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.
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.
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.
Longtime New York Post columnist Fred Dicker called the Newtown school shooting, in which 20 children died, “a little convenient massacre” for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to pass new gun legislation.
Families of Sandy Hook victims are calling for an apology from the gun enthusiast, but he defends his statement.
On his WGDJ radio show Monday, Dicker told political satirist Randy Credico that the school shooting allow Cuomo to finally pass a gun control measure.
“That was his anti-gun legislation, which he had promised not to do, but then he had a little convenient massacre that went on in Newtown, Conn., and all of a sudden there was an opportunity for him,” Dicker said.
“For a professional journalist, I think it was irresponsible and unprofessional for him to say that,” said James Wiltsie, whose cousin Victoria Soto, 27, was one of six adults to die in the shooting. “There’s nothing ‘convenient’ about 26 lives being gunned down in an elementary school.”
“It’s basically putting salt in the wound,” Wiltsie said.
The group New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV) has demanded an apology from Dicker.
“For Fred Dicker to call such an event ‘convenient’ is shocking,” said NYAGV’s executive director Leah Gunn Barrett.
Dicker says his statement is being willfully misconstrued.
“This group clearly doesn’t understand, or doesn’t want to understand, my point, which is a sarcastic reference to the governor latching on to an horrendous out-of-state mass killing to advance a political agenda that had nothing to do with the problem of gun-related crime in New York,” Dicker said.
“I wasn’t minimizing the horror at all, just the opposite,” he added. “I used the word ‘massacre’ intentionally because it refers, by definition, to a horrendous large-scale killing, which of course the Newtown horror was.”
Dicker is a fierce gun advocated who keeps a great deal of ammunition in his Albany office, New York Daily News reported.
Kahr Firearms Group of Pearl River plans to move its office and expansion to Pennsylvania, citing a new New York gun control law as its reason for the move.
The group referred to the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, which was made into law after the Newtown shootings and a series of closed-door negotiations. The law expands New York’s ban on military-style weapons, limits magazines to seven bullets and taxes bullets.
‘‘We’re looking for a more friendly environment for our business,’’ said Frank Harris, Kahr’s vice president for sales and marketing. ‘‘Maybe we could have stayed here and built a plant, but the way the bill was passed left us feeling there were a lot of uncertainties going forward.’’
Harris added that the manufacturer was not going to take a chance in New York when it could simply move to Pennsylvania where the company would not be bothered. Harris also noted that while the company is in favor of stopping criminals, the act will only hurt law-abiding citizens.
Kahr has purchased 620 acres in Pennsylvania and will move its 10-person corporate staff next year to its new office buildings. The business is expected to add 80 to 100 new jobs after it builds another factory there.
"The Safe Act has unintended consequences,” Harris said. “This is one of them.’’
Even as Rep. Eliott Engel (D) is trying to push stronger gun control laws in the Empire State, GOP politicians from New York are attempting to appeal Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act.
The Republicans were irked that Cuomo passed the bill by allegedly threatening to fund Republicans’ opponents if they did not support the SAFE Act, so now the GOP is fighting back.
They have launched a double-pronged attack with Sen. Kathleen A. Marchione (R) promoting a bill that would repeal the law in the senate while Rep. David J. DiPietro (R) is rallying pro-gun support in the House.
“We are both working on getting co-sponsors,” DiPietro explained.
Despite the elaborate attack plan, the Republicans will undoubtedly have their work cut out for them. The current political climate in the Assembly definitely leans more toward gun control with 104 Democrats, 42 Republicans and 1 Independent member.
Things are a bit more promising in the New York Senate with 30 Republicans, 28 Democrats and four IDC members but not by much.
As if these numbers were not already bad enough for the pro-gun crowd, they will have to somehow get the bill past Sheldon “Shelly” Silver (D), the assembly speaker. Silver supports the SAFE Act and could easily use his influence to stall the bill before it goes to the floor for a vote.
If the bill has such a grim fate, then why bother? One of the biggest advantages is that a vote would separate friend from foe. Politicians who vote against the repeal may have to answer to angry pro-gun voters during the next election.
“We will register every gun owner in the state,” DiPietro promised. “We will dig our heels and take the politicians who voted for the SAFE Act out of office. No one votes alone.”
This is particularly troubling for Republican politicians who jumped the fence and voted in favor of the SAFE Act.
Considering the strong Democratic presence in both the Senate and the Assembly, gun rights activists might not have much luck repealing the SAFE Act. They might, however, give Republicans a reason to think twice the next time they consider supporting gun control legislation.
Source: Human Events
The District Attorney for Columbia County in New York is fulfilling his promise not to prosecute anybody arrested under the highly controversial Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (SAFE Act). Paul Czajka said earlier that he would defy the law, and now that a man has been arrested under the law’s new strict measures he has an opportunity to take a stand.
Gregory Dean Jr. was pulled over by police in Columbia County because one of his lights was out. Police discovered that Dean was transporting a handgun with nine rounds, which is two rounds more than what is allowed under the SAFE Act.
Things might have gone badly for Dean, but Czajka simply dropped the charges. “Although I believe that it is not for a district attorney to determine or make blanket policy,” Czajka said, he would “decline to prosecute the unlawful possession of ammunition feed devices.”
This might seem awfully political, but the district attorney is well within his right to drop charges. He explained, “There are a lot of factors that go into a decision that a District Attorney makes. Given the circumstances of this case, it was my decision to exercise my prosecutorial privilege.”
Czajka’s stance isn’t particularly unique among employees within the New York justice system. Other government employees have publicly declared their distaste for the SAFE Act. In fact, the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and five individual sheriffs asked U.S. District Judge William Skretny to add their names to the record against the law.
The New York SAFE Act is one of the strongest pieces of gun control legislation in America right now, but it won’t amount to much if members of the NY justice department constantly undermine the law by overlooking infractions and dropping charges. Legislators may need to rethink the SAFE Act – not because it violates the rights of gun owners, but because it divides the loyalties government employees.
New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act has had a rocky history. Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed the bill through the legislature early January, and gun rights activists have been fighting against the new law ever since.
Some sheriffs have stated that they refuse to enforce the law, lawsuits threaten to defeat the law, and now gun rights proponents have promised to ignore the law completely.
Melody Burns, a New York talk show host, told gun supporters at a rally, “Do not comply. I just want to remind you — do not comply!”
She spoke to several hundred gun rights supporters who gathered around the state Capitol on Tuesday to protest the SAFE Act. Where protests and angry letters have failed in the past, these protestors hope to make an impact through civil disobedience. What good is a law when normally law-abiding citizens openly ignore it?
Ignoring a state law might seem risky, but these citizens have the support of law enforcement. Lewis County Sheriff Michael Carpinelli said at the rally, “I just want to tell you all: Thank you, don’t give up, keep using your voice.’ I am not about to enforce this act.”
Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss spoke with Gov. Cuomo last month in an attempt to get Cuomo to drop the law. Cuomo allegedly used the opportunity to tell the sheriffs to keep their opinions to themselves. “We told the governor that we were elected officials and we had a constituency just like he did, and that we were responsible to them, and we had the right as elected officials to give our opinion on the act,” Moss said.
It’s a sticky situation for the sheriffs. As elected officials (and as U.S. citizens in general), they are well within their rights to express their distaste for the SAFE Act. However, refusing to perform certain duties as public officials is grounds for dismissal, regardless of how much these sheriffs are personally opposed to the laws.
Right now, these sheriffs are acting as a buffer between the state and gun owners. If gun rights supporters no longer have an understanding with the local law enforcement, then their civil disobedience might end rather quickly with a few jail sentences.
Source: Democrat and Chronicle