An ammunition company has evidently closed its doors: HPR Ammunition, a subsidiary of Advanced Tactical Armament Concepts, LLC, reportedly shut down in mid-September, according to local news outlet Payson Roundup:
HPR Ammunition reportedly sent more than 30 employees home Sept. 13, 2016 and closed its doors.
The business remains closed, but Payson officials say the owners have said they plan to reopen as soon as possible.
The owners of the company did not return calls seeking comment.
However, other sources said the company’s chief lender called in all its loans, apparently having something to do with the company’s efforts to open another, much larger plant in Tennessee.
“The Town of Payson is in contact with HPR and is working with them to help get the facility back up and running,” said Bobby Davis, economic development specialist for the Town of Payson.
Payson Mayor Kenny Evans in a text said, “I had a visit from a financier on Wednesday who asked about ATAC. He said they were financing a reorganization of the Payson operation and thought it would take ‘a couple of weeks’ to get the deal done.”
Another local business owner said he’d talked to employees who indicated creditors had forced the closure and on Wednesday entered the building to change the locks and the access codes.”
“The creditor had a meeting with employees telling them everything is for sale,” said the business owner. “A former employee told me that some are stuck with medical bills as HPR quit paying the medical insurance.”
The closure came as a surprise to many, as HPR Ammunition was supposed to be preparing for an expansion from Arizona to Tennessee, and the company was not known to be in financial trouble. As a result, the closure has stirred up a pot of speculation, and some – like Jim Shepherd for the Outdoor Wire – are even wondering if the entire Tennessee “New Gun Valley” development project (the name referencing New England’s “Gun Valley” in Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and northern New York) was a scam from the start:
Just over a year ago, Tennessee officials, from state development authority officials to Governor Bill Haslam gathered in Alcoa, Tennessee to unveil a new business development project. A development project that politicians, business leaders and civic leaders were confident would be the first step in converting that Knoxville neighbor into the new gun valley.
I was there, and was more than happy to report a business event that was going to lead to several hundred million dollars in business development.
Now, it seems the entire HPR Ammunition narrative was less than whole cloth. It’s too-early to say for certain, but when the litigation, federal investigations and other assorted inquiries are resolved, it may be that the entire deal was more wishful-thinking than business reality from the very beginning:
Shortly before SHOT Show in January, rumors started circulating that HPR Ammo wasn’t looking at expansion. In fact, it was struggling to survive. Chasing those rumors, I spoke directly with HPR owners and managers and was told, point-blank, that the company was fine, the deal was moving forward and construction would begin in 2016.
Yesterday, the Payson (AZ) Roundup reported that HPR/ATAC had quietly sent employees home on September 13 and closed its doors.
According to that story, employees were told by the company’s primary creditor that it had called all their loans and “everything was for sale.”
Due to increasingly tight regulation on the part of states in the region, many gun manufacturers left their New England locations to look for greener pastures, and Tennessee has become one of the new havens for gun companies, due to more favorable gun and business laws, with Beretta and Crye Precision joining Tennessee native Barrett in the state. HPR Ammunition would have been the latest gun-related business to set up shop in the state. Reportedly, HPR Ammunition plans to open its doors again soon, so there may be further developments to this story. As always, TFB will keep you posted.