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How N. Carolina Enticed Sturm, Ruger

Mayodan, n.c. — Gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. could receive nearly $15 million for opening a new factory in the North Carolina community already home to America’s largest firearms maker.

Mayodan’s town council on Monday approved offering Southport, Conn.-based Sturm, Ruger more than $850,000 over 14 years if it meets investment and job targets, The News & Record of Greensboro reported.

The town of 2,500 in north-central North Carolina is already headquarters to Freedom Group Inc., which owns Bushmaster, Remington and other firearms brands.

A state Commerce Department spokesman said when Sturm, Ruger announced its plans for the factory last month that it could receive nearly $13 million in state tax breaks, employee training, infrastructure construction and other incentives.

The plant is expected to employ more than 470 workers. Sturm, Ruger also could receive nearly $950,000 from Rockingham County, N.C.

Production is expected to begin early next year in the county struggling with an unemployment rate of 10.2 percent in July.

“Our people need the jobs,” Town Council member Lewis Bottoms said.

Sturm, Ruger said it had completed the purchase of a vacant Unifi Inc. textile plant in Mayodan. The company is scheduled to invest $4.25 million in improvements to the building and $21.5 million in new machinery and equipment over five years. The company also has plants in the Upper Valley, in Newport, and Prescott, Ariz., and employs about 2,100.

Sturm, Ruger decided to open its first new factory in more than 25 years to meet gun demand that has spiked since Congress and some states sought to toughen gun controls. The company reported that second-quarter profits soared 79 percent on higher sales on strong demand for guns.

Connecticut’s firearms industry has been embattled since 20 first-graders and six educators were killed in the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The state then adopted a package of gun control measures that are considered among the strictest in the nation. They include an expanded assault weapons ban, additional background checks gun purchases and ammunition purchases, and a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines.