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Remington Arms workers take their fight to Albany

By GARY LIBERATORE

ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Village of Ilion held a Town Hall meeting Monday morning with the focus being Remington Arms.

With the talk of new gun control legislation both at the state level and federal level, many Remington Arms workers are worried that new legislation would ban certain guns from being sold to the public, and could lead to less production at the Ilion gun manufacturing plant, which could ultimately lead to layoffs.

UMWA Local No. 717's Frank 'Rusty' Brown kicked things off at Monday's Town Hall Meeting, saying "We're here today to let everyone know our feelings about our jobs."

Brown also led a contingent of about 30 Remington workers to Albany right after that Town Hall Meeting to try and urge any state legislators they could find to think about Remington and the many jobs here before rushing to judgement on any gun control legislation,

"We are going to personally visit every single Assembly and Senate person's office in Albany," Brown said. "And we are going to tell them our message."

Also in attendance at the Town Hall Meeting were 22nd Congressional District Congressman Richard Hanna, and New York State Assembly members Claudia Tenney and Anthony Brindisi. All three are not in support of gun legislation which includes banning the sale of certain guns.

Congressman Hanna, who over the weekend sent a letter to Governor Cuomo and the heads of the state legislature urging them to take Remington Arms and potential loss of jobs in consideration when looking at any gun control measures, told the large crowd that gun control is a conversation that should be thoughtful and not a rush to judgement.

"It's a large conversation that we've had many times in this country. We know we live in a violent society, we know there are multiple layers to that violence, and there's multiple causes and it's not just guns, so I think it's a broader conversation," Hanna said. "It should certainly take a lot longer than the one, with all due respect, in New York. I think New York is rushing to this, for reasons that we all appreciate, but the response is one that has to be more carefully considered and I think more people have to be included."

Tenney, who is a Republican and Brindisi, a Democrat, are the same page, and don't want to see gun control measures taken that would ban certain guns, which could ultimately cost residents of our area their jobs.

Tenney told the crowd, there may not be much she can do to change the minds of her colleagues, but she will try.

"As Anthony (Brindisi) and I know, we are probably not going to be able to defeat this if it comes to the floor in the Assembly," she said. "But we will do our best to stand up with you."

Brindisi talked about the rights of all Americans to own guns and to be able to chose the guns they want.

"To me, it's about hunting, it's about recreational shooting, it's about defending your home," Brindisi said. "You know when the Governor says no one shoots a deer 10 times, that may be true, however, if you have intruders coming into your house, you may want to have a ten magazine clip just to take care of those intruders."

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