laws unenforceable in Missouri. Another measure would give businesses tax incentives to gun manufacturers to relocate to Missouri.

“For years, some states that are home to gun manufacturers have continued to bite the hand that feeds them, passing laws to restrict firearms,” Kinder said in a press release. “Some of those companies now are deciding it’s time to pull out and move to more friendly pastures. I encourage Gov. Nixon and lawmakers to send a concerted message to these manufacturers: Missouri welcomes you.”

Beretta, a gun manufacturer that for a long time was the preferred brand used by military and law enforcement, recently announced it will leave Maryland. Magpul says it’s leaving Colorado, and Colt Manufacturing has announced that, after 175 years, it is leaving Connecticut. PTR Industries, which makes high-end rifles in Bristol, Conn., also has said it plans to leave. Other potential gun-manufacturers that might consider leaving Connecticut are Strum, Ruger & Co., Stag Arms, and Mossberg & Sons. Collectively, that equates to about 3,000 jobs and more than $1.75 billion in annual taxable revenue.

Kinder says other states, including Texas and Alaska, already are working to lure those companies in, but he says Missouri is in a better position to entice those companies than other states.

“Missouri has a well-earned reputation as a ‘gun-friendly’ state,” he added. “I am proud to represent a state that values the Constitution and stands against the federal government’s attempts to infringe upon our 2nd and 10th Amendment rights.”

Kinder says Missouri’s central location with an excellent transportation network and the work ethic of its residents also are qualities manufacturers of firearms, ammunition and gun parts will find attractive.

“Our state needs to send a unified, clear message to out-of-state gun makers who face burdensome regulations, high taxes and restrictions on their products that Missouri welcomes them,” he said.