Firearms maker moves operations to from California to TRIC
Sword International, a small firearms manufacturer, has relocated its manufacturing and shipping operations to northern Nevada after struggling through three long years of doing business in El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Sword leased a small facility at Tahoe Reno Industrial Center and has found a number of northern Nevada machining companies to produce the parts its uses for its primary line of three assault rifles modeled after the AR-15 carbine rifle.
Jeremy Elrod, director of research and development for Sword and a former U.S. Army Ranger who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, says California’s stifling regulatory environment for weapons manufacturers was a primary factor for the company’s relocation.
“California is very difficult, and any time you are manufacturing something, because of the regulations it makes manufacturing very difficult. If you add firearms — and especially the type of firearms we manufacture — it becomes nearly impossible, and it’s certainly not conducive to running a successful business.”
Elrod says Sword’s staff had finally stomached enough fiscal and regulatory suffering — particularly with the looming threat of an assault weapons ban on the agenda in California — and found a perfect home in northern Nevada. Four company executives relocated, and Sword has added an additional six employees to its staff.
“It just came to a point with the new California gun legislation that it just was not in the cards for us to be there anymore,” Elrod says. “If you are dealing in firearms it can be really tough to be in California.”
Sword makes its Mark 15 and 16 assault rifles and the MK 18 rifle designed for advanced marksmen. Sword primarily sells is high-grade gas-piston weaponry to law enforcement agencies — ironically, Elrod notes, about 75 percent of those agencies are located in the Golden State. Sword also sells to civilians through its Web site, firearms-manufacturing.com.
Elrod says that relocating to Tahoe Reno Industrial Center positions the company to handle future growth.
“Nevada is a fantastic place to do business,” he says. “There is a really high-quality labor pool here — the employees we have brought on have been fantastic. There are a lot of former California businesses out here, and I think as California goes farther down the rabbit hole we will see more companies coming here.”
Tiffiany Howard, a UNLV professor and recent Congressional Black Caucus Foundation senior research fellow, is the lead author of the study aimed at identifying ways banks can help support and invest in Black entrepreneurs.