In a move that’s become all too common among firearms companies that had a heavy dependence on military sales, SureFire announced June 22 it was cutting its workforce in an effort to “streamline operations, refine its product offerings, and cut overall expenditures.” The Fountain Valley, California-based company added the move was a “painful but necessary step” due to the drop in U.S. military spending.
“We had to make some difficult decisions to layoff some very good people,” said SureFire founder Dr. John Matthews in a release announcing the layoffs. “SureFire ramped up to meet the demands of our military but we must ‘right-size’ now that military spending has declined.”
It is unclear how many employees were laid off, but a company spokesman said the layoffs affected “all departments,” including sales, marketing, engineering and production and focused primarily on the suppressor and illumination divisions.
SureFire isn’t the first major company in the firearms industry to feel the pinch of a decline in military spending after the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ended. Perhaps the most notable is Colt Defense, which is in bankruptcy negotiations after the company said its reliance on military sales sent it into the red and made it unable to pay back its $250 million debt.
SureFire also has seen a large increase in competition for its once dominant products, with several new suppressor companies cropping up in the last five years and several others getting into the illumination business.
But the company says it’s bullish on its core business.
“SureFire will continue to provide military, law enforcement and consumers with industry-leading products with unmatched quality and our lifetime guarantee,” Matthews added. “Products built to help keep our customers safe and secure.”