In a startling move, firearms manufacturer Remington has decided to shutter its iconic manufacturing plant in Ilion, New York. Established back in 1828, this plant has stood as a symbol of American craftsmanship and heritage for nearly two centuries. However, the deteriorating conditions in New York, particularly for conservatives and conservative-oriented businesses like gun manufacturers, have pushed Remington to make this tough decision.

But this isn’t the end of the road for Remington; far from it. The company opened a second manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama, in 2014, a decision that now seems incredibly prescient. Alabama’s welcoming stance towards firearms owners and the industry in general makes it an ideal location for Remington’s continued operations.

The Ilion, New York plant, which is the longest-operating firearm manufacturing facility in the country, currently employs three hundred dedicated individuals from the surrounding town. Many of these employees come from families with generations of history working at the plant, making the closure a bitter pill to swallow for the local community.

In a memo addressed to its employees, Remington stated, “I am writing to inform you that RemArms, LLC has decided to close its entire operation at 14 Hoefler Avenue, NY 13357. The Company expects that operations at the Ilion Facility will conclude on or about March 4, 2024.”

The decision to close the historic plant stems largely from legal issues and New York’s increasingly hostile stance towards firearms. One of the most significant legal battles Remington faced was the 2015 lawsuit brought against the company by the Sandy Hook families, concerning the use of Remington’s “Bushmaster” AR-15 in the tragic shooting. In 2022, a $73 million settlement was reached between the families and the manufacturer, adding financial strain to an already challenging situation.

Another legal hurdle for Remington was New York’s NY SAFE Act, one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the nation. This legislation included an expanded definition and registration requirement for assault weapons, limitations on the possession of “high capacity” ammunition magazines, new requirements for private firearm sales, and stringent safe storage regulations. When this bill became law in 2013, Remington threatened to close its New York plant, paving the way for the subsequent opening of the Huntsville, Alabama facility.

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik from New York expressed her concerns about the situation. She firmly attributed New York’s gun laws as the driving force behind Remington’s departure and pledged to work closely with the company and the union on this matter. She emphasized Remington’s status as the “oldest gun manufacturer” in America and accused New York of hounding the company out of the state. Rep. Stefanik stated, “It is because of New York Democrats’ unconstitutional gun grab policies that the oldest gun manufacturer in the country has been run out of the state. Hochul must stop her unconstitutional assault on the Second Amendment now.”

Remington’s decision to close its historic New York plant marks a somber moment for American manufacturing. The plant’s legacy spans almost two centuries, and its closure underscores the challenges faced by conservative businesses in an increasingly hostile political climate. With its Huntsville, Alabama plant poised to carry the torch of American firearms manufacturing, Remington remains committed to delivering quality firearms to its loyal customers while navigating the turbulent waters of state politics.