HOWELL COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) – A businessman is offering his undeveloped land in the Ozarks region as an incentive for any gun manufacturers or gun-related businesses to move to Howell County, Missouri.
“We are in talks with about three [manufacturers] right now and they’re all pretty good sized people,” landowner John Negri explains. “Their wheels grind about as slow as the government and we have to go through certain channels. Right now we’re basically on a nondisclosure type of deal.”
Negri says he supports the Second Amendment and wants to create jobs and economic benefits for the West Plains area. That’s why he is offering one of three parcels on a free 20-year lease.
Negri decided to make the offer soon after the December 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“All these crazy laws were being proposed that wouldn’t have done a thing to prevent what just happened,” he says. “I was just kind of waiting for someone else to do it but nobody else stepped up to the plate.”
Many of the nation’s oldest and largest gun manufacturers are on the East Coast and have encountered strict regulations and high taxes. Negri says Missouri provides an alternative because the state is “gun friendly.”
“We had several contractors here who have approached me, saying they’re volunteering their services – one of them was an electrician – to do this…to help get this thing built,” he said.
Negri says a central agency which represents four towns around West Plains has offered tax breaks to a gun manufacturer willing to move in.