By Justin Franz, 4-13-12
||Caption: Congressman Denny Rehberg talks with workers at Defiance Machine in Columbia Falls on Friday. - Justin Franz/Flathead Beacon
COLUMBIA FALLS – Congressman Denny Rehberg visited the Flathead Valley on Friday, touring local firearms manufacturers, an industry he said has a promising future in the state.
Rehberg stopped by Defiance Machine in Columbia Falls, before heading to Kalispell to tour Montana Rifleman. During the visits, the congressman talked to owners about various government regulations and taxes and how they affect their business. He blamed the Obama administration for burdening small businesses with rules that punish, rather than encourage, entrepreneurship.
“It's not one tax or one regulation that is the problem, it is the cumulative effect of all of them,” Rehberg said. “Those little things make a big difference in job creation and now is not the time to be so focused on just enforcement, but rather a combination of enforcement and incentives.”
Defiance Machine, which employees more than 40 people, makes bolt-action guns and rifles that are sold in domestic and international markets. During the tour, Rehberg saw some of the company's newest products as well as how the weapons are built.
Rehberg, who is running against Democratic incumbent Sen. Jon Tester in the U.S. Senate race, said the firearms industry is a bright spot in the Flathead Valley. He said he plans on returning to the area more as the election draws closer and that many of the people he meets across the state agree with his view of limited government.
“I want to make it better, I want to make it smarter and I don't want to make it intrusive to small business, because ultimately they are the ones who will turn the economy around,” he said. “You need to liberate Main Street so these guys ... are not being taxed or regulated out of existence.”
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