Firearm Makers Continue To Expand In South

The South continues to benefit from firearm manufacturers who are expanding away from less-gun-friendly states.

In early July, Mossberg announced the completion of a major expansion at the company’s Maverick Arms facility in Eagle Pass, Texas. The new 116,000-square-foot addition significantly increases Mossberg’s manufacturing and distribution capabilities in the state.

“Investing in Texas was an easy decision. It’s a state that is not only committed to economic growth but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearm freedoms it guarantees for our customers,” said Iver Mossberg, CEO.

The expanded Maverick Arms complex houses production, assembly and distribution of shotguns and rifles for the Mossberg, Maverick and Mossberg International brands. More than 90 percent of the company’s total production is based in Eagle Pass.

According to officials, the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) and the state’s low taxes, smart regulations, fair courts and skilled workforce were key to Mossberg’s decision to invest in Texas.

“This TEF investment in Maverick Arms will help create jobs and opportunity in Eagle Pass, while reaffirming Texas’ longstanding support of the Second Amendment,” said Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The expansion, which includes a $3.4 million capital investment, will consolidate more of the company’s manufacturing in Texas and create 50 new jobs.

“This expansion will allow us to take full advantage of the outstanding work ethic of our long-time employees and help us meet an ever-growing demand for Mossberg rifles and shotguns. We thank Governor Perry and TEF for their efforts which made this expansion possible,” Mossberg said.

The company’s corporate headquarters and some manufacturing will remain in North Haven, Conn., where the company has been located since 1919.


Beretta To Move Production

In late July, Beretta USA announced it will move its manufacturing capabilities from Maryland to the company’s new production facility in Gallatin, Tenn. Previously, the company planned to use the Tennessee facility for new machinery and production of new products only. It is scheduled to open in mid-2015.

“During the legislative session in Maryland that resulted in passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, the version of the statute that passed the Maryland Senate would have prohibited Beretta USA from being able to manufacture, store or even import into the state products that we sell to customers throughout the United States and around the world. While we were able in the Maryland House of Delegates to reverse some of those obstructive provisions, the possibility that such restrictions might be reinstated in the future leaves us very worried about the wisdom of maintaining a firearm manufacturing factory in the state,” said Jeff Cooper, Beretta USA general manager.

Company officials say the transition of production from Maryland to Tennessee will not occur until 2015, and will be managed so as not to disrupt deliveries to Beretta customers. Beretta USA’s production of the U.S. Armed Forces M9 9mm pistol will continue at the Accokeek, Md., facility until all current orders from the U.S. Armed Forces have been filled.

Beretta USA says it will meet with employees whose Maryland jobs may be impacted by the move to discuss taking positions at the Tennessee plant, or to present a long-term strategy for remaining with the company while production in Maryland continues.

Beretta USA anticipates the Tennessee facility will involve $45 million of investment in building and equipment and the employment of around 300 employees during the next five years.

The company has no plans to relocate its office, administrative and executive support functions from its Maryland facility.


NASGW Announces Cox As Featured Speaker

The NASGW has announced Chris Cox, NRA executive director of Institute for Legislative Action (ILA), will be the featured speaker at the NASGW annual awards reception and dinner in October.

Cox has served as the executive director of the NRA-ILA since 2002. As chief lobbyist and principal political strategist, Cox oversees eight NRA-ILA divisions that cover the gamut of interests and concerns of the NRA’s 5 million members.

“We’re delighted to have Chris highlight this year’s awards program. With the upcoming November national and state elections, it’s very important for all of our members to stay current with what is happening at state capitols and Congress,” said Kent Williams, NASGW chairman of the board.

Cox will address industry leaders on Tuesday, Oct. 14, just prior to the opening of the 2014 NASGW Expo and Annual Meeting, scheduled for Oct. 15-17 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Ark.

By Russ Thurman

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