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Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

County makes push for firearms companies


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BROOKSVILLE - Hernando County is casting a wider net to try and land one or more firearms manufacturers at the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport.

County Administrator Len Sossamon last month fired off a letter to Stag Arms, one of several munitions companies in Connecticut considering relocating due to more restrictive gun control laws enacted by legislators there in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Sossamon said he has not heard back from the manufacturer as of Thursday.

But the administrator has asked the county's business development manager, Mike McHugh, to contact even more firearms companies, hoping at least one will take the plunge and consider Hernando County as their new home base.

Last week, McHugh mailed letters to seven more companies, six in Connecticut and one in Georgia.

McHugh also included a list of incentives Hernando County and Florida could make available to each company.

"Many in your industry have made the difficult decision to move from Connecticut to a friendlier business environment," McHugh wrote. "If this is of something of interest to you, I believe our community is worthy of your consideration."

McHugh then goes on to sing the praises of the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport, with a 7,000-foot runway and control tower. The 2,300-acre county-owned industrial park is serviced by rail and is adjacent to the Suncoast Parkway, which provides access to Tampa International Airport within 30 minutes, McHugh wrote.

Hernando County has Interstate 75 running through it and is just 40 miles north of Tampa-St.Petersburg, he wrote.

"Lastly, we are home to many precision machining and defense related companies in our community which relate directly to your industry," he said.

McHugh cites the "fantastic year-round climate and great access to Central and South America, as well as Europe and the Far East.

"Florida is also one of the few states with no state income tax and our overall tax structure is friendly to not only our corporate citizens but to our general public citizenry as well," he wrote.

(352) 544-5290

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