Roundhill Group’s Federal Firearm License (FFL) has been approved, according to a report from Utica, NY, CBS TV affiliate WKTV. Approval clears the way for the company to resume manufacturing guns under its RemArms label from the famed Ilion, NY, factory it purchased during last fall’s Remington Outdoor bankruptcy proceedings. The firm now owns the rights to produce all Remington firearms and holds the patents, with the exception of Marlin’s assets, which went to high bidder Ruger.
Roundhill partner Richmond Italia told the TV station that production is scheduled to resume March 1, with 200 staff members reporting back to work. Prior to reopening, routine maintenance and preparation begins Feb. 16.
The schedule closely reflects Italia’s prediction late last year that some workers would begin by Feb. 15.
Despite ongoing discussion, Italia told the Times Telegram that people will be returning to work on March because, “I understand people need jobs to survive…I've been there, and I sympathize. We are willing to risk reopening the plant, even while in negotiations.”
Long-term plans for the facility include calling back the other workers, and possibly expansion.
Italia was asked during an interview in November why someone who built GI Sportz into the paintball industry’s foremost company and “retired,” several times, would come back to resurrect America’s oldest gunmaker. It was a phone call from a friend he’s known for 20 years, Ken D'Arcy, that caught his attention.
While Italia was at the helm of GI Sportz, which is headquartered in Canada, Crosman imported and distributed its products in the U.S. Ken D’Arcy was CEO at Crosman at the time, but he took over the helm at Remington Outdoor afterward at a time when it was already in financial trouble.
D’Arcy, having witnessed his friend’s business savvy, called just prior to bankruptcy proceedings.
“Ken said to me, ‘Richmond, please look at it, 800 people are going to be out of work,” Italia explained during the interview.
Italia still has shareholder interest in the company he founded, but emphasized successful businesses can only flourish when they take care of staff members.
“I started GI Sportz. In ’98, with 24 employees and 13 of those original 24 still worked for me,” he explained.
What will be the first firearm to come out of the factory once production resumes?
“It’ll be the 870, that’ll be the first gun,” Italia said, promising to send photos of No. 1 before it’s goes out the door—or hangs on the wall in celebration of the milestone.