American gun factory RemArms set to close

ILION, NY: A gun factory in upstate New York with a history stretching back to the 19th century is scheduled to close in March, according to a letter from the company to union officials.

RemArms, the current version of Remington Arms, will close its facility in the Mohawk Valley village of Ilion around March 4, according to the letter sent Thursday. The letter said the company “did not arrive at this decision lightly,” Observer-Dispatch of Utica.

TERMINATING PRODUCTION This Oct. 25, 2017 file photo shows a Texas gun owner practicing at a shooting range in Dickinson, Texas, the United States. RemArms, a gun factory in upstate New York with a history stretching back to the 19th century, is scheduled to close in March, according to a letter from the company to union officials. XINHUA PHOTO

TERMINATING PRODUCTION This Oct. 25, 2017 file photo shows a Texas gun owner practicing at a shooting range in Dickinson, Texas, the United States. RemArms, a gun factory in upstate New York with a history stretching back to the 19th century, is scheduled to close in March, according to a letter from the company to union officials. XINHUA PHOTO

The plant currently employs about 270 workers, according to union officials.

An email seeking confirmation was sent to RemArms on Saturday.

Remington, the country’s oldest gun maker, began making flintlock rifles in the region in 1816. The factory site in the village dates to 1828, with many of the current buildings constructed early in the 20th century.

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More recently, the company faced temporary closures in Ilion, bankruptcy and legal pressure over the Sandy Hook school massacre. The current company no longer makes the Bushmaster AR-15 rifles used to kill 20 first-graders and six educators in the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut in 2012.

Investors doing business as the Roundhill Group purchased the Remington-branded gun-making business, including operations in Ilion and Lenoir City, Tennessee for $13 million. Owners announced plans in 2021 to move the company’s headquarters to Georgia.

Union officials called the news this week disappointing.

“The workers in Ilion enabled RemArms to rise from the ashes of the Remington Arms bankruptcy in 2020-21,” United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil Robert said in a prepared statement. “Without these workers and their dedication to producing the best firearms in the world, this company simply would not exist.”