Former Thompson Center Arms employees starting their own company, LHR Sporting Arms, in Rochester, NH.

Image: When Smith & Wesson-owned firearms manufacturer Thompson Center…


When Smith & Wesson-owned firearms manufacturer Thompson Center Arms relocated to Massachusetts in 2011, Rochester lost more than 200 manufacturing jobs, Economic Development Specialist Mary Ellen Humphrey said last month.

Now, four of Thompson Center Arms’ former employees — Michael Garland, Mark Laney, Karl Ricker, and Patrick Hanley — are hoping to take advantage of the experienced workforce remaining in the Lilac City to manufacture their own firearms, with a business from scratch who opened in May.

“It gives us a great workforce to choose from,” said Hanley. “The workforce was like a family … We kind of want to see if we can bring it back.”

Even as LHR Sporting Arms has yet to unveil its first rifle —scheduled for release this winter— Ricker said the response from suppliers and interested consumers in the firearms industry is pleasantly surprising.

Source: Liz Markhlevskaya for Foster’s Daily Democrat.

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