A Utah senator is looking to make Utah more attractive to gun manufacturers.
Sen. Howard Stephenson has opened a bill file that would alter Utah tax laws to make the state more enticing to gun companies. The Draper Republican said he would consider eliminating sales tax on machinery, equipment and replacement parts that are used in the manufacturing of a gun to show gun companies that Utah wants their business here.
"This is all about jobs," Stephenson said. "I'd like to put an invitation to all the fugitive arms manufacturers that Utah is open for business and welcomes them here."
Stephenson said the idea for the bill comes as other states are passing laws that are unfriendly to firearms. Stephenson explained that Maryland, home to gun brand Beretta, last week put into law a bill that adds 45 new guns to a list of banned weapons in the state as well as new regulations that restrict gun usage in the state. Beretta has said it plans to expand its business elsewhere as the company said it was offended by the legislation approved by the state's legislature and governor.
In a statement following the governor's signing of the law, Beretta said: "The idea now of investing additional funds in Maryland and thus rewarding a government that has insulted our customers and our products is offensive to us, so we will take steps to evaluate such investments in other states."
Stephenson sees that as an opportunity to invite the gun manufacturer to move their operations to the gun-friendly beehive state.
According to Stephenson multiple lawmakers from both the House and Senate have asked to be cosponsors on the legislation, Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, said she asked to be one of those cosponsors. Dayton said it was a good plan for supporting constitutional liberties and that the proposal would have good economic enhancements for the state of Utah.
For now, the idea sits as a bill file for potential legislation to be considered in the state legislature's 2014 general session. The bill could be significantly modified or even abandoned prior to the annual session that begins in January.