Idaho Aims For Job Growth Through Gun Manufacturing

Aug 29, 2012

A few years ago, state leaders got the idea to promote Idaho to the outdoor industry, including gun manufacturers.  After all, Idaho is a more firearms-friendly place than most.  More than half of Idahoans own guns, and state law shields firearms manufacturers from liability.

One North Idaho town — Potlatch — is honing its pitch to attract the gun industry and jobs.  Local economic development official BJ Swanson is key to the effort.  Not long ago, Swanson drove through an overgrown patch of ground on the outskirts of Potlatch, population 800.  It’s a humble spot, but in it she sees the town’s future and its past.

“This is part of the main mill here, the concrete relics that you see,” she says, as she points out the window.  She’s gesturing toward a crumbling cement structure, protruding from tall grass.  It’s all that’s left of a sawmill that was once one of world’s largest.  Now, Potlatch needs a new plan.  And it has one.

“Guns are going to be manufactured somewhere,” she says.  “Why not here?”  Click here to continue reading...