After more than 15 years in New Britain Connecticut, AR maker Stag Arms says they are pulling stumps for Pro-2A Wyoming.
The company will move to Cheyenne later this year after an effort to pick a new location that was announced in June. The shift follows similar recent moves by other firearms companies, most notably Weatherby and Magpul, who left California and Colorado, respectively, for new operations in Wyoming.
Elie Azar, Founder and CEO of White Wolf Capital, which owns a controlling interest in Stag Arms, said the company was looking for a “refresh” that allowed for “visionary customer-centric leadership, a business-friendly, pro-growth economic environment, and a cultural climate that reflects Stag’s brand image of independence and free-spiritedness,” and Wyoming fit the bill on all accounts.
“I am pleased to welcome Stag Arms to Wyoming and to know that our state came out on top of a broad look at potential new homes for the sought-after company,” said Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon in a statement. “We have a deep-seated commitment to the Second Amendment that I will continue to uphold.”
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.
Other company moves
The move 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.