Is Remington Arms considering pulling up stakes in New York and relocating its plant in Ilion to Tennessee? The Nashville Tennessean reports that the owners of Remington Arms are scouting potential sites for a manufacturing plant near Nashville's airport, Lebanon, and in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Remington officials have not responded to CNY's Central requests for comments, but the company has been courted by a number of "gun-friendly states" to move its manufacturing facilities away from New York. In January, South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan publicly urged the Remington Arms parent company to move to South Carolina.
Those states point out that since the passage of the New York Safe Act prohibits the sale of Remington's popular Bushmaster "Assault Weapon."
Ilion Mayor John Stephens told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon he is "optimistic Remington will stay."
Stephens says local and state officials "will make overtures to the management in light of the newspaper article.... But something in my gut tells me Remington is here to stay."
The plant in the Mohawk Valley employs approximately 1,500 people. It was established in Ilion in 1816 and will celebrate its 200th anniversary in less than three years.
Larry Spencer, who worked at the plant for 15 years, said closing the plant would "turn Ilion into a ghost town."
We contacted Congressman Richard Hanna's office about the situation. His spokeswoman, Renee Gamela, replied: "Representative Hanna has not been informed of any planned shift or reduction in workforce at Ilion and has no reason to expect any change in current Remington operations in New York." She added: "Remington's Mohawk Valley workforce is second to none and Rep. Hanna will continue working to ensure that our community is a supportive host for Remington Arms."
The NY SAFE Act redefines and restricts the ownership of "assault weapons," bans high capacity magazines, requires background checks on the purchase of ammunition, attempts to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, and requires 5 year renewals for pistol permits, among other things.
In May, Remington Arms broke its silence about the NY SAFE Act on Facebook calling it Act unconstitutional. The company made no promises of staying in Central New York saying,"Remington will not run or abandon its loyal and hard working 1300 employees without considerable thought and deliberation."