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Daniel Defense Lays Off Large Percentage of Its Workforce

Amid ongoing reports of deteriorating sales in the black rifle market, firearms manufacturer Daniel Defense laid off an undisclosed number of employees. According to conversations with those affected and social media posts, on Friday, Sept. 29 and Monday, Oct. 2., the firearms manufacturer eliminated approximately 100 full-time positions.

A former employee of Daniel Defense affected by the layoffs said, “This was very unexpected. All of us were handed a blanket packet that explained everything. The paperwork didn’t even have my name on it. All they said about my job was that my position was being eliminated. There was no severance package, we were just fired.”

The scope of the layoff is unknown, but firsthand sources including current and recently laid off employees speaking under the condition of anonymity said anywhere from a third to a half of the company’s workforce was affected.

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Speaking about the terms of employment at Daniel Defense and the layoff, one laid off employee said, “We all had to sign a non-compete. I think the non-compete I signed was for 2 years. The outgoing talk and paperwork didn’t specify the non-compete being lifted. It’s unfortunate for a lot of people who don’t have skills outside of the industry.”

According to former employees, Daniel Defense’s post-termination non-compete clause is contained in a standard employment agreement employees sign as they are brought aboard. It is used to protect the employer’s interests by preventing employees from working for a competing company for a certain amount of time, stipulated in the non-compete clause.

When asked about the existence of a post-termination non-compete agreement, the terms, and whether it will be enforced, officials from Daniel Defense refused the opportunity to comment.

The layoff occurs as Daniel Defense is moving into a newly built 300,000 square-foot facility on the same road as its existing facility in Black Creek, GA. According to news reports, the company plans to combine its Black Creek, GA and Ridgeland, SC plants, consolidating production under one roof.

 

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Currently, Daniel Defense manufactures most firearms in their Ridgeland facility, while executive operations are run from the Black Creek location. Marty Daniel, president, CEO and founder of Daniel Defense, talks about the growth of the company in a recent video showing footage of the new facility.

Daniel Defense is one the largest privately-owned firearms manufacturers in the United States. In a February 2017 interview with Marty Daniel, Forbes cited Daniel Defense as a company with “$73 million in 2016 sales, a gross profit of 35% and 279 employees.” Daniel Defense is most well-known for its AR platform rifles and its lightweight rails.

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This year, Daniel Defense ventured into NASCAR by partnering with Richard Childress Racing Series Team. Daniel himself has shown his support for the Second Amendment by contributing to the NRA and putting out a call to action before the 2016 Presidential Election.

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At press time, officials from Daniel Defense declined multiple opportunities to comment on this report.

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