Colt Competition operation moving from Connecticut to Breckenridge, Texas

The company makes AR-15s and other other sporting competition rifles

Oregon-owned company Bold Ideas, which owns Colt Competition, has confirmed that the rifle manufacturer is opening a plant in Breckenridge, according to this report from the Abilene Reporter-News.

Colt, which is based in Connecticut, manufactures three kinds of semi-automatic rifles, including the AR-15. The move comes as the state passed tougher gun restrictions in the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Connecticut’s governor signed a sweeping gun ban April 4, which  includes high-capacity weapons such as the AR-15. That style of rifle has gained notoriety after being one of the weapons used by Adam Lanza when he killed 20 children at  Newtown Elementary School.

Gov. Rick Perry sent letters to numerous gun companies in February encouraging them to move to Texas, citing restrictive laws imposed on the industry in other states.

In a mid-March op-ed piece that ran in the Hartford Courant, Dennis Veilleux, president and chief executive officer of Colt’s Manufacturing Co. in West Hartford, Conn., wrote that his company and other Connecticut firearms manufacturers, such as Mossberg and Stag Arms, could expect “immediate erosion in brand strength and market share” from such measures. Connecticut recently passed some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting in December.

“This will have consequences for dozens of Connecticut companies and thousands of workers,” Veilleux wrote in the Courant, adding that Colt is “constantly approached by other states to relocate.”

“Someday soon, I will again be asked why we fight to keep well-paying manufacturing jobs in Connecticut,” he said. “I will be asked why we should continue to manufacture in a state where the governor would make ownership of our product a felony. Unlike in the past, there will be few good answers.”

Will Leschper is founder of The Texas Outdoor Digest. He has been recognized for Excellence in Craft by the Outdoor Writers Association of America and the Texas Outdoor Writers Association. He is Conservation Editor of Texas Fish & Game Magazine and is a regular contributor to the Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters, in addition to writing for plenty of of now-defunct publications.