Beretta: Gun law forcing move out of Maryland

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 22, 2014 at 6:23 pm •  Published: July 22, 2014
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ACCOKEEK, Md. (AP) — Beretta U.S.A. announced Tuesday that company concerns over a strict gun-control law enacted in Maryland last year have made it necessary to move its weapons making out of the state to Tennessee.

The well-known gun maker said it will move to a new production facility it is building in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin that is set to open in mid-2015.

Beretta general manager Jeff Cooper said that a sweeping gun-control measure that was passed last year initially contained provisions that would have prohibited the Italian gun maker from being able to produce, store or even import into Maryland the products that the company sells around the world. While the legislation was changed to remove some of those provisions, Cooper said the possibility that such restrictions could be reinstated left the company worried about maintaining a firearm-making factory in Maryland.

"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 product lines in their entirety to the new Tennessee facility," Cooper said in a news release announcing the move.

The company anticipates the plant in more gun-friendly Tennessee will involve a $45 million investment in building and equipment and employ about 300 people during the next five years. Beretta said it has no plans to relocate its office, administrative and executive support functions from Accokeek, Maryland.

"Beretta is one of the world's great companies, and its commitment to excellence and Tennessee's rich history in manufacturing make a great match," Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam's spokesman Dave Smith said in an email.

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