Remington Arms announced on Monday its relocation plans of its headquarters and its intentions to invest $100 million in a new factory and research operation in LaGrange, Georgia, about 70 miles southwest of Atlanta. Their relocation will result in hiring more than 800 over five years.
Remington Arms is the country’s oldest firearms manufacture and began making flintlock rifles in 1816. It is one of many gun making corporations to leave the Northeast in favor of the politically gun-welcoming South.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said in a welcoming statement, “I am a proud owner of some of Remington’s first-class product, and now, I am excited to welcome them to their new home in the Peach state. Georgia’s firearms industry is responsible for thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of investment in our communities.”
Remington CEO Ken D’Arcy said in his statement, “We are very excited to come to Georgia, a state that not only welcomes business but enthusiastically supports and welcomes companies in the firearms industry.”
Over the years, Remington blossomed into a firearms conglomerate, but faced slumping sales, quality complaints, and legal pressure over the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut in 2012. Company sales slumped after the Sandy Hook incident and anti-gun sentiment and support for legislative gun reform has increased.
Investors doing business as the Roundhill Group purchased the Remington-branded gun-making business, including operations in Ilion, New York and Lenoir City, Tennessee for $13 million during a bankruptcy proceeding in an Alabama auction last year of the former parent company. The current company owns parts of the former Remington Outdoor Company which make rifles, shotguns and some handguns, but no longer makes the Bushmaster AR-15 rifles used in the Sandy Hook incident.
It was not immediately clear what effect the transfer would have on Remington’s operations in New York and Tennessee.
Phil Smith, a spokesperson for the United Mine Workers of America, which represent some workers at the factory in Ilion, said the union had no information about whether workers in New York would be affected. The new owners recently restarted operations there, calling back more than 100 workers who had been laid. The local government in New York in New York offered 10 years of tax breaks in exchange for the restart and upgrades.
Scott Malone, the economic development director for the city of LaGrange, said Remington has already secured at least one building in the city, and will operate from a combination of new and renovated facilities. He said local governments would offer property tax abatements, plus utility and infrastructure improvements.