Beretta USA, one of the nation’s largest firearms manufacturers, will move its manufacturing and approximately 300 jobs out of Maryland because of the state’s new gun control laws, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
Beretta said the company will transition its manufacturing from Maryland to Tennessee in 2015, citing Maryland’s passage of Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley’s Firearms Safety Act last year and the state’s general gun control atmosphere.
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The law banned the sale of 45 types of semi-automatic firearms, including the extremely popular AR-15 platform.
"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," Jeff Cooper, general manager for Beretta USA, said in a statement. "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."
Beretta warned Maryland last year that the law could cause it to leave the state for friendlier climes.
"We are confronted with a state government that wants to ban our products at a time, by the way, when numerous other state governments are courting our investment," Beretta general counsel Jeffrey Reh told the Washington Free Beacon last year. "It is worth noting that these other states also do not try to blame a product for human misconduct."