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As states tighten gun restrictions, two central Missouri mayors seek to attract gun business


The mayors of Hallsville and Centralia, along with one Missouri legislator, have reached out to gun and ammunition manufacturers in an effort to attract those businesses as other states tighten gun restrictions.

State Representative Caleb Rowden said the decision to reach out to gun businesses is about improving the economy.

“This is a matter of jobs,” Rowden said. “If this was a different industry where it was so public that it made national news that these companies need relieving, I would have sent the same letter with some different bullet points.”

Hallsville Mayor Cheri Reisch also cited the potential economic benefit and said her city is especially attractive for prospective companies.

“We have a 120 acre industrial site that’s shovel ready, which means it has all the utilities and zoning in place and is ready to put any type of industrial business there,” said Reisch. “We have all the water, sewer, gas, electric, high-speed internet right there.”

Even though gun control and gun laws have been hot-button issues in recent times, Reisch thinks Hallsville residents would welcome gun manufacturers thanks to an already established gun-culture. The Hallsville police department was the first in Boone County to issue concealed carry permits and the annual Yankee Cup for competitive shooters from around the world has put the city on the map.

“We’ve gotten a great reputation out there for being a gun-friendly community, but most importantly safety and knowing how to handle firearms,” said Reisch. “We have great instructors and businesses that teach courses in safety and gun handling.”

Both Reisch and Rowden said they are planning to follow up in the next week with the companies. Both say it will be a long process, but they are optimistic that gun businesses will ultimately choose mid-Missouri.