Sep 22, 2023 - News

Florida tries and fails to bring major gun manufacturer to the state

Illustration of a suited person's hand pointing a finger gun with a one hundred dollar bill dropping from their finger

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Gov. Ron DeSantis tried to bring a major gun manufacturer to Florida using millions in state money, according to a new report from Orlando journalist Jason Garcia.

Why it matters: The pitch included $25 million in incentives like tax breaks and grants but ultimately flopped because the CEO doubted that the Sunshine State could develop a skilled workforce, per the report in Garcia's newsletter Seeking Rents.

What they're saying: "Of primary concern is the workforce," Remington CEO Ken D'Arcy wrote in an email to a state official last year. "The greatest production facility and the best backing does absolutely nothing if there isn't a long line of people wanting to work there."

  • "Are we able to get the best of the best plant manager, maintenance manager, line supervisors, HR, cost accountants, environment & safety officer, compliance manager, to mention only a few," he continued.

The intrigue: D'Arcy didn't respond to requests for comment from Garcia and Axios.

  • Still, the report touches on several interesting state issues, including what political interference in higher education says about Florida's job market.
  • The proposed site for the relocation was on the campus of Indian River State College.

The other side: "Of course we tried to expand gun manufacturing in Florida," DeSantis' press secretary Jeremy Redfern said in a statement to Axios. "Not only is this initiative about the freedom to express one's Second Amendment right, but it's also about Florida's commitment to our national defense."

  • He added that the state has invested more than $6.8 million in workforce education initiatives and that Florida is the top-ranked state for talent attraction according to the labor analytics service Lightcast.

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