Remington Union Rep and Mayor of Ilion react to Remington news


ILION, N.Y. (WKTV) - Remington Arms announced Thursday, the relocation of two of its gun production lines, causing a frenzy among employees and community members.

The Bushmaster and R1 lines will relocate to Huntsville, Ala. Six properties in the country are being closed and relocated. Only the two lines from Ilion are being moved, which will affect about 80 jobs, by the middle of June.

Fran Madore, the union representative for Remington Arms oversees more than 1,000 employees. Madore, who was laid off three times in his career, says it was hard to break the news to the 80 people losing their employment. He believes the gun lines are being moved because Alabama is more of a gun friendly state, and because the Safe Act limits the company from selling Bushmaster's in New York.

"We spent $30 million on equipment in here," Madore said. "$30 million, we spent on upgrading equipment, and now instead of bringing jobs here they are taking them away from us."

When the governor signed the Safe Act into law in January of 2013 after the Sandy Hook tragedy, the intention was to keep guns from criminals and the mentally unstable. Madore and Ilion Mayor Beth Neale say, the law has done everything but that.

"The governor, the assembly, the senate of New York, let's do something for Remington," Mayor Neale said. "Maybe you don't like guns, maybe you think they are the problem, truly I don't think they are a problem. Guns are a big force as far as manufacturing, employment and livelihoods in the life of the Mohawk Valley."

Neale believes the gun restrictions the Safe Act creates, has caused more harm. She says people who own guns legally for protection and law enforcement now have numerous hoops to jump through, while criminals who want a gun, will obtain it and use it illegally, regardless of the law.

Madore and Neale hope government officials realize the importance the factory has on the community, and change or eradicate the Safe Act in order to make the state more gun friendly.

Madore also hopes to expand the Ilion plant by adding a building. He says with the addition of a building, it would add more employment and opportunities.

Remington Arms turns 200 years old in two years. It is America's oldest operating gun factory.

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