Kahr Arms may be the latest company to uproot in the wake of tough new gun control laws. The company’s headquarters is located in New York, the first state to pass a gun law after the Newtown shooting last year. The NY SAFE Act started a wave of state legislation that ended with Colorado, Connecticut, and Maryland also passing their own gun bills. This new surge of gun legislation had similarities across state lines, including a ban on “assault weapons,” “high capacity” magazines, and background check reform. The laws also stressed in-state firearm manufacturers, which now found themselves under policies that threatened both their ideals and livelihood.
According to the Pocono Record, it seems that Kahr Arms may be joining the number of firearm and firearm accessory manufacturers leaving their gun-unfriendly home states. Company spokesperson Frank Harris said that the company is considering buying up a 620-acre business park in Pike County, Pennsylvania for the price of $2 million.
Like other gun makers dealing with the high demand for firearms that began late last year, Kahr Arms has backlogged orders for about a year. Currently the company sells between $75 million to $100 million every year and has recorded annual sales increases of 10 to 15 percent since 2001. Just this year sales soared 25 percent and the company is struggling to keep up. For Kahr Arms and other firearm manufactures, business is booming–precisely the reason why the company plans on moving its corporate headquarters out of gun-tight New York.
“We were ready to sign a deal in rural Orange County, New York. But when the governor passed stricter gun control, it made it tough to continue on that path, so we jumped over the river,” Harris said.
Kahr Arms will now be bringing its economic powerhouse to Pennsylvania, where residents are hoping that the new jobs will go a long way to helping with local unemployment.
“New York has become very unfriendly to people in the gun business,” Harris added. “We feel like we are being treated like criminals in New York. That is one of the reasons we are coming to Pennsylvania.”
Kahr Arms has a manufacturing facility in Worcester, Massachusetts. The company also owns Magnum Research, makers of the Desert Eagle handgun.
Firearm accessories producer Magpul was among the first to announce a move to more gun-friendly states after Colorado passed its gun laws in March. The company was quickly followed by Connecticut rifle makers PTR Industries and Stag Arms. In nearby Maryland, Beretta is also considering building factories elsewhere as they began ramping up production of new and highly anticipated firearms.