Friday, March 16, 2012
III: Wyoming Pioneer Concept
Wyoming Sentiment: What sort of reception might we find if we pioneer into your State and make a footprint? I open this to current Wyoming residents and anyone who may have insight on the topic. For those of you who know - was there backlash when FreeState Wyoming ventured into the state? How much? Would any annoyance be overcome with job opportunities? I'm not worried about any Liberal folks - we're looking to make their voice meaningless, anyway. But what about the typical Wyoming resident, rancher, shop owner, et cetera? This is an aspect I hadn't considered.
I've added a poll in the upper right of the page about a physical III Community. Please take a second and hit what applies to you. This is merely to determine if this is a topic I should continue developing. Many people across the Liberty Movement find the idea of "Resilient Communities" and similar concepts appealing.
For those who have been engaged in the discussion about a III Community, I'm going to post a comment below from Chad, who is a tax professional who did us the kindness of looking into a few basics of a firearms company that would serve as the core revenue stream to support such an effort.
I have my eye on a firearms manufacturing firm for several reasons. First, I want to do it. Second, it would annoy our Federal Masters. Third, it is a serious business with the potential to accomplish our goal, which is to build an industry around which a serious community can be supported. Fourth, those of us who think a serious SHTF scenario is imminent, and a serious disruption of the Status Quo is coming at us like a freight train, would be well-served by having as an asset for our ideology a working firearms factory and complementary ammo facility.
Did mention that I want to do it?
As you'll see by the work Chad submitted, the legal hurdles and business logistics are not insignificant.
As anyone who ever went through a particular US Army program has heard before: I won't do it for you, but I'll do it with you.
Mrs. Kerodin and I researched this effort about 2-2.5 years ago. Timing is everything, and I think the time for this idea is maturing.
So, let's recap a bit. Nothing is carved in stone, but I think the way many of us are leaning is: A Wyoming community in a low-population area of Sublette or Fremont counties where we can go in and set up shop. Regardless of how we end up securing capital, I think we all agree that the community is open to any serious Liberty advocate. Your financial situation does not matter to me. Many folks have the resources to sell what they have and move into the area, buy a bit of land or a house. As long as there is income potential, most folks can get there simply by taking the decision.
For folks who do not have such security (I don't know about you, but I've had my arse handed to me financially since about 2008), my plan includes the company purchasing a moderate chunk of land that has an assortment of housing options available. We could set aside a piece of ground for trailer and RV hook-ups. We could drag in a small number of mobile homes or pre-fabs. We could drag in a number of pre-fab cabins in another area. We could build up a dorm environment. Most of these things are relatively inexpensive.
The trade-off for folks who choose dorm life as a starting point, for instance, would receive lower wages to compensate. You get the idea. We will provide a way for ANYONE who is serious about Liberty and SERIOUS about working to improve their lives.
If you are an FFL, gun builder, machinist already, and willing to go through the hassle of getting your FFL 7, and living in such a community appeals to you, please let me know quietly. I'd like to get a sense of how much talent we have already, and how much we'll have to hire-in. All gunsmiths/Armorers must be willing to teach their craft to the others in the company.
Do you have the skills to be handed a firearm, take it apart, copy it and build a fresh one from all new parts (of course, given the proper tools in the shop)? We are going to need at least a few such men & women to get started properly.
I know we have an eclectic group of people from truck drivers to accountants to physicians to help round out a community, and ply their crafts while working with the firearms company. Shipments need truckers (I hope). A community will need a medical professional, et cetera.
I would even consider Class II FFL unless it really hampers getting the operation running. Such a thing could be rolled in later.
To have a chance, we've discussed start-up capital. To survive, the revenue stream would have to be adequate. The payroll needed to make sure everyone can live and improve their lives is not insignificant even for a small community.
That means the company will have to hit the ground running, rather than starting as a small boutique shop and adding a new firearm every few years to expand.
The company will define itself (make that all-important first impression) when the doors open for business by the initial offering of weapons and the quality of those weapons. Here is a list of firearms I think should be ready for production the day we open our doors for business, ready to ship to gun shops:
Our "Signature" line:
A basic 1911 (God's Pistol) (.45 ACP)
An upper-end 1911 with the bells & whistles (.45 ACP)
A Browning Hi Power clone (9mm)
A Jeff Cooper Scout Rifle (.308)
A .50 BMG Rifle
An AR platform with multiple caliber options (rifle & pistol calibers)
A pocket revolver for CQB in .357 (Stainless Steel)
A .22 semi-auto pistol suitable as an all-purpose tool, from hitting rabbits to bipeds.
2 unique handguns that take us out of the tactical genre that help set us apart from other manufacturers. I'll reveal those pieces once we have a shop and begin building inventory (before opening for sales) One is a .50 caliber hand cannon with hunting applications.
If the right opportunity presented, we could even consider the purchase of an existing company with their infrastructure.
What I'd like to know is: What would you consider as an essential addition to our opening day line of firearms?
You'll notice everything I have suggested is steel - no plastics. Not because I have an aversion to plastics (I do prefer steel, but that's not the reason). It is simply that tooling for a plastic product line requires different equipment, skills and infrastructure.
From a marketing perspective, we could offer Gun Shops a deal on a package of our entire line to get product on their shelves. If we have the capital, we can even offer credit terms for better/bigger shops.
Below is the comment from Chad, on this thread.
I have briefly looked at Wyoming law and I didn't find any excise taxes at the state level. They were mostly concerned with alcohol and tobacco. Wyoming does have sales tax of 4% with a county option of 1%. They also have property tax, but it is assessed on 9.5% of the value of the property. For ex. you have a 100,000 piece of property, you will take this times 9.5% to get $9,500. Then to get the tax, take the $9,500 times the tax rate (a maximum of 12%) which is $1,140. This seems high, but Wyoming has to fill the coffers somehow. As you are aware, no individual or business income taxes. Which is good.
I also briefly looked at the FAET laws. Man, what a quagmire that is. You have the tax of 10% for each handgun and 11% for each rifle, shotgun or ammo you manufacture. On top of that, in another area, the Company has to pay a tax of $200 per weapon, a flat tax. To go further, there is a $1,000 a year per location "occupation" tax. So three plants, $3,000. This is on top of gaining the approval for each location. The company has an annual filing with the Secretary of each Internal Revenue District in which business is carried.
In essence, forms upon forms upon taxes. I have just scratched the surface on this issue and regulations on firearms manufacture are abundant.
If this were to ever come closer to reality it would be wise to map this whole area out so you don't step in any holes from the get go.
I know the view I just gave is more like 80,000 feet up vs. 40,000. I will need more time to get down there. My job right now is consuming most of my time.
I will say this though, with the complexity and the legal hurdles, I would expect the best business format to do this would be a C corporation. This will go a long way to insulating the owners of the company. Also, there is a lot of talk in my profession about a real possibility for C corporation tax rates going down while individual rates go up.
As much as it sucks paying any tax, to not pay the tribute will end this not long after it begins.
Thank you, Chad. That is exactly the thumbnail we needed.
Posted by K at 5:34 PM