BLOOMING GROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — A Rockland County, NY gun manufacturer is looking to relocate and expand into Pennsylvania due mainly to increased production and stricter New York State gun laws, company officials said. They said they hope to break ground in Blooming Grove Township later this year and employ local residents.
Kahr Firearms Group of Pearl River hopes to purchase the dormant Pike County Business Park, a 620-acre tract, for reportedly $2 million. About 146 acres would be used for a 40,000-square-foot building to house the company’s corporate headquarters. The company has already hired two engineering firms and is interviewing local candidates to fill an operations manager position, said Frank Harris, Kahr’s vice president of marketing. He added that the company hopes to employ between 80 and 100 people at the proposed facility.
The township supervisors have approved minor revisions to the covenants and restrictions for the industrial park. “Everything is moving along smoothly,” said another Kahr spokesperson, Sheryl Gallup, though she cautioned that “this is not a done deal yet.”
Harris said the relocation would involve only the corporate headquarters in New York. The expansion would consist of the construction of a manufacturing plant in the Pike business park. The company currently has two manufacturing plants, in Massachusetts and Minnesota, and those are staying put, Harris said.
The first step in a multi-phased plan would be site preparation, clearing of trees and office construction, which could happen late this year, according to a news release. That would be followed by the relocation of company corporate offices and the research and development department. In the second phase, manufacturing operations would be expanded to the business park to meet the increasing demand for Kahr’s products, Thompson, Auto-Ordnance and Magnum Research.
“We have to keep up with the demand,” Gallup said.
The “unreasonable” gun laws in New York also are a driving force for the proposed move, Harris said. He said the company had been researching a property in rural New York for its expansion when the new state gun laws went into effect. The laws in part expanded the definition of an assault rifle, reduced the number of magazines from 10 to seven, and placed more restrictions on purchasing ammunition.
“It had a very large impact on us,” Harris said.
In the news release, Harris further said, “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. It’s good for our business and also for other businesses in the area to build a long-term mutually beneficial relationship with the community. We anticipate generating significant numbers of revenue and jobs for the local Northeastern Pennsylvania economy with the construction of facilities, expansion of manufacturing, and need for local vendors.”