Through a mix of state-issued stay-at-home orders and other coronavirus-related conditions, some gun manufacturers have had to shut down.
As of Wednesday, at least 17 states had announced often strict restrictions on businesses and operations considered nonessential. While many of these orders make exemptions for firearms industries and guns licensed dealers, others make no such recognition.
Kansas-based CZ-USA announced this week that an Emergency Order closes their facilities in Kansas City, until at least April 23. Likewise, their subsidiary Dan Wesson Firearms facility in Norwich, New York was closed under similar circumstances late last week due to an order from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“For the next 30 days, production and shipment delays are inevitable,” said the company in a statement. “We apologize for the inconvenience we know this will cause — we hold our nation’s Second Amendment rights to be sacred and are very concerned about the impact that emergency orders will have on our customers. We will work diligently to deliver products as soon as legally possible while maintaining social responsibility and compliance with government orders.”
Ken Darcy, Remington’s CEO, took to social media on Monday regarding the COVID-19 situation. The company’s iconic New York factory is currently shut down due to Cuomo’s order.
“We are left with 1-million square feet of available manufacturing distribution space in Ilion, New York, the birthplace of Remington,” said Darcy, going on to explain that Big Green has offered the facility up to both state and federal governments during the crisis.
“We are standing by, ready, willing, and able to support in any way we possibly can,” said Darcy. “It would be an honor for our company to donate space for the manufacture of mission-critical products such as ventilators, hospital beds, or anything else deemed necessary.”
In Alabama, where Remington has a multi-brand factory in Huntsville, there is currently no statewide stay-at-home order.
It should be noted that many of the larger gun makers in the U.S. have diversified their operations across a number of locations. For instance, Beretta has factories in both Maryland and Tennessee; Ruger has plants in Arizona, Connecticut, and New Hampshire; and Mossberg makes guns in both Connecticut and Texas.
On Monday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued an emergency order closing businesses that do not provide essential services to close their facilities. The same day, Yankee Hill Machine posted a notice saying “For the safety of our staff and customers alike, we will remain closed until the COVID-19 situation is resolved.”
Companies Refusing to Close
A few firearms makers have made sure their customers and fans know they are very much still business-as-close-to-usual as possible.
In New Jersey, where Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered gun stores closed, rifle maker Modern Material is still in production.
“The fellas over at Modern Materiel are still manufacturing and shipping 100% Made in the USA AR-15s,” Modern Material’s Joe Savio told Guns.com.
Likewise, Sons of Liberty Gun Works in Texas posted an image of their crew ready to work.
“Last night we told the crew they weren’t obligated to come in, and we’d understand if they chose to stay home through the madness. We wouldn’t dock anybody’s pay, or think any less of them,” explained the company on social media. “This morning when I got to the shop all the rifle racks were already full… and every bench going full speed.”
Further, ammunition makers such as Federal and Hornady have highlighted their efforts to meet a surge in ammo demands.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has started a dedicated webpage to track both federal and state COVID-19 alerts concerning the firearms industry. The NSSF is urging “all members to closely follow CDC guidelines, practice social distancing and take precautions to protect the health of their employees and customers.”