Here is a press release that did not get any local attention. Of course in most media equating gun manufacturing and jobs is not good news. Sturm Ruger & Co. announced two weeks ago that it has chosen Mayodan, north of Greensboro, NC, for its third manufacturing facility. Not a lot of information has been released yet but here is what we know.
They are buying an existing textile facility that has 220,000 square feet of space and about 60 acres. The real estate is under contract and one source said the sell price is $1.2 million. When it is fully up and running they anticipate employing 350 – 500 people. Nothing has been reported about which of their very popular firearms will be produced at the new facility. News on that is expected in the next month once the real estate contract is closed and I’m assuming some negotiations with NC on incentives.
One report I read said beyond the low cost of the facility Ruger was impressed with the number of machinists in the area and the ability of the Community College system to flexibly support their training needs. This expansion is not only good news for Rockingham County where unemployment is around ten percent, but also for North Carolina for a bigger reason.
Ruger is one of the top five firearms manufacturers in the United States. Along with Ruger, all of them are currently running at full capacity and still not meeting demand. Add to that the recent firearms unfriendly laws being passed in many of the northern states where many firearms manufacturers currently exist and there is a potential for others to follow suit.
The other companies looking to expand or move may look at the Ruger decision and say, “If it is good for them then maybe we should check it out.” Ruger is a very conservative company. They don’t make rash decisions. I’m sure they looked at a lot of locations and decided this one best fit their need. Don’t be surprised if others follow. I know Beretta mentioned North Carolina on their short list if Maryland passed their restrictive gun laws (and they did). We will keep you posted as more develops.
The much anticipated Omnibus Gun Bill passed both houses of the General Assembly and is on its way to the Governor for signature. That’s the good news. Unfortunately, the provision to eliminate the pistol purchase permit requirement was pulled from the bill evidently in a compromise move. Since it was getting so much push back from the Sherriff’s Association and Attorney General I always thought that of all the provisions it would be the first to go. However, they did ad a provision for the Sherriff’s office to revoke permits if the holder committed a crime after it was issued. Not sure how they will work that out. Again details to follow. Since the legislative session is nearing its end, let’s look at the status of some of the bills I reported on last week.
House 936, Wildlife Poacher Reward Fund, was ratified and sent to the Governor for signature on July 24th. House 1011 and its companion Senate bill 10 that deal with Government Reorganization and Efficiency are still tied up in Conference Committee. With so few days left in the session and so many things to consider I’m not sure this one will make it. Overall, I’d say that other than the WRC getting hit with a budget cut (not as bad as originally thought) it was a pretty good session for wildlife and hunters and anglers. Yes, we will face a license fee increase next year. But the money is much needed.
In preparation for hunting season suddenly people start to think about hunter education which is required for first time license applications. There will be a class at Mars Hill College August 5 – 7 from 6 – 9:30 p.m. each evening. The next class in Buncombe County will be August 19 – 21 at Skyland Fire Department during the same hours. If you are willing to drive a little further Haywood Community College in Clyde has one schedule August 12 – 14 also from 6 – 9:30 each evening. After those we get into September with the first being again at Mars Hill College September 9 – 11. Registration for all of these classes can be found at the Commission’s website, ncwildlife.org. Click on the Hunting Tab at the top of the Home page and Hunter Education on the right list.