One of several firearms companies upset with restrictions imposed under New York state’s latest anti-gun law broke ground last week on a new factory in central Pennsylvania as part of an exodus of gun manufacturers from the state.
The Kahr Firearms Group held a ceremony in rural Pike Country to mark the beginning of a five-year relocation project on a 620-acre property located about 40 miles east of Scranton.
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Kahr was among several firearms manufacturers that last year announced plans to pull out of New York state in the months following Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signing into law restrictive anti-gun legislation known as the SAFE Act.
The SAFE Act imposes new curbs on gun owners, including a ban on high-capacity magazines, a requirement for background checks for ammunition purchases, and the creation of a registry of assault weapons. Numerous other provisions restrict lawful gun owners in ways critics say undermines Second Amendment freedoms.
Other companies moving out of New York after passage of the new law include American Tactical Imports (ATI), which is moving to South Carolina, and Remington Arms, which is reportedly looking to relocate to Tennessee.
Hunters and gun owners from rural areas of New York have voiced anger at the New York’s SAFE Act that was passed following the shooting of schoolchildren at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Kahr makes several models of light, compact, high-caliber handguns using designs developed by company founder and president, Justin Moon.
"The best pistol to have in an emergency is one you have with you and Kahr is a very comfortable carry," Moon said. "When good people carry firearms, bad guys think twice."
"As much as this is a good news story for Pike County and the Pocono region, this is a great news story for the entire Commonwealth [of Pennsylvania]," Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley said. "Justin, we welcome you to Pennsylvania and we’re very glad that you’re here."
Among Kahr’s subsidiaries is the Auto-Ordnance Corp., maker of the Tommy Gun, which was purchased in 1998.
"We are very happy to be in Pike County, in a place where people love the Second Amendment and love guns," Moon, son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, told the Pocono Record newspaper. "It is a great place to be. I just wish the rest of the country could be like Pike County."
Kahr plans to build its headquarters and research and assembly facility at the Pennsylvania site, along with its web sales and machining facility. Over the next five years, its assembly plant will be moved to the former industrial park site.