The two gun manufacturers that call the Empire State home, Remington Arms and Kimber Manufacturing, not only oppose microstamping, a cost-effective tool to help the police catch violent gun criminals that is supported by more than 80 police departments and law enforcement organizations from across New York, but Remington and Kimber are threatening to leave New York if microstamping is enacted into law.

Letter: Remington Arms opposes microstamping in New York
Letter: Kimber Mfg opposes microstamping in New York

(To read about how both Remington and Kimber have received more than $11.4 million in New York tax payer funding over the last several years, click here)

These empty threats show the lengths gun manufacturers will go to stop any regulation of their industry. In these difficult economic times Remington and Kimber are holding the threat of lost jobs over the heads of elected officials, resulting in more inaction from Albany on microstamping. The truth is that Remington, Kimber, the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation oppose ANY regulation of guns, no matter how small or how sensible. Microstamping is just the tip of the iceberg. None of those companies or organizations even support something as small as requiring a background check on all gun sales nationwide.

MYTH BUSTING THE COST OF MICROSTAMPING

Myth: Remington, Kimber, NRA and NSSF claim that microstamping will cost hundreds of dollars to implement

Fact: Microstamping legislation clearly states that microstamping will not be implemented unless it costs less than $12 per firearm
Fact Sheet: Microstamping cost and bill language

Fact: A laser machinist job shop that could produce the microstamped components has already provided a cost estimate letter that it would cost, at most, $6 per firearm to implement microstamping.
Letter: Cost estimate letter from Laser Light Technologies, Inc.
Fact Sheet: Microstamping cost and job shop cost estimate

THE GUN INDUSTRY NEEDS THE EMPIRE STATE

Remington and Kimber, along with the NRA and NSSF, claim that if microstamping is enacted in New York they “could be forced to reconsider its commitment to the New York market altogether” (see Remington opposition letter). The gun industry is threatening to stop selling semi-automatic handguns in New York if microstamping becomes law in New York.

Gun manufacturers need the Empire State because if they stopped selling guns in New York they would lose millions of dollars in sales. Why is New York so important?

  • NYAGV research shows New York has more gun owners than 41 other states. With the 9th most gun owners making up 3.45% of all the gun owners nationwide, pulling out of the New York market would be a tremendous blow to the bottom line of gun manufacturers like Remington and Kimber.
  • NYAGV research shows New York has the 4th largest number of hunters in the United States.
  • The Freedom Group, the parent company of Remington and nearly a dozen other firearm manufacturers, had nearly $1.5 billion dollars in sales in 2010 and 2011 according to their 2011 Annual Report. If Freedom Group and Remington stopped selling to the New York market (and New York’s market share of 3.45% of gun owners) they would need to find a way to make up more than $25 million in lost sales each and every year.

GUN INDUSTRY THREATS SOUND FAMILIAR

For decades, corporations and their trade associations have opposed regulations aimed at protecting human health, the environment and much more. Industry has repeatedly argued that the cost of complying is too high, the benefits to society don’t justify the investment, or the regulations will cost jobs. When regulations have been implemented, however, the compliance costs have proved to be less and the benefits greater than industry officials predicted.

The gun industry is no different. Click on the chart below to see a comparison of quotes from the gun industry opposing microstamping and historical quotes from other industries opposed sensible regulations and how they predicted things like requiring seat belts in cars would car companies out of business.

Regulation Case Study: How being the first state to mandate seat belts in school buses impacted bus sales in New York

  • PROBLEM: Deaths and injuries of pupils resulting from school bus accidents remain at high levels in New York State. In the decade 1975-1985, there was an average of 844 accidents per year resulting in 5,670 pupil injuries and 18 pupil fatalities on and off the buses.12 In the 1984-85 school year, school buses were involved in 466 accidents resulting in 239 pupil injuries and one fatality compared to the 1983-84 school year when school buses were involved in a total of 690 accidents, resulting in 348 injuries and seven fatalities. In October 1985, a school bus accident in Mahopac, New York, resulted in a fatality of an 11 year old child who was a school bus passenger. (Source: National Coalition for School Bus Safety)
  • PROPOSED REGULATION: Require all new large school buses to be equipped with seat belts
  • INDUSTRY OPPOSITION: Numerous groups, including many school bus manufacturers, opposed requiring seat belts on school buses in New York because of cost (Source: National Coalition for School Bus Safety)
  • ENACTED REGULATION: In 1987, New York State became the first state in the country to require all new large school buses to be equipped with seat belts (Source: New York State DMV)
  • ECONOMIC IMPACT: According to data obtained from School Bus Fleet, the year seat belts were required on new large school buses, 1987, New York’s national market share of school buses was 7%. The number of school bus sales in New York spiked by more than 60% in the 10 years following the mandating of seat belts in all New York school buses in 1987.