An upstate New York lawmaker told Guns & Patriots Remington’s decision to develop a new plant outside the Mohawk Valley shows a state that is closed for business.
“The long-term consequences of Remington expanding to Huntsville, Ala., instead of Ilion, N.Y., are profound,” said Assemblyman Marc W. Butler (R.-Newport), whose district includes the Village of Ilion, where the Remington Outdoor Company has been situated for almost 200 years. “Remington is part of our culture.”
The Village of Ilion which is located at the South Bank of the Mohawk River is recognized as ‘Remington Country’ because of its integral relationship between the village of about 8,000 people and the gun company-giant that employs over 1,300, he said. “Who hasn’t worked for Remington?”
Remington, the country’s oldest firearm manufacturer, said they are expecting to create 2,000 new jobs over the next 10 years by adding a 500,000 sq.-ft. development site which will make for a total of 20 locations nationwide including the Ilion Firearms Plant & Museum.
The company said expansion is predicated by a large increase in sales in 2013. “The Huntsville expansion provides for future needed capacity to support existing product demand and a robust new product pipeline.”
The Ilion community has a reputation for skilled, high-quality workers, said Butler. “Expansion here would have been ideal if not for the anti-gun climate.”
While Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is encouraging gun manufacturers to exit the Empire State, two-dozen states courted Remington to expand with them, said the Assemblyman who has called for the repeal of Cuomo’s signature gun control law – the SAFE Act.
“My question to this administration is: What did you do to attract Remington to expand in New York?”
The answer is nothing, he said. “The SAFE Act weakened any negotiations.”
The Cuomo administration is doing everything it can to push people out, he said. “New York is only open to business that the governor approves of.”
In his State of the State address, Cuomo claims New York is inclusive to different ways-of-life, yet at the same time chastises Republicans, conservatives, gun owners and others for being different, said Butler.
Cuomo’s claim that Remington’s decision will not affect the economic climate in Ilion is not true, he said. “While the Ilion economy will see a short-term increase due to the time it will take for Remington to build in Huntsville, the long-term consequences are dramatic.”
Upstate’s economy, especially in the Mohawk Valley, has a deep connection to gun manufacturing and sales, he said. “Provisions of the SAFE Act have threatened this important industry.”
The state legislature is currently discussing more gun control laws, said the former Herkimer County majority leader. “If microstamping is introduced to the floor of the assembly it is a clear signal that New York State is closed for business.”
After the state of California enacted microstamping laws, U.S.-based leader in firearm manufacturing and design Smith & Wesson issued a statement indicating that it does not and will not include microstamping in its firearms.
“There are 70 anti-gun bills being introduced in the state legislature, including microstamping,” said Thomas H. King, president of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, the largest state affiliate of the National Rifle Association. “Things can’t get worse.”
Cuomo’s anti-gun agenda has hurt business and will continue to hurt business in New York, he said.
King urged the rejection of microstamping, which he said will drive up the cost of firearms, hurt the economic competitiveness of New York’s gun industry and could lead to firearm manufacturers leaving the state altogether.
“If New York passes microstamping, Remington said the measure would be ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ and the company will pull out of New York completely.”