In 2019, Oakdale, New York-based Dark Storm Industries LLC needed to expand, but the owners began to consider a full relocation instead of expansion at its Long Island facility. That kicked off a site selection process for the firearms maker that included six states and seven counties in Florida alone

The search for a new home led to Dark Storm selecting Titusville as the site of its $3.2 million manufacturing facility and headquarters, which will create 50 jobs. Dark Storm is moving quickly to start work on the facility, with construction planned to begin this fall, Newman said.

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Opening Next Year
Dark Storm expects the manufacturing facility at 2000 Shepard Drive in Titusville to be operational by the end of 2022. The manufacturer is in the final review process for financing and general contractors for the 26,000-square-foot project.

Construction projects are important because they create jobs and subcontractor opportunities. Plus, the facility will create at least 50 jobs with an average annual salary of $50,000. That is higher than metro Orlando’s average annual wage of $48,530 but slightly lower than the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville metro’s average annual wage of $51,740, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In addition to those 50 jobs, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast estimates the relocation will create 20 indirect jobs and 17 induced jobs.

Founded in 2012, Dark Storm Industries sells guns, parts and ammunition in all 50 U.S. states. The company specializes in AR-15 rifles, and it developed the DS-15 line of rifles so customers could be compliant with New York’s gun laws.

The Empire State’s stringent gun laws contributed to the relocation because Dark Storm “faced a significant challenge in attracting new talent to work in New York” due, in part, to strict gun regulations, Newman said. The company also was drawn to Florida due to the lack of state income tax, lower property taxes and a lower operating costs.

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