This could be the year that Illinois finally “allows” its citizens to exercise their right to keep and bear (as in carry) arms. So what? As long as the Chicago machine calls the shots in The Land of Lincoln, the state will be about as firearms friendly as a Brady Campaign Christmas party. Illinois-based firearms manufacturers (e.g. Rock River Arms) are well advised to get the hell out of there as soon as possible. Yes, I know: ArmaLite and other gunmakers in the AR “Silicon Valley” have deep roots in the community. But if the state can push bills like the ones described above in a post-McDonald decision world, there’s no hope. And there’s never been a better time to negotiate new digs in gun-friendly states. Sorry Mark. Major hassle. Lots of heartbreak. But it’s time to go.

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37 Responses to Note to Armalite: Time to Go

  1. Come to Western Washington. Plenty of machinists here, thanks to Boeing being here for decades, very friendly gun laws, and easy access to international and national shipping. I know packing up an entire operation is no easy thing to do, but if you had to set up a precision manufacturing business again somewhere, this is a good place to do it.

  2. Detroit could use some more manufacturing facilities – we’d gladly take them here. Plus there’s plenty of people with machining and manufacturing experience looking for work.

    • I with James! We have a highly skilled Tool & Die workforce here, plenty of Mechanical Engineers, solid world wide distribution infrastructure, and large buildings ready to move in to.

      Everyone in Michigan should send emails, phone calls,, etc., to Rick Snyder and tell him to start talking to these companies.

  3. Armalite, Springfield Armory, et. al. should move to a nice little place just across the Mississippi from me. They could be a stone’s throw away from DPMS…

  4. “You can’t just pack up a factory and move away.”

    Yes you can. I’ve been a manufacturing engineer long enough to say that you can do exactly that. It’s expensive to move the key people, but you can do it. Come on down to Texas, we’ll be glad to have you.

    • I think the intention behind this statement was that he didn’t want to move and/or that it wouldn’t be easy.

      He’d already stated that if the bill passed into law, they would have to leave the state. But he’s a businessman. Moving would be a necessity, and would be possible, but wouldn’t be easy or welcome or fun or cheap, for any number of reasons. That’s why “you can’t just pack up a factory and move away.” Some key employees would follow you, but not all of them, so at the very least you’d experience a drop in productivity (and possibly QC) while the new employees in the new location got up to speed.

  5. Or try New Hampshire.

    The problem is that businessmen live on logic and cost-benefit decisions. Thus, at least unconsciously, they feel that any rational person would do the same, and assume that their arguments will sway the politicians.

    They forget, until too late, that most politicians are a slobbering pack of wolves whose only interest is getting re-elected.

    Remember, moving a factory in a timely, planned manner is a lot less costly than an emergency shutdown and evacuation. Start your planning now, and be ready to jump on a moment’s notice. The worst mistake you can make is depending on a politician’s assurances and goodwill.

  6. [G]un advocates say this is just the beginning of an attack on your Constitutional rights.–Kurt Liske @1:07

    Better: This is one more nail in the coffin of civil liberties in The Land of Lincoln. The attack on gun rights did not begin with this legislative session; it has been going on for a very long while.

    It’s time for Illinois gun companies to find themselves a new home west of the Mississippi, where their craft will be much better appreciated.

  7. Springfield Armory would be welcomed with open arms to Springfield Missouri.

    Rock River can find a home in St. Louis in North County where lots of Boeing engineers are ready, willing and able to work for a gun manufacturer.

  8. I am sure Oklahoma would be more then happy to make room for your business (and your money) here. We have plenty of land, a gun friendly enviroment, and plenty of people who love to work hard. The city of Norman would be more then happy to find places for you to set up shop.

  9. i’d say MD, oh wait our %8.5 corporate tax rate might cause some problems, although LWRC is in the free state, so who knows?

  10. This very bill has been shot down no less than three times in the last eight years I have been working in the Illinois gun industry. It won’t go through this time either. Last year Illinois came very close to passing concealed carry, so it is safe to say that the political landscape here is as pro-gun as it has ever been. I see everybody saying, “Hey, you guys should move to my state! The gun laws here are totally rad!” but the problem is that more than 1000 people in a 30 mile radius of me would lose their jobs if these companies just packed up and left. Rock River Arms, LMT, Armalite, and to some extent, Springfield Armory are not like Freedom Group, who are willing to just lay off the all of people who have made their companies what they are today through years of dedication and hard work. It may sound simple on paper to just pack up and move, but the right thing to do is to raise awareness of whats happening and to fight back. Kudos to Westrom for being the first to stand up for all of us.

    • Let’s put aside the issue of gun laws in IL.

      The state’s finances make the much more compelling case to move. The state is a notorious deadbeat, with billions in outstanding payable bills. Their credit rating is swirling the drain and unless the corrupt pols decide to cut (as in “with a chainsaw”) state government spending, the taxes in IL are going to have to go to the moon to close the yawning budget hole.

      We all know that the legislature isn’t about to make meaningful cuts to the moocher classes, so taxes will go up… just as soon as we get through this election year.

      http://www.civicfed.org/sites/default/files/FY2013%20Illinois%20State%20Budget%20Roadmap.pdf

      • “Hey everybody, thanks for your years of hard work making my company successful, so successful in fact that Illinois’s soon to be potentially raised taxes are going to make it hard for me to afford the carbon ceramic brake option on my new Lambo. Because of this I’ll be moving the entire operation to Detroit, where there are lots of out of work button pushers that can be tought how to build a precision rifle. Any of you willing to uproot your lives and families to join us in our new facilty in the murder Capitol of the USA is certainly welcome to, but the rest of you don’t have a job anymore.” Wow, you have awesome ideas.

        • Anyone who is willing to subject themselves and their families to rule by Illinois politicians deserves whatever happens to them.

    • Murdoc, those very employees, and their families, friends, etc., need to call their legislators and tell them in no uncertain terms to stop harassing their employers. If that doesn’t work, then everyone needs to vote “not the incumbent” at the next election.

      • …then everyone needs to vote “not the incumbent” at the next election.

        You don’t plan on doing this already?

      • It’s all Chicago. That place has far too much influence over an otherwise fairly rational state. Here in “ar valley” our elected officials, both democrat and republican oppose these bills.

  11. Well, the gun manufacturers have made their decision, now we as gun owners can make ours.

    Would a boycott of guns manufactured in gun-unfriendly states work? Probably not, as only a fraction of the 80-million plus gun owners in the US are politically active.

    Still, shouldn’t those who pooh-pooh guns manufactured in “commie” countries also do the same with guns made in gun-hating states? Either way, you’re throwing money to our enemies.

    Funny how IL, NY, MA and MD are so anti-gun but they have no problems taking all that sweet, sweet cash that comes from taxes on their gun manufacturers and their employees. Anti-gun politicians like to talk about pro-gun politicians getting “blood money” from the NRA but that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what the anti-gun states get from the gun makers that are within their borders.

  12. Mark makes excellent points. It is NOT easy or cheap to move a manufacturing facility. It also takes a lot of time, so your production suffers. Have you looked at the Armalite website lately? Every single one of their AR platforms are on back order! A move would make getting an Armalite an even longer wait, how many rifle sales would they lose to their competitors? Then, you can’t even guess how much and how long quality would suffer. Illinois cannot afford to lose the jobs or the tax revenue all of these manufacturers contribute. The corrupt Chicago pols are thinking with their balls again, idiots!

    • Every single one of their AR platforms are on back order!

      Then they should be flush with cash, right? Should be the best time to move, shouldn’t it? Because you know what comes next, right? Wait until sales fall off and then they can say “well, we can’t move now because our sales are down and we don’t have the money.”

      Kind of reminds me of the old bit that goes “Can’t fix a hole in the roof when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t rainin’, the hole don’t need fixin’.” 😉

      I can understand an established business not wanting to move but there’s also the issue of putting ones money where ones mouth is. If the BOD of Armalite, Springfield, et al, want to get the business of gun owners by showing how pro-2a they are, then they should be willing to put their business in a state that is in line with their philosophies.

      • So, they should spend tens of thousands of dollars, lay off hundreds of employees and waste who knows how much time to prove to you that they are pro second amendment? I think they already have proven they are pro second by manufacturing high quality firearms. The only reason they should move is if Illinois passes yet more ineffectual laws that hamper their business. Making a statement by moving will only affect those who have jobs there, the politicians don’t care and probably would be happy to have them go.

    • You seem to be missing the point, being that Mark does not want to move. Neither does Rock River Arms, LMT, or Springfield Armory. They have poured their lives into building these business here, they have built their homes here, they have raised their families here, and the people working for them that made all of that possible are here. The issue is not money.

      • Those bills have been shot down 3 times. They will be shot down again.

        And AR Valley is an important place in Illinois and an important part of the process of regaining political freedom in that state. They should stand and fight until they are forced to move.

        A fair and honest business person looks beyond the mere bottom line to the lives the over a thousand workers who have helped them achieve what they have. They stand beside them, and fight for what’s right.

        Kudos to the companies of the AR Valley for doing what’s right,

  13. This type of company should move to Rapid City, SD. The local and state government are actively recruiting firearms and firearms-related companies to move to South Dakota. NB – I don’t mean that they’re just friendly to firearms companies, they’re *recruiting* them to come to South Dakota. They want manufacturing businesses to move to the state to improve the job prospects for their young people.

    In the Sturgis/Rapid City area there are already several big names, such as Dakota, HS Precision, Black Hills Ammo, Long Rifles Inc, etc.

    http://www.sdreadytowork.com/media/docs/PDF%20Folder/FirearmCo's-Current92011.pdf

  14. …or they could just relocate next door in Indiana which is very pro-gun and has a traditional heavy industry. I think they just passed right to work as well.

    • They could easily relocate across the river to the Iowa component of the “Quad Cities.”

      Chances are quite a few of their employees already live in Davenport or Bettendorf to take advantage of the lower taxes, better schools and greater freedoms found outside of Illinois.

  15. These firms should pack up and move to Wisconsin, close to FIB town (F%4king Illinois Bastards), strong machining and labor force, new pro-gun Republican Gov who is all about bringing new business to Wisconsin. Plus as a state a huge gun ownership class of hunters.

    • Agreed. They would be welcomed with open arms up here. Well, as long as they don’t attempt to move to the Madison area.

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