Remington Outdoors Co. has reportedly decided to open an new manufacturing facility in Alabama making it the latest major gun maker to leave a state that implemented strict new gun control laws.
Remington Arms, which has for almost 200 years been located in Ilion, N.Y., plans to build a 500,000 foot facility and bring 2,000 new jobs to Huntsville, Ala., news reports indicate. The company will make a formal announcement Feb. 16.
The move is a blow to the Mohawk Valley, N.Y., community which has been Remington's home since 1816. The New York Times has reported increasing unemployment in the region and found residents of Ilion worried Remington would make a move out of state if Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo's post-Sandy Hook gun restrictions passed.
Nearly a year after the New York SAFE Act — which bans AR-style rifles, restricts magazine capacity and requires background checks for private gun transfers — was signed into law, Remington joined other high-profile gun makers like Kahr Arms, American Tactical Imports and Maryland's Beretta who each plan to open new manufacturing or distribution facilities in gun-friendly states.
The Remington move has union leaders in New York steaming, and could add momentum to efforts in much of the state to roll back or ignore the new gun laws.
"The SAFE Act has been a terrible thing from the beginning," local union leader Fran Madore told the Post-Standard in Syracuse. "You'd think New York would be doing everything to keep us. Instead it passes a law that cripples us."
But if comments from local gun control groups about Remington's possible departure several years ago is any measure, it's unlikely the state will let up on its gun restrictions.
"Frankly, if we really want to keep jobs in New York, let's invest money in more yogurt," Jackie Hilly of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence told the Times in 2012.