File this under ‘water is wet.’
Remington Arms CEO George Kollitides wrote a letter to upstate officials explaining that while there are certainly numerous other contributing factors, Governor Cuomo’s SAFE Act played a significant role in their decision to move jobs out of New York state.
Via the Daily News:
Remington Arms has confirmed what many already long suspected — New York’s tough gun control laws played a role in the upstate gun manufacturer’s decision to expand outside the state.
Remington, which has operated in New York State since 1816, shifted 100 jobs down south in August. Another 126 people were laid off last week as a result of a decline in gun sales.
The company says one reason behind its decision to open a new plant in Alabama rather than expand in New York was “state policies affecting use of our products,” Remington Outdoor Company CEO George Kollitides wrote to some upstate officials Oct. 20.
The statement was taken by some as a direct shot at a tough gun control measure enacted by New York in early 2013 in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.
Indeed, one part of the gun control measure, also known as the SAFE Act, banned AR-15 rifles in New York — the very gun Remington made at its plant in upstate Ilion.
This comes as no surprise to readers of this blog. We’ve repeatedly reported that the reality behind Remington’s moves is that the SAFE Act legislation has certainly served as a catalyst for these lost jobs.
A Yellowhammer report from February explained that Remington began its review of new locations after passage of the SAFE Act, which banned magazines containing more than seven rounds, and reclassified the Bushmaster – a Remington product – as an “assault weapon.”
The new plant in Huntsville, Alabama was to bring thousands of jobs to the state – opportunities that New York is missing out on.
While those jobs were certainly a lost opportunity, Rich Azzopardi, spokesman for Governor Cuomo had this to say about the situation…
Some are misinformed, others gleefully spreading misinformation, but to be clear, no Remington jobs are leaving NY.
— Rich Azzopardi (@RichAzzopardi) February 16, 2014
Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin responded to Azzopardi on Twitter saying “this is on Governor Cuomo,” adding that “you, the SAFE Act, and your policies caused this.”
In a year in which the Governor proclaimed that “extreme” conservatives who are “pro-assault-weapon” are not welcome in New York, Cuomo is watching a company forced to eliminate or transfer their employees as a result of his SAFE Act legislation. Now, New Yorkers are waving goodbye to thousands of jobs, and millions in revenue. All thanks to Cuomo’s extreme view on gun control.