In a significant move for the firearms and ammunition industry, Sig Sauer, a renowned firearms manufacturer, has announced plans to expand its ammunition manufacturing plant located in Jacksonville, Arkansas.
This expansion is expected to bring more than 600 new jobs to the region over the next half-decade, with a projected investment of $150 million. However, this isn’t just about job creation; the expansion will also support multiple contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense, adding various ammunition production components.
The company’s commitment to the Arkansas community is evident, as this expansion will include a new 250,000-square-foot building to accommodate part of these manufacturing processes. “We are incredibly excited about expanding our ammunition operations here in Jacksonville and building upon years of success in Arkansas,” stated Ron Cohen, the president and chief executive officer of Sig Sauer Inc. This move underscores the company’s dedication to its Arkansas operations, especially since the Jacksonville plant currently employs nearly 350 individuals. With this expansion, the company aims to add 625 more jobs.
Although Sig Sauer centralized its ammunition production in Jacksonville in 2016, its history in the state goes back further. The company has been a significant player in the firearms and ammunition market, producing globally for civilian, law enforcement, and military markets. This expansion is a testament to the company’s growth and the increasing demand for ammunition.
But the broader context of the ammunition industry in the U.S. is also noteworthy. According to market research by the company IBISWorld, the guns and ammunition manufacturing industry is set to achieve $21 billion in revenue this year, marking a 2.4% increase. This revenue is almost evenly split between the civilian/law enforcement and military segments. Interestingly, the U.S. government remains the industry’s most substantial customer.
However, it’s essential to note the fluctuating demand for firearms and ammunition in recent years. Background checks for firearms buyers reached a record high in 2020, with a significant increase of 40% from the previous year. This surge also saw a corresponding rise in ammunition demand, leading to shortages. Background checks have remained elevated, and the demand remains high, with 2023 seeing 22.2 million checks up to September.
Because of this demand, Sig Sauer was awarded the Next Generation Squad Weapon contract by the U.S. Army in 2022. The company’s advancements in ammunition technology, such as the hybrid case, which makes ammunition both lighter and more potent, have set it apart in the industry.
State officials have also shown their support for the expansion. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders enthusiastically stated, “Here in Arkansas, we love welcoming business expansions almost as much as we love defending the Second Amendment.” State incentives for Sig Sauer’s expansion have also been provided, including the Create Rebate, the Tax Back program, and funds from the Governor’s Quick Action Closing Fund.
The firearms and ammunition landscape continues to evolve, and companies like Sig Sauer are making strategic moves to ensure their growth and commitment to their local communities. With its rich industry history, Arkansas remains a pivotal player in the Ammunition manufacturing market.