Remington Outdoor Company, the country’s oldest firearms manufacturer, announced Monday that it is expanding into Alabama in a move some observers think is a response to strict gun control laws in the company’s home state of New York.
“I am honored to welcome Remington to Alabama,” Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said in a news release Monday. “The Alabama workforce, our business climate and our quality of life continue to make Alabama extremely attractive to companies.”
Remington Chairman and CEO George Kollitides said Remington’s expansion into the old Chrysler building in Huntsville is expected to lead to more than 2,000 new jobs over the next ten years.
“This additional capacity is essential to fulfill demand and introduce new products,” Kollitides said.
He said his company is rapidly growing – from 2,400 employees in 2008 to 4,200 employees by the end of 2013. “A five year, 75 percent increase, it is easy to see why we’re investing now,” he added.
A news release said that after facility upgrades, Remington is expected open in Alabama within 18 months.
AL.com reported Monday that a union official for Remington workers in New York blamed the new gun control laws in the state for the expansion into Alabama.
“It can’t be good,” said Fran Madore, the president of United Mine Workers Local 717. “How can it be good?”
New York’s SAFE Act, passed in 2013 in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, bans the sale in New York of certain guns, including Remington’s AR-15.
Last year, lawmakers from states like South Carolina, Michigan, Arizona and Oklahoma are lobbied Remington to relocate their factories to their states.