From Mississippi Development Guide 2023

The Quality Location For the Shooting Set

© National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc.
by Mark Arend

ississippi’s top industry recruiter — Governor Tate Reeves — used his visit to the SHOT Show 2023 convention in Las Vegas in January to make the case that the state’s firearm and ammunition industry is on fire. The Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and is one of the largest trade shows in the U.S.

According to NSSF’s 2023 Firearm and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report, the sector employs more than 4,800 people in Mississippi and paid wages of more than $284 million last year. The total economic impact of the industry to the state in 2022 exceeded $1.1 billion.

While at the SHOT Show, Gov. Reeves was interviewed by NSSF’s Trevor Santos, director of government relations — state affairs. 

“There are many companies in this industry that have been located in the same place for many, many years. It’s hard to make that ultimate decision to leave, to relocate,” noted the governor during the discussion. “But it’s clear — some of these companies have no choice. Radical policies are making it virtually impossible for them to operate. In Mississippi though, it’s quality of life and quality of workforce. And if you’re going to be in the firearm industry and employ people in Mississippi, you’re going to have a workforce that believes in your product.”

Protecting Public Lands 

Gov. Reeves also stressed the importance of protecting and improving public lands to ensure they remain an accessible resource for the state’s citizens. In 2014, he noted, Mississippi voters approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the individual right to hunt and fish. 

“For Mississippi, it’s a matter of quality of life. And that means for everybody,” the governor pointed out. “To ensure that, we passed legislation last year to create the Mississippi Stewardship Fund, transferring $20 million each year to make sure we properly take care of our state public lands so that everyone in the state can enjoy those opportunities. We want every kid in Mississippi — regardless of what their mom or dad does — to have the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and that means protecting and improving public lands. Mississippi is one of those states that has historically done a good job on conservation.” 

Mark Arend
Editor Emeritus of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend is editor emeritus of Site Selection, and previously served as editor in chief from 2001 to 2023. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.


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