Gun related industries in Idaho thrive

Posted at 10:12 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-07 00:12:13-04

Idaho is known for mountains, potatoes and soon enough, a robust gun industry.

Despite increased national dialogue on whether guns should be more strictly enforced, Idaho has seen gun fabricators and gun accessory makers popping up in warehouses, garages and storefronts.

At 2A Armament in Boise, more than a dozen people spread out over a 10,000 square foot shop, busily putting the finishing touches on their custom line of guns. From aluminum to arm, the facility is a one-stop shop that dreams of competition with nationally known brands like Winchester or Rutger.
“We're seeing upwards of 100% growth year over year right now for our company," general manager Steve Fitz explained.

2A makes their own version of the popular AR rifle that is favored by recreational shooters. It’s the same gun that has been called an “assault weapon” by certain politicians and fears of the potential unlawful production of the rifle has created a surge in sales. Politics, says Fitz, plays a role in sales.

“Typical in an election year cycle is an increase in firearms," he said.

According to the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives Bureau, gun manufacturing businesses have doubled since the Obama Administration and Idaho leads the pack in jobs within the firearm industry per capita.

It’s not only gun manufacturing either.

Secondary industries are also growing like MGM Targets in Nampa, Idaho.

“It’s exploded over the four years,” MGM vice president Travis Gibson admits.

MGM makes spring-loaded steel targets that are often using during shooting competitions.

Over the last few years, the product has slowly crept into the casual shooter marker.

“It’s not just clubs anymore. People are buying them to take them out,” Gibson said.

It’s all part of the over $130 million dollar Idaho gun industry that seems to be attracting national interest.

"I got a lot of buddies that are moving out of California," Gibson said. "They're moving out of Oregon and moving to other states like Idaho. We want firearm companies in this state. It’s a great place to live, It's a great place to have a firearms-related business."