At a time when nearly 760,000 New Yorkers are unemployed, Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) and New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) President Tom King, today said Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Councils should make the retention of firearm companies such as Remington Arms; Just Right Carbines; Kahr Arms; Kimber Manufacturing; Turnbull Restoration and Dan Wesson Firearms - along with the thousands of private sector jobs they provide - a top economic development priority for the Empire State.
Leader Kolb and President King also urged the rejection of government mandates such as micro-stamping, which drive up the cost of firearms, hurt the economic competitiveness of New York's gun industry and could lead to firearm manufacturers leaving the state altogether.
Pointing to a recent New York Times story "States Pitch a Lifestyle to Lure Gun Makers From Their Longtime Homes," Leader Kolb said the Councils should recognize aggressive steps taken by other states to steal away firearm companies and work to retain the thousands of private sector jobs in New York that are involved with the manufacture and sale of firearms.
Leader Kolb and President King asked the Councils to work closely with firearm companies such as Remington Arms (Ilion); Just Right Carbines (Canandaigua); Kahr Arms and Kimber Manufacturing (Yonkers); Turnbull Restoration (Bloomfield); and Dan Wesson Firearms (Norwich) to make the sector more competitive by bringing the Empire State's labor, energy and transportation costs in line with those of other states.
"Thousands of New Yorkers are presently employed in some form or fashion by the firearms industry. More than ever, we have to fight to keep these jobs as states such as Idaho, Alabama, and Montana are aggressively trying to lure away New York's firearm industries. Losing these private sector jobs would be a devastating hit to our already fragile economy," said Leader Kolb, the only Legislative Leader in state government who has started and run successful private sector manufacturing businesses.
"We need to make sure that job creating companies such as Remington Arms, Just Right Carbines, Kahr Arms, Kimber Manufacturing, Turnbull Restoration and Dan Wesson Firearms stay right here in the Empire State. With New York facing fierce competition from 49 other states trying to lure our businesses and jobs away, listening to, and working with, private sector job creators such as these should be a top priority for the Councils," Leader Kolb said.
Besides tax breaks and other financial incentives states are using to entice firearm companies to relocate, the New York Times also cited the impact of government mandates such as micro-stamping as a leading factor why some businesses may possibly leave New York State (and Connecticut), relocating to areas without micro-stamping requirements.
The New York Times article stated the following: "Gun manufacturers say proposed micro-stamping laws could drive Colt out of Connecticut and Remington out of New York, which are among more than half a dozen states where the legislation has been introduced. California, which employs more firearms industry workers than any other state, has already approved a micro-stamping law that is pending. Carlton S. Chen, a vice president at Colt, said the company would have few qualms about leaving Connecticut if micro-stamping became law."
"Having the Regional Economic Development Councils listen to the needs of the firearms industry in New York would mark a good start to a much-needed partnership. Next, the state Legislature needs to do its part and stop considering costly government mandates, such as micro-stamping, that do little to keep New Yorkers safe, yet drive up the cost of owning a firearm and create a climate where companies that produce them no longer feel welcome. In this tough economy, we have to do whatever it takes to keep quality employers like Remington Arms, Just Right Carbines, Kahr Arms, Kimber Manufacturing, Turnbull Restoration and Dan Wesson Firearms part of the Empire State," Leader Kolb stated.
"NYSRPA has long recognized the economic impact of ill-conceived legislation that seeks to diminish our constitutional freedoms. The NYSRPA is proud to partner with a Legislative Leader like Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, a former private sector businessman who understands that our heritage industries need legislative protection, not harassment, which is one of the reasons Leader Kolb was our legislator of the year for 2010," said Tom King, President of the NYSRPA.
"There are more than 10,000 New Yorkers employed in the firearms manufacturing, and related industries. We need to retain these jobs here in New York not drive them elsewhere through poorly concieved legislation," President King stated.