New Yorkers are up in arms after state’s oldest producer of firearms announces exit plan

It’s an unfortunate story that has been several years in the making and now reaching a sad end.

Given the trends in the Empire State it hardly comes as a surprise, but it’s still a blow to the community.

Now New York’s oldest producer of firearms is fleeing the state for one predictable reason.

Remington Arms has been a staple in one upstate New York community for more than two centuries.

Yet the firearm manufacturer will be closing its doors for good there, moving operations to a politically friendlier state.

CEO: New York’s legislative environment is hurting our industry

RemArms CEO, Ken D’Arcy, said, “We are deeply saddened by the closing of the historic facility in Ilion. We have a dedicated workforce at the Ilion facility, but maintaining and operating those very old 

buildings is cost prohibitive, and New York’s legislative environment remains a concern for our industry. In the coming months, we expect to be working with our Ilion employees and their representative on transition issues.”

The company once boasted thousands of employees in the Central New York community of Ilion, a village with a population of nearly 8,000.

The Remington Firearms brand was founded in 1816, and today, Remington Firearms operates as one of the United States’ largest domestic producers of shotguns and rifles.

The company will consolidate operations in Georgia, a state that it says, “supports and welcomes the firearms industry.”

Locals are saddened at the situation in the mostly Republican-leaning upstate community.

Gun manufacturing defines the village of Ilion similarly to how car production is associated with Detroit.

A shotgun made by Remington Arms and gifted by the company to the town hangs on the wall of the village municipal building.

Local resident: “When Remington leaves, it’s going to be like part of your family has moved off”

Jim Conover started at Remington in 1964 packing guns and retired 40 years later as a production manager. 

Conover expresses his sorrow of the closure to the Associated Press, “When Remington leaves, it’s not going to be like a facility leaving, it’s going to be like part of your family has moved off.” 

Furnace operator and technician Frank “Rusty” Brown says the plant figures prominently in his family.

Brown, President of the United Mine Workers of America Local 717, said, “My mom worked there. My dad worked there. My wife works there with me now. My daughter works there with me now. My second daughter works there with me now. And my son-in-law works there. So it’s a double-hit for me and my wife: two of us out of a job.”

The move isn’t surprising.

Remington had to grapple with some of the highest taxes in the nation from a base in New York State.

Additionally, crippling lawsuits were brought against the company by anti-gun advocates, forcing the company to file for Chapter 11 protection in 2018.

Remington is just the latest company to be driven away by left-wing politics.

Smith & Wesson opened its new headquarters in Tennessee after being based in Springfield, Massachusetts for 170 years. 

Company officials cited proposed state legislation they would prohibit the manufacturing of certain weapons in their decision to move.

Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.

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