In the little Mohawk Valley village of Ilion (population 8,053) sits the nation’s oldest continuously operated arms manufacturer Remington Arms. It employs over 1,300 well-paid and talented workers in a region that has seen over 11,000 manufacturing jobs lost since 1990.
The village had a town meeting in January before the vote on the NY-SAFE Act. As you can well imagine, their concern was over jobs and not gun control.
The NY-SAFE bill was enacted into law and the concerns over jobs was ignored.
So it should come as no surprise that a number of states have contacted the Freedom Group about moving their Remington Arms plant to a state that is more appreciative of gun rights and gun manufacturing jobs.
At least five states have contacted the parent company of Remington Arms to encourage the gun manufacturer to relocate in response to New York’s new, tougher gun control laws.
Lawmakers from Michigan, South Carolina, Arizona and Oklahoma have all sent letters to Remington’s owner, Freedom Group, since the state Legislature passed tougher gun control legislation two weeks ago. Texas first contacted the company in November 2012.
While North Carolina isn’t mentioned in that list, I would be surprised if officials from the state’s economic development office haven’t already trekked to Madison, NC to speak with Freedom Group executives about relocation. If they haven’t, they are being derelict in their duties.
Mohawk Valley economic development officials and politicians are taking these contacts very seriously. Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney (R-New Hartford) called fears that Remington might relocate “realistic” while Herkimer County IDA Executive Director Mark Feane said they are very concerned given the incentives that other states might offer.
No one knows at this time what the Freedom Group will do. However, if they do move the Remington Ilion plant, I would find it deliciously ironic if the trucks moving the plant’s machinery just happened to detour around the Governor’s Mansion and the New York Capitol Building on their way out of state. It might lengthen the journey by a few hours but it would be worth it to remind politicians about the law of unintended consequences.