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Smith & Wesson To Shut Down 2 Plants

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    Smith & Wesson To Shut Down 2 Plants Oh! What a terrible shame! Associated Press Online - June 13, 2000 05:15 By JEFF DONN Associated Press Writer SPRINGFIELD,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 19 1:42 AM
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      Smith & Wesson To Shut Down 2 Plants
      Oh! What a terrible shame!

      Associated Press Online - June 13, 2000 05:15

      By JEFF DONN

      Associated Press Writer

      SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) - Smith & Wesson plans to shut down two of its manufacturing plants for a month partly because of the fallout from its landmark gun-safety deal with the government.

      The nation's largest handgun maker said in a statement that an unspecified number of workers would be placed on unpaid leave from July 3 through July 28. Other parts of the company, including customer service and shipping, will continue to operate.

      About 500 workers at plants in Springfield and Houlton, Maine, would be affected, WGGB-TV in Springfield reported, citing company representatives it didn't identify.

      Smith & Wesson blamed its decision on "normal summer softness in the firearms market compounded by the reaction of some consumers to the agreement." The company has previously closed for one or two weeks during the summer for a vacation period, the Union-News reported Tuesday.

      A spokesman for Springfield-based Smith & Wesson did not return a call seeking comment Monday.

      Under the deal reached March 17, Smith & Wesson promised to install safety locks, demand background checks on gun-show buyers and work on "smart guns" that can be fired only by their owner. Public officials agreed to drop Smith & Wesson from municipal lawsuits challenging the safety and marketing practices of the gun industry.

      Smith & Wesson also will be the preferred gun retailer for law enforcement officials in 190 U.S. communities, a deal challenged in federal court by other gun makers who say it is an illegal conspiracy to retrain trade.

      The company also has been sharply criticized by other gun makers and the leaders of the National Rifle Association.

      Prosecutors in at least six states are investigating whether the gun industry is illegally trying to punish Smith & Wesson by depriving it of business opportunities.
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