Recent Gun Industry Layoffs, Furloughs and Closures

No one is immune to the gun industry layoffs. It’s management, marketing, sales and engineering staff affected by Ruger’s announcement last Friday that roughly 50 employees would be laid off from its three factories across the nation. No manufacturing positions are impacted.

Federal Cartridge laid off 200 people from its Minnesota plant in October. The move followed an earlier one in March, which included the dismissal of 50.

In October Daniel Defense let roughly 100 full-time employees go. Smith & Wesson released 180 temporary employees in November.

Twice last year Remington’s Ilion, NY, facility lost staff. No one joined the unemployment line last month, but WIBX950 has full details on the unpaid furlough Remington employees went through during the holiday. The short version is that staff was told in October that it would be forced to take 11 unpaid days off sometime before the end of the year. No one, apparently, worked in the Ilion, NY, facility from Christmas to Jan. 2.

Gun Industry Layoffs Without the Firearm

Suppressor manufacturer SilencerCo suffered two sets of layoffs last year. There’s no doubt the on-again-off-again federal Hearing Protection Act—and people waiting in hopes that is passes so they don’t need a stamp to bring one home—is partly to blame.

The result of that procrastination resulted in something much worse for an Indiana firm. Huntertown Arms, which also specialized in manufacturing suppressors, has ceased operation. The development took place only this month, but you’ve got to hand it to the company and its staff. Any work being done will be completed and the gear will be returned to the rightful owner.

Sometimes you have to read between the lines., though. Early in 2017, overblown news surfaced that Magpul was laying off 85 staff members. It turned out that they were people provided from a temporary staffing agency to remedy heavy orders, although the reduction is still sad for all involved. 

Withhold Gloom and Doom

Gun sales haven’t dropped off a proverbial cliff. The second highest number of NICS background checks on record were conducted last year, so the gloom-and-doom predictions are wrong.

Firearm firms responded to the unbelievable sales of 2016 by adding staff to meet demand. Many companies also had the cash on hand to upgrade to the kind of equipment that streamlines/improves manufacturing. So when when things moderated to the “new norm” and supply lines were filled, workforce adjustments were necessary.

There’s no denying it stinks, and hurts the workers and their families. None of the gun industry layoffs are welcome, although I believe the news of the demise of the firearm industry is greatly exaggerated.