Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday announced that a pair of firearm manufacturers will add 134 jobs in central Arkansas.
Hutchinson made the announcements alongside company officials at the annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas. Video of both announcements streamed live on Twitter.
SIG Sauer of Newington, New Hampshire, which makes pistols, rifles and ammunition, said it will put a new manufacturing facility employing 50 at an existing building in Jacksonville. And the Remington Outdoor Co. of Madison, North Carolina, which makes hunting rifles and ammunition, said it will create 84 new jobs at its plant in Lonoke.
The governor said Remington’s investment in Lonoke, where it already employs about 1,200 people, is worth about $12 million. SIG Sauer, whose executives described their 50 Jacksonville jobs as “a start,” said its investment is worth “several million” dollars.
Both companies are receiving incentives. SIG Sauer is getting $800,000 from the governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund, along with an income tax credit based on maintaining a certain payroll level and sales tax refunds on materials, machinery and equipment associated with the expansion.
Remington is getting $2.5 million from the Quick Action Closing Fund and eight years of annual cash rebates of 3.9 percent of payroll associated with the new jobs. It also qualifies for AEDC’s InvestArk program, a sales and use tax credit available to businesses established in Arkansas for two years or longer that invest $5 million or more at location for expansion or modernization.
The companies did not say when the expansions would take place.
In a news release, Hutchinson said SIG Sauer was among the six prospective companies he called on his first day in office about doing business in Arkansas. He said he first met with Remington in February 2015.
“Firearms and ammunition is a growing industry, and we came to Las Vegas to share the many reasons Arkansas is a natural fit for this sector,” Hutchinson said. “The fact that a world-class company like SIG Sauer is choosing to do business in the state adds to our momentum in manufacturing and we appreciate this significant commitment they are making to locate in Arkansas.”
Hutchinson is the first Arkansas governor to attend the SHOT Show. In both announcement videos, he described Arkansas as a “firearm-friendly state” that welcomes the industry.
SIG Sauer says almost one-third of law-enforcement professionals in the country use its firearms. It said its military and government clients include the U.S. Navy SEALS, the Federal Air Marshals, the Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service and the U.S. Coast Guard. It employs 900 people.
“We’re excited about SIG Sauer, a world renowned manufacturer of firearms, locating a facility in Jacksonville,” Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher said in a news release. “This is great news for our workforce with the opportunities and jobs they will provide for the community … We look forward to a long and prosperous relationship for years to come.”
In May 2013, Remington Outdoor Company announced a $32 million expansion of its Lonoke plant that included a new building and supported job growth. The company established the plant in Lonoke in 1969.
“I am proud of the continued growth and expansion we are experiencing at our Lonoke, Arkansas facility,” Remington CEO Jim Marcotuli said. “Our company’s ethos of ‘pride and precision’ is reflected in the quality ammunition our hardworking team members produce every day, and we are all looking forward to continuing this important work with the great state of Arkansas.”
Remington designs products for the hunting, shooting, self-defense, military and law enforcement. Founded in 1816, it is the nation’s oldest gun maker and employs more than 3,500 people.