State Representative Dan Swanson hosted more than two dozen bipartisan representatives from federal officeholders, state office holders, industry experts, and staff in learning more about Firearm and Firearm Component Manufacturers in Illinois on Tuesday.
Included in the day-long educational event for legislators and their staffs was a tour of Springfield Armory in Geneseo, a tour of Rock River Arms in Colona, a presentation by firearm component manufacturer L.W. Schneider of Princeton, and a shooting event at Milan Rifle Club to allow federal and state officeholders to better understand the firearms industry and especially their impact on jobs in Illinois.
“It was my sincere privilege to host this first 2nd Amendment Day for legislators in Illinois and to showcase these large employers and community partners in Western and Central Illinois,” said Swanson who put together the event in response to continued legislative efforts that push firearms manufacturers out of our state. “People need to better understand the deep investments in not only jobs but our communities this industry represents. That’s what we’re here to do- educate decision-makers on the impact of this important industry to jobs in our region.”
There are 194 Firearm Manufacturers operating in Illinois, representing nearly 14,000 jobs paying an average on $59,000/year in wages and benefits. In total, firearm manufacturers and suppliers represent $639 million in wages and a $2.18 billion impact on Illinois’ economy. Over $129 million/ year is paid to the State of Illinois from the Firearms Industry in addition to $200 million in federal business and excise taxes. In addition to the taxes paid to governments by the Firearms Industry, millions more dollars are invested in our communities by these companies- from little league teams, to support of Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, to support of causes like Komen for the Cure and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“It was very compelling for these office holders and their staffs to see up close the jobs in this industry, the work these companies are doing in their communities, and for some- to fire a gun for the first time under the careful instruction of Illinois State Rifle Association Range Masters,” Swanson continued. “I hope to make this at least an annual event to keep a focus on all the good this industry does for our Nation, our State, and especially our communities in Western and Central Illinois.”