MAYODAN, N.C. – There was more movement from gunmaker Sturm, Ruger & Co. on Tuesday, as it considered opening a new plant in Rockingham County. The Southport, Conn.-based company filed papers with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a potential facility in Mayodan.
"Well, the news is that Ruger has made application with the Securities and Exchange Commission to put a plant here in Mayodan," said County Commissioner Mark Richardson.
Sturm, Ruger and Co.'s website announced a "pending purchase of a third manufacturing facility in Mayodan."
Town manager Michael Brandt said the facility would be located in the former 220,000 sq. foot Unifi plant on Cardwell Road.
Richardson said while the prospects looked good, the ink on the deal was not dry.
"This is not a done deal by Ruger until such time as it meets approval,” Richardson said. “They're also looking for various types of support from the state as far as incentives are concerned."
The company told town manager Brandt it would purchase the Unifi building after finalizing state and local incentives deals and the process could wrap up in 30 to 45 days.
"They're also able to use an existing plant and that will go a long way toward filling some of those vacancies that we want filled," Richardson said.
In Madison last month, Ruger officials held what they billed as an open house to assess whether there were enough skilled workers to support a Rockingham County operation. Residents say there are.
"Oh, Lord yes,” said Mayodan resident Thomas Peters. “There are a lot of skills in this town. Yes."
"Oh, yeah,” said Junior Duggins, another Mayodan resident. “We've got people here who need some work. Plenty of them."
Sturm Ruger currently employs more than 2,000 people in its two plants in Newport, N.H., and Prescott, Ariz. Richardson said landing Sturm, Ruger and Co.'s third operation would be a feather in the county's cap. He hoped other companies would follow.
"There are other industries that are looking at our county right now,” he said. “We look forward to some positive news from them in the future."