So Century Arms is folding up one flap of its tent in Georgia and stealing silently into the night?
What a shame.
The arms trader that was identified by PBS’ Frontline in 2011 as a big contributor to the gun problem in Mexico, abruptly laid off 41 of its Franklin County work staff today, blaming the White House for the layoffs.
In a press release, Century said the layoffs occurred as a consequence to the White House’s denial of a large importation of vintage WWII rifles from the South Korean government. A planned, nearly $30 million transaction, the importation was blocked “unexpectedly … at the last minute” after the company had obtained necessary approvals and permits, the release said.
(‘Wonder where the company is getting its talking points these days!)
It seems that the Feds are no longer inclined to turn a blind eye to the company’s practice of circumventing the law by importing old firearms from third-world countries, retrofitting them with contemporary bells and whistles that would have been illegal to import into the U.S. if already built into the third world exports; and then reselling them to god-knows-whom.
Century Arms “make-overs” have been finding their way into illegal ownership in Mexico in unusually high numbers.
Over the last four years, more than 500 of the WASR-10s imported by Century Arms have been recovered in Mexico after being purchased in the U.S. That means Century’s WASR-10 accounts for more than 17 percent of the total guns recovered in Mexico since 2006 — the highest of any other recovered gun or rifle.
While we certainly don’t welcome layoffs in Franklin County, this is one situation where we might want to be cautiously cheered by the news. Besides the remarkable efficiency Century Arms has had in getting its product to Mexican “consumers,” I have heard anecdotally that the labor conditions at CA leave something to be desired.
The New York Times may still consider us the face of drug addiction in Vermont, but at least we might be able to slip the moniker of “Gun Runner Central.”