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Posted: 3/22/2006 7:38:08 AM EDT
www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16349011&BRD=1281&PAG=461&dept_id=566835&rfi=6



03/22/2006
Gun maker will take look at Winchester factory
Andy Bromage and Damian J. Troise , Register Staff

NEW HAVEN — Smith & Wesson, the nation’s oldest and once its largest handgun maker, was named by city officials Tuesday as one of three manufacturers eyeing a takeover of the soon-to-close Winchester firearms factory.
Mayor John DeStefano Jr. confirmed Tuesday that Smith & Wesson executives will be in town this weekend to tour the U.S. Repeating Arms Co. factory at 344 Winchester Ave., where "The Gun That Won The West" has been manufactured for 150 years.

"There is a serious interest in the plant by a credible manufacturer," DeStefano said Tuesday. "Where it’s going to lead, I am not going to handicap at this point."

City Hall is asking USRAC’s parent company, Belgium-based Herstal Group, to cede control of the plant to the city or another gun maker. In exchange, the city has offered to forgive $17 million in tax abatements, lease obligations and workers’ pay the city says Herstal owes.

Meanwhile, the city is pressuring Utah-based Olin Corp., owner of the Winchester brand name, to grant the Winchester license to a firearms maker willing to take over the New Haven factory.

Smith & Wesson’s chief financial officer, John Kelly, confirmed the visit Tuesday, but both he and DeStefano sought to downplay its significance.

"We’ve been asked to come down and take a look" Kelly said. "Obviously, it’s a great brand, but I wouldn’t read too much into it.

DeStefano also struck a cautious, if hopeful, tone.

"Herstal does want to sell the plant," the mayor said. "Herstal has an interest in retaining the license from Olin, but Olin has said they would deal only with a bonafide manufacturer, which Smith & Wesson clearly is."

DeStefano added, "This is just a step in the process. I don’t want to build expectations that are unreasonable."

DeStefano said the city is courting two other interested gun makers, but he would not name them.

How much does anyone want to bet that one or both so called unnamed companies are CMT/STAG

The USRAC plant is set to go dark March 31, putting 186 factory workers out of their jobs. City officials and a slew of hired guns have worked feverishly since the closing was announced in January to find a buyer to takeover plant operations.

Negotiations took on a more conciliatory tone last week after the city received a sharply worded rebuke from a Herstal executive who told DeStefano, in a letter, he was "disappointed by the approach and tone" of the mayor’s offer.

Founded in 1852 in Norwich, Smith & Wesson was the nation’s largest handgun maker for decades, surpassed in 2000 by Sturm, Ruger & Co. Based in Springfield, Mass., Smith & Wesson made the world-famous .357-caliber Magnum and .38 Special, outfitting countless police departments nationwide with sidearms.

Smith & Wesson and Winchester go back a long way together, and a union of the two brands now would be the stuff of American gun legend.

Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson first sought to make a lever action repeating pistol in 1852, but the company ran into financial hardship two years later. They were forced to sell their company to a shirt manufacturer named Oliver Winchester, and in 1866, using the original lever-action design created by Smith & Wesson, Winchester rifles were born.

"Smith & Wesson is the kind of company we’d love to have," DeStefano said. "So we’ll meet them and then we’ll take it to the next step."

Andy Bromage can be reached at abromage@nhregister.com or 789-5714. Damian J.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:50:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VLODPG:
www.nhregister.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=16349011&BRD=1281&PAG=461&dept_id=566835&rfi=6



03/22/2006
Gun maker will take look at Winchester factory
Andy Bromage and Damian J. Troise , Register Staff

NEW HAVEN — Smith & Wesson, the nation’s oldest and once its largest handgun maker, was named by city officials Tuesday as one of three manufacturers eyeing a takeover of the soon-to-close Winchester firearms factory.
Mayor John DeStefano Jr. confirmed Tuesday that Smith & Wesson executives will be in town this weekend to tour the U.S. Repeating Arms Co. factory at 344 Winchester Ave., where "The Gun That Won The West" has been manufactured for 150 years.

"There is a serious interest in the plant by a credible manufacturer," DeStefano said Tuesday. "Where it’s going to lead, I am not going to handicap at this point."

City Hall is asking USRAC’s parent company, Belgium-based Herstal Group, to cede control of the plant to the city or another gun maker. In exchange, the city has offered to forgive $17 million in tax abatements, lease obligations and workers’ pay the city says Herstal owes.

Meanwhile, the city is pressuring Utah-based Olin Corp., owner of the Winchester brand name, to grant the Winchester license to a firearms maker willing to take over the New Haven factory.

Smith & Wesson’s chief financial officer, John Kelly, confirmed the visit Tuesday, but both he and DeStefano sought to downplay its significance.

"We’ve been asked to come down and take a look" Kelly said. "Obviously, it’s a great brand, but I wouldn’t read too much into it.

DeStefano also struck a cautious, if hopeful, tone.

"Herstal does want to sell the plant," the mayor said. "Herstal has an interest in retaining the license from Olin, but Olin has said they would deal only with a bonafide manufacturer, which Smith & Wesson clearly is."

DeStefano added, "This is just a step in the process. I don’t want to build expectations that are unreasonable."

DeStefano said the city is courting two other interested gun makers, but he would not name them.

How much does anyone want to bet that one or both so called unnamed companies are CMT/STAG

The USRAC plant is set to go dark March 31, putting 186 factory workers out of their jobs. City officials and a slew of hired guns have worked feverishly since the closing was announced in January to find a buyer to takeover plant operations.

Negotiations took on a more conciliatory tone last week after the city received a sharply worded rebuke from a Herstal executive who told DeStefano, in a letter, he was "disappointed by the approach and tone" of the mayor’s offer.

Founded in 1852 in Norwich, Smith & Wesson was the nation’s largest handgun maker for decades, surpassed in 2000 by Sturm, Ruger & Co. Based in Springfield, Mass., Smith & Wesson made the world-famous .357-caliber Magnum and .38 Special, outfitting countless police departments nationwide with sidearms.

Smith & Wesson and Winchester go back a long way together, and a union of the two brands now would be the stuff of American gun legend.

Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson first sought to make a lever action repeating pistol in 1852, but the company ran into financial hardship two years later. They were forced to sell their company to a shirt manufacturer named Oliver Winchester, and in 1866, using the original lever-action design created by Smith & Wesson, Winchester rifles were born.

"Smith & Wesson is the kind of company we’d love to have," DeStefano said. "So we’ll meet them and then we’ll take it to the next step."

Andy Bromage can be reached at abromage@nhregister.com or 789-5714. Damian J.



How in hell can the city give Herstal the right not to pay employees back wages owed?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:53:20 AM EDT
Maybe the city is willing to pay the back wages? It sounds like they're willing to "give away the store" for the opportunity to reopen the plant.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 7:53:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By VLODPG:
.
.
How much does anyone want to bet that one or both so called unnamed companies are CMT/STAG
.
.


Who/what is this cmt/stag?
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:02:57 AM EDT
Why would any sane company want to open/re-open a gun making plant in such a high cost, gun unfriendly state and reigon.

"Go west young man"

Horace Greely
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:22:57 AM EDT
John DeStefano, a gun grabbing POS, wants guns out of New Haven, a city that at one time had a lawsuit against gun manufacturers, but he wants to keep the factory open.

Am I missing something here?


Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:28:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:

Originally Posted By VLODPG:
.
.
How much does anyone want to bet that one or both so called unnamed companies are CMT/STAG
.
.


Who/what is this cmt/stag?



CMT/STAG STAG Arms is the commercial arm of Continental Machine & Tool Company

www.continentalmachinetool.com/

www.stagarms.com/

They happen to be/have benn one of Colt's major subcontractors & are presently making rifles for Smith & Wesson

I doubt if they would continue making Winchester Rifles but they could put all that machinery to good use with their own products. If they did take over the Winchester line, they definately would produce a higher quality product.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:29:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gardenWeasel:
John DeStefano, a gun grabbing POS, wants guns out of New Haven, a city that at one time had a lawsuit against gun manufacturers, but he wants to keep the factory open.

Am I missing something here?







Yep, lots of money changing hands
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 8:35:09 AM EDT
gardenWeasel: I emailed the author of this story about the above.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:10:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By gardenWeasel:
John DeStefano, a gun grabbing POS, wants guns out of New Haven, a city that at one time had a lawsuit against gun manufacturers, but he wants to keep the factory open.

Am I missing something here?


Just got a reply from my email to the author of the story, straight from the horse's mouth:

You are right, sort of. DeStefano fought tooth and nail to keep a new
Wal-Mart opening in New Haven from selling guns. Wal-Mart sells a lot
of guns, Winchesters included. Don't know for sure that Winchesters would
have bee4n sold here, but I could guess that was the plan. DeStefano, in
case you didn't know, is running for governor. View the moves he makes through
that lens.

Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:28:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By warlord:
DeStefano, in case you didn't know, is running for governor. View the moves he makes through
that lens.



The shit people pull to get elected. Wonder what this country would be like if people would just run for government on their own morals and beliefs.

~Dg84
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:45:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By doorgunner84:

The shit people pull to get elected. Wonder what this country would be like if people would just run for government on their own morals and beliefs.

~Dg84



Nobody would ever get elected to any office.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:51:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/22/2006 9:59:49 AM EDT by gardenWeasel]
That reply was fast.



In exchange, the city has offered to forgive $17 million in tax abatements, lease obligations and workers’ pay the city says Herstal owes


Originally Posted By SWS:
Maybe the city is willing to pay the back wages? It sounds like they're willing to "give away the store" for the opportunity to reopen the plant.




The term workers' pay probably refers to the monetary amount of labor union contract penalties which would be forgiven by the union itself provided that the plant stays open.
Link Posted: 3/22/2006 9:54:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pcsutton:
How in hell can the city give Herstal the right not to pay employees back wages owed?



In ca if your employer tries to withhold wages for any reason they get fined each day they dont pay you.
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