Remington Arms announced Monday it will open an Alabama plant, sparking rumors that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s strict gun law is pushing the gunmaker out of New York state.
Remington has operated in New York for 200 years. The gunmaker hasn’t publicly stated any plans to move out of Ilion, where it employs 1,300 people.
The Huntsville, Ala., plant will create 2,000 full-time jobs.
“This additional capacity is essential to fulfill demand and introduce new products,” Remington CEO George Kollitides said in a statement.
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A union official blamed the move on New York’s SAFE Act, which bans assault weapons like Remington’s AR-15.
Passed in January 2013, shortly after the massacre in Newtown, the SAFE Act created universal background checks in New York.
"The SAFE Act stops criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from buying a gun by requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increases penalties for people who use illegal guns, mandates life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and imposes the toughest assault weapons ban in the country," Cuomo said. "For hunters, sportsmen, and law abiding gun owners, this new law preserves and protects your right to buy, sell, keep or use your guns."
Remington continues to manufacture assault rifles in the state of New York, but they have to be shipped out and sold elsewhere.
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The $110 million Huntsville factory won’t be operational for about 12 to 15 months, but the state is already looking to open a recruitment and training center this month.