Remington Threatens Move Over Microstamping

Among the great mysteries of the world (why do people drive on a parkway and park on a driveway?) one that has bedeviled gun owners and gun rights advocates for decades is the preponderance of gun manufacturers that are located in decidedly anti-gun states. For some companies, this is due to history and inertia. Colt’s been in Connecticut for almost 200 years and it’s frickin’ expensive to move a business, particularly a manufacturing operation. But at some point, the fact that you aren’t wanted begins to outweigh the costs of re-location and Remington may be reaching that decision point . . .

The Freedom Group holding has sent a letter to New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo threatening to redirect new business – and possibly move their existing facilities – if the state’s proposed microstamping legislation becomes law in the Empire State.

“Mandating firearms micro- stamping will restrict the ability of Remington to expand business in the Empire State,” company chief strategy officer Stephen Jackson Jr. wrote to Cuomo.

“Worse yet, Remington could be forced to reconsider its commitment to the New York market altogether rather than spend the astronomical sums of money needed to completely reconfigure our manufacturing and assembly processes.”

But reports that one of the primary sponsors of the proposed regulation is willing to call the company’s bluff.

Senate bill sponsor Jose Peralta dismissed Remingtons warning as “just another tactic being used to try and block microstamping, which is supported by many crime-fighters.”

He said gun manufacturers didn’t leave California and Massachusetts when those states enacted ballistic identification rules.

Cuomo during his 2010 campaign called microstamping a “common-sense” and “pro-law enforcement” gun safety law.

The governors position has not changed, even with Remingtons threat to leave, Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto said.

In a competitive marketplace among states to attract thriving businesses and jobs, it certainly hasn’t escaped Remington’s managers that there are plenty of more hospitable options out there.

If the company actually announced a move, they would have to hand out line tickets to all of the representatives beating a path to Remington’s door from states that would not only welcome a gunmaker with open arms, but would also dangle significant business-friendly economic inducements such as tax breaks, free land, infrastructure improvements, lower individual tax rates and manufacturing-friendly right to work laws.

New York’s microstamping bill’s not expected to become law – at least not now – as it probably doesn’t have the votes to get through the Republican-controlled Senate. But Remington evidently felt a warning shot from Iliona was good insurance. And whether the law passes nor not, if I were running the economic development authority of a gun-friendly state that wanted to bring a thousand or so good-paying manufacturing jobs home, I’d have a trip to western New York penciled in on my calendar.

UPDATE: Click here for news of the NY State Legislature’s latest move on microstamping.