In a move that should make gun owners across the nation happy, Remington just broke ground on their newest ammo plant in Lonoke, Arkansas. This comes at a time where ammunition is scarce and prices are high.
The facility is expected to employ 50 to 100 people when it’s up and running, and should have the space and tooling to manufacture something to the tune of 2 to 3 billion rounds of ammo a year.
If construction goes according to schedule, the facility will be up and running in June of 2014. It will have 35,000 square-feet of floor space and cost Remington $32 million to complete.
“We continue to invest in all of our manufacturing operations because we are committed to ensuring quality, increasing product availability and improving on-time delivery,” said Kevin Miniard, Remington COO. “This significant investment in Lonoke is a testament to that commitment. Our customers can count on Remington to invest in its manufacturing operations in order to ensure that its facilities are state-of-the art and its employees are the best in the industry.”
Although production won’t begin for another 10 months the facility should still please shooters everywhere. Even now, as ammo starts to become more available, the prices — while admittedly lower than their peak earlier this year following the calls for increased gun control that had gun owners stripping shelves — the prices are still higher than this time last year. Increased supply will help bring the cost of shooting back down to reasonable levels.
Remington employs about 1,300 people at another facility in Lonoke and their presence is more than welcome. Remington was awarded with state incentives totaling $465,250, according to the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, in addition to income and sales tax credits.
“There is no better place for Remington to be expanding, period,” said George Kollitides, Freedom Group CEO, at the ground-breaking ceremony, the Associated Press reported.
Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe was also in attendance. “We are extremely happy about this expansion,” Beebe said. “And extremely happy about all these jobs not only continue to stay in Arkansas, but continue to grow in Arkansas.”
“Infrastructure is important,” added Beebe. “But … the single most important factor in a location in a business, and that’s the quality of the workforce. And the quality of the workforce here has caused the expansion.”
The expansion follows a state-level push to dismantle gun control laws when many states were instating new ones. Remington had many good reasons to select Arkansas, but the cool political climate surely helps.
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), was a welcome sight at the event as well. Pryor, despite his critics, opposed increased gun control and the mandatory background check bill.
Remington isn’t the only company adding new facilities. Earlier this year Armscor announced a $4 million expansion of their ammo plant in Pahrump, Nevada.
“At Armscor, we recognize the inconvenience and frustration of gun owners have in finding ammunition and we are doing everything we can to push more product out the door and on to store shelves,” said Martin Tuason, CEO of Armscor and Rock Island Armory. “We are at something of an advantage in that our growth in U.S. sales had us already looking at long term expansion so we are really accelerating our timelines.”
Many companies have been reluctant to expand and invest in new facilities. These new ammo plants are some of the first major expansions in American ammunition manufacturing capacity in about 10 years, and couldn’t happen sooner.