MARYLAND

Gun debate threatens jobs at LWRC

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The debate over guns in America has one Maryland employer considering taking its jobs elsewhere.

Teri McCaskill is an inspector at LWRC International in Cambridge. She gives a final once over to the company’s rifles made in Maryland. They are exactly the kind of so-called assault weapons Maryland has now decided to ban for civilian ownership. McCaskill says she now fears for her job.

“I would really hate to lose my job, but from a business aspect you got to go where you’re wanted,” she says.

LWRC employs 300 people in an economically-depressed Dorchester County. McCaskill’s manager, Darren Mellors, says he values the work force, but he also says the new law makes him wonder if the company can stay in the state.

“The shooting public across the country is going to look at LWRC and say their own employees can’t own a product the company makes,” Mellors says.

The company and its jobs are already being courted by other states with tax incentives and the promise of a friendlier atmosphere.

“West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, all kinds of states have approached us with incentives to move,” Mellors says.

The people here say they’re also frustrated because they believe they’ve been caught up in a political reaction that has nothing to do with them.

“I love my job. I love that it’s here in Cambridge. I love that I don’t have to drive an hour to get to work,” says McCaskill. “They’re making it hard for us to be here.”

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