The threat of government regulations that would make it illegal to manufacture assault weapons in California led Jay Jacobson, president of Franklin Armory in Morgan Hill, to purchase a small facility in Minden to establish a foothold in firearm-friendly Nevada.
Jacobson bought a 3,800-square-foot manufacturing and R&D facility in Minden that will be used to assemble the company’s products. Franklin Armory specializes in making firearms for the military and civilians. Its best-selling weapons are modern sport rifles modeled after the AR-15 high-powered carbine.
Franklin Armory has been making guns since 2009, but the company has been around for more than 20 years under a different entity. Jacobson says he’s been warily eyeing various bills in California that would outlaw the manufacture of semi-automatic firearms.
“Regulatory issues in California could put us out of business, so we decided to pick up another facility for the worst-case scenario if California closes us down,” he says. “We are working to circumvent that in case they do make it illegal to manufacture in California, but we wanted to have alternative.”
Jacobson say workers in Morgan Hill will continue to manufacture weaponry parts as long as it remains legal to do so, but final assembly will shift to Minden. Initially, Franklin Armory expects to employ five people at the new site but employment could grow to 10 or more workers.
Miller Industrial Properties assisted Franklin Armory with securing a location for its northern Nevada operations.
Jacobson says state laws in Nevada provide a much easier framework for a weapons manufacturer, and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office also welcomed the business.
“The sheriff has a lot of sway when comes to firearms, and it’s nice to have someone in that office willing to have us come into the jurisdiction and create jobs,” Jacobson says.