LAS VEGAS–Gun manufacturer Weatherby announced at Shot Show Tuesday the company planned to leave its longtime California headquarters and move to Sheridan, Wyoming in 2019.
“This is a really exciting day for us. About three years ago after being in California for 75 years, we began a search amongst a number of Western states to find a new home for Weatherby,” CEO Adam Weatherby told media and employees on the floor of the firearms tradeshow.
He added, “It was obvious being in the state that we were in that the legacy wasn’t going to be able to continue for as long as we wanted it to. We began to look for a new state.”
California’s restrictive exorbitant tax and regulations on guns resulted in the company’s decision to leave the state. Weatherby is among a string of major firearm manufacturers to leave gun restrictive states after many years.
In 2014, Gun maker Beretta announced it would leave the state of Maryland for similar reasons. In 2016, it opened up a factory in Tennessee.
Remington declared in 2014 it would move out of New York to Alabama. In Connecticut, both Colt and Sturm Ruger moved to Texas and North Carolina, respectively.
Additionally, Wyoming Republican Gov. Matt Mead persuaded Weatherby to move the company when the two met at last year’s Shot Show. Both Gov. Mead and his wife Carol were in attendance during the announcement.
“The Wyoming State and Investment Board that is led by Gov. Mead voted unanimously for some incentives that we told them if that thing goes through there’s no turning back and that was January 18th and they voted on an incentive package to get us to the state of Wyoming,” said Weatherby.
According to Weatherby, his company will create 70 to 90 more jobs, which will result in $50 million more via the company payroll over a five-year period and the company will invest $2 million in relocation expenses for current employees.
Weatherby’s announcement comes on the heels of the California legislature’s further gun control laws that have passed in recent years, which include background checks for ammunition purchases and the prohibition of magazines that hold 10 or more rounds.