Last November TTAG reported that Hurricane Sandy hammered Henry Repeating Arms’ New Jersey factory; the natural disaster ripped the roof off their Garden State digs and flooded their factory floor. The following April, TTAG reported that Henry was back in a big way. Production returned to normal. Guns were going out the door in record numbers. Even as Henry recovered its economic equilibrium, lever gun impresario Anthony Imperato shared his resolve to build guns in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Et voila! jsonline.com reports that Henry’s ready to start production in the Eat Cheese or Die State come the New Year . . .
Henry has added “several million dollars of new computerized machining equipment” to its Wisconsin facility to support the manufacturing of .30-30 and .45-70 caliber rifles as well as to increase the volume of parts produced for its rifles, the company said in a statement announcing the changes.
Henry Repeating Arms purchased the 138,000-square-foot Rice Lake facility in 2006 from Wright Products, a subsidiary of FKI Industries, which manufactured storm door hardware. Wright ceased manufacturing due to price pressure in the hardware industry.
Today, the plant employs more than 100 people and continues to hire to support its continued growth, Henry said in the statement.
“I am proud of what we’ve accomplished in Wisconsin by saving jobs, adding jobs, and creating a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility,” Anthony Imperato, president and owner of the company said in the statement. “I decided to expand our operations here because of the outstanding job our employees do to help us meet increased demand.”
And New Jersey’s high taxes, regulatory burden, union stranglehold and anti-gun gestalt. Henry’s strategy is nothing new for gunmakers behind enemy lines. Beretta, Smith & Wesson and other large companies are ramping-up new production from northeastern climes to gun-friendly tax-break bonanza giving right-to-work states.
Make no mistake: if things get too bad in the gun averse states even the big ‘uns will follow American Tactical Imports’ lead and blow town. In fact, what’s the bet that they’re making contingency plans right now; that Colt, The Freedom Group (including Remington) and others have explored alternative locations? Why wouldn’t they?