America’s Largest Shotgun Maker Shifts More Jobs to Texas
America’s largest shotgun manufacturer, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., decided not to expand in Connecticut. Sure it was founded there 1919 and still has its corporate headquarters in North Haven. But in 2013 Connecticut rushed through legislation to ban some of Mossberg’s popular products. As a result, Mossberg CEO, Iver Mossberg, says, “Investing in Texas was an easy decision. It’s a state that is not only committed to economic growth but also honors and respects the Second Amendment and the firearm freedoms it guarantees for our customers.”
Mossberg has instead expanded its Maverick Arms, Inc. facility in Eagle Pass, Texas, with 116,000 new square-feet of factory space. Mossberg is not a small gun manufacturer. According to records kept by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Mossberg made 475,364 guns in America in 2011. Of those guns, a total of 423,570 were shotguns made for sportsmen, for shotgun sports enthusiasts, for law-enforcement and for people who want a shotgun to protect their homes and families.
More than 90 percent of Mossberg’s guns are now made in Texas. Some of its Connecticut jobs are going there, too. Tom Taylor, O.F. Mossberg & Sons’ senior vice president, sales & marketing, tells me, “We’re moving all wood gun stock production to our Texas facility. More of our product lines—like our modern sporting rifles—might move to Texas in the future. Texas has been very good to us. Also, our gun sales have been so dynamic over the last number of years. We’ve outgrown our facilities. This major expansion will help us keep up with demand.”
Mossberg is America’s oldest family owned and operated firearms manufacturer. It’s also the largest pump-action shotgun manufacturer in the world. Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) has been aggressively coaxing them to bring even more jobs to Texas—Mossberg has been making guns there since 1989. Perry has been seducing them with the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), the state’s low taxes, simpler regulations and a skilled workforce.
Perry neglected to mention the biggest selling points: A “union free” environment, low wage rates, and a pro-management regulatory culture in state government.
Btw, “modern sporting rifle” is the industry’s euphemism for military style guns like the civilian AR-15. Mossberg is not a big player in that market but they are making an aggressive effort to move into it. With the hoarding hysteria (now mostly passed) there was room for all.