By Tom Precious
ALBANY -- In the wake of word that a Rochester-area firearms and ammunition company is moving to South Carolina, the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association this morning offered up this headline on a press release: "NYSRPA asks if legislators are still proud of their SAFE Act votes?"
With quotes from their governor, South Carolina officials this week announced that American Tactical Imports is leaving the Rochester area to move down south.The company said it, in part, wanted to be in a state it considered friendlier to Second Amendment rights.
On the bottom of the company's web site: "Goodbye NY ... Welcome sunny SC!"
The Buffalo News in September wrote a story about mounting pressure -- both from customers and other states -- on gun manufacturers to leave New York state after passage this year of the New York SAFE Act.
Here is the full release on Monday from the South Carolina Department of Commerce:
American Tactical Imports (ATI), a worldwide importer of firearms, ammunition and tactical equipment to the United States, announced today that it will open a warehousing and distribution location in Dorchester County.
The Eastport Industrial Park location in Summerville also will be the site for limited firearm assembly, as well as the company’s headquarters, its customer service center and its sales office. The $2.7 million investment is expected to generate 117 new jobs.
“This move to South Carolina will help ensure a solid foundation for our company,” says Tony DiChario, president and founder of American Tactical Imports. “The relocation process will be smooth and we have ensured that the process will not affect customer service, product distribution or any other segment of our business.The people of South Carolina have welcomed ATI with open arms and we are excited about making our new corporate home there.”
ATI will begin the location process to Summerville next month.
“Today’s announcement is another testament that South Carolina is a destination for job-creating investments,” said Gov. Nikki Haley. “We celebrate American Tactical Imports’ decision to invest $2.7 million and create 117 new jobs in Dorchester County.”
Since January 2011, South Carolina has recruited more than $500 million in capital investment and more than 4,000 jobs in the warehouse and distribution sector.
“South Carolina is the perfect location for companies like American Tactical that depend on the ability to move product efficiently,” said Secretary Bobby Hitt. “Our state’s business-friendly resources and excellent workforce further underscore what makes South Carolina just right for business.”
Factors that influenced the company’s decision included workforce availability, market access and the ability to import products through the Port of Charleston, which is the deepest port in the South Atlantic and known for its industry-leading productivity.
"The SC Ports Authority welcomes American Tactical as a new customer,” said Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the South Carolina Ports Authority. “Our capable harbor will facilitate their ability to import goods from Europe and Asia, helping grow the resurgence of manufacturing in the U.S. This announcement is a testament to the fact that South Carolina is a great place to do business.”
“We are pleased to welcome American Tactical Imports to the region,” said Bob Whitten, chairman of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance Board. “The Port of Charleston, readySC’s customized training programs and our supply of highly skilled workers were critical factors in American Tactical Imports’ decision to locate its headquarters in Dorchester County. The company will be an asset to our community.”
“We welcome American Tactical Imports to Dorchester County,” said Dorchester County Council Chairman Bill Hearn. “The County’s skilled workforce and proximity to the Port of Charleston played a major role in the company’s decision. We are excited to welcome ATI to Dorchester County and look forward to a long relationship with them.”
The Coordinating Council for Economic Development approved job development credits.
About American Tactical Imports: ATI is one of the nation's top importers of firearms and firearm related products. Having created a unique channel of distribution, ATI has quickly become a single-source distribution provider for many manufacturers across the world. From its signature German Sports Guns (GSG) family of products, accessory lines like Drago Gear® and manufacturing its own line of ATI AR-15 complete rifles and components, ATI continues to be a leader in the industry.