Kimber's Expansion Into Alabama, Due To Gun Laws Or Something Else?

Anti-gun states don’t get it. They don’t understand that for every law they pass, there are unintended consequences. Countless unintended consequences.

For example, in New York, one employer may be beating feet to the South because of the Empire State’s decision to treat law-abiding citizens as royal subjects, inhibiting their sacred and protected right to keep and bear arms. That employer is Kimber.

Alabamians are celebrating and New Yorkers are left scratching their heads. No… it’s not about the BCS championship game where the Crimson Tide pulled out an overtime win against Georgia. The most recent victory for the Yellowhammer state was luring Kimber Manufacturing, Inc., to build a $38-million facility in Troy instead of expanding production at its location in Yonkers, New York.

That’s right. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced in her State of the State address that Kimber, maker of handguns and bolt-action rifles, would be putting a little drawl, y’all, into their products. Kimber’s going to build a $38 million automated design, engineering and manufacturing facility that will employ 366 people. The doors will open and customers can expect Troy, Alabama markings on their guns in 2019.

“Kimber’s investment in Troy will create a significant number of high-paying design engineering and manufacturing jobs, and we are committed to helping the company find long-lasting success in Alabama,” Gov. Ivey said.

Who Says You Can’t Leave Home?

Kimber made note of their roots in the Empire State. But it seems that the new facility will do more than just allow the company to double manufacturing capacity. It will also invest and plant roots in a state that respects gun rights. While Kimber has grown, New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo rammed through New York’s SAFE Act, a massive gun control legislative package that has been a headache for New York gun owners since it was implemented five years ago.

While Kimber may not be a massive employer, it’s economic impact is much larger than its 366 employees would indicate. After all, they also pay for materials, transportation, power, water, taxes, and a whole host of other things. Now, those will likely all benefit the state of Alabama…to some extent, at least.

You see, Kimber describes the move as an expansion into Alabama rather than a relocation.

Kimber Mfg., Inc., a leading American firearms manufacturer, today announced that it has finalized plans to expand manufacturing operations to Alabama. Kimber will begin operations in early 2019, with a new design engineering and manufacturing facility in the City of Troy.

Once a small manufacturing company based in Yonkers, NY, Kimber has grown at a rapid pace over the past 21 years with locations in the New York metro area and Montana. The new Troy facility will double Kimber’s manufacturing capacity.

“Due to an unprecedented year-over-year growth in demand, every time the company has embarked upon a planned expansion, the newly created capacity is exhausted before the expansion is complete,” said James Cox, Kimber’s chief financial officer. “As we continue to move into uncharted waters in regards to Kimber product demand, it was important to us to build a facility that will allow us to secure a significant new plateau of capacity.”

However, this will allow them to funnel more growth into a pro-gun state while not completely abandoning their home and, perhaps more importantly, the employees who have helped build the company into what it is today.

There’s no mention of New York’s draconian gun laws in all this, which isn’t really surprising. After all, if they’re remaining in place for the time being, it’s unlikely they want to shake the boat.

So is the move tied to New York’s gun laws? It’s hard to say, but I’m inclined to doubt it. If Kimber wanted to make a statement, they’d do better to just come out and make it. As it is, this looks too much like a company merely looking to broaden it’s operation and take advantage of different tax laws and lower cost of living in other states. That’s it.