The upshot: Lawmakers used your tax dollars to move jobs to Ilion, but then passed legislation that could eliminate not only those jobs, but hundreds of others. Five states are now reportedly courting Remington to move the Bushmaster line and it’s entire operation out of New York.
Asked about the 1,300 people who make guns for a living, Senator Krueger said, “We are not outlawing Remington. All kinds of businesses in this state either get tax subsidies or don’t.”
Union workers say lawmakers are so closed to amending the gun law they had to take their message to Albany radio. “I can tell you roll up the sidewalks, we’re done. The impact is incredible,” said Frank “Rusty” Brown who is the chairman of the United Mine Workers, and who works at the plant.
That frustration is felt back in Henrietta. “We’re not sure how it is going to impact us as a gun dealer,” says Jackson. “I think when Remington moves, if they decide to move it’s going to be hard for us.”
At the federal level, tax dollars subsidize tobacco growers and the production of corn syrup while lawmakers pass legislation regulating cigarettes and junk food.
Remington Arms did not respond to our requests for comment, but did tell a Utica newspaper it is “carefully evaluating its options.”
Even if it stays, it could shift production of the Bushmaster and other semi-automatic weapons away from New York, wiping out any job gains paid for by taxpayers.
“It’s not just us, the gun owners and dealers,” says Jackson. “It impacts a lot of people, towns, villages and jobs.”