In mid-May 2013, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley followed in the footsteps of New York, Colorado and Connecticut when he signed a new restrictive new gun bill that accomplished little more than suppressing the freedoms of law-abiding gun owners—and all but ensuring the loss of manufacturing jobs. Included in the legislation was an outright ban of over 40 “assault weapons” including the AR-15. It was not much of a surprise that the state’s gun makers went into crisis mode.
Common to so many hurriedly written and poorly researched gun control laws, the new law made it impossible for manufacturers such as Beretta to manufacture or service certain firearms. At the time, Beretta issued a statement regarding the new law and called it an insult. Pro Second Amendment groups threatened to challenge the new law in court, which includes limits on magazines with capacities over 10 rounds and required handgun buyers to submit to fingerprinting.
Beretta was planning a new expansion and with its headquarters in Accokeek, Maryland was the logical choice. However, the new laws caused Beretta to rethink its plans. Beretta and others were able to work with lawmakers and gain some concessions, but the writing was on the wall. Beretta quickly announced it would hedge its bet and expand into gun-friendly Tennessee.
A few weeks ago, Cheaper Than Dirt! interviewed officials at Beretta about the status of the move and reported the best information available at the time. During the interview, Beretta admitted that some details were still in discussion, but the plan was to move manufacturing of new products to Tennessee and leave the others in Maryland. That was a few weeks ago…
This week, Beretta issued the following press release announcing it would move ALL Maryland manufacturing to Tennessee and the reason should be no surprise to gun owners.