The Kahr Firearms Group, the New York-based manufacturer of concealed-carry pistols, announced this week that it will be relocating its corporate headquarters to Pennsylvania as a result of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013, aka the NY SAFE Act, signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January. Cuomo said the law “preserves and protects your right to buy, sell, keep or use your guns.”
According to the Associated Press, the gun manufacturer has purchased 620 acres of land from the Pike County Industrial Park Development Group in Pike County, Pa., and will move the 10 people on its corporate staff to the new location next year. The company is owned by Kook-Jin “Justin” Moon, whose father, the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, founded the Unification Church.
Frank Harris, the company’s vice president of sales and marketing, said that in addition to setting up a central office, the firm will begin construction of a factory that will employ between 80 and 100 people within the next five years. Harris said New York’s restrictive gun laws provided impetus for relocating. The company settled on Pennsylvania because it is more inviting to firearms makers, he said.
“We’re looking for a more friendly environment for our business,” Harris said. “Maybe we could have stayed here and built a plant, but the way the bill was passed left us feeling there were a lot of uncertainties going forward.”
Harris added: “We are grateful for the warm welcome and the business opportunity extended by the Pike County Industrial Park Development Group/Business Development Corporation to expand our company and relocate its headquarters office. The Pennsylvania group has demonstrated tremendous support of our operations, and Kahr looks to move forward with the project without delay.”
Until January, Kahr had been planning to stay put in New York. The company was in the middle of closing a deal on a property in Orange County when the new gun-control law was passed.
“We’re all for stopping criminals, but this act is not going to do that,” Harris said. “This will only hurt the responsible law-abiding citizens.”
Harris hinted that if New York’s gun-control law is left as is, the rest of the firearms-manufacturing industry will gradually follow suit and leave the state. “The SAFE Act has unintended consequences, and this is one of them,” he said.