LocalSYR

NY gun provisions may directly impact local arms manufacturer

New York State assembly members are poised to vote on the first gun control provisions in the nation since the tragedies in Newtown and Webster. Top leaders in Albany negotiated a deal Monday night, with quick passage by state senators.
Ilion (WSYR-TV) -- New York State assembly members are poised to vote on the first gun control provisions in the nation since the tragedies in Newtown and Webster.

Top leaders in Albany negotiated a deal Monday night that was immediately drafted as a bill and circulated to lawmakers.  State senators acted quickly, passing the measure, leaving assembly members to consider the terms.

The provisions include the creation of a statewide database, where mental health professionals would report patients who are considered dangerous, according to political leaders who held a news conference late Monday evening after a deal was reached. The agreement would also ban some assault-style rifles as well as the sale of magazines that hold more than seven bullets, a reduction from New York's previous limit of ten. 

Residents in the small town of Ilion, New York were watching developments in Albany closely.  Ilion is the home of Remington Arms Company, a gun manufacturer.  Early Monday morning, a town hall meeting launched the day with a warning that up to 700 jobs could be at stake with tighter gun controls.

“Without Remington, we're not going to be able to survive here,” said Remington Arms retiree William Keeler.

"Ilion is dead. People don't understand the economic impact of Remington, they really don’t,” said Remington Arms employee Frank Brown.

By midday, more than two dozen workers made their way to Albany, where the political leadership spent hours closing the deal.

While protestors from Ilion tried to delay talks, supporters of tighter restrictions were just as anxious back in Central New York.

"We have to do something and we have to do it quickly because it’s going to be lobbied against wickedly, so I think the faster they move, the better,” said Ann Clifford, who supports gun control.

"I look at this as sort of a band-aide...and we're going to do something to appease people, but I don't think this goes far enough. I don't think we are going to see a big change,” said Vanessa Johnston.

For workers at Remington Arms, the debate has been about more than the right to bear arms. There is fear that tougher gun laws could make New York less attractive to a company that employs more than a thousand people.

"I don't own a gun. This is my job. My job is to polish receivers for Remington Arms and that's all I've done. We make a wide variety of products and each person that does purchase our product has to take the responsibility of making sure they use them wisely and safely," explained UMWA Local 717 President Jamie Rudwall.

Fear is a strong influence for both sides of the gun control debate.
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