New York Maker of Ballistic Shields Flees CuHomo’s Anti-Gun New York for Sunny Florida


William Collins White III, founder of Defenshield Inc., shares a laugh with U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei before touring the company’s facility in DeWitt in 2009. Defenshield is relocating to St. Augustine, Fla. (Mike Greenlar |


Defenshield Inc., a maker of ballistic shields for the military and law enforcement agencies, is moving to Florida.

Norman Gregory, vice president of economic development at St. Johns County Chamber of Commerce, said Defenshield began moving into its new offices on U.S. Route 1 in St. Augustine, Fla., today.

Gregory said company executives told the chamber of commerce they were moving to St. Augustine because of Florida’s lower taxes and better climate.

“They visited with us and felt like we were a business-friendly community,” Gregory said.

There may have been one other factor in the company’s decision. A story in the St. Augustine Record on Saturday said Defenshield founder William Collins White III is a “self-professed gun enthusiast” and was a fan of Florida’s less-stringent firearms laws.

It was not immediately clear whether New York’s SAFE Act restrictions on military-style assault weapons interferes with the company’s operations. Gregory said the company sought and found a site in the St. Augustine area where it can test its shields by firing military weapons such as .50-caliber machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades at them.

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