Remington Says Goodbye to New York

During the American Civil War, Remington & Sons produced hundreds of thousands of rifles, muskets, carbines, and revolvers for the Union Army. Located in New York’s Mohawk Valley, Remington was among the true blue “Yankee” gun makers – with the others located in the “Gun Valley” region of western Massachusetts and Connecticut.

1848 Remington factory
In 1848, the first armory buildings were built for Eliphalet Remington adjoining the Erie Canal, where the company produces rifles and carbines for the U.S. government.

Remington is now moving to Georgia, something that would certainly have been unimaginable during the Civil War or even in the decades to follow. The nation’s oldest gun maker had called Ilion, New York, home for more than 200 years.

“When Remington leaves, it’s not going to be like a facility leaving, it’s going to be like part of your family has moved off,” Jim Conover, a retired Remington employee who began his career there in 1964, told The Associated Press.

Long History of Ups and Downs – And a New Start

The company was founded in 1816 by Eliphalet Remington II in Ilion, New York, and over two centuries, grew to become the largest U.S. producer of shotguns and rifles, while it also had the distinction of having developed or adopted more cartridges than any other gun maker or ammunition maker in the entire world.

However, the company hit a rough patch in recent years, and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2018, and again in 2020. In 2021, then Empire State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the “Gun Industry Liability Law,” which allowed gun makers to be sued if they “knowingly or recklessly create, maintain or contribute” to violence.

From The Empire State to Peach State

The closure of Remington’s facility will displace roughly 300 workers in Ilion, precipitating a $1 million revenue shortfall for the town of approximately 7,600, and is expected to adversely impact local businesses. However, the move has been welcomed by Second Amendment-friendly Georgia.

“The state’s firearms industry is responsible for thousands of Georgia jobs and millions of dollars of investment in our communities,” said Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia. “It’s a pleasure to welcome Remington Firearms, with its rich American history, to their new home and global headquarters in the Peach State. I look forward to seeing the opportunities RemArms creates across west Georgia.”

Remington will call Georgia home
Remington has built a new state-of-the-art facility in LaGrange, Georgia

This is also just the most recent relocation for Remington, as it is now headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, and has five other American locations. Under the Bushmaster, DPMS, and Remington brands, it is now one of the largest producers of AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles in the world.

“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,” said Ken D’Arcy, RemArms CEO. “Between the support we’ve received from the state and from Scott Malone and Kelley Bush of the City of LaGrange Economic Development Authority, we cannot wait to expand our company in Georgia. Everyone involved in this process has shown how important business is to the state and how welcoming they are to all business, including the firearms industry.”

Remington is not the first or only gun manufacturer to close its operations in the region for states in the south. Smith & Wesson moved from Springfield, Massachusetts – where the company had been located since 1852 – to Tennessee in 2023.

Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based freelance writer who regularly covers firearms related topics and military history. As a reporter, his work has appeared in dozens of magazines, newspapers, and websites. Among those are The National Interest, Forbes, and many others. He has collected military small arms and military helmets most of his life, and just recently navigated his first NFA transfer to buy his first machine gun. He is co-author of the book A Gallery of Military Headdress, which was published in February 2019. It is his third book on the topic of military hats and helmets.

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