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Goodbye California – APEX Relocates to Arizona

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You're probably familiar with Apex Tactical Specialties for their myriad of pistol upgrades, particularly for the M&P series (we recently ran this piece about them). Well, they've now joined the list of gun-centric companies departing states that aren't so friendly to them. Here's what they have to say about the decision to move.

PEORIA, Ariz. – Citing the regressive business climate, particularly for companies in the firearms industry, Randy Lee and Scott Folk, co-owners of Apex Tactical Specialties, the highly regarded designer and manufacturer of aftermarket firearms parts, announced the company has fled the state of California and relocated to Peoria, Arizona and a new 50,000 sq. ft. facility.

Founded by Lee in 2000, Apex got its start as a custom gunsmithing shop best known for Lee’s groundbreaking work on revolver actions. As the company ventured into parts design and manufacturing Apex grew rapidly, experiencing double-digit annual growth. In 2011 the company moved from a small 500 sq. ft. space into a 6,000 sq. ft. facility in Los Osos, California, just down the road from San Luis Obispo and California Polytechnic State University where Lee earned his engineering degree.

Four years later Apex was outgrowing the Los Osos location, and with the anti-gun political climate in California continuing to dominate state politics, it was clear to Lee and Folk that the next move would be to a new state and not just a new building.

“As native Californians, Scott and I have always considered California our home. Even when we found our home state to be less and less tolerant of us as shooters and of Apex as a firearms industry business, we hoped our future would still be in California,” explained Lee.

“However, the pressure on gun owners and businesses continues to grow unabated, and we came to the realization that it was time for Apex to find a new home. This decision came much sooner than we anticipated, partly due to the rapid growth we’ve experienced, but more so due to anti-gun legislation, such as the recent passage of Proposition 63.”

On Election Day 2016, Californians passed Proposition 63 which requires a brand new fee of up to $50 for a background check to purchase ammunition and that all ammunition purchases must be made face-to-face through a licensed ammunition vendor. Additionally, Proposition 63 prohibits the possession of standard-capacity or large-capacity magazines, the kind required for use in normal R&D testing by companies like Apex.

“Getting out from under the restrictive and frankly punitive regulatory environment of California allows us to expand our R&D efforts as we continue to bring new products to market,” explained Folk. “The move is not only good for Apex but also our employees.”

California is consistently ranked as one of the worst states in which to run a business. By relocating to Arizona, Apex Tactical Specialties is not only able to reduce many operating costs for the business, but also expand opportunities for employees. In Peoria, Arizona the consumer prices are 18.03% lower than in San Luis Obispo, California. Rent prices are 40.20% lower and local purchasing power is 76.24% higher.

“As business owners, one of the things Randy and I are most proud of is the fact that of the 34 employees working for us in California, 28 have elected to relocate with the company to Peoria. With the median home sales price in Peoria being half that of San Luis Obispo, Apex employees who never imagined buying their own home are now actively planning to purchase one. It is extremely gratifying to see Apex’s success reflected in the lives of our employees,” added Folk.

The company’s relocation to Arizona, and the larger facility, allows Apex to expand both its manufacturing capabilities and its efforts to develop new products for a broader range of firearms, opening up opportunities to collaborate with major firearms manufacturers that have been reaching out to Apex Tactical Specialties more and more.

The move also means the creation of new jobs. In addition to the 28 new jobs Apex brought to Arizona, the company has already hired an additional four employees and has plans to increase its staff to upwards of 50 total employees by the end of 2017.

You can visit Apex Tactical Specialties online here.

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