NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) – Gun manufacturer Stag Arms has announced the company found a new headquarters location outside of Connecticut.
The company will relocate out of New Britain to Cheyenne, Wyoming by the end of the year.
Chad Larsen, its president, released a statement on Wednesday clarifying the move.
In early 2016, the founders of Stag Arms were forced to cede ownership of the Company as a result of violations of federal record-keeping regulations discovered by the ATF the previous year. The family that started the Company in 2003, was close to shuttering its doors.
Enter White Wolf Capital, LLC. A private equity firm headquartered in Miami, FL, White Wolf reached a last-minute deal that enabled the business to stay open and the employees to keep their jobs.
After the deal closed in February 2016, the Board of Directors appointed by the new owners began to craft a long-range strategic plan designed to rehabilitate the brand and grow the company. From the very beginning, one aspect of that plan—which had remained confidential until this June—was to move the Company to a more firearms-friendly state. Other key elements of the new strategic plan involved making significant investments in new products and entirely revamping its supply chain which had become sluggish, inefficient, and slow to respond to shifting customer tastes and preferences.
As the Company, in conjunction with its revitalized supply chain, became more efficient, some redundant and unnecessary jobs were eliminated. By the time the Company’s new location—Cheyenne, WY—was publicly announced this week, all remaining employees either had been offered jobs in the new Wyoming location—along with relocation assistance—or the option to work remotely during the transition.
Today Stag is vibrant, stronger than ever and poised to achieve significant growth as both new and legacy customers discover all the exciting developments underway. I am delighted to have been chosen to lead this great Company in the next chapter of its journey.
In June, the company announced its decision to move out of New Britain and said they initiated a national search for a new location.
In a statement, Elie Azar, founder and CEO of White Wolf Capital, which owns a controlling interest in Stag Arms said in part, “We decided it was time to do a complete refresh of the Company. We needed to solve for three things: visionary customer-centric leadership, a business-friendly, pro-growth economic environment, and a cultural climate that reflects Stag’s brand image of independence and free spiritedness.”
Stag’s Board of Directors conducted a search for a new headquarters location. They said, “Not only is Wyoming an incredibly hospitable place to do business, it is also a top destination for outdoor recreation, including hunting and shooting sports, which reflects its citizens’ unwavering support for the Second Amendment.”
Stag Arms started a family-owned company in 2003. They're best known for making the left-handed sporting rifle.
In 2014 , the company had their federal license revoked after hundreds of semi-automatic rifles were improperly registered or not registered at all.
In 2016, Stag was sold to investment company White Wolf Capital.
At that time, a manager of the company, who did not want to be identified, says gun companies were seen as a great investment because of fears that firearm laws would be tightened.
"You talk to anybody that has a gun, buys guns, sells guns, Obama was the best gun salesman. We lost that when Trump won," the former manager said.
The former manager says when White Wolf took over there were 70 to 75 employees. After the election, business got bad.
When Stag announced they were leaving Connecticut, the former manager says that's when the workforce really felt the impact.
"Laid off the entire production team. I believe they laid off then entire graphic design department with no notice. Then, one by one, accounting. Sales was the last to go," the former manager said.
The former manager says today, there are only three people working in the New Britain office. He's not aware of any relocation offers or severance packages.
Stag has begun the process of relocating all of its operations to Cheyenne and plans to be fully settled in its new accommodations in the upcoming months.
Eyewitness News reached out to Mayor Erin Stewart to see if there's any indication as to what will fill the former headquarters space, but she hasn't returned our calls.