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St. Cloud rifle factory closing; 68 to be laid off

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DPMS Panther Arms, the St. Cloud-based manufacturer of military rifles, is consolidating its operations in Huntsville, Alabama, and 68 workers will lose their jobs as a result of the shutdown of the central Minnesota unit.

The St. Cloud Times reports that the action comes as part of a corporate restructuring. Remington Outdoor Company controls DPMS Panther Arms, which opened in St. Cloud in 2004 and is a contractor for the U.S. Department of Defense. Since 2007, DPMS has been part of a consortium led by Remington, which bills itself as the nation’s oldest gunmaker. (DPMS is an abbreviation for Defense Procurement Manufacturing Services.)

The Star Tribune reports that Remington notified state officials that it will close the St. Cloud unit, a notification that is required by state law. A letter to the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) indicated the company would idle 34 workers in September and the rest in early January. In the letter to the DEED, Remington said the St. Cloud layoffs “are expected to be permanent.” It added, “This is a nonunion facility and the employees have no bumping rights.”

Remington Director of Public Affairs Teddy Novin said the move "was a strategic business decision to concentrate our resources into fewer locations and improve manufacturing efficiency and quality."

The company announced that it will also move production from seven other units across the country to the large new factory in Alabama.

The 200-year-old company reported record sales last year.

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