Gun maker’s plant in Maine to close, 70 lose jobs

WINDHAM, Maine (AP) — The Maine gun plant that produced the semiautomatic rifle used by the Beltway snipers will close, putting about 70 people out of work.

North Carolina-based Freedom Group announced Friday it’s closing the Bushmaster Firearms plant in Windham. The company said production will be moved to other plants owned by Freedom Group, which is the parent company of Remington, Marlin Firearms and Dakota Arms, along with Bushmaster.

The Windham plant will close on March 31.

Bushmaster is one of the largest producers of the civilian version of the M-16 rifle. A Bushmaster XM-15 was used by John Allen Muhammad and his teenage accomplice in a three-week spree in 2002 across Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Mohammad was executed in November 2009.

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