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Gun manufacturer gets conditional use hearing

By Kevin Kearney
August 28, 2013

A conditional use hearing is scheduled for September 16 at 5:30 p.m. for Kahr Firearms Group, which is looking to establish a manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters at the Pike County Business Park. The meeting will be held at the municipal building before the Blooming Grove Township board of supervisors.

The gun manufacturer, currently located in Pearl River, Rockland County, NY, has submitted all of its required paperwork to the township planning commission and is prepared to outline its plans at the public hearing before the board of supervisors, board chairman Randy Schmalzle said at the August 15 meeting.

The multi-phased plan will begin with site preparation, which could start as early as this year. That would be followed by office construction and the relocation of company’s corporate offices and the research and development department. In the next phase, a manufacturing plant would be built to meet the increasing demand for Kahr’s products, Thompson, Auto-Ordnance and Magnum Research, officials said.

A resident at neighboring Camelot Forest expressed concerns to the supervisors about noise and safety issues. Schmalzle said Kahr’s proposal calls for an underground range for quality-control purposes and an outdoor shooting range for testing that cannot be conducted indoors.

Schmalzle said the supervisors are “very aware” of the concerns of the residents of Camelot Forest. The supervisor said the testing would be “controlled” and the township would set conditions relating to the construction, including sound-reduction measures and hours of operation. Those issues will be discussed at a later date, during the land development stage in which public comments are welcome.

Kahr is looking to move out of New York in large part due to the state’s new gun laws, which the manufacturer believes are unreasonable. It expects to employ between 80 and 100 people during the construction and when the manufacturing begins.

Kahr purchased the 620-acre business park for reportedly $2 million.