(WUTR-TV) — Richmond Italia is the new owner of the Remington Arms plant in Ilion.
“I’ve been a hunter my whole life,” said Italia. “I grew up with the name Remington, so it definitely hit a chord.”
Italia was alerted to the possibility of buying Remington 10 days before it was sold in bankruptcy court in Alabama. He said he wants the gun manufacturing to continue and be successful.
“Upper management for Remington — and I don’t want to use the word hunters — but they’re not going to be suit and ties,” said Italia. “They’re going to be guys that get their hands dirty, guys that are going to walk the floor and talk to the employees.”
According to Italia, the building is dated. He wants to renovate it and make it modern.
“You have this super modern facility with untrained staff [in Alabama] and then you go up to New York and you have the opposite, where you have incredible staff, in an antiquated facility,” said Italia. “So, I believe that probably was the single biggest mistake that the old management has done.”
Italia plans to bring back as many workers to manufacture guns as possible. About 600 plant employees are still on furlough, but it shouldn’t take much longer, according to Italia.
They still have to secure parts suppliers that also closed during the pandemic.
“We’re not talking, we’re not shutting down for six months,” said Italia. “We’re talking weeks to a maximum a couple of months. Maximum.”
The Marlin line of weapons, formerly made in the Ilion plant, was bought by Ruger. They will be moving out, but Italia said he should be able to bring back the same level of workforce.
“If we do close down Huntsville, and Sturgis, and Lenoir City, and concentrate them under one roofline, which will be Ilion, that will more than replace the employees that were lost on the Marlin line,” said Italia.