New York Lawmakers Complain Alabama’s Remington Win Due in Part to ‘Gun-Friendly’ Political Climate

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Remington’s decision to move two gun production lines from New York to Huntsville is drawing sharp criticism from northern lawmakers who said their state’s stringent gun laws are costing jobs.

The gun manufacturer announced Friday it would move production of its Bushmaster and R1 handgun lines to its new Alabama facility.

The Bushmaster, a semiautomatic weapon, is no longer allowed to be sold in New York unless it is modified.

Alabama’s pro-2nd Amendment political climate is without a doubt an attractor to the Remington company.

Everyone knows in Alabama – we like our guns.

It’s all well and good for our neighbors to the north to chide Alabamians and our lawmakers for what some characterize as a regressive, backwoods, homegrown approach to gun laws – but when it comes to losing jobs and growth to gun-toting southerners – that’s a different story altogether.

While it most certainly will take some hefty renovations for the sprawling old Chrysler facility near Huntsville International Airport to accommodate Remington Outdoor Company, the business and political climates are already perfectly primed to welcome a major firearms manufacturer to move business here. Some New York leaders and lawmakers are sore over Huntsville’s recent acquisition. The local business community’s reaction to the recent squabblings? ‘New York – why are you surprised?’

“They obviously want to know that they’re wanted,” said Huntsville Madison County Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Chip Cherry, matter-of-factly. “And that the community and the state and the leadership of that state embraces them as a company and welcomes them.”

Remington did not cite the New York regulations – known as the SAFE Act – in its announcement to move from New York to Alabama but the company had been one of the measure’s harshest critics. The move will cost the company’s Ilion, NY facility about 80 jobs.

“The feeling and the message that was being sent out was they didn’t welcome that type of activity in their state so therefore you really shouldn’t be surprised if that type of activity doesn’t expand and grow in your state,” Cherry responds.

Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, was quoted as saying, “I don’t think moving Bushmaster and their pistol line this early in the process to Alabama bodes well.” King went on to say, “I wouldn’t doubt it’s SAFE Act-related in a New York minute. The company made statements over and over again that when they bought the property in Huntsville, Ala., that having a manufacturing facility in a Second Amendment-friendly area means a lot to them.”

“In Alabama, we embrace the 2nd Amendment Rights.” Chip Cherry says though, it’s not all about politics.

“They want to make a superior product and we are a great place to make a superior product because we are used to machining things to tight tolerances and a high quality with a great workforce,” Cherry concludes.

“This was a strategic business decision to concentrate our resources into fewer locations and improve manufacturing efficiency and quality. We are working hard to retain as many people from the affected facilities as possible,” Remington spokesperson Teddy Novin told the Buffalo News.

“For the first time in our almost 200-year history we will innovate, design, and build in one place,” Novin said elsewhere.

The employment front is not the only sector reaping benefits from Remington’s move to Huntsville. One local technical college says demand for Remington jobs – and the skills those jobs require – has their phones ringing off the hook.

“We receive now two to three phone calls a day of interest in what programs we might have that would be appropriate for the Remington facility,” says John Reutter, Drake State Director of Planning & Resource Development. “Fortunately we have already done an analysis of their facility and manufacturing needs in terms of technical backgrounds of entry workers.  We can’t find a single program at Drake that can’t fill some need that they might have.”

Reutter says with an education from Drake State, you really can’t go wrong in Remington’s eyes. He says a facility of that size will require everything from nurses to chefs to HVAC and design specialists.

“We have programs in machining, we have programs in electronics, we have programs in hydraulics and pneumatics and robotics – everything we offer seems to fit exactly what we assess their needs to be,” Reutter says proudly.

Drake’s Director of Planning says the interest is also represented by diverse demographics. In addition to parents of high school students inquiring about associate programs available right after graduation, the employed and underemployed are also interested in gaining new skills. Drake also offers a special program to help veterans transition from military service to the civilian workforce.

“There’s really not anybody that I can think of who wouldn’t be eligible in some fashion or another to come and get upgraded training to get themselves ready for the next round of technologies.”

Click here for more information on Drake State’s technical programs.

91 comments

  • s

    “Alabama’s pro 2nd Amendment political climate is without a doubt an attractor to the Remington company.” You got that right, Yankee!

    • Brian Wilson

      I wish I could leave NY and come back to The Heart of Dixie! My relatives fought for the south and I’m damn proud of it! When I retire from here please don’t treat me like I came from NYC or anywhere in NY . This state SUCKS

    • Phil S.

      You have to understand that it isn’t the public officials in N.Y. who trash the 2nd ammendment, It’s the brain dead New Yorkers who put them there. Don’t tolerate progressive government creep in any form or you’ll end up like the proverbial frog in the cooking pot!

    • bucktorre

      Rem arms did nothing to oppose the safe act they took a big ole tax break and refused to voice opinion because they were under contact for a military rifle I for one am glad this spineless company is leaving also tom king is an idiot of course there move directly relates to the in safe act tom is an idiot seeking some sort of political venue I think half his own members are disgusted with his antics the only thing NY understands is money so goodbye REM ARMS YAY AND GOOD BYE ILION NY WOOT .

      • Penrod

        The shame of it is that they don’t wish they were as backward as folks in Alabama.

        Their loss, and America’s as well.

        PS: Speaking of ignorant, read the comments in the NY Times sometime: These ever so sophisticated, highly educated thinkers think that free market capitalism and fascism are the same thing. Now that is ignorant.

    • Adrienne

      So true…We really have been come CA on the East Coast…That’s not pretty…oh well, we’ll still have our talk and all…Just won’t pay the bills…God help us all I can say!

  • Ed

    As a New Yorker I say congrats to you. However before you paint all Yankees with a broad brush realize it is New York City driving this law. Most upstaters hate it. Check out the map of counties of ny opposes to the SAFE act to see what I mean.

    • Peggy Tiner

      Ed, I understand. People from huge cities influence the welfare of the less populated areas of the state. They just don’t understand how someone can want a different way of life than that of the city. However, I am still glad that Birmingham got the Remington plant. People need jobs.

  • Say What

    They are just stroking the right-wingers so that they will not feel the pain of all their tax money going to fatten Remington’s profit line! They are laughing at the Bubbas all the way to the the bank (overseas bank accounts that is)!

    • JF

      Well duh…profit is a driving force on any business.. If you don’t have profits you can’t pay the bills nor pay the employees not can you pay the stock holders or taxes.. Yeah.. Making a profit is good and making more insures a healthy company .. What are you a communist or just ignorant of business?

  • Emilia Rotorwhiz

    So the gun restrictions put on New Yorkers wasn’t Political also… Give me a break… And by the way a lot of Northerners retire in the south and not vice-versa..AND THEY LOVE IT!!!

    • Peggy Tiner

      Nick, sweetie, it doesn’t take spelling and grammar to make good guns. Birmingham has enough well-educated people to fill jobs requiring those skills. Remington will be well-satisfied in Alabama.

    • Gary

      When you turn your arguments to personal attacks you have lost. You can’t come up with anything intelligent to add to the conversation so you attack people on a personal level. I feel sorry for you.

  • Michael

    What an ignorant statement saying people from Alabama are backwards. Huntsville is where NASA has their rocket plant so I’m sure the workforce can handle putting some guns together. What an idiotic statement!

    • David Wood

      Michael, the author of this post did not call people from Alabama backwards. The sentence clearly reads, “what some characterize as a regressive, backwoods, homegrown approach to gun laws…” The word ‘some’ is in italics. This is actually a dig at those elsewhere who judge Alabamians for supporting the right to defend themselves – the author of this post did not.

    • Robert

      Madison County Alabama is, in fact, second in per capita educational attainment east of the Mississippi River after Washington DC. And top 10 nationally.

  • Steve

    NYC and it,s left wing welfare mentality has ruined this state. Their inability to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals has caused their typical liberal knee jerk reaction. Any politician who votes to infringe upon any of our civil right should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Stating with our Gov.

  • RE Hafner

    When you put idiots in the governor’s seat and morons in your state legislature you loose. The left wing kooks of NYS driven by the brain dead free loading zombie mob NYC has cost the state freedoms and now the businesses are leaving.

  • former upstateNYer

    I recently moved here from upstate NY because of a job loss. Honestly, Huntsville/Madison AL looks just like many of the upstate NY cities. Ed is right – 95% of upstate NYers hate that gun control bill. But the local governments have ceded too much of their power up to the state level which is dominated by downstaters with a big-government philosophy and so they are stuck.

    Lesson: Keep government at the lowest feasible level and never cede power to higher jurisdictions because you will never get it back.

    • paul

      former, welcome to Alabama. Individually, folks here are good people; it’s just when you group some of them up, it can get scary. Here’s a couple definitions for you, just in case:
      :
      conservative: white men affraid of losing power
      christain conservative: think god is an American and Jesus was born in Alabama

      • LogicalSC

        Delta leaves every single morning for New York….get yourself a ticket and go away…..let see how long you last under liberals who want to dictate to you every aspect of your life based on their unethical, immoral view of the world, including the size of your soft drink, access to protecting your family from the criminals and thugs to whom they base much of their ‘compassion’, and then demand to confiscate most of your money from your bank account to pay for their ‘charity’ to those people whom they have decided you owe for oppressing.

        Interestingly enough that group of oppressed always coincides with their voting block of reprobates and leeches willing to trade votes for a few gubermint trinkets.

        Good riddance.

      • Akatsukami

        More definitions:

        Democrat: see progressive
        Progressive: see fascist
        Fascist: see Democrat

  • Mustang

    Too bad- Michigan would have welcomed Remington with open arms !! Pun intended – we would have loved having them here !!

    • ccw1911

      Michigan put in an offer for the plant and Remington chose Alabama. So Alabama must have offered something Michigan didn’t or couldn’t.

      • ccw1911

        Except Michigan has a Republican govenor and state gov’t. And there is no law in Michigan that says your business has to be union to operate in the state. The majority of companies are non union.

      • ccw1911

        And why should someone who lives in the U.P. over 300 miles away at it’s closest point from Detroit bear any of the responsability for Detroit? The Democrats are the ones who should pay penance for Detroit. Fifty years of their so called “Leadership” ruined what was once a great city.

      • michael

        It is not so much penance, as a purge that is required. If you know what is wrong, and you do not take steps to fix it, then you all but guarrantee that it will happen again. Why should Remington commit resources to a state that hasn’t utterly rebuked the progressive mentality. The politicians, the unions, the community organizers that drove Detroit into the ground should be purged from the system. Tennessee did itself proud when the workers rejected the UAW at the Volkswagen plant. That is the sort of place to invest in, not somewhere the workers vote themselves your property.

  • 3006AL

    This serves the liberal lawmakers of NY right. You made your bed, now lie in it! You will lose more jobs and Alabama welcomes all of the gun makers. There are many good conservative citizens of New York state I know, who despise their state’s anti-gun laws as well as their socialist anti-gun governor ( and NYC mayor).

  • bob

    Wow…bunch of detectives here. All gun related businesses should leave the state as a result of this BS safe act. They can thank this idiot Cuomo and that napoleonic tyrant bloomberg for remingtons disappearance. At least Cuomo killed furthering his political careerbecause of this.

  • Scott Howard

    A perfect win-win situation. Alabama citizens get new jobs, Alabama receives more revenue, Remington’s profit increases, New York loses revenue they would certainly use to enforce more of their asinine laws.

  • Greg

    NYer here – I was born here, don’t fault all of us for the actions of our overlords. We can’t help what our thieving politicians do under the cover of darkness in the middle of the night. It’s caused me to start looking around the country on a new place to call home for me and my family. $15000 property taxes were the original reason. This is a close second.

    • Rick

      Greg, 3 BR, 2 Bath Brick rancher on 1 acre lot. I paid $378.00 in taxes last year. Welcome to Bama!

    • Renee

      20 minutes South of Huntsville in a 2,800 sf nice house on 11+ acres and I paid ~$850 in property taxes last year. You can find houses for a lot less as well. Plus, we are all friendly, as long as you mind your manners.

  • Ralph Gizzip

    “Remington leaves New York for Alabama due to the SAFE Act”

    I think this falls into the category of “No chit, Sherlock.”

  • victorerimita

    Speaking as a New Yorker who left that very beautiful but politically hopeless state decades ago, I warn Alabamans and others of migrating northerners and coastal types fleeing their self-created hells for your greener economic pastures, but retaining their brain dead political notions. Leftists never learn. Ever.

    • Jim

      This is absolute truth. It’s a matter of perspective, just because you aren’t as liberal as your neighbor doesn’t necessarily make you a conservative. A “conservative” Northeasterner or West Coaster is, at best, a moderate in the South. They move down here because they say they love it but very shortly they set about trying to enact changes to make things more like the way they were “back home”. If it was so great then you shouldn’t have left there. Please, don’t move here and try to turn it into the cesspool you left behind.

      • Phil S.

        I moved from N.Y.C. many years ago and I’m glad I left that socialist cesspool! As more of them come south, be sure not to budge an inch on political or ethical northe45n B.S. or slowly but surely that crap will make us like them. If they don’t like it then get the h–ll out!!

  • Rick Caird

    I find it amusing. States like New York and California drive businesses out and then turn around and wonder why they are losing jobs. It is all a big mystery to them.

    Here is a hint. Do they think a single person will say “Hey, let’s move the New York because they have tough gun laws”. I expect that number of people to be 0. We already know that the number of people leaving because of those gun laws is > 0.

  • joe

    They make laws that make life for a gun manufacturer and owner as difficult as possible then get upset when they lose all the taxes they would have made

  • louann watson

    hey lawmakers, your vote cost you a company that has been there for generations and paying your salaries through taxes. bye bye

  • Chris Ar

    I live in NY and I despise the anti-gun attitudes of our elected officials. I feel bad for the 80 people now out of work, but I guess the Democrats think it’s worth it to put people on government assistance in the name of…..er, what exactly I cannot say.

  • Deputy16

    The once great state of New York is in a death spiral. What the brilliant people on the Upper East Side of Manhattan do not realize is that Wall Street is slowly relocating finance jobs to other States. Google HOW MONEY WALKS for a detailed view of the exodus from New York. This trend will accelerate with Comrade Bill de Blasio running New York City. I will leave New York as soon as I can. What a shame.

  • Hi there!

    Well, good for you all down there. I hope that plant gives your state a nice boost to your economy.

  • 3% Citizen

    As a former NY and NYC resident… The best thing i ever did in my life was leave that Socialist-Quasi-Communist, North Korean like Septic Tank.
    And take my Money with me. Freeeeeeeeeedom!!!!

  • Kulafarmer

    One more example of how “progressive” policy is sooooo good for everybody!
    We are officially living in an Ayan Rand novel.

  • richard40

    So if a state gov passes laws saying guns are evil, and nobody should have them, the gun manufacturers might decide to move to a state that actually likes guns. Who woulda thunk it.

  • Ira

    As a New Yorker and first-generation American surrounded by these [REDACTED] idiots who voted for the community organizers in Washington D.C., and New York City as president and mayor, respectively, I say, “Well done!” to Alabama.

  • Dee

    If you want to see how southern cities are ruined by northern progressivisim just take a look at Broward County Fl; where condo commandos, deviants, and illegals make life a living hell. Although I was lucky enough to escape 15 years ago to live in Tuscaloosa Alabama, progressivisim keeps marching on even in the heart of Dixie.

  • Anonymous

    And this is news? The real news is that in a few short years, most all gun builders will be absent in such states as New York. Such moves are expensive, and take time, but the move is on to totally vacate states like New York.

  • blubaljim

    Congratulations you progressive bone heads. The one thing you all do best is chitting in your own back yards. Just How utterly intelligent can you numb nuts get? Wait, I don’t really want to know the answer to that.

  • Paul Hacker

    I’m happy for you folks in Alabama! We here in Texas feel like you do and I hope all the gun companies just say ‘to heck with it’ and move down to where they are appreciated.

    Hope for change in 2014. Time to let democrats sign up for Obamacare and unemployment.

  • Bigred2989

    While I’m glad gun businesses are getting out of places where they aren’t welcome, Rem has been getting a lot of flak for the quality of their products as of late. They just had a massive recall of 2 hunting rifle models due to faulty safeties and triggers, and R51 handgun has been considered by many reviewers (who weren’t paid to give it high marks) to be too dangerous to use, with current production models being broken on arrival to retailers or too unreliable to use for self defense. Hopefully they can fix these problems as they could be signs of growing pains, but I would not buy one for awhile if given the opportunity.

    • Phil S.

      Van T. Barfoot died at the age of 92 on 2 March 2013.

      Remember the guy who wouldn’t take the flag pole down on his Virginia property a while back?

      You might remember the news story several months ago about a crotchety old man in Virginia who defied his local Homeowners Association, and refused to take down the flag pole on his property along with the large American flag he flew on it.

      Now we learn who that old man was.

      On June 15, 1919, Van T. Barfoot was born in Edinburg , Texas . That probably didn’t make news back then.

      But twenty-five years later, on May 23, 1944, near Carano , Italy , that same Van T. Barfoot, who had in 1940 enlisted in the U.S. Army, set out alone to flank German machine gun positions from which gunfire was raining down on his fellow soldiers.

      His advance took him through a minefield but having done so, he proceeded to single-handedly take out three enemy machine gun positions, returning with 17 prisoners of war.

      And if that weren’t enough for a day’s work, he later took on and destroyed three German tanks sent to retake the machine gun positions.

      That probably didn’t make much news either, given the scope of the war, but it did earn Van T. Barfoot, who retired as a Colonel after also serving in Korea and Vietnam , a well deserved Congressional Medal of Honor.

      What did make news…

      Was his Neighborhood Association’s quibble with how the 90-year-old veteran chose to fly the American flag outside his suburban Virginia home.

      Seems the HOA rules said it was OK to fly a flag on a house-mounted bracket, but, for decorum, items such as Barfoot’s 21-foot flagpole were “unsuitable”.

      Van Barfoot had been denied a permit for the pole, but erected it anyway and was facing court action unless he agreed to take it down.

      The HOA story made national TV, and the Neighborhood Association rethought its position and agreed to indulge this aging hero who dwelt among them.

      “In the time I have left”, he said to the Associated Press, “I plan to continue to fly the American flag without interference.”

      As well he should.

      And if any of his neighbors had taken a notion to contest him further, they might have done well to read his Medal of Honor citation first. Seems it indicates Mr. Van Barfoot wasn’t particularly good at backing down.

      This 1944 Medal of Honor citation, listed with the National Medal of Honor Society, is for Second Lieutenant Van T. Barfoot, 157th Infantry, 45th Infantry:

      If you got this email and didn’t pass it on – guess what – you need your butt kicked!

      I sent this to you, because I didn’t want MY butt kicked! Do the right thing!

      WE ONLY LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE! AND, BECAUSE OF OLD MEN LIKE VAN BARFOOT!

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