An Oregon company that makes Colt AR-15 rifles for Colt’s Manufacturing Co. is opening a factory in Breckenridge, Texas, expanding the iconic brand to a state that has aggressively courted Connecticut firearms makers.
The company, in Canby, Oregon, does business as Colt Competition and is part of Bold Ideas Inc., which licenses the Colt name to make rifles used in shooting competitions — including one that costs more than $2,000. Dave Wilcox, vice president of Bold Ideas, confirmed the plan but declined to give details Monday.
“The plant that’s opening down in Breckenridge will be making Colt branded products,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox would not say how many people the plant will employ. But there’s no indication it will include any of the 670 people now at Colt’s and its affiliated company, Colt Defense LLC.
Colt executives have said they must consider options for expanding or even moving some work to other states, now that Connecticut bans the sale of most AR-15 rifles. The ban is part of the broad gun control law adopted last week by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Thursday.
The ban affects much of the Colt line of rifles, and even though it allows manufacture and wholesale distribution in the state, executives at Colt’s and other companies have said they are seeing pressure from customers to exit Connecticut — or face possible boycotts.
The directors of the Breckenridge Chamber of Commerce and the Breckenridge Economic Development Corp. declined to comment on the move, or on any other efforts they may be mounting to attract Connecticut firearms makers.