Sturm, Ruger Laying Off About 50 Workers Around the Country

Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, January 05, 2018

By Jordan Cuddemi

Newport — Sturm, Ruger & Co. is in the process of laying off about 50 workers, or about 2.7 percent, of the company’s workforce, a top executive for the gunmaker said on Friday.

Ruger Vice President and General Counsel Kevin Reid Sr. said the layoffs are happening companywide, and he isn’t sure how many of the roughly 1,300 workers at the Newport location would be affected.

“It was for the needs of the business and tied to employee performance,” Reid said of the layoffs. “At Ruger, we routinely adjust our workforce.”

Reid, who is based in Ruger headquarters in Southport, Conn., said the company focused most of the layoffs on “indirect labor positions” such as marketing, sales and engineering, and not on employees directly involved in production.

Ruger employs between 1,800 and 1,900 people around the country.

He declined to comment on the timeline for the layoffs.

Ruger has three manufacturing locations: in Newport; Prescott, Ariz.; and Mayodan, N.C.

It also has a precision metals branch in Earth City, Mo., according to Ruger’s website.

Reid shied away from commenting on whether a third-quarter sales decrease impacted the layoffs, but noted that the company has “been in a fluctuating market, which I don’t think is lost on anybody.”

Ruger, a publicly traded company, has seen its stock price decline for the past 12 months, reflecting weaker sales and lower profits. Stocks fell from a high of $68 per share in July to $53.35 at closing on Friday.

U.S. gunmakers enjoyed robust sales some five years ago following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., amid fears that new gun-control legislation sought by then-President Barack Obama would be enacted.

However, since President Donald Trump took office, firearms sales have slowed. Reid on Friday noted that a Republican-led administration, under Trump, has meant “less fear of legislation,” which plays into the market.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.