With no fear of gun control, people lose jobs at ammo maker

The fear that the Obama administration would take guns and ammunition away from Americans was great for the guns and ammunition business.

Sports retailers couldn’t restock shelves of ammo fast enough.

Now that Donald Trump, a strong gun rights advocate, is in the White House, times are tough.

The Star Tribune reports that Federal Cartridge, the Anoka ammunition maker, laid off 14 more workers this week, bringing to 186 the number of people who’ve lost their jobs this year.

Why? Because people aren’t afraid.

“Inventory levels have remained high since the election and we are waiting for those inventories to clear. In the meantime, we are finding ways to manage our efficiencies,” said Amanda Covington, spokeswoman for Federal’s parent firm Vista Outdoors.

Firms such as Winchester Ammunition and American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith & Wesson, have also seen consumer sales or stock prices fall since the November election.

The timing of the slowdown is particularly bad for Federal Cartridge. Last year it announced a $33.9 million factory expansion and efficiency project in Anoka. At the time, the company had promised to create 50 new jobs in exchange for a $1.15 million grant from the state of Minnesota.

Things might be looking up, however. The number of Americans applying for background checks to purchase firearms rose 6.5 percent last month, according to the FBI. It’s usually a barometer of future conditions in the guns and ammo market.

  • Zachary

    People might also have turned to reloading their own. It’s usually cheaper, and if you were limited in quantity purchasing – it made sense.

    • Gary F

      Yup, but primers were hard to come by in the last few years too. For the people that have the time, reloading is a good idea.

  • Gary F
    • Rob

      Slight point of correction – it wasn’t Obama who was the salesman, it was the lies of the NRA and its political stooges regarding Obama that prompted all the gun and ammo buying. I never changed my acquisition habits one iota, because I knew the claims about Obama were horse pucky.

      • Gary F

        I guess that’s your opinion.

        • Considering President Obama actually opened up some firearms laws rather than “come for your guns”, it’s a valid opinion.

          • X.A. Smith

            That’s what he wants you to believe. Don’t worry, Obama will start stealing guns any moment now.

          • Yeah, right that’ll be the day…

            Hang on, someone’s at the door.

    • // And now that .22lr is back on the shelves, take a kid out plinking.

      When I first read this , I thought it said “take out a kid.”


      • Gary F

        Biggest problem of the 22 shortage years ago is that so many people were hoarding it that a parent or grandparent couldn’t buy a box to take kids out shooting. Finally, there was pressure on the hoarders to make sure ammo was available for the kids to shoot.

        “plinking” “Plinking refers to informal target shooting done for pleasure typically at non-standard targets such as tin cans, logs, soda bottles, or any other homemade or naturally occurring target.[1] A person involving in the plinking exercise is colloquially known as a plinkster.”

      • Gary F

        Been shooting lately? Want to go plink?

  • Rob

    Great. Now we’ll have to listen to The Current Occupant bloviate about how he’s going to bring back all the lost gun-related jobs.

    • Veronica

      Both times I’ve looked at the comments on this post I’ve only gotten to “Now we’ll have to listen to The Current” and I get confused

      • kevins

        “The Current” is a radio show. Confusing…IDK.

        • Veronica

          The Current is a radio station.

      • Barton

        I did the same the first read through, Veronica. And thought maybe The Current had a new show called Occupant…. the word “bloviate” made me re-assess my reading comprehension.

        It’s a great word Bob H. Thanks for using it!

  • MrE85

    I look forward to the day when gun owners are terrified again.

    “Make gun owners scared again” would be a good bumper sticker.

    • Gary F

      “When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” T Jefferson

      • MrE85

        “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

      • I don’t even know the difference betweent the two anymore.

      • Leroy

        I don’t mean to be flippent, but this is one of those phrases that always has bugged the hell out of me.

        In order to have “liberty” our government should be scared of us? More baseball style shootings, where people are attacking our elected representatives when we disagree with them?

        • People are putting much too much credibility in the assertion that rhetoric is the problem.

          It’s not the problem as I fear we’re going to see more and more of as a government works harder to create an us against them society.

          That’s what leads to civil disorder.

          People will do awful things when they have no hope.

          It’s not about rhetoric.

          • bryanstrawser

            And yet with legislatures (see MN in 2013) and the President (see President Obama, several times) propose strong anti-gun measures, the fear skyrockets.

            It’s not the rhetoric that is the issue – it’s the *proposed regulation or legislation.

      • Rob

        “We have met the enemy, and they is us.” — Pogo

        • Khatti

          One of those things I saw sometime in the last five or six years (I need to start recording these things for citations) was an interview of some Chinese college students who were asked their impressions of the US. One of the things they said that intrigued me was about our movies: “There is always a dictator in these movies. There’s always a dictator that needs to be overthrown. It’s kind of cute!”

          If you think that these kids were thinking about what would happen to mom and dad and uncle Chu and Auntie Gin if this interview found its way to the Chinese government I think you’re right–never-the-less I can’t help but wonder if these kids were on to something. We like to believe that there is some dictator or small group of autocrats who can be overthrown and the peepul shall finally have there day. The more realistic picture of our conflicts is the Civil War, in which group fought group, and all the members of both groups belonged to every class in the country. It would seem that Pogo was right, the enemy is us.

  • lindblomeagles

    This story proves again that if you’re irrational, you’ll do anything to find rationalism, including hunkering down with guns and ammo.