by Taylor Beck and Meghan Boggess
As states around the country pass stricter gun laws, state lawmakers are looking to encourage gun businesses to come to Missouri.
The Missouri House gave first-round approval to a measure Tuesday, April 30, which would give a maximum of $3 million in tax credits per year to ammunition manufacturers relocating to or expanding in Missouri. The credit would expire after six years.
Bill sponsor Rep. Bill White, R-Joplin, said he’s been targeting specific companies in states like Colorado and Connecticut and plans to send them letters informing them about the legislation. He said the letters would also promote Missouri as a “friendly state” for the companies.
White said a lack of progress on measures that Republicans have been promoting as “pro-business,” such as “right-to-work” legislation, led him to offer these companies tax credits.
“I vote for very few tax credits, but what other option do I have to try and convince people to come here,” White said.
The measure was not backed by any estimation of revenue or jobs that would be brought in, as none of the companies threatening to leave their current state have said they will move to Missouri. Rep. Stacey Newman, D-St. Louis County, said she does not agree with helping these companies when there was no economic guarantee for Missouri.
Newman said the measure was not based on fact but “based on the hysteria that certain manufacturers have threatened to leave particular states.”