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Political pressure to sell Remington Arms eased

By ANNA MEILER

VILLAGE OF ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) -- It's been a question since mass shootings prompted Gov. Cuomo to tighten gun laws in New York State a year ago; will the heart of Ilion's economy keep beating?

Gun-friendly states frequently try to lure Remington Arms out of New York, but the nearly 200-year-old gun manufacturer was also threatened by anti-gun investors threatening to pull their funds, threatening the livelihood of the village where it's located.

"Would we survive? I believe we would, but it certainly wouldn't be easy," said John Stephens, mayor of the Village of Ilion.

A Forbes article published Thursday says the company that owns Remington Arms will be buying out their unhappy stock holders for $150 million, meaning no more political pressure to sell the gun maker.

"It solidifies their presence here, not only in Ilion, Herkimer County, but for the Mohawk Valley. I've been optimistic and I've said this time and time again they're not going anywhere," said Stephens.

It seems there isn't a business in the Village of Ilion whose open door doesn't depend on the future of Remington Arms.

"When they go on vacation, we feel the hurt. The whole area does. You plan a lot of what you do as to when they're closed down," said Ellen Jones.

"They're definitely a vital part for us as a business and other businesses around here. During our lunch time a lot of them come in, a lot of workers come in, we're taking deliveries there every day for the most part," said Stefano Magro, whose family owns the pizza shop, Sorrento's.

So hearing Remington Arms is likely here to stay is a blessing for these local shops.

"We've been open for almost 30 years so you can imagine how many people that we see and know, names, faces, we get the same people every day, so it's nice to see their faces still every day," said Magro.

Union officials were unavailable to comment.

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