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Remington Has Its Reasons

Gov. Robert Bentley presents Remington Outdoor Co. Chairman and CEO George Kollitides with an Alabama Great Seal at a jobs announcement in Huntsville in February.

Gov. Robert Bentley presents Remington Outdoor Co. Chairman and CEO George Kollitides with an Alabama Great Seal at a jobs announcement in Huntsville in February.

Syracuse journalist Rick Moriarty recently gave his readers four carefully thought out reasons why Remington Arms Co. selected Alabama over New York for a new factory that will employ up to 2,100 people in Huntsville.

His syracuse.com commenters, though, called baloney. Said one, who posts under the handle CrunchAddict: “I have four reasons, Cuomo, Cuomo, Cuomo, Cuomo.”

Remington officials in the past year have made known their displeasure with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for signing the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act shortly after the Sandy Hook shooting. SAFE gave the state the strictest gun laws in the nation and barred, among other things, the sale or transfer of assault-style, semi-automatic weapons like the Bushmaster models made by Remington.

Rather than linger on New York politics, Remington officials making the announcement praised Alabama’s business climate and unrestrictive gun laws.

Just for the record, here’s a summary of Moriarty’s four-point analysis.

  • SAFE Act: It didn’t prohibit manufacturing firearms, so Remington kept things running at its factory in Ilion, where it has been making guns since 1816 and employs more than 1,300 people. But no one missed the point after the announcement when Remington Chairman and CEO George Kollitides praised what he said were Alabama’s pro-gun policies while announcing that the company would open its new factory in a former Chrysler plant.
  • $69 million: That’s how much state and local governments in Alabama are giving Remington to locate in Huntsville. Moriarty notes that New York and Remington officials didn’t respond on whether incentives were offered there, but imagine the public relations minefield of Cuomo getting out the checkbook to benefit a gun manufacturer after pushing through SAFE.
  • Competition: Alabama wasn’t the only state in the running. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley said 23 other states made proposals to Remington, including Texas, a state that practically issues firearms to prospective residents.
  • No hometown advantage: Remington has 19 locations around the country, most of them outside New York, and its headquarters are in Madison, N.C. While New York and Remington have a long history, it didn’t pay off.

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