It’s been a very long time coming, but yesterday’s announcement by RemArms, LLC that it will close its Remington Arms production facility in Ilion, New York shouldn’t really have surprised anyone. Company CEO Ken D’Arcy said they’ll be consolidating their operations and headquarters at a new location in LaGrange, Georgia. That means the closure of America’s oldest firearms manufacturing facility next year.
Here’s Remington’s press release . . .
The iconic Remington Firearms brand was founded in 1816, and today Remington Firearms (RemArms) operates as one of the United States’ largest domestic producers of shotguns and rifles. Chief Executive Officer, Kenneth R. D’Arcy today announced that RemArms, America’s oldest firearms brand, will consolidate its firearms operations in LaGrange, Georgia. This will align all firearms manufacturing with our planned global headquarters and world class R&D facility in Georgia, which supports and welcomes the firearms industry.
“We are deeply saddened by the closing of the historic facility in Ilion. We have a dedicated workforce at the Ilion facility, but maintaining and operating those very old buildings is cost prohibitive, and NY’s legislative environment remains a concern for our industry. In the coming months, we expect to be working with our Ilion employees and their representative on transition issues.” said Ken D’Arcy, RemArms CEO.
The move is no doubt sad and difficult for the upstate New York town and the remaining Remington workers there, but leaving Ilion has made good business sense for a very long time.
Remington has been transitioning production and other functions away from Ilion for years, long before the bankruptcy and the formation of RemArms, LLC. After New York rammed through the laughably-named SAFE Act into law in 2013 after Sandy Hook, Remington reacted entirely rationally to the hostile business environment. They opened a new facility in Huntsville, Alabama in 2014 that will continue to operate there as the company expands operations in LaGrange.
I’ve been to the Ilion plant. It’s ancient by any moden manufacturing standards, with production broken up among multiple buildings and floors. Maintaining that facility and trying to compete with the inherently higher costs involved just doesn’t make sense. Add to that the fact that New York government has made it abundantly clear that firearms businesses aren’t welcome in the state and it isn’t difficult to justify the move.