Some of the bluest of the blue bloods in the nation’s gun industry are looking at moving production from state’s that recently have passed stricter gun control laws, and the South is the hotspot.
As Remington Outdoors Co. considered 24 states for a new firearms production plant, support of the Second Amendment was high on its criteria list.
Remington announced in February it would build a $110 million plant in Huntsville. During the next decade, the plant is expected to create 2,000 jobs, company officials say.
“We considered numerous factors in our decision-making process,” said Teddy Novine, director of public affairs for Freedom Group Inc., the parent company of Remington. “These factors included, among others, labor quality, pro-business environment, strong existing infrastructure and pro-Second Amendment policies.”
Remington Outdoors, headquartered in Madison, N.C., has facilities in 19 states. Its largest plant is in Ilion, N.Y., where the company has had a presence since 1816. Remington has seen tremendous growth in the past five years, going from 2,400 employees in 2008 to 4,200 in 2013.
New York’s passage of the Safe Firearms and Ammunition Enforcement (SAFE) Act in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., shootings is the major reason those Remington jobs didn’t settle in Ilion and went to Alabama, a union official told syracuse.com.
The SAFE Act bans the ownership of AR-15 style rifle in the state. Remington makes AR-15 style rifles.
“The SAFE Act has been a terrible thing from the beginning,” said Fran Madore, president of United Mine Workers Local 717, which represents 1,180 of the 1,300 Remington employees in Ilion, N.Y. “You’d think New York would be doing everything to keep us. Instead, it passes a law that cripples us.”