With a press release Tuesday, Beretta signaled it is the most recent gun maker to join the migration south.
The Italian company, announced it is moving its complete U.S. manufacturing operations from Accokeek, Md., to Gallatin, Tenn. And the world’s oldest gun manufacturer made no bones about why it is following the lead of so many others in its industry.
In short, Maryland’s recently enacted draconian gun legislation had the historic company fearing for its future in the state. From Beretta's press release:
During the legislative session in Maryland that resulted in passage of the Firearm Safety Act of 2013, the version of the statute that passed the Maryland Senate would have prohibited Beretta U.S.A. from being able to manufacture, store or even import into the State products that we sell to customers throughout the United States and around the world. While we were able in the Maryland House of Delegates to reverse some of those obstructive provisions, the possibility that such restrictions might be reinstated in the future leaves us very worried about the wisdom of maintaining a firearm manufacturing factory in the State, stated Jeff Cooper, General Manager for Beretta U.S.A. Corp.
While we had originally planned to use the Tennessee facility for new equipment and for production of new product lines only, we have decided that it is more prudent from the point of view of our future welfare to move the Maryland production lines in their entirety to the new Tennessee facility, Cooper added.
Beretta is the latest in a slew of gun companies that have pulled up stakes due to legislation hostel to the Second Amendment. Nearly every state that jumped on the gun-control bandwagon the past couple of years has seen gun and gun accessory manufacturers based in their state move operations in one form or another.
Beretta anticipates it will invest some $45 million in building and equipment and will employ 300 employees at its Tennessee facility the next five years. The company, however, presently has no plans in moving its administrative and executive functions from Maryland.