Remington Arms is laying off 105 workers at its facility in Herkimer County in central New York, local media reports.
“Today’s reduction in force is a result of this strategic business decision and a softening market,” Teddy Novin, Remington Outdoor Company’s director of public affairs, told the Utica Observer-Dispatch on Tuesday.
Given the tight-knit community that surrounds Remington in Ilion, New York, the news was taken pretty hard by locals. Though, many did not point the finger at the gun manufacturer but instead blamed legislation championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and passed in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“I don’t blame Remington,” said County Legislature chairman Vincent Bono. “I blame New York because of the cost of running a business here and because of the New York SAFE Act.”
Bono went on to explain that at least 70 job cuts were a result of Remington’s decision to open up a plant in Alabama following the passage of the SAFE Act, while 35 were connected to an ease in the demand for firearms nationwide.
Local business owner Colleen Pardi was also critical of Cuomo’s administration for failing to recognize the economic impact the SAFE Act would have on an already depressed economy.
“With the new gun regulations — we all thought they would have an impact on Remington even if (Gov. Andrew Cuomo) said they wouldn’t,” Pardi said. “I wonder how the governor feels now.”
The governor told WSYR that he did not want to comment on Remington’s decision, but noted that the company’s reorganization is affecting six different facilities and not just the Illion plant.