Kahr Arms is moving their corporate headquarters from New York to a disused industrial park in northeast Pike County, Penn. The move is in protest of New York’s recently-passed SAFE Act that added new restrictions to the state’s already-strict gun laws.
Kahr manufacturers small handguns that are exceedingly popular with concealed-carry licencees as well as backup guns for law enforcement around the country.
The company was mulling the move prior to the passage of the new law, but the SAFE Act provided the final push for Karh to leave the Empire State.
“We’re looking for a more friendly environment for our business,” said Frank Harris, Kahr’s vice president for sales and marketing, to the Associated Press. “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.”
“Why take a chance when we can be in a state where they’re not looking to cause us any problems?” Harris added. “The SAFE Act has unintended consequences and this is one of them.”
Pike County is a rural part of the state with a flagging economy, and the transition of jobs and manufacturing to the area is very welcome. Pike County has an unemployment rate over 9 percent, one of the highest in the Pennsylvania, according to the PA Independent.
“When we see an opportunity for a company such as Kahr coming into Pike County, we see it coming to offset that unemployment rate,” said county commissioner Matt Osterberg.
The county has offered Kahr some incentives to relocate there. The company is being offered a special state tax break on top of receiving the 620-acre Pike County plot for just $2 million.
The tax break gives Karh property tax exemptions for any building improvements the company makes. Being a particularly rural part of Pennsylvania, Kahr is going to have to add power, water and infrastructure to the area in order to begin manufacturing at full capacity. In turn they will not have to pay taxes on the improved value of their property, only on the original pre-improvement value, for five years following any improvements.
“This is one way we can give them a little bit of a carrot, a little bit of an incentive,” said Osterberg. “I’m just glad they’re here.”
While it will be a while before Kahr is up and running in full, they’ll be moving 10 jobs to Pike County right away. In addition to building up the area and local economy, the move is expected to add somewhere between 100 and 200 jobs in the future.
Kahr isn’t the only company to pick Pennsylvania for their manufacturing. Another prominent figure, operating out of Harrisburg, Penn. is IWI US. Part of Israeli Weapon Industries, IWI US manufactures the Tavor bullpup rifle, which was recently selected for duty by the Pennsylvania state capitol police.