Weatherby moving to Wyoming

Announcement made at Las Vegas gun show

Weatherby Inc., a firearms manufacturer based in Paso Robles, announced it will move its manufacturing operations and corporate headquarters to Sheridan, Wyo., in 2019.

The announcement was made Tuesday, Jan. 3 at the Shot Show in Las Vegas, which is touted by several media outlets as the largest gun show in the world. 

Adam Weatherby, President of Weatherby Inc., made the announcement at the trade show along with Wyoming state officials, including Gov. Matt Mead.

The move is expected to create 70 to 90 jobs in Wyoming and more than $5 million in annual payroll over the next five years, according to the Associated Press. Weatherby could not be reached for comment and it is unsure at this time what will happen to San Luis Obispo County residents currently working at the company.

Weatherby was founded in 1945. They produce rifles, ammunition and shooting accessories for hunting and range shooting. 

Paul Shannon, a member of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee, said the move, though negative for Paso Robles, was not determined by any Paso Robles regulations, but rather state regulations restricting gun manufacturing in California and that we would see similar moves in the future.

“From the standpoint of Weatherbys, it’s not a Paso Robles issue as much as it is a state regulation,” Shannon said. “The state of California has made it harder and harder to manufacture firearms and firearm related products. So I do think this will not only affect Paso Robles, but continue throughout the state, I think we’ll see changes in local manufacturing in the firearms space moving out of the area.”

Shannon said he was hopeful other manufacturing jobs would help absorb the loss of jobs with the Weatherby move, but state regulations could make competition for manufacturing businesses hard.

“It’s never good to lose a manufacturing company like this that provides a lot of jobs,” Shannon said. “I think Paso is still doing everything right to try to keep them and continue the manufacturing opportunities… but once it gets to the state level, regulations are getting tighter and tighter, it’s just hard to compete.”

The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce founded the the Economic Development Committee to encourage local business prosperity by “providing advocacy, identifying resources, and directing information to our members and prospective businesses looking to expand or start their business in Paso Robles,” according to its 2017 business plan.


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