When gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. announced in July that they would not be locating their new manufacturing plant in New Hampshire, Republicans blamed it on the legislature’s failure to enact a right-to-work law.
“Despite Legislative Democrats’ mantra that no business considers right to work laws in coming to a state or staying in a state…” wrote former state House Speaker Bill O’Brien, “here’s direct evidence, and a demonstrable loss of great manufacturing jobs in New Hampshire, that they do.”
An Associated Press behind-the-scenes analysis puts that notion to rest. North Carolina gave the gun manufacturer more than 15 million reasons to locate the plant in the Tar Heel State that had nothing to do with right-to-work.
As early as March, the report notes, Sturm Ruger had selected a former textile mill in North Carolina as the likely site for their new plant. “Yet Ruger dangled the possibility it still could go elsewhere” in order to extract financial concessions from the state. And extract they did:
Gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. made clear early and publicly that North Carolina was its preferred location for a new factory and the hundreds of jobs it would bring. But the company kept alive enough doubt that state officials raised their offer of tax breaks and other sweeteners three times.
The state and company ended a nearly five-month courtship in mid-August by agreeing on a package of incentives that could be worth $13.7 million if Ruger meets investment and hiring goals. Including additional incentives from the town of Mayodan and Rockingham County, the total package could be worth $15.5 million.