Tough NY gun law could jeopardize jobs in one town

by Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson

(CBS News) ILION, N.Y. - More than a thousand jobs may be in jeopardy in a small town in upstate New York, and many of the people who live there are blaming the push from New York's governor for tighter gun control.

Founded in 1816, Remington is America's oldest arms manufacturer. Ilion, New York is home.

Mayor John Stephens says business is booming.

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"Pun intended, they're going great guns," he said.

In recent years, Stephens said, Remington has brought $50 million to the region annually.

"It's 200 years almost of history. It just wouldn't seem right to have them someplace else," he said.

Stephens is worried because outsiders have set their sights on the plant's 1,300 jobs.

In the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo passed the nation's strictest gun control law, banning high-capacity magazines and assault weapons.

Within two weeks, South Carolina Congressman Jeff Duncan wrote to Remington's CEO, saying: "In South Carolina, we believe in the right to keep and bear arms. We need to encourage other businesses who share those beliefs to relocate to the Palmetto State."

Many in the town are worried. Herkimer County legislator Ray Johnson said: "Sooner or later some of the offers are going to start looking a little bit better -- 'do we stay here or do we move out?'"

Johnson also said there's five or six offers offers out there right now.

South Carolina is not alone, Arizona, Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Texas have also made offers.

What happens if Remington would have to close up shop here?

"You're talking about all the ma and pop shops," said one man, "that depend four to 600 employees per shift. Once that's gone, all these other shops, they close up."

Remington would not comment on-camera, but told CBS News that the company was exploring all options.

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