“New York state has spent nearly $6 million over the past three years on subsidies for a two-century-old upstate factory that makes firearms including semiautomatic rifles used by the military and police and like those used in the recent mass killings in Connecticut and Webster, N.Y.,” wsj.com reports. Busted! Right? “Though several elected leaders in this tough-on-guns state want tighter restrictions on those military-style weapons, none say it’s time to stop supporting Remington Arms Co. and risk the nearly 1,000 jobs it provides in the central New York community of Ilion. The gunmaker has plenty of defenders, particularly those who support the continued manufacture of weapons used by the military or police.” Let me see if I’ve got this straight: it’s OK to give tax breaks to a company that makes “assault rifles” for the military or police, but it’s not OK if those very same guns go to civilians. In case you missed that point . . .
A spokeswoman for U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said he has consistently said that he believes it’s appropriate for lawmakers to support production of semiautomatic assault-style weapons for military and law enforcement use, but that the guns don’t belong in the hands of civilians. Schumer, who has helped Remington secure Army contracts including an $8.9 million award in 2011 to produce 1,212 M24 sniper rifles, joined the company at last year’s event announcing the move of Bushmaster to Ilion.
I don’t remember the Senate’s number one gun grabber saying anything of the sort when he trumpeted the company’s expansion in March 2011. And what’s all this about the money going to Marlin not Bushmaster?
In 2010, Empire State Development, the agency that works with private companies to attract and retain jobs, announced $2.5 million in grants and subsidies to help Remington bring its Marlin lever-action gun production from Connecticut to Ilion and add 100 jobs. That followed two grants in 2009 worth $3 million for renovations and machinery.
“It was never the desire of the state of New York to subsidize the development of the sort of tactical weapons that ended up being used in Connecticut and now, I understand, in upstate New York as well,” said Assemblyman Charles Lavine, a Long Island Democrat. “By tactical weapons, I’m talking about a rifle such as the Bushmaster.”
I guess the fact that the company that bought Bushmaster consolidated production for Marlin, Bushmaster and Remington at the Ilion plant kinda slipped right by Mr. Lavine. As did the fact that the Freedom Group (a.k.a., the Borg) is politically connected and endlessly wealthy.
I guess it’s a good thing the Freedom Group’s up for sale. Anyone in their right mind who buys any or all of their brands should move production out of the Empire State as soon as possible, regardless of the taxpayer tit-sucking on offer. ‘Cause you never know who your friends are—until you do.