The most recent in a long line of northeastern gunmakers to relocate or expand outside their traditional home range in the past few years, Kimber Mfg. will be building a new engineering and manufacturing facility in Troy, Alabama. The company’s press release cited all the usual suspects: unprecedented growth, desire for increased manufacturing facilities, the implication of state-proffered incentives, and a ready and willing workforce. Missing, however, was the fact that, when it comes to 2nd Amendment issues and all things gun related, New York—where their current headquarters is located—is occupied territory.
In my opinion, Kimber should probably have moved wholesale a long time ago, if for no other reason than the fact that some percentage of their corporate tax dollars have likely been used to throttle freedom out of the once great state of New York. Barring a wholesale move, and I get it, it’s not an easy thing to do, Kimber should have at least had the sand to call a spade a spade and admit that the new facility, and the financial investment and moral commitment that go along with it, is headed south because New York’s government is unfriendly to guns, manufacturing and business as a whole. Even Ugo Beretta had the stones to excoriate Maryland, deservedly, before shipping the Italian company’s lucrative U.S. operations to Tennessee.
Still, Kimber’s southern expansion is a win for the shooting community. On a macro level, with companies like Ruger, Remington, FN-USA, Mossberg, Berretta and many more, all flocking to the same geographic region, chances are good that the companies will compete, grow, cross-pollinate, and innovate—all of which behooves shooters and consumers. Also, the new “Gun Valley” means good jobs, benefits, training, etc. for the various communities and surrounding locales.
As for Kimber itself, I have a suspicion that the new location will also allow the company to try its hand in some new product categories. After all, Alabama is completely uninhibited, legally, compared to New York, with its pesky high-cap magazine ban. Double-stack Kimbers? Why not. Welcome to Free America.
At least, that’s how I see it.
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