Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

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April 15, 2013

Locals weigh in on gun control

(Continued)

Provided checks are performed at the retail level, as is the case currently, Mineral Wells Police Chief Dean Sullivan said, "I think it's a good idea."

Should the background checks be expanded to "a more thorough investigation at the municipal, county or state level," he said local departments could face further strain on already depleted budgets.

"If they put the onus on local law enforcement to complete the background check, that's another unfunded mandate," he noted.

County seeks to attract gun manufacturers

With the passage of Texas Senate Bill 1467, the Governor's Office now has authority to provide financial incentives to gun manufacturers in other states interested in relocating to the Lone Star State.

Steve Butcher of the local Industrial Foundation said such incentives serve to make Texas even more attractive to such industries, which he said have been treated poorly by lawmakers in other states.

"These states are just so far off base I can't believe it," he said, explaining he has sent recruitment packages "to Magpul as well as nine different gun manufacturers in Connecticut."

In addition to low taxes and other aspects attractive to industries relocating from other states, Butcher said Mineral Wells is uniquely suited for the generally smaller operations associated with gun manufacturing.

"They're good industries," he said, staffed with "reasonably high paid, skilled individuals. We're not talking any kind of minimum wage here, and they tend to be smaller manufacturers."

Butcher said this community cannot compete effectively for larger companies because of an advantage held by many other counties across the state.

"Half the counties in the state – and that does not include Palo Pinto – has the half-cent economic development tax," he explained. "They can lay cash on the table."

Targeting the right potential businesses is important, Butcher said, adding the Mineral Wells area can be attractive to "the ones that are between 50 and 100 employees."

Still early in the process, Butcher said gun manufacturers are likely inundated with similar packages from other communities, though he feels confident "the smaller companies we definitely have a shot at."

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