Gun makers brace for Irma, close doors while storm barrels up the coast

Caption: Hurricane Irma downs palm trees in Miami, Florida. (Photo: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Caption: Hurricane Irma downs palm trees in Miami, Florida. (Photo: Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Gun makers in the path of Hurricane Irma began closing up shop Friday, sending employees home and bracing for the storm’s deadly winds and surging waters.

Amid concerns of storm surges, 135 mph winds and predicted rainfall near 20-inches, Daniel Defense, Kel-Tec, C&H Precision Weapons, Spike’s Tactical and Adams Arms temporarily suspended operations.

Daniel Defense made the announcement Thursday, stating that all manufacturing facilities would be closed until storm had passed and the facilities deemed safe.

“The safety of our employees and their families is always our top priority, “ said Marty Daniel, president and CEO of Daniel Defense. “With the hurricane’s trajectory path turning toward the Georgia and South Carolina coast, we are taking measures to ensure that our employees are allowed sufficient time to prepare and secure their homes for the storm.”

Kel-Tec, based in Cocoa, Florida, posted a notice on their website explaining that their doors would be closed Monday in the hopes that they would re-open Tuesday.

“We hope to be back open on 9/12/17, but due to the unforeseeable conditions at that time, this may extend further into the week. Any orders and tickets during this time will be addressed upon our return, and in the order that they were received,” the message said.

Kel-Tec recommended that any customers seeking to ship packages to the company wait until after the storm passes and facilities officially reopen.

Smaller gun manufacturers, like Adam’s Arms and Spike’s Tactical, also halted production, securing firearms and prepping for potential looters.

C&H Precision Weapons out of Labelle, Florida posted a YouTube video on Saturday updating its customers on how the company was bracing for Irma’s impact.

“We have a few other people coming to secure the place during and post-Hurricane Irma to ensure no one pilfers, robs or loots from the shop. Everything is packed up safely in the vault or in the safes. It’s two to three to four feet off the ground so if you do have anything here, it’s locked up, it’s safe,” the company assured customers.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issued a warning Tuesday urging FFLs to secure firearms in preparation for Irma. The storm comes just a week after Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas which resulted in 109 firearms looted from local gun stores.

The Florida-based gun manufacturers expressed hopes that operations would resume mid-week and the delay would not negatively impact customers.