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Gun company aiming for PA after NY restricts sales

By   /   September 3, 2013  /   News  /   19 Comments

By Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

HARRISBURG — When it comes to job creation, one state’s loss is another state’s gain.

PIKE COUNTY POTENTIAL: The rural Pike County will be the new home for Kahr, a gun manufacturer.

Kahr Firearms Group, a gun manufacturer, is moving its corporate headquarters from downstate New York to a 620-acre plot in Pike County, in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania.

The move comes after New York earlier this year passed the SAFE Act, banning sales of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Kahr Spokeswoman Sheryl Gallup said the company was mulling an expansion in New  York before the legislation, but then found Pennsylvania’s gun laws “less restrictive.”

The Kahr headquarters will move into a business park in Blooming Grove, one that the Pike County Economic Development Authority has looked to fill for the past 10 to 15 years.

The economy of Pike County, on Pennsylvania’s eastern border about 75 miles from New York City, used to thrive on tourism and second homes. Post-recession, though, those industries are lagging. Pike County has a 9.1 percent unemployment rate among its 57,000 residents, one of the highest in the state, according to July figures.

“When we see an opportunity for a company such as Kahr coming into Pike County, we see it coming to offset that unemployment rate,” said Pike County Commissioner Matt Osterberg.

Kahr’s decision, though stemming from extenuating circumstances, was solidified with a local tax incentive.

Osterberg said Kahr will receive a Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance package along with the $2 million purchase price. The program, called LERTA, gives businesses partial property tax exemptions on building improvements. The business still pays its full property tax bill on the pre-improvement assessed value of the land, but exemptions apply to the increased value, resulting in a lower tax bill for five years after the improvements.

Osterberg said predominantly rural Pike doesn’t have as much public infrastructure as other places, and businesses doing renovations may provide new water, sewer or gas setups.

“This is one way we can give them a little bit of a carrot, a little bit of an incentive,” said Osterberg. “I’m just glad they’re here.”

Steve Kratz, spokesman for the Department of Community and Economic Development, confirmed the state gave no  financial awards nor met with Kahr before the announcement.

The first step in creating Kahr’s Pennsylvania headquarters will involve construction, which could start later this year. Management and research-and-development teams will work first, with manufacturing operations coming next. Kahr will begin the move with a 10-person corporate staff in the new location, though eventual employment may be somewhere between 100 and 200 new jobs, the Associated Press says.

“We’re looking for a more friendly environment for our business,” Frank Harris, Kahr’s vice president for sales and marketing, said, according to the AP. “Maybe we could have stayed here and built a plant, but the way the bill was passed left us feeling there were a lot of uncertainties going forward.”

Pennsylvania has no such bans on assault weapon or high magazine sales.

Contact Melissa Daniels at melissa@paindependent.com


Melissa formerly served as staff reporter for Watchdog.org.

  • TheDirtmover

    I hope they also stop selling their products to anti gun state agencies as well.
    If the law abiding citizen is bared from owning it, so should the “state”.
    Barrett Arms lead the way on that here in Ca. after RINO Arnold banned them here. If it belongs to “the state”,, they will not even send them a trigger spring.

  • Sheila Lechner

    And let’s not forget that every taxpayer shells out about $500 annually to subsidize the firearm industry as a whole….

  • Frank Castle


  • Jack

    That’s what you get when you get your infomation from Pick & Save…..

  • SixSixSix

    Let ’em go. They can take recycling of baby parts with them.

  • SixSixSix

    And 30,000 dead bodies. Just figure what they are worth.

  • SixSixSix

    Good. In the end let’s extend to all 50 States. A promising start.

  • Knowsbettah

    Lady that pales in comparison to what I spent last fiscal year in sales tax, on ammo alone. Except for my Kahr models, none of them feed worth a damm. Thanks for the boost though, it’s an expensive hobby. If you’d like you can email me and just send your check direct next year, eliminate the middle man and I’ll take $450 cash……

  • Knowsbettah

    If they’re the right bodies, priceless!

  • Snidely70448

    Can you document that? That would be roughly $160,000,000,000?

  • Snidely70448

    What do you call 30,000 politicians at the bottom of the Marianas trench? A good start.

  • SixSixSix

    No, it is called not enough Tea Potters.

  • SixSixSix

    Just as long as the IRS can correctly identify them as Conservatives.

  • Loki Luck III

    Elected Servants from the Empire State chose poorly.

  • Angry Old White Man

    This is horrible news. As gun ownership goes up in any state, gun tragedies go up in the same state. The same is true of nations. This is based on research published by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. At this time, New York is led by less stupid people than Pennsylvania. I hope that changes.

  • jimbo

    Kahr did the right thing.

  • jimbo

    You must have gone to a lib school. Your spelling sucks, just like everything else libs take on.

  • SixSixSix

    Wow! A put down by a home schooled troll. Devastating. BTW, Tea Potters are sub-population with deep mental disorders. Check it out.

  • Hono

    Great……Pa…….can’t get decent firms to locate here……..it’s the Alabama of the northern tier ……….47th in job creation………decent firms leaving……gov Corbett does nothing to stop them….