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Following the introduction of the SAFE Act in New York state, the Innovation Trail reporting team in conjunction with WNYC/New York Public Radio, has prepared a series of programs backgrounding the economic context for gun manufacture and retail in New York. A series of radio and web features will roll out starting Monday 4th February. Amongst the issues addressed:Matt Richmond examines the role of tax credits and other financial incentives used to to support arms manufacturing in the state.Kate O'Connell looks at research and development in the industry and finds that tradition carries more weight than innovation for both makers and customers.Ryan Delaney follows up on the future for the Remington Arms factory that anchors the Mohawk Valley town of Ilion. Do the new laws in the state really endanger jobs there?http://youtu.be/TgMM52tgwCwSarah Harris spends time with some north country gun store owners who are trying to navigate the new regulatory framework for background checks and licensing, and they're wondering whether it's worth staying in business.Joanna Richards talks with military and ex-military personnel to get their views on gun safety and ownership of miltary-style firepower by civilians, and spends time at a local gun club.Robert Lewis discovers that it's a good time to be recruiting for the NRA as he visits a long-running annual gun fair in the state's capital that attracted record crowds.http://youtu.be/UdprooUVFYk

Remington Arms' owner breaks silence on state's gun laws

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Ryan Delaney
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WRVO

The owner of the Remington Arms factory in upstate New York has finally made a statement about the state's strict gun control laws, calling them unconstitutional, nearly four months after their enactment.

On Tuesday a message was posted on the company's Facebook page that states while the gun maker is not happy with the New York SAFE Act, the company will not abandon its workers.

"While we are unhappy with the misguided acts of our elected politicians, Remington will not run or abandon its loyal and hard working 1,300 employees without considerable thought and deliberation," the company writes.The SAFE Act, passed Jan. 15, restricts magazine clip sizes, expanded background checks and banned sales of assault rifles in New York. The Remington Plant makes several types of weapons that now fall under that assault weapons ban. They are still permitted to manufacture and export those models.

In the weeks after politicians in Albany quickly passed the new gun control measures, fears in the plant's nearly 200-year-old hometown of Ilion rose about the company closing or relocating.

At one point, lawmakers from several states were openly courting Remington to move out of New York, citing their less strict gun laws, but Remington remained silent through the matter.

Here is the company's entire statement:

To our Remington fans, We believe the NY SAFE Act is unconstitutional and was passed in a questionable fashion. Remington and its employees worked diligently with pro-gun legislators to prevent the Act's passage. We actively participated in the Albany rallies and drove the letter-writing campaign to stop this anti-gun legislation. The recently awarded Department of Defense (Special Operations Command) contract, questioned by some as a "pay-off," has been in development for years -- it has nothing to do with NY State. While we are unhappy with the misguided acts of our elected politicians, Remington will not run or abandon its loyal and hard working 1,300 employees without considerable thought and deliberation. Laws can be overturned and politicians voted out of office, but the decisions we make today will affect our people, their families and entire communities for generations. Please bear with us as we determine the most appropriate way to satisfy our customers and protect our employees.

Over the past five years, the state’s economic development agency has given Remington's parent company, Freedom Group, $5.5 million to expand in Ilion and add jobs. But the Cuomo administration seems unlikely to do that again.

WRVO/Central New York reporter for the Innovation Trail
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