At Firearms Firms, A Last-Minute Rush To Fill Orders Amid Confusion

by Categorized: Manufacturing, Politics Date:

Workers at Stag Arms in New Britain have been in a rush to finish orders and ship to Connecticut stores for customers to buy before Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signs the historic gun control law at noon.

Stag was able to ship more than 500 of the soon-to-be banned rifles Thursday morning, after sending out 2,000 to Connecticut customers on Wednesday as the legislature debated and adopted the ban.  Although he makes more than 6,000 rifles a month nationwide, it’s been a total focus on Connecticut this week, he said, “The customers who have supported us for so many years.”

Among them was John Napierski, owner of JOJO’s Gun Works in Southington, who arrived just before 10 a.m. to pick up 35 “Connecticut legal” Stag AR-15-type rifles — legal, that is, under the old law until noon today.

“There’s a line at the store since 7 o’clock this morning,” Napierski said. “As soon as I arrived I opened the store.”

Napierski said he sold the first-ever Stag rifle exactly ten years ago, when Mark Malkowski launched the manufacturer with an innovation: rifles for left-handed shooters.  On Thursday as he loaded his Dodge pick-up, there was no time for wistfulness. Napierski was unable to say exactly how many military-style rifles he had sold this week, as he’s quickly getting through then paperwork.

For Stag, which only makes AR-15-type rifles, there was some confusion — the company’s brand was not on the list of more than 100 banned rifles contained in the bill, but, Malkowski said, the features of his products are banned in the legislation. “I’m trying to get some clarity,” he said.

Across the industry in Connecticut, there was confusion about what. exactly, the new law said. One retailer called the state police firearms unit and asked whether he could sell banned guns after noon that had been ordered in advance. “I don’t know,” he said he was told by state police.

Douglas Odishoo, owner of Delta Arsenal in Wallingford, loaded 300 rifle receivers into his black SUV at Stag’s loading dock at around 10 a.m. and rushed back to his store. The receiver is the core component of the rifle, the part with a serial number — from which many owners build their own rifles using the interchangeable parts that make the AR-15 as popular as it is.

“My business is destroyed,” Odishoo told my colleague, Courant Staff Photographer Patrick Raycraft.

The fallout, however, will come later. When Odishoo arrived back at the store, a crowd of customers applauded, as the number of customers swelled to about 70, Courant Staff Writer Brian Dowling reported.

Among the three Connecticut-based manufacturers of AR-15’s — including Colt’s Manufacturing Co. in West Hartford, which developed the rifle after buying the design in 1959, and O.F. Mossberg & Sone of North Haven — Connecticut sales represent a small but significant portion of business. Stag, for example, has sold $1 million worth in this state in 2013, Malkowski said.

As for their future plans, all three said they are constantly receiving offers from other states for moves, and although they’re discouraged by the law, they are unlikely to exit Connecticut altogether.  As for adding jobs, that may be a different story.

“The issue of where we would grow and expand is an issue that was and will be on the table today, yesterday, tomorrow,” one local industry executive said Thursday morning. “You’re always thinking of what’s best for the company….You have to have compelling economic reasons to move an operation that’s been in place for a long time.”

Mossberg, which was founded in New Haven in 1919 and just got into the AR-15 business a year ago, has a factory in Texas.

It’s pretty clear that any expansion efforts would likely not be in Connecticut,” senior vice president and general counsel Joe Bartozzi said.

But on Thursday morning, there were more immediate concerns — shipping orders and figuring out the law. For example, some of the factories have employees under age 21, or employees who had had mental health issues. Are they still allowed to work in the industry?

We tend to equate the ability to work here with the ability to be in possession,” said the industry executive who asked to remain anonymous. “What are you obligated to do?” 



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29 thoughts on “At Firearms Firms, A Last-Minute Rush To Fill Orders Amid Confusion

  1. Scott Ellison

    You can tell Colt, Mossberg, and Stag that Montana would love to have them set up shop here.

  2. Josh Watts

    South side Virginia would love to have these companies move in. It would give them easy access to the I85 and I95 corridor.

  3. The Ignorant Masses

    We are grateful for this trend towards government controlling our lives and thoughts. We’re incapable of thinking for ourselves. The sooner they take away any responsibility we have for ourselves, the safer we’ll feel. Please, tell us what to think, how to act, what to eat and drink, how to feel, and what we can and can’t own or do. We are the ignorant masses and all we want to do is be supported, fed and put out to graze. Your wish is our command.

    1. Betrayed Democrat

      Ignorant: If you are a Democrat, you’re in the right party given your goals. All you need to do is sit tight – the legislators will take care of this for you and fulfill all your wishes. CT Republicans seem to be climbing on board with this formula as well, so the wait is getting shorter

    2. p hofperson

      bull shit. since some of you can’t think for yourselves it’s good that someone is looking out for you. someone needs to explain to me why this is such a problem since you may keep your firearms as I can keep mine. have never seen anyone telling me why they need such firepower except to keep the gun manufacturers in business.

      1. Betrayed Democrat

        phof: who are you to demand to know why ANYONE needs ANYTHING?

        You would do well to recall that lists and registrations lead to disaster for freedom. Ask the citizens of New Orleans who had their weapons CONFISCATED based on being on a list. They were left helpless to defend themselves at the worst time of their lives.

        Yet here you are accusing OTHERS of not being able to think for themselves.

      2. Betrayed Democrat

        already there are calls from groups such as Citizens Against Gun Violence to take the next step and register all handguns.

        Have you not been paying attention to the warnings of incrementalism phofperson? Or do you need some help with your thinking process?

  4. pete

    I hope ALL of these manufacturers leave CT to send a message to the ‘RATS and RINOS who are nothing but pathetic obama butt kissers. We all know DANNY BOY is a obama homeboy looking for a federal judgeship but to be sold out by the pathetic republicans like Cafro and McKinny well Cafro anyway is sickening. The RINOS should join the party of the ‘RATS and call them selves democrats which they are. I for one will be voting against any RINO who voted for this bill including McKinney when he runs for gov. Oh and by the way patriots the RINO party is recognizing mckinney at its prescott bush party in May. Sickening isn’t it

  5. Betrayed Democrat

    I will not buy any products from gun manufacturers that remain in CT if this bill passes. They should have the morality and pride as a company, to deny any portion of their hard-earned money to CT government.

    Move to a freer state, and people like me will continue to buy your products. And you’ll get more in return from the lower taxes in your new location.

  6. Truth


    Among the commonsense statements:
    “The defensive use of guns is usually either not discussed at all in the media or else is depicted as if it means bullets flying in all directions, like the gunfight at the OK Corral. But most defensive uses of guns do not involve actually pulling the trigger.

    If someone comes at you with a knife and you point a gun at him, he is very unlikely to keep coming, and far more likely to head in the other direction, perhaps in some haste, if he has a brain in his head. Only if he is an idiot are you likely to have to pull the trigger. And if he is an idiot with a knife coming after you, you had better have a trigger to pull.”


    Any questions?

    1. Truth

      Another notable quote from the column indicated above:

      “The gun control crusade today is like the Prohibition crusade 100 years ago. It is a shared zealotry that binds the self-righteous know-it-alls in a warm fellowship of those who see themselves as fighting on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. It is a lofty role that they are not about to give up for anything so mundane as facts— or even the lives of other people.”

  7. Norm Scott

    Wow, Connecticut better put up a wall at the Rhode Island border similar to the barrier with Mexico. And a roadblock on at least I-95. And maybe also Routes 1,6, 44, and 138.

    Particularly if no national firearms bans pass the Congress.

    In fact, stop, frisk and search everyone driving in from a State that respects the 2nd Amendment.

    It would be a fine preparation for an eventual transformation into the People’s Republic of Connecticut.

    1. Truth

      Norm: One thing you can be assured of – if they do try to erect walls or limit immigration into CT, they’ll probably be much better at keeping U.S. citizens out than illegals. Remember – illegals are a protected class

      1. walls

        That’s because illegals are guaranteed to vote Democratic. So Dannel wants to make CT safer? Safest in the nation? Here are a few suggestions:

        1. How many people are killed by drunk drivers? Probably MORE THAN 26. So why not ban alcohol? Cars? C’mon Dannel and Legislature, you’ve got more banning to do!

        2. How many people are maimed or injured by illegals? Probably MORE THAN 26. So why not ban illegals? C’mon Dannel and Legislature, you’ve got more banning to do!

        1. Betrayed Democrat

          Is it unreasonable to ask that existing laws be enforced before new ones are created that criminalize honest citizens?

          Safer? Do you know ANYONE who has been pulled over and/or cited for being on the phone or texting while driving? Oops, the police can’t be bothered to end THEIR phone calls to enforce the law.

          Safer? How many drivers do you see every day going through red lights and/or stop signs? They don’t even bother with the ‘rolling’ part of going through stops signs anymore. And, they can do these things in the sight of police and expect to get a pass.

          Safer? How many of us see cops tailgating and speeding on the freeways and roads every day – perhaps on their own cellphones, too?

  8. Mel

    Mark Malkowski is like a whiny 3 year old. Just stop your empty threats to leave and do it already! You will not be missed.

  9. Guy Smith

    I saw this the other day… “Guns are like parachutes. You never know when you’re going to need one, but if you don’t have one when you need one, you’ll never need one again.”

  10. Doug

    Boy, the south has right to work laws and loves guns so why haven’t they already moved there.And it sounds like Ct manufacturers only make AR 15s.Could have sworn there are alot of other guns produced here.Better yet move, take your workers with you and there won’t be any affect on unemployment.

  11. Hope McKay Rice

    I need someone to explain to me why some people have such an attachment to an assault weapon that is made for only one purpose…and that is to kill as many people as quickly as they can. To read the opinion of so many people who are not willing to relinquish that particular weapon in light of the Newtown tragedy is a slap in the face and almost a defiant reaction to those whose lives are sadly altered forever. I can only surmise that this event did not faze you enough to look outside your own needs and wants and think “what is best for society”? Until there is a cure for emotional illnesses and those who simply have a short fuse and ugly tempers, these horrific events will continue so why do we need to provide them with the tool to carry out their anger?

    1. Jim

      Lets examine this logic. There are only a handful of mentally unstable people out there who are crazy enough to commit mass murder. There are tens of millions of legal gun owners who aren’t crazy enough to commit mass murder let alone break the law. We should form our policy to suit 26 families so that it punishes the tens of millions of law abiding gun owners for the acts of a handful of madmen. So on that note we should ban liquor and cars because of the drunk drivers out there, outlaw swimming pools because kids die in them and also outlaw dogs because they cause about 35-40 deaths per year. Or do you advocate only applying that logic to what YOU think is dangerous and ban onlly what YOU think no one should have? Mass killers use more than just guns, they use fertilizer/diesel fuel, knives, swords, cars, poison, aircraft….. Should allof these be banned too? Aren’t they the “tools” of mass killers?

      1. Betrayed Democrat

        I agree Jim. My prediction: when history looks back on the decline and collapse of the freest form of government in history to date, the Newton families who pushed for this attack on our freedoms will be remembered not only for the tragedy their families endurect but as one of the catalysts for that collapse.

        They will be remembered along with the likes of Benedict Arnold – willing to sell their country out for their selfish agenda. And the politicians who urged them on will be scorned even more.

    2. Truth

      Hope: Please explain to me why the Newton familes could not look outside their own needs and wants and do what is ‘best for the country’, namely – fight to see that the freedoms our forefathers fought and died for, continues. It is they and the politicians who used them for their own personal aggrandizement and political gain who slapped US in the face.

      You see only one purpose for what you insist on calling an assault weapon even though it most decidely is NOT an assault weapon. Many who own this weapon see it is a fine piece of machinery used for sport shooting and, more importantly, self defense of the home and family.

      If you are being attacked by a mad man with a gun or a knife, you may have to kill that person for you and your family to survive. If you don’t like that option, you are allowed to sacrifice yourself and your family to the aggressor. But you have no right to deny the rest of us what is one of the most important rights that we can have as a human being – the right to defend ourselves.

      Those who own these and other weapons were not ‘unfazed’ by the tragedy – that is your single-minded and totally inadequate interpretation. Many of us would have given our lives to save those children – but we would have needed the weapons to do it with. Weapons that we are now no longer allowed to purchase in CT. Weapons which will STILL be used by those with emotional illnessess and short fuses and tempers, those who have no regard for the law.

      The only result of this bill is that innocent people are now required by their government to remain defenseless in the face of such insanity.

      Where is your compassion for those who have been raped, mugged, murdered, or attacked in their own homes? Are their lives not ‘sadly altered forever’? Do you insist that they sacrifice themselves as you would, because YOU choose not to fight back?

      It is not the honest, law-abiding gun owners who are being selfish in this debate.

      1. Don Quixote

        It seems to me that the minute the work ‘gun’ enters the debate, logic leaves.

        Let me try.

        1) All guns should be registered. I wouldn’t open that registration list to the general public, but law enforcement should know who owns guns. That wouold be useful when dealing with domestic violence, no?

        2) All gun purchases should be subjected to background checks. How could anyone argue with that?

        3) I defend myself with a handgun, a rifle or a shotgun — not with automatic or semi automatic weapons. What’s the purpose of these weapons, if not to kill many people in a restricted space in a short time?

        4) No state law will solve a national problem. In that sense, the new Connecticut law is a waste of paper.

        5) Every gun owner shold be required to take the NRA gun safety course, or the equivalent. We do that with cars; why not with guns?. I wasn’t raised knowing gun safety — and I’ll bet that’s true for many people.

        6) Large capacity clips — what’s the need, except in the military?

        7) Should anyone be allowed to buy 100 guns at a clip in a state with weak gun laws, and then be able to bring them to (say) New York and sell the to people who could never buy guns on their own?

        A little trust is needed — for example, that someone who disagrees with you or who has a different opinion is not in league with Satan. The “Good Guys” as Hoffman’s puts it, should always be allowed to own guns — but which ones? Uzis? RPG’s? Small tactical nukes? I think you can want some weapons banned without wanting to gut the Second Amendment…

    3. Truth

      For you, Hope:

      According to Thomas Sowell: “The gun control crusade today is like the Prohibition crusade 100 years ago. It is a shared zealotry that binds the self-righteous know-it-alls in a warm fellowship of those who see themselves as fighting on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. It is a lofty role that they are not about to give up for anything so mundane as facts— or even the lives of other people.”

      Hundreds of thousands of people are saved from crimes and harm every year, through legal ownership of guns. Many, without a shot ever being fired. All of these are for nought now, based on the emotions of a few victims and their self-serving politicians. If you were given a choice to save 200,000 or 26, what would you do Hope? If your words are any indication your choice would be based on which group elicited the most emotion out of you.

  12. Jack Soldier

    Well I bet if N. Korea makes it to us, CT will be the first stop. If I was a CT resident I would leave in a heart beat.

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