Gun maker seeks tax break for $1.4M investment in Bargersville

Bargersville is gearing up to potentially become home to a firearms manufacturer.

Centurion Arms, of Morgantown, is looking to invest $1.4 million in a manufacturing, packaging and shipping facility at the old Dresslar building, 390 E. Old Plank Road, which is vacant. The company is seeking a tax break to do so.

Centurian requested a personal property tax abatement that would save it from having to pay taxes in its first year in Bargersville. Over the course of the 10-year abatement, Centurion would save about $94,000 in taxes and pay about $74,000, said Amanda Rubadue, vice president of economic development for Aspire Johnson County.

The Bargersville Town Council will vote on the tax abatement during its July 13 meeting. The town council typically votes favorably when it comes to tax abatements, said Julie Young, town manager.

With the move, Centurion Arms will be closer to a larger population base that might be interested in working for the company, which employs six, including Owner Monty LeClair and Manager Corrie LeClair, his wife.

With the move, the company wants to hire six more people, including machinists, a shipping person and workers who assemble parts and build rifles, Corrie LeClair said.

Centurion’s move to Bargersville would help revitalize a vacant building, Rubadue said.

“They are making an investment in additional equipment and moving into a building and making it usable,” she said. “They’re a veteran-owned company coming into the community and providing jobs for skilled people. They are adding additional people to the community and investing in the community.”

Centurion Arms, which started in California in 2006, moved to Indiana after Monty LeClair, a retired Navy Seal, got a job at Camp Atterbury as a sniper instructor. The couple set up shop in Morgantown, but there isn’t a large enough customer base there, and the business was outgrowing the shop, Corrie LeClair said.

“We actually ended up hearing about the Dresslar building from one of the guys selling it, and we thought it would be a perfect fit. It’s about 4½ times the size of the current shop and gives us space,” LeClair said. “We thought Bargersville would be a better place just to draw from a larger talent pool of employees. It’s hard to do business out here in the woods.”

Centurion Arms would likely move into the space this summer if the abatement is approved, according to town documents.