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By Larry Keane

New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has done it again. His continued hostility and contempt toward Second Amendment supporters and the lawful firearm industry means another storied New York-based company is taking steps out the door and heading to friendlier and sunnier skies. All this as the industry sees record sales of firearms and a growing diversity among gun owners.

In a move not surprising to industry watchers, Kimber Manufacturing, headquartered in Yonkers, N.Y., announced it will officially move its corporate headquarters to Troy, Alabama, continuing its years-long shift away from Gov. Cuomo’s antigun atmosphere.

Gov. Cuomo is likely pleased with the news of these particular jobs leaving his state.

Years in the Making

Gov. Cuomo began laying down his abysmal Second Amendment and firearm industry track record beginning in the 1990s. In 2013, he jammed through in the middle of the night the N.Y. SAFE Act, banning an entire class of popular firearms and putting drastic restrictions on magazines and other guns. And, unfortunately as we have seen lately, New York is anything but “safe” these days. Kimber took note and announced the construction of $38 million facility in Alabama rather than expanding operations in New York. New York’s loss of the 366 jobs was Alabama’s gain.

new york governor cuomo ghost guns ghost knives
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

The governor’s antipathy toward the firearm industry continued into 2020. He shuttered New York firearm businesses during the coronavirus lockdowns while almost all other governors agreed the industry was “essential” and needed to remain open. That resulted in more than 5,500 New Yorkers out of work. Despite that, firearm manufacturers in New York offered to turn facilities over to produce personal protective equipment and ventilators for those frontline healthcare workers and others in need. Gov. Cuomo ignored them.

Kimber was hard hit and Kimber’s president Greg Grogan said the New York shutdown affected their entire operations chain.

“This situation is unfortunate as we were off to an incredible start in gun shipments in 2020 and were running our factories seven days a week,” Grogan said. “Rest assured that any disruptions in product manufacturing are temporary, but the duration is out of our hands.”

Now, Kimber is becoming a firearm manufacturer with a corporate headquarters in Alabama and some manufacturing remaining in New York…at least for now.

Southern Migration

Kimber’s corporate exit is the latest in the parade of firearm manufacturers to pack up and move. Kahr Arms moved to Pennsylvania after the SAFE Act was rammed through.

Kahr Vice President of Sales and Marketing Frank Harris explained their 2013 sudden Empire State departure. It wasn’t just the policies being pushed. It was the governor’s unwillingness to consider the effect on business, jobs and what might be next.

“One of our big concerns was, OK, the SAFE Act was passed in the middle of the night,” Harris said. “You wake up the next morning and boom, that was it. It’s not just the SAFE Act, but the uncertainty.”

Kahr Arms wasn’t alone. American Tactical Imports relocated to South Carolina taking their jobs to warmer business climates. 

Willingness to Move

The open hostility toward Kimber and others in the firearm industry by Gov. Cuomo and other antigun elected officials like him is purposeful. Kimber’s New York tale isn’t unique. Other companies packed up shop and moved when those states turned hostile to their businesses.

Weatherby left California for Wyoming. Magpul also relocated manufacturing there, abandoning their Colorado roots after gun restrictions were forced through by then-Gov. John Hickenlooper who is now running for the U.S. Senate. Sight maker Hi-Viz did the same. Beretta moved all manufacturing to Tennessee rather than at their American headquarters in Maryland after gun control laws were forced through there.

What’s clear is that firearm manufacturers are willing to move their production and employees to states that respect Second Amendment rights, value job creation and appreciate the tax revenues generated by these businesses. Gov. Cuomo is watching the New York exodus pick up pace in front of his eyes. He only has himself to blame.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. Why in the heck did they ever go to NY from (Oregon, was it?) in the first place? I’m baffled at why great gun manufacturers stay in IL and the NorthEast.

  2. Stag Arms moved from Connecticut to Wyoming. Apex Tactical moved from California to Arizona, so did Berger Bullets. You might be noticing a trend here.

  3. New York does not care in the slightest about 366 jobs. It won’t show up in any statistics. Even if it did, Cuomo is probably hoping they will be wards of the state; more customers for his various programs.

    He will probably be happy to drive all gun manufacturing out of state. Probably easier to eliminate gun rights that way.

  4. ““It’s more about extreme Republicans versus moderate Republicans,” he said in a radio interview Friday, National Review Online reported. “You’re seeing that play out in New York. … The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act — it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate.

    “Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.” – Governor Cholmo

  5. Fuck Cuomo , and fuck New York… when the pandemic numbers go through the roof again this winter and he’s pleading for everyone to ship respirators to NYC, will someone please remind him that he shut down a certain manufacturing plant in Ilion that offered to produce them in-state? Will the last company to leave please shut off the lights on your way out… Kristi Noem just to the west of my state would love to welcome you home !!

  6. As a NYC ex-pat, I can tell you that New York would be a pretty good place if it wasn’t for all those damn New Yorkers.

    • That was my problem with SF/East Bay. I must admit that about 5% of the people I met were pretty cool though. Swap the residents with an equal number of small town anywhere folk and clean up the human feces and it’d probably be the best metropolitan area in the world.

    • met several people from New York that felt a need to make it clear to me that people in the state, are NOT like those from NYC

      • Mostly we aren’t but we have a LOT of wannabe NYC all over and in large concentrations in all of our major cities. If you ever need to know if you are dealing with one of our governor’s enablers just let them see someone open carrying.

        • Exception to that rule would be Ole Rough as a Cobb,Teddi the Commie Cobb of the 21 st. district.

        • Cobb has been trying for a full ban for a while and got caught on video to that effect. But yeah she would hide her disgust at a display of liberty well. Absolutely shameless with her campaign attack add’s version of ‘truth’

      • NYC actually wanted to secede from the union before the confederacy did…maybe we should have let them…

        • More generally, we need to start having Congress draft Constitutional amendments to create a legal process for peaceable secession.

  7. And the “liberals” in New York will call this progress.

    Anytime someone claims progressiveness as a virtue, you should immediately ask them what they’re progressing towards and how they intend to get there. What you’ll find, almost without exception, is that they’re slouching away from diversity, civil rights, respect for human life, and freedom itself — and yet they fully believe it’s progress.

    The trick is that even if you’re marching backwards, it still looks like progress from your perspective because you’re moving toward something you think you want. And since modern “liberals” get everything that matters backwards, regressing in the name of progress is exactly what they’re doing.

    In this case, New York’s clown-world “progress” is *real* progress for Troy, Alabama.

  8. IMHO: The NFA and all firearm license requirements anywhere in the USA are unconstitutional under 2 Amendment.
    Maybe with ACB on the supreme Court, we can get rid of all of them. Mark my words, we Joe and the hoe in the white house, we will be in deep do do. So vote like your life and freedom depends on it. It doe!

  9. Maybe Cames will take a break from the group home infractions meeting to give us his opinion on this important matter…

    Trump/Pence 2020

  10. IMHO: The NFA and all firearm license requirements anywhere in the USA are unconstitutional under 2 Amendment.
    Maybe with ACB on the supreme Court, we can get rid of all of them. Mark my words, we get Joe and the hoe in the white house, we will be in deep do do. So vote like your life and freedom depends on it. It doe!

  11. I enjoy seeing smug chucklehead buffoons like Cuomo preen as he and his buddies slap each other on the back for running another legitimate company out of the State. His comeuppance will be fun to watch.

  12. After Cuomo ran his illegal Un-SAFE ACT through, he later tried to come up to the UpState, Adirondack area claiming he cared about those outside of the NYC and the immediate surrounding area.
    He and his flackies landed at a small airfield, and took a limo to his press conference where he would declare how much he cares about the UpState.
    UpState NYers stood along the road his limo would take from the air field to the press conference . . . backs turned to him.

    Get outside of NYC, the immediate area, maybe some parts of Rodchester, Albany, and Ithica, he is mutually hated.

    Look at the 2016 NY by county voting map, only those in NYC and the immediate surrounding area are blue.
    The rest (like 98%) is mostly deep red, with some pink here and there.

    Do not assume NY is like NYC and the surrounding areas.

  13. I cant imagine running any manufacturing business in New York or New Jersey. Or Connecticut for that matter. Hostile to business, regulations up the ass, taxed to death, even hard winters. Unions ordering you around, hard to expand or build, lots of problems.

    Just leave it all behind.

  14. Gov. Marxist Cuomo and all residents of New Yorkistan should get the message but they won’t, they will just push their heads deeper in the sand singing La,La,La,Eff New Yorkistan.

    • 2020 census will show plenty of people figured it out and the reduced congressional representation as well as Albany likely not even hitting 100k residents for federal funding purposes may start to change something. Just hoping it allows improvement in the future

  15. Well, dumbass is losing another tax base. I guess he is going to raise the state tax to make up the difference.

  16. I’ll buy a Kimber when they leave NY. Until then I’ll keep my Springfield Armory Hellcat, S&W’s and Rugers

    • This!
      I have one of the first Wilson Combat/Beretta 92G Brig Tacs produced in Gallatin Tennessee. Don’t want the state of Maryland rollmarked into the slide of ANY firearm I own.
      Trump/Pence 2020

  17. Welcome home, Kimber. I look forward to adding a Kimber to the safe as soon as “Alabama” replaces “New York” on the frame stamps.

    • My favorite rollmark is “Pillager, Minnesota”.
      So fitting on a stainless/ported 50AE DEagle with a Romeo4S RDS.
      Trump/Pence 2020

  18. Calling Springfield Armory and Rock River Arms great is akin to saying Hi-Point makes the world’s finest competition pistols and carbines. LOL. Average, run of the mill, at BEST is more appropriate, IMHO

  19. Hey firearm manufacturers, someone move to Kentucky! Lots of folks in the eastern part of the state looking for good honest work now that coal is on its way out. Ky has a pro-business climate and some of the best gun laws in the nation! I bet they could wrangle some solid tax deals out of the leadership. Come on man!

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