After more than 15 years in New Britain Connecticut, AR maker Stag Arms said they are pulling stumps for somewhere with “significant support for the firearms industry.”
The announcement, posted last Friday, said the move is part of the company’s “strategic initiative to significantly improve the overall customer experience.” While the new location has not been selected, Stag says their Board of Directors has “narrowed down the options to a short list of vibrant communities where there is significant support for the firearms industry.”
Local media in Connecticut described the pending move, to be accomplished in coming months, as being out of state.
Stag was founded in May 2003 and has carved out a niche in the gun market with 556/.223-caliber AR-15 and .308/6.5 Creedmoor AR-10 style rifles, parts, builder’s sets, and accessories. More recently, the company has moved into producing AR9 type pistol caliber carbines in the form of the Stag PXC-9, which was announced earlier this year.
According to the latest data from federal regulators, the company manufactured 10,932 rifles in 2017, exporting 324 of them out of the country. This figure makes them the second largest rifle maker in Connecticut, just after West Hartford-based Colt. Of note, Stag produced more rifles than Mossberg’s North Haven, Connecticut facility in the same year.
The shift from Connecticut by Stag is not the only time that a gun industry vendor has shifted states for more friendly digs. In recent years, magazine and accessory maker Magpul has left Colorado for Wyoming and Texas, citing strict new gun control laws as the impetus for their relocation. They were joined in the Cowboy State this year by Weatherby, who left California for similar reasons.
Although Olin-Winchester is still headquartered in Illinois, for the past several years they have been rapidly shifting manufacturing jobs to their plant in deep red Mississippi, a key ammo maker for the military that produces everything but shotgun shells. Similarly, rifle maker LMT moved from their Illinois home of 40 years to more accommodating Indiana.
Long based in Babylon, New York, Check-Mate produces a wide range of products including both surgical tools and well-received firearms magazines. Now, they are shifting a lot of production to a new location in Thomasville, Georgia in a move that will bring a $16 million investment and create 230 jobs in the Peachtree State. Other New York-based gun companies, such as Kimber and Remington, have likewise moved jobs out of the Empire State as well.
Stag Arms said once they finalize the location of the headquarters in the next few months the company then will begin the process of relocating to the new facility. “The pieces are in place and we are ready to transition production and fulfillment operations immediately from a narrow facility-based approach in New Britain to a distributed eco-system,” said Stag Arms President, Anthony Ash.