Skip to comments.Gun makers, local reps explain opposition to bill
Posted on 05/15/2007 9:52:36 AM PDT by kiriath_jearim
GENESEO -- When one of Illinois' gun control bills finally broke through the Senate last week, it sent a collective chill up the spines of five local gun manufacturers and the 500 employees it could impact in the Illinois Quad-Cities area.
Last Wednesday, Illinois Senate Bill 1007, which bans making, selling, possessing, delivering or buying magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, passed 31-26. On Monday, local gun manufacturers, politicians, and representatives from the Illinois Quad City Chamber of Commerce held a press conference denouncing the Senate bill and jobs it could cost the area.
One of the messages sent out during the press conference at Springfield Armory in Geneseo was if Illinois gun manufacturers are limited by Illinois state laws, other states will make offers to move their businesses.
The problem is most of the area gun manufacturers here don't want to leave. Other gun control legislation has been proposed this year in Illinois but have not had the votes to get out of the Illinois Senate until SB1007.
'We are fighting for our survival,' said Springfield Armory co-owner Dennis Reese.
Along with his brother and co-owner Tom, the Reeses have a business with about 165 employees. It is Geneseo's third-largest employer behind Geneseo School District 228 and Hammond-Henry Hospital. Springfield Armory spokesman Bill Dermody said if SB1007 passes the House of Representatives and is signed by the governor, the company might move to another state.
'It would create a lot of soul searching for us,' Mr. Dermody said. 'We would have to make reduced capacity magazines for our guns to comply.
'It would put us at a significant competitive disadvantage with other gun manufacturers across the country.'
'How do you expand?' Dennis Reese asked. 'How do you make investments which is what we need to do frankly. We're constantly wondering when they're (gun control legislators) are going to come back at us again.
'They have no idea of the impact this is going to have.'
Tom Reese said the past few years have given his company little reason to be happy about Illinois' future.
'It does require a lot of time and effort,' Tom Reese said. 'It leaves a leaves a lot of people nervous - our employees, bankers. It's very difficult to run a business.'
Illinois Sen. Todd Sieben, R-Geneseo, said the Senate bill does nothing to control crime.
'What it might do is make the streets of Geneseo a little bit emptier, it might make the streets of Hillsdale a little bit emptier, or in Milan,' Sen. Sieben said, referring to the existing gun makers shops closing down or moving. 'Or in the Quad-Cities, it might empty out the streets when these fine manufacturers take the economic incentives from Iowa and Missouri.'
Rep. Mike Boland, D- East Moline, and Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, agreed.
'I've said it several times,' Rep. Verschoore said. 'If Chicago has a problem, let Chicago take care of it, but leave the downstate people alone.'
'They are all high-cost type of weapons,' Rep. Boland said. 'These weapons are not the type brought in from a truck from South Carolina or someplace onto the streets of Chicago and sold off the back of that truck.'
Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, the bill's sponsor, said last week that the bill would limit the damage done by criminals.
'Acknowledge the reality that there's only so much we can do,' Sen. Kotowski said. 'There's 300 million guns in the country. ...Criminals are going to get guns. Why not limit the damage that they can cause?'
Mark Westrom, president of ArmaLite, Inc., Geneseo, employs 85 people. Along with his wife, Judy, the two have an expansion project on hold because of SB1007 and other bills that have been attempted this year.
Karl Lewis, president of the 110-employee Lewis Machine and Tool Co., in Milan, said he has also put expansion plans on hold because of potential Illinois gun legislation.
Henry County Sheriff Gib Cady said after the press conference that the county is adopting a resolution opposing any legislation, 'that would infringe upon the right of the people to keep and bear arms and consider such laws to be unconstitutional and beyond lawful legislative authority!'
He said various gun bills proposed in Illinois this spring will not curb gun violence.
'This hurts the economy and the intelligence and common sense of the working citizen,' Sheriff Cady said of SB1007. 'All you have to do is look at the states that have gone to conceal and carry. The crime has gone down.'
Rock River Arms, Colona, has also said it would relocate if necessary. Les Baer Custom, Inc., Hillsdale, owner Les Baer was also present Monday. Mr. Baer is in the process of trying to move his business to LeClaire, Iowa. Two weeks ago, a Davenport Alderman said he spoke to Rock River Arms and Lewis Machine and Tool about moving to Davenport.
Geneseo Ald. Ed Deener, 1st Ward, said if Springfield Armory and ArmaLite move from Geneseo, 'it would devastate us. Housing values would go down. School revenues would take a dive. It would be just like dominoes in a negative way.
'It would have a ripple affect.'
Cho reloaded. Magazine capacity limitations accomplish nothing. Maybe these companies should bite the bullet and leave.
If you're an Illinois resident, ring dem phones off de hook! Now is the time to call.
I feel sorry for the homeowners and citizens of Genesco. They are going to see their property values go down the tubes and may end up losing their jobs. For what? So some liberal in Chicago can feel good about curbing gun violence.
They can all move to Idaho. They would find the state much more accomodating than “Ill”.
I most certainly would.
Ten round mag = civilian .45 ACP Mark 23 (military/SEAL Mk. 23 has 12 rounds)
Maybe the H&K USP .45? Or the Compact?
Springfield is long overdue to move out of that God-forsaken place or just shut down.
Tell the US government “we can’t make guns in a state anymore, and we can’t supply you” and yank it.
Can’t we give CA to Mexico, and Il, and NY to Canada? It would solve SO many problems.
NH is getting as blue as they get. Would be mad to go there.
It's nothing but a "Feel Good" symbolic law....
That is why we need them.
Cant we give CA to Mexico, and Il, and NY to Canada? It would solve SO many problems.
Chicago, please. Chicago is where this is coming from.
For the gun rights issue, the split is Chicago and a few other pestholes vs. everyone else, not D. vs. R.
Cerburus just purchased Remington Arms.Same group that recently purchased Chrysler.Remington built his business in Ilion,NY.It is located in the Mohawk Valley in a very nice part of NY.Sears,Remington Rand,Chicago Pneumatic,and numerous companies used to be located there.The most recent business closures are Union Fork and Hoe,and LaSalle industries.Roughly 1000 jobs were gone between the two recent closures.All of the companies bailed out,many leaving one by one due to the outrageous restrictions placed on them by NY State.The only business holding the area together was Remington Arms.Used to be three shifts per day,down to two,and I think they are down to one shift.All the Dems are out trying to keep the last good company there.I believe much of Remington moved to Kentucky where they are appreciated much more.I find it ironic that a state with such severe restrictions on gun ownership etc.,is trying so hard to keep it there.No company in their right mind would even consider locating in that state.
“The law IS NOT going to “curb gun violence”.
It’s nothing but a “Feel Good” symbolic law....”
I guess I did not make myself clear. I was speaking from the gun grabbing legislator’s viewpoint. The gun grabber feels that he has done something to curb gun violence when all he has done is drove business away from his state. At least he feels good about what he did though...
Next legislation would be to limit the number of magazines people can own. The “antis” know the only way to achieve their ultimate objective of nullifying the Second Amendment is to pick away at it, piece by piece.
Instead of being happy with a single 12 or 13 round magazine a criminal will now just get 2 ten round mags, for a total of 20 rounds. How does this make anyone safer?
Yeah, exactly. Next time some thug points a gun at someone, the victim can take comfort in the fact that the politicians have limited the magazine to only ten rounds.
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