Kahr Flees New York for More Welcoming State

The grand opening of the new Kahr Arms HQ in Pike County, Pennsylvania. photo from wnep.com.

New York's strict gun laws have forced many firearms manufacturers to flee from the state in recent years. Now, Kahr Arms is one of the latest to do so, cutting the ribbon on its new facility in Pike County, Pennsylvania.

The owners of Kahr reportedly chose Pike County because they wanted to be in a gun-friendly locale, and where half the county residents are members of the NRA, according to this story from wnep.com.

The new plant will include a room where Kahr's pistols, submachine guns, and rifles will be sold. Work on the 620-acre lot has been ongoing since breaking ground in May, 2013. The plant is expected to employ 80 to 100 people.

At the grand opening ceremony on August 11, many gun rights advocates were on hand to lend their support.

The 40,000-square-foot facility under construction.

"We are so inspired to be in this land, so different from other states in which we've been," said Rev. Sean Moon.

Moon's brother Justin Moon, who started Kahr in the 1990s, followed his brother's blessing.

"We had to look for a more gun-friendly state in northeast. Pennsylvania, as a large state, is the most gun-friendly northeastern state," Justin Moon said.

The company's five-year plans include using the first two years to ready the 40,000-square-foot building, which will house corporate offices, engineering, research and development, an outlet store, a warehouse, and manufacturing, all under one roof. The third year will see some manufacturing, and in the fourth and fifth years, manufacturing will be expanded.

Kahr was formerly based in Rockland County, New York and has branches in Massachusetts and Minnesota and an outlet in Los Angeles.

"We got a lot of support in Pennsylvania about opening here. We want to support the local people here," Frank Harris, director of sales and marketing for Kahr, told the Courier. "We never had such support in New York State. We originally worked to build in Port Jervis/Deerpark, but then New York State passed the SAFE Act, new legislation that had an effect on our business. We started looking for a state that has less legislation regarding gun manufacturing."

For instance, the Thompson Submachine Gun, which Kahr is licensed to produce through the subsidiary Auto-Ordnance Corp., wouldn't have been legal to manufacture in New York.