Remington Looking At Georgia?

Georgia is home to both Glock and Daniel Defense. It is also being considered by Beretta who was reported to have scouted a central Georgia location earlier this year. Now it appears that Georgia officials are working hard to convince Remington Arms to relocate from Ilion, New York to their state.

State Sen. Burt Jone (R-Jackson) discussed this in a Q&A session with the Butts County Partners for Smart Growth this past week. Butts County is midway between Atlanta and Macon along Interstate 75.

Jones, R-Jackson, said that while Beretta has narrowed its focus to two Georgia locations — not in Butts County — the Remington Arms Company is considering relocating from New York, where its Ilion Firearms Plant and Custom Shop is located. He said state officials are working to try to bring the plant to Georgia and he’s hoping to land it in his district, possibly his home county.

Jones discussed the possibility during a question-and-answer session after his remarks Thursday to the group Partners for Smart Growth.

Remington, he said, “is looking to leave New York due to taxes, due to the unions, due to all the factors that run businesses away from your community, and they have zeroed in on the state of Georgia as being one of the states that they’re considering.”

He said he is working to get Butts County and District 25 on a list of “potential landing spots” for Remington.

“It could mean literally thousands of jobs for a community, wherever it might land,” Jones said.

It may only be wishful thinking on the part of the state of Georgia and Sen. Jones that Remington would leave New York. However, it is a fact that the NY SAFE Act has cost that state jobs. American Tactical and Kahr Arms are relocating out of state and others have decided any expansions will be made in outside of New York.

UPDATE: Tom at Fill Yer Hands reminded me that Heckler & Koch has operations down in Columbus, Georgia.

H/T Tim Glance

NRA News Report On The NY SAFE Act

Ginny Simone of NRA News has been doing a series of in-depth special reports on various issues that impact gun owners. Her latest is a report on the New York SAFE Act and the arrest of Greg Dean. Mr. Dean was arrested for violating the NY SAFE Act when a State Policeman inspected the magazine of  his .40 S&W pistol. The magazine contained 9 rounds or two too many under the NY Safe Act.

Mr. Dean’s arrest has gotten some notice. What hasn’t gotten as much notice was Columbia County District Attorney Paul Czajka’s decision not to prosecute the case.

This Doesn’t Make Sense To Me

The Wall Street Journal is reporting this morning that Remington Arms is planning to invest $20 million in an upgrade to its Ilion, New York plant. The news comes from local politicians who had a meeting on Wednesday with the company.

Local media outlets report that three senators and three Assembly
members met with Remington officials on Wednesday to discuss what they
could do to ensure the company keeps its plant in the Herkimer County
village of Ilion, where Remington employs about 1,200 people.

The report goes on to say that Remington themselves has no comment on the news.

Local news station WKTV Utica has more on the story. The story of the meeting of the New York legislators with senior officials from Remington Arms was the lead story on their evening broadcast.

The senior officials involved were Otto Weigl, senior vice president government and legislative affairs,
Jonathan Sprole, general counsel, and Paul Merz, Ilion plant manager. This meeting is balanced out by a meeting between Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and Freedom Group CEO George Kollitides in Austin, Texas. Perry tweeted a picture of himself with Kollitides while holding what appears to be a Remington Defense AR-15 and wearing a Remington jacket on March 1st.

As I said in the headline, it doesn’t make sense for Remington to invest money in plant and equipment upgrades to the Ilion plant given the NY SAFE law and the anti-gun fervor of New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo. That said, it could be used as a bargaining chip with the industrial and economic development teams of other states that are seeking to have the plant move to their state.

The reality is that it isn’t easy to relocate a plant of the size of the Remington plant in Ilion. While building a new plant in another state or moving the machinery wouldn’t be hard,  it would be hard to replicate the workforce. I could see Remington moving the AR, pistol, and semi-auto rifle production out of that plant and leaving the shotgun and bolt-action rifle manufacturing there. In a way that would make sense as the pistol production could be shifted to the Para USA plant in North Carolina and the AR and other semi-auto production could go to a new plant anywhere.

As with all of these things, we’ll see.

Gun Permits: OK for Trump But Not For You

I’m sure that People magazine didn’t mean to make the case about the inequities in New York’s “may issue” concealed carry laws – but they did.

Among the big names licensed to pack heat: Marc Anthony, Robert De Niro, Donald Trump, and his son, Donald Jr., Mets third baseman David Wright, and Martha Stewart’s daughter, radio host Alexis Stewart.

Anthony, 42, has a special permit that allows him to carry a loaded weapon in the city, and has a similar permit for Nassau County, where he and Jennifer Lopez have a $2 million home in Brookville.

The article says that celebrities are feeling “vulnerable” due to the ease with which personal information can be found on-line. Excuse me if I don’t feel that sympathetic to these poor celebrities. The ordinary New Yorker doesn’t employ a publicist to push stories about them in the media and on the Internet. If they are feeling “vulnerable” then celebrities should look at their own behavior.

As to the average New Yorker, they can just forget it. So what if they are vulnerable to thugs, rapists, and murderers, they aren’t celebrities so they can just suck it up and deal with their fears.

In Their Own Words – Alan Kachalsky and Christina Nikolov

Over the last few years we have come to know and respect the courage and tenacity of Dick Heller and Otis McDonald (and their fellow plaintiffs) as they fought the District of Columbia and Chicago respectively. We learned that Mr. Heller was an armed security guard trusted to protect the court buildings in DC but not trusted to have a handgun in his home to protect he and his family. Likewise, we came to know Mr. McDonald, a courageous African-American gentleman with a quiet dignity, who just wanted to protect his family with a handgun after being threatened by the drug dealers targeting his neighborhood.

But what do we know about the plaintiffs in the case of Kachalsky et al v. Cacace et al – the Westchester, New York case that challenges New York’s pistol permit law? If you depended upon the media or “authorized journalists” as David Codrea calls them, nothing. Absolutely nothing. It is as if post-McDonald the media considers gun rights old news not worthy of their time and talent.

Doing a Google search on Alan Kachalsky, I find that he is an attorney in private practice in Westchester County. Going to Martindale-Hubbell (law directory), I can learn that he is a graduate of New York Law School and that he has been licensed to practice since 1981.

Likewise, doing a similar search for Christina Nikolov, I find that she is the Director of Research for ChartWatchCentral, a web-based service offering technical analysis and research on stocks to investors. I also found out that she is a 1LT in the Civil Air Patrol, a licensed single and multi-engine commercial pilot, and a certified flight instructor.

This is all good information and it tells us that they are solid citizens and accomplished in their professions. But it doesn’t tell the how and the why of the lawsuit nor does it tell us what they hope to change with their lawsuit (other than being granted their permits). Because I was curious, I contacted them by email and sent them a set of questions. I got lucky. They were gracious enough to answer my questions. The questions and each of their unedited responses are below.

First, why did you become a plaintiff in this case? What was it that convinced you to take a stand against those who denied you a pistol permit for failing to show “good cause”?

Alan Kachalsky


My story is that for various reasons, I decided a few years ago that it was time to get a pistol permit. I picked up an application in Westchester County, and filled it out as best as I could. I saw the choices for target this, and business carry, and full carry. My purpose was for self-defense, so I applied for a concealed carry permit (only). I filled out the ‘Attachment -full carry’ form which asked me to ‘list all factors which I believe to be relevant to establish proper cause for the issuance of a firearm license for the purpose of full carry.’

I responded:

***********The factors which establish proper cause for the issuance to myself of a Full Carry pistol Permit are: 1) The Second Amendment of the Constitution grants citizens the right to bear arms. As a citizen, I am therefore entitled to exercise my Constitutional right to bear arms. I believe that Constitutional right entitles me to the permit without further the need to establish “proper cause.”

If the issuing agency for some reason requires more than this, then I will cite the fact that we live in a world sporadic random violence might at any moment place one in a position where one needs to defend oneself or possibly others, e.g. random shootings in universities (Virginia Tech), post offices, airline check-in counters, malls, road rage, as well as the run-of-the-mill street muggings and robberies. While the odds of finding oneself in a Virginia Tech type situation are remote, one must reflect that had there been even one armed person, the death toll might have been considerably less than 31 dead. While one never knows what one might do in such situations, it is my belief that it is better to have the option to defend oneself (and others) than not to have the option. As a pilot and a skydiver, I have been trained to handle emergencies, and I have actually handled several emergencies, so it is unlikely that I will respond in a dangerous manner. *********

I submitted the application along with the Affidavits, etc., and crossed my fingers hoping to get it approved.

Much to my disappointment, many months later, I received the decision denying my application on the grounds that I did not demonstrate a need for self-protection beyond that of the general public.

Although I had heard that it was quite difficult to get a carry permit, I felt it was my Constitutional right, and it annoyed me that some bureaucrat had the right to sit and decide whether I demonstrated ‘a need for self-protection. . .” What does that mean anyway? And who gave this bureaucrat the right to sit in judgment and say, no, you don’t have a need . . .

Christina Nikolov

My 2nd Amendment rights were being violated by Westchester County. Whenever I have the opportunity or means to do so, I always take a stand for what I believe in. For example, I once fought a traffic ticket all the way to the NY Appellate Court, when I knew I did nothing wrong, and won without an attorney to assist me, since no lawyers wanted to help.

How did you become a plaintiff in this case? Were you recruited or did you contact the Second Amendment Foundation or Mr. Gura?

Alan

Sorry, we can’t talk about that.

Christina

I contacted Mr. Gura. Prior to this litigation, I already knew Alan Kachalsky, who was also denied for his permit. He already had this litigation in the works with Mr. Gura. I was not recruited and never contacted the 2nd Amendment Foundation.

What is your background with firearms (hunting/target shooting/self-defense)? Are you a longtime shooter or relatively new to guns?

Alan

My background is that I shot rifles when I was a kid in Summer Camp for about three summers. I went to a shooting range once when a friend invited me, and perhaps three or four times over the years when friends had pistols.

Christina

I have been a gun owner for almost 5 years and only shoot paper targets. I do not go hunting. I have taken three 6 hour firearm courses, two of which were in Florida. Each of the Florida courses involved 400+ rounds of live fire, while the New York course does not involve any gun firing. Actually, in NY you cannot even touch a real gun during your six hours of training because it is against the law, so I have more practical experience taking courses in Florida than anyone who has ever taken the firearm course required to be licensed in NY.

What has been your experience since the lawsuit was filed? Have you been contacted by the media? Have friends or colleagues who know of the suit asked you about it? If so, what has been their reaction?

Alan

Nope. No contact from the media. Friends and family are supportive.

Christina

I have not been contacted by the media yet. Very few people have said anything to me about the lawsuit and as a matter of fact, many people I have mentioned the lawsuit to were not even aware of it. Reactions have been unanimously positive. Everyone I mentioned this to wished me well with the case.

Finally, in addition to being granted your permit, what would you like to see come out of this lawsuit?

Alan

The outcome I am looking for would be precisely the relief requested in the Complaint – that carry permits are granted to law-abiding citizens who meet the criteria of New York Penal Code § 400.00:

(1), in that each (a) is over 21 years old, (b) of good moral character, (c) has never been convicted of a felony or serious crime, (d) has never been mentally ill or confined to any institution, (e) has not had a license revoked or been the subject of a family court order, (f) has completed a firearms safety course, and (g) should not be denied a permit other than for any good cause.

Christina

What I wish to see come of this lawsuit is first of all, for me to obtain my unrestricted carry permit. But I would also like to see the law changed, to allow responsible people to own and carry firearms if they want to and are competent. NY needs to change its backwards way of looking at things and realize that criminals are committing crimes and that restricting gun ownership of people who obey the law only helps the criminals, since the criminals will always find ways to obtain firearms regardless of how strict the gun laws are.

I want to thank both Alan and Christina for taking the time to answer my questions so fully. I think we all owe them a debt of gratitude even if we live in an area where gun rights are respected and  “shall issue” concealed carry permits are the norm.

You can read the details of the lawsuit including the complaint in my earlier blog post here.