As we reported last August, gun manufacturers are increasingly moving from states with strict firearms controls to more friendly climes. This trend continued Thursday, as Remington Outdoor Company announced that they were relocating two of their production lines from Ilion, N.Y., where the company was founded in 1816, to a new facility in Huntsville, Ala.
Back in February, Remington announced their decision to expand to Huntsville. Alabama Governor Robert Bently welcomed the gun maker with open arms, citing the more than 2,000 jobs Remington plans to bring to Huntsville.
Just how much the gun-friendly culture of Alabama (especially as compared to New York’s increasingly hostile attitude toward gun owners) factored into Remington’s recent decision to move the lines is unclear. In recent years, however, other manufacturers on the move have cited gun control politics as a reason for relocation. Magpul Industries is moving much of its operation from Colorado to Texas and Wyoming, after warning that they would leave the Centennial State if firearm restrictions were passed. Last July, New York-based Kahr Arms announced plans “to open a new manufacturing site and relocate the Kahr corporate office from New York to Pennsylvania.” Additionally, a New York Times Article from last August noted that while some well-known gun makers — like Sturm, Ruger & Company, which is based in Southport, Conn. — have not chosen to flee the Northeast entirely, they are expanding their operations in other regions.
In the case of Remington, the differences in respect for the right to bear arms in Alabama versus New York are stark. In January 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo forced the infamous and misnamed “S.A.F.E. Act” through the New York Assembly by bypassing ordinary legislative procedure. Among its many onerous provisions, the legislation contained an expansion of New York’s ban on popular semi-automatic firearms, an unenforceable seven-round magazine limit, and background check requirements for ammunition sales. Remington manufactures a number of semiautomatic firearms.
On the other hand, 2013 marked Alabama’s enactment of an omnibus firearms rights bill. Included in the legislative package was a measure formally making Alabama a “shall-issue” state for carry permits, a provision strengthening state preemption of local firearms laws, and a section enhancing legal protections for self-defense. More recently, an effort to clarify the Constitution of Alabama’s right to hunt and fish has been ensured a spot on the November ballot.
Whatever Remington’s reasons for shifting production to the Huntsville plant, it’s easy to see why some firearm manufacturers would choose to vote with their feet and leave hostile territory for friendlier locales.