NC Raised Ruger Jobs Offer As Gun Maker Held Out

Gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. made clear early and publically that North Carolina was its preferred location for a new factory and the hundreds of jobs it would bring.

But state Commerce Department documents provided to The Associated Press show Southport, Conn.-based Ruger kept alive enough doubt that state officials raised their offer of tax breaks and other sweeteners three times.

The state, company and local officials ended a nearly five-month courtship in August by agreeing on a package that could be worth more than $15 million if Ruger meets investment and hiring goals.

The company plans to hire more than 470 workers at annual salaries averaging more than $45,000 plus benefits. The local average is $33,000 a year.