One of the nation’s largest gun manufacturers, Remington Arms, has looked at sites around Nashville for a potential corporate relocation or expansion that would likely include hundreds of manufacturing jobs.
The Madison, N.C.-based company, which is part of the nation’s largest firearms company and has its largest plant in Ilion, N.Y., has scouted sites near Nashville’s airport, Lebanon and in Clarksville, Tenn.
Remington is among a growing number of gun manufacturers nationwide that have been courted by states pitching themselves as more gun-friendly. The wooing came after a handful of states, including New York, passed tougher gun control laws in the aftermath of last December’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which claimed the lives of 20 first-graders and six educators.
Remington’s roughly 1,200-employee plant in Ilion makes rifles such as the Bushmaster semiautomatic weapon, which is now banned under New York’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, the first law passed by any state post-Newtown.
In addition to the much stricter definition of assault weapons, which now includes semiautomatic pistols and rifles with detachable magazines and one military-style feature, the New York SAFE Act banned magazines that contain more than seven rounds, required instant background checks on all ammunition purchases at the time of the sale and required mental health professionals to report concerns about a gun-owning patient who posed a risk of harming himself or others.
Quick passage of that law upset not only the gunmakers, but also residents of that state who own certain guns, said Erin Crowe, office coordinator for the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce in Utica, N.Y. “Ilion, New York, is Remington — if it wasn’t for Remington, Ilion wouldn’t exist,” she said. “There’s not a lot of new industries coming to central New York, so if you take a huge company like that and they leave, our unemployment rate is going to skyrocket.”
People familiar with Remington’s exploration of sites said the company looked around the Nashville area as recently as within the past month.
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