Skip to comments.LeClaire (Iowa) to welcome Les Baer
Posted on 05/22/2007 8:43:41 AM PDT by holymoly
LeCLAIRE -- After weeks of meetings, LeClaire Monday officially welcomed an Illinois gun manufacturer to town.
The city council approved a site plan, land purchase agreement, access easement agreement and a tax-increment financing development agreement for Les Baer Custom Inc., Hillsdale. The next step for the company's owner, Les Baer, is getting a building permit from the city.
He expects to have his building constructed and operations running by the fall.
Over the last month, the city has listened to those for and against Mr. Baer moving from his current Hillsdale site to LeClaire. Opponents have expressed concerns ranging from safety to declining property values to a general opposition to guns.
"I think it's going to be a great improvement to LeClaire," said Mayor Vern Spring after the meeting.
Monday, no one spoke against Mr. Baer's operation coming to LeClaire. One concern brought up by a local resident dealt with the buffer of trees that will be on the property.
One of Illinois' major legislative issues has now become Iowa's gain. Bills are pending in the Illinois legislature to outlaw high-capacity gun magazines, to ban the .50-caliber rifle, and to ban some types semi-automatic weapons.
Gun manufacturers in the Illinois Quad-Cities area have tried to get the message out that jobs will be lost in Illinois if any of the bills actually make it to the governor's desk.
Mr. Baer said the political wrangling was one of the reasons he chose to leave Illinois.
"A lot of it is because of the legislation," he said. "We keep fighting it like everybody else. We didn't give up."
Other area gun manufacturers have said they, too, could move if the bans are enacted.
Iowa State Sen. David Hartsuch, Bettendorf, who attended Monday's meeting, said he was pleased with Mr. Baer's move to Iowa.
"I hope other Illinois firearm's manufacturers follow suit," Sen. Hartsuch said. "Les Baer is a lawful manufacturer of firearms. His products are used in law enforcement and military applications. And they serve a good use in our society."
In the end, city council members said they found Mr. Baer's operation, which could bring up to 24 jobs to LeClaire, a good fit for the city.
Except for the minority of knee-jerk people who indulge themselves in magical thinking about guns, what's not to like?
Responsible businessman, going concern, provide some jobs and enhance the tax base.
Good for Mr. Baer! I’m glad to see that he followed through and got out of Illinois.
Custom 1911 ping
I wonder if Bloomberg has signed off on this move.
Zumbo made me do it.
Me? Dad went into the Marines and we moved to Mississippi when I was young. I'm now a cranky old conservative Christian (I love to say I'm a "moderate-centrist" just to tweak the lefties).
I wonder if the Mayor or the Senator will be receiving a custom ‘thank you’ from Les. (Not mad, just jealous!)
In Illinois, the inmates run the asylums.
Glad to see them here, but I fear it will be short term. The eastern side of Iowa is to liberal for them to remain long.
I moved here from Nebraska, and can’t believe how left it is. (Granted, Nebraska is weird).
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