Federal Ammunition Anoka Plant Layoffs
Dr. John Woods 03.22.17
Breaking news out this week comes that Federal Premium Ammunition is laying off 110 workers at their Anoka, Minnesota facility. It is no secret but an ironic one that the guns and ammo industry has experienced a widespread downturn since the Trump election. Both wholesalers and dealers have reported slow sales. Prices on guns and ammo have been moderating or coming down since the election last November.
The Federal ammo manufacturing plant in Anoka has about 1400 employed workers, but the layoff of 110 does signal that the company was recognizing the economic downturn in ammo sales.
The company has also returned an expansion grant of $1.15 million back to the state. The $33 million plant expansion will continue, but the hiring requirements of the grant apparently cannot be met. This is not an unusual situation when any manufacturing facility has to cut back on production personnel despite long term plans to upgrade or expand production goals. Federal has plans to upgrade equipment with this factory expansion.
Federal Ammunition is now a subsidiary of the Utah based Vista Outdoor, Inc. Formally Federal was part of the Alliant Technology Systems. Such changes in corporate ownership is also a regular practice among business entities as overall goals and objectives change or become refocused on other priorities.
Since the November election, gun and ammunition buyers have felt less pressure to buy more guns and shooting supplies since a Republican was returning to the White House. Had Clinton won the election, there would have been an immediate boom to the industry with consumers fearing more restrictive gun ownership or even outright confiscation legislation. Gun owners applauded Clinton’s loss.
Also during the previous president’s 8-year term, Obama’s anti-gun agenda earned him the recognition as “America’s greatest gun salesman.” BATF had record purchase approval backups in their computer system trying to wade through computer mounds of 4473 paperwork.
Remember though, that manufacturing layoffs in all industry sectors is a fairly regular occurrence. The fact that Federal Premium Ammunition is readjusting their manufacturing capacities is probably just a short term adjustment to fluctuations in the overall economy of the country. It is not “sky falling” event that should signal panic in the arms and ammunition industrial complex.
As per usual the economy will adjust accordingly and long term quality companies like Federal will adjust with the times. As a word of encouragement, shooters across the country should be taking advantage of these short times to purchase more guns and ammo and to get out to shoot even more.