One of the nation’s most historic gun companies announced last week it is shuttering a decades-old manufacturing facility that makes bolt-action and semi-automatic rifles and is laying off most of its 200 workers.
Remington Outdoor Company said it will close its Mayfield, Kentucky, plant, which builds the Remington 783, 770 and 597 rifles, as well as the Marlin 60, 795 and XT rimfire rifles. The company said the location’s rifle manufacturing will move to Remington’s new Huntsville, Alabama, plant over “several months” and is the latest in a series of efforts by the gun manufacturer to bring a larger portion of its gun and accessory making under one roof.
Officials say the 200 employees from Mayfield will receive severance pay and placement help for a new job, as well as opportunities to apply for jobs within ROC. The Mayfield plant is about 250 miles from the Huntsville facility, Remington says.
And local officials are confident the Mayfield workers will get hired.
“Employers know the skills and work ethic the Remington employees have and we are already receiving calls from them wanting to hire now,” Graves County Economic Development President Ryan Drane told NPR. “Two years ago, this would be a different story but we have multiple employers hiring in our community and we are confident that those employers can and will hire the displaced workers.”
A conglomerate of nearly a dozen separate firearms, ammunition and accessory makers, Remington Outdoor Company has spent the last several years shutting down some of its factories or moving certain company functions to its new facility in gun-friendly Alabama. In October the company laid off 40 employees at its Madison, North Carolina, headquarters after a major management shakeup that saw Jim “Marco” Marcotuli replace George Kollitides as CEO.
The company’s historic plant in Ilion, New York, is still operational, but continues to lose out on Remington’s consolidation. A local New York assemblyman told WKTV in Kentucky he recognized the Empire State — which passed the restrictive New York SAFE Act that banned many of Remington’s products in 2013 — is hostile to guns but wondered why Remington didn’t send some of Mayfield’s jobs to Ilion.
“Obviously the good news is they’re not taking 200 jobs from the Ilion plant; the downside is, why didn’t they bring those 200 jobs here?” New York assemblyman Marc Butler told WKTV. “I know it’s common knowledge with the SAFE Act and other things that are going on in New York, it’s perceived as not gun friendly, so I don’t know where this may lead.”
Remington officials say the move from Mayfield to Huntsville will help with logistics and shipping, streamline management and cut overhead costs.
“We have developed new foundational quality process controls and grown our technical skill base in Huntsville,” Remington’s Marcotuli told Grand View Outdoors. Other officials added the Mayfield plant’s safety record was not an issue and its “quality performance is solid.”