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Firearms and Ammunition Companies Are Growing in Arkansas

 January 20, 2023

Every year, Arkansas Economic Development Commission team members visit the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s SHOT Show, a leading trade show for the firearms and ammunition industry. Our team recently returned from the 2023 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, where we spent several days meeting with industry executives and promoting the State of Arkansas.

This year’s SHOT Show trip was an excellent opportunity to visit with firearms and ammunition industry executives, and it provided an opportunity to demonstrate the strength of the industry in our state.

The firearms and ammunition industry is shooting upward in Arkansas. Combining its competitive business environment and low taxes with a gun-friendly attitude and a talented workforce, Arkansas has proven to be a favorable location for firearms and ammunition executives looking to relocate or expand their companies.

In its 2022 Firearm and Ammunition Industry Economic Impact Report, the National Shooting Sports Foundation ranked Arkansas as one of the top 10 states for economic output and jobs for the firearms and ammunition industry. Arkansas had the fourth highest total economic output per capita and the second highest growth in economic output in 2021. In addition, Arkansas had the fourth highest number of total jobs per capita and the fifth-highest growth for industry jobs in 2021.

Companies, big and small, have found success in Arkansas.

Industry leaders like Sig Sauer, Walther, Gamo Outdoor USA and Vista Outdoor have located facilities in Arkansas, drawn by our state’s strong workforce and low costs of doing business. Arkansas also boasts multiple homegrown firearms and ammunition companies like Wilson Combat and Nighthawk Custom that have had significant success here.

In 2022, Fiocchi USA announced that it will be investing $41.5 million to build a new ammunition primer manufacturing facility in Little Rock, Arkansas. This facility will be an industry-leading initiative, as it will be the only dedicated lead-free primer plant in the world. Fiocchi is expanding its presence in Arkansas after establishing a manufacturing operation in Little Rock in 2020.

Executives who have made the decision to locate in Arkansas have been satisfied with the results they’ve seen.

Just read what Fiocchi of America President and CEO Anthony Acitelli has to say about Arkansas: “Why Arkansas? We actually picked you, and we picked you because of the business environment, the acceptance of the firearms industry, and really – the people.”

We want firearms and ammunition companies in Arkansas, and we want them to succeed.

Arkansas has consistently been recognized for its support of firearms and Second Amendment rights. According to World Population Review, Arkansas is among the top 10 states for number of guns per capita. For every 1,000 Arkansas residents, there are 27 registered firearms in the state. Forbes ranked Arkansas as the second most gun-friendly state in the nation in 2021. Zippia named Arkansas as the fourth most 2nd Amendment-friendly state in the country.

Executives from every industry are focused on the availability of a well-trained workforce. This is an issue that cuts across all industries and regions of the country. Arkansas stands apart because of its talented workforce in the firearms and ammunition sector. In 2021, there were 4,945 people employed in Arkansas in the firearms and ammunition industry, according to the NSSF report. There were an additional 5,481 workers in supplier and ancillary roles to the firearms and ammunition industry.

Arkansas has all the elements that firearms and ammunition companies need to grow and thrive: a welcoming business environment, competitive taxes, and a strong workforce. Arkansas is cocked and loaded – ready to help firearms and ammunition companies to succeed and grow.

Blog post contributed by:

Jack Pillow
Project Manager
Arkansas Economic Development Commission