ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - Headlines in Tennessee say Remington Arms could bring hundreds of jobs to the Nashville area, but now there's the question of what that means for workers in the Mohawk Valley.
The article published in the Tennessean on Monday says Remington Arms is looking for a location for a new plant near Nashville's airport. It's unknown whether it's an expansion or relocation, but local leaders say it's a cause for concern.
"Every time that it does pop up, yeah, it brings it to the forefront of New York State once again potentially losing a very valuable business," said Pamela Matt, executive director at the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Following tighter gun laws in New York, other states have been touting themselves as gun friendly, looking to lure businesses like Remington Arms that make semi-automatic weapons. Gov. Cuomo signed the New York S.A.F.E. (Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement) Act into law following the Sandy Hook massacre. The landmark legislation put stricter definitions of assault weapons in place and banned high capacity magazines.
"I think Tennessee and South Carolina and Texas and Michigan and all the other ones that have- I think they are coming after Remington saying we love guns, we'll treat you with open arms, we'll do whatever we need to do to get you here. I don't like that. I don't agree with that at all," said Mayor John Stephens, the mayor of the Village of Ilion, where the Remington Arms plant is located.
"It's very harmful for someone like Remington, who, they're going to listen, they're going to listen to somebody saying please come look at our state rather than stay. I'd love them to be loyal and stay here, but sometimes it becomes a business decision," said Matt.
Local officials said they are starting to work on plans to keep Remington Arms in the area.
"We're starting to lay out some ideas to possibly help them expand a little bit, make a more business friendly, one-story addition to their factory, but right now there's really nothing in concrete. That's just something that's been discussed and we're looking at different options," said Mayor Stephens.
Remington's plant in Ilion is the largest in the country and local leaders say it's crucial to the economy.
"It trickles down, I mean, you have 1,300 employees that if they do relocate out of the state of New York and we lose the company, we lose what it stands for, it's history that walks out of the state, and you know and all the families that support the work as employees at Remington, we lose them, all the Mom n Pops that support all those family members, the schools, everything suffers," said Matt.
Union officials at Remington Arms have yet to respond on the matter.
Connect with Anna on Facebook and Twitter!