Local officials in central New York warned of the impact should Remington Arms, a gun manufacturer in Ilion, Herkimer County, decide to pull out of the state.
Vincent Bono, chairman of the Herkimer County Legislature, and John Stephens, Ilion mayor, attended a gun-rights rally in Albany on Thursday afternoon. They said Remington employs 1,300 people directly and has an economic impact of $150 million.
Remington employees were among the thousands at the protest, showing their support by wearing green. One protester’s sign read: “Founded in 1816: Remington stays, Cuomo goes!”
“(Remington has) been pretty silent, which I guess from my standpoint, if I was that business, I probably would, too,” Stephens said. “They’re weighing their options. The reality is there, certainly.”
The mayor said his constituents are “nervous — reasonably so.”
Bono said the localities have taken many steps to keep Remington in the area during recent years. Herkimer County invested $2 million a few years ago, which was exceeded by the company’s $12 million private investment, and the village allowed Remington to operate on municipal power, cutting its costs significantly.
“We’ve done everything possible, to this point, to keep them here,” Stephens said. “Between the county, the village and the state — ironically, the state has invested in them as well ––now all of a sudden, it seems like they’re not good enough to be here.
“Remington is Ilion; Ilion is Remington. They belong here,” he finished.
Bono said: “For 197 years, they’ve been in Ilion, New York, and we’d like to see them celebrate their 200th birthday in Herkimer County.”