Score another legendary firearm manufacturer setting down roots in a friendlier state. Remington Firearms announced the company will establish a corporate headquarters and expand production in La Grange, Georgia.
“The decision to locate in Georgia is very simple, the state of Georgia is not only a business-friendly state, it’s a firearms friendly state,” said Remington Firearms CEO Ken D’Arcy to media.
The announcement marks yet another gun maker that is investing in a state that respects the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens and values the contributions firearm manufacturers make to a state’s economy. Remington will be joining several other firearm manufacturers that call Georgia home, including Daniel Defense in Savannah, GLOCK in Smyrna, BPI Outdoors which owns the brands Bergara and CVA in Lawrenceville and Taurus which relocated to Bainbridge.
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp made the announcement of Remington Arms’ establishing a global headquarters and opening a new advanced manufacturing operation as well as a research and development center. The company is investing $100 million and creating 856 jobs in Georgia’s Troup County, near Georgia’s western border. This announcement will add to the 10,000 Georgians holding jobs related to the firearm industry and boost the firearm industry’s economic impact of $2.1 billion.
“The state’s firearms industry is responsible for thousands of Georgia jobs and millions of dollars of investment in our communities,” Gov. Kemp said in a press release. “It’s a pleasure to welcome Remington Firearms, with its rich American history, to their new home and global headquarters in the Peach State. I look forward to seeing the opportunities RemArms creates across west Georgia.”
D’Arcy explained that Georgia has already made the historic firearm manufacturer feel at home.
“We are very excited to come to Georgia, a state that not only welcomes business but enthusiastically supports and welcomes companies in the firearms industry,” D’Arcy said. “Between the support we’ve received from the state and from Scott Malone and Kelley Bush of the City of LaGrange Economic Development Authority, we cannot wait to expand our company in Georgia. Everyone involved in this process has shown how important business is to the state and how welcoming they are to all business, including the firearms industry.”
The announcement marks a turning point for the 205-year-old firearm maker, which was founded in 1816. Remington Firearms was purchased by Roundhill Group investors after bankruptcy proceedings last year. Production of the flagship rifles and shotguns resumed at the Ilion, N.Y., factory and will continue with plans to continue growing the workforce there.
Remington Firearms plans to move equipment that was located at the former Huntsville, Ala., location to the new headquarters in La Grange. Production in Georgia will include firearm models not currently made in the Ilion factory.
Warmer, Friendlier Climate
The move will protect Remington Firearms from attacks by gun control politicians against firearm manufacturers. Disgraced former Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all firearm-related businesses to be closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. That was despite Remington’s offer to provide state authorities personal protective equipment and factory space to fight the pandemic.
D’Arcy sent a letter to then-Gov. Cuomo saying, “Remington is ready to enlist in wartime production.” D’Arcy offered to provide factory space to be used to make “ventilators, surgical masks, hospital beds or any other products mission-critical to the war on coronavirus.”
That was at a time when New York was suffering from crippling hospitalization rates and deaths associated with coronavirus. Gov. Cuomo never took up Remington’s offer. New York’s antipathy and animosity toward gun makers didn’t stop there.
Gov. Cuomo signed a law that would allow victims of criminal misuse of firearms to sue gun makers, distributors and retailers. That was despite the fact that firearms used were being wrongfully and criminally misused and had no relationship with a manufacturer. The law is an attempt to circumvent federal law — the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act – which prohibits harassing and baseless lawsuits from proceeding.s
Remington’s Georgia move buffers the manufacturer from these types of measures and Remington’s move to expand to a southern footprint follows a well-worn path. Smith & Wesson just announced the company would move its corporate headquarters to Tennessee following legislation that was introduced in Massachusetts that would ban the manufacturer from producing modern sporting rifles (MSRs), which are the most popular selling semiautomatic centerfire rifles today. Dark Storm Industries pulled roots from New York to Florida. Kimber expanded production in Troy, Ala., several year ago and later announced it was moving its corporate headquarters out of Yonkers to its Troy location.
Firearm manufacturers are showing state elected officials they’re willing to invest their future in states that respect the firearm industry and the contributions it makes. Here’s a running list of those companies:
- Kimber expanded production to Troy, over Yonkers, N.Y. It later relocated the corporate headquarters to Alabama.
- Dark Storm Industries announced the company is moving from Oakdale, N.Y. to Titusville, Fla., with plans to open there in 2022.
- Olin Corporation’s Winchester Ammunition moved from East Alton, Ill., to Oxford in 2011.
- North Carolina
- Sturm, Ruger and Co. expanded production in Mayodan in 2013.
- Kahr Arms moved their headquarters to Greely, Penn., from New York after the state rushed through passage of the SAFE Act.
- South Carolina
- Beretta moved firearm production and engineering and design to Gallatin, Tenn., from Maryland in 2015 over concerns of increasingly strict gun control legislation.
- Smith & Wesson announced it was moving the company headquarters and some production to Maryville in 2021. It broke ground on the new facility expected to open in 2023.
- Magpul Industries left Boulder, Colo., after the state passed magazine restrictions and moved production to Laramie, Wyo.
- Weatherby Inc.’s Adam Weatherby announced at SHOT Show in 2018 he was moving the company from California to Sheridan, Wyo.
- Accessories maker HiViz announced in 2013 they were leaving Fort Collins, Colo., over restrictive gun control legislation to Laramie.
- Stag Arms announced in 2019 they were opening their new facility in Cheyenne, Wyo., after leaving their former headquarters in New Britain, Conn.
Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.