Franklin County Gunmaker Lobbies Against Magazine Capacity Limits | Off Message

Franklin County Gunmaker Lobbies Against Magazine Capacity Limits


Century Arms makes guns with high-capacity magazines
  • Century Arms makes guns with high-capacity magazines
A Franklin County gun business is making an 11th-hour stand against a proposal that would ban the manufacture and sale of high-capacity firearm magazines. Attorney Brady Toensing, a lobbyist for Century International Arms, said the legislation would kill the company, which employs more than 100 people at its Georgia manufacturing plant.

“This law would put them out of business,” said Toensing, who also serves as vice chair of the Vermont Republican Party.

The company manufactures and sells handguns and semiautomatic rifles similar to the AK-47, as well as accessories for those guns. Since many of the AK-47-style guns come standard with 30-round magazines, a 10-round limit on magazines would require Century International Arms to make a major change to its operations.

Toensing said he wants to get the magazine capacity limit completely removed from the firearms bill under consideration in the House Friday. That bill would also mandate universal background checks for private sales, raise the legal age to purchase a gun to 21 and ban bump stocks for guns that allow semiautomatic weapons to fire at a faster rate. Toensing did not raise concerns about the other provisions in the bill.

“I’m concerned that it would ban high-capacity magazines,” Toensing said.

The House is expected to vote on the bill Friday. If the legislation gets preliminary approval, it would be subject to final approval next week.

After speaking with Toensing, Rep. Corey Parent (R-St. Albans) said Friday that he hopes to find a way to amend the bill so that it would not hurt Century International Arms’ Vermont operations.

Toensing said he hasn’t considered compromise language that might address his client’s concerns.

“I just got brought on last night, so I’m at the very early stages of even dealing with this issue. I’m trying to get up to speed,” he said.