Remington Arms scouts Middle TN after N.Y. bans its rifle

A woman jogs past the Remington Arms Company in Ilion, N.Y., in January 2013. Residents in this blue-collar stretch of the Mohawk Valley defended Remington after New York lawmakers banned the sale of semiautomatic assault-style rifles.Tennessean – by Getahn Ward

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.

The time frame for the search is unclear; a call to a company spokeswoman wasn’t returned.

Earlier this year, lawmakers from several states including Michigan, South Carolina, Arizona, Oklahoma and Texas also made pitches to woo Remington. In addition to the New York plant, Remington also has plants in Lonoke, Ark. (a five-hour drive from Nashville), and in Mayfield, Ky. (a two-hour drive from Nashville). It also has a technical and research center in Elizabethtown, Ky., which is also about two hours from Nashville. The company also has distribution operations in Memphis managed by a third-party company.

A plant between Nashville and Clarksville would put Remington closer to those operations in Kentucky.

In Middle Tennessee, firearms maker Barrett already has 100 employees at its headquarters and manufacturing plant in Murfreesboro. And the National Rifle Association booked Nashville’s Music City Center convention hall for its 2015 annual convention with about 5,000 delegates.

Lots of interest in development

Reports about Remington’s search for sites come as owners of large tracts of land and economic development officials said they’re seeing more corporate relocation and other prospects in Middle Tennessee. Within the past two months, local real estate investor and developer Bert Mathews has encountered unidentified prospects at his 180-acre Buchanan Point site near Nashville International Airport off Interstate 40.

They include a 50-acre user, a 10-acre user and other users that had sought space for a 250,000-square-foot building. “Everybody’s looking at Nashville,” said Mathews, also a past chairman of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce.

Local and regional economic development officials were mum when asked about Remington’s search. “It is the policy of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Economic Development Council to refrain from discussing business recruitment projects, whether they be rumored or real,” said spokeswoman Robin Burton.

If Remington chooses to relocate operations from New York, it would add to the list of companies doing or planning to do so in part to protest stricter gun laws.

Last month, Kahr Firearms Group said it was in talks to relocate its corporate headquarters and research and development department from Pearl River, N.Y., to Pike County, Pa., where it bought 620 acres. The firearms maker also revealed plans to open a new factory — with up to 100 jobs — there within five years.

Before New York passed the tougher gun control law, Kahr had been close to finalizing an agreement for land in Orange County, N.Y., with room for growth.

Last week, Southport, Conn.-based Sturm, Ruger & Co. also said it would open a new plant that would employ more than 470 workers in Rockingham County, N.C. That community also is home to Remington’s parent Freedom Group Inc.

The package of gun control measures Connecticut passed earlier this year included an expanded assault weapons ban, additional background checks on gun purchases and ammunition purchases, and a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines.

Getahn Ward covers growth and development. He can be reached at 615-726-5968 or by email at

7 thoughts on “Remington Arms scouts Middle TN after N.Y. bans its rifle

  1. The far left has done it again. First they passed these vile anti freedom laws that clearly violate the Constitution and now they are putting more people out of work. New York cannot afford to lose these jobs and tax revenue, but the politicians cannot see past their communist agenda.

  2. Remington can look all it wants; George Soros one of many his buy-ups was the group that owns Remington. Remington bought out Marlin Arms & look where they’re at. Look at how many Small Arms manufacturers have been bought & sold by International Mega Corps. Seen any Remington components on the shelves? Lots of weapons; no ammo. Remington repair parts are restricted. Soros has throttled the Company back on production.

    Any move on Remington’s part is just for show.

    If you ain’t figured it out by now, the commie corksuckers are buying up our arms & ammo manufacturers. We’re getting more imported ammo & small arms than what these “American” companies are are “saying” they are producing. As for them supplying DHS, the ammo manufacturers don’t have to take the contracts. The current public demand would keep them busy for years to come. Get used to it; we’ve been betrayed by those we supported over the decades.

  3. True that Bent! I have been watching the mega corps buy up the gun manufacturers over the last several years with worried eye. The price goes up, the quality goes down and the supply decreases as they serve their federal masters over the people. I wish the owners of these companies had more balls and refused to sell out. I am glad I bought my lever gun before Marlin sold out to Remington. Mine is a quality piece, I have heard the new ones from Remington SUCK!

    1. Better scrounge repair parts for your smoke pole now. Extractors, springs & firing pin assemblies. Marlin Arms Company is GONE. I’ve got several customer’s 1894CS deer rifles sitting on the rack waiting for extractors since last year this time.

  4. “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.”


    Until then, stop repeating the lie and saying shit happened when NOTHING HAPPENED!

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