Historically located in Maryland, Beretta USA is expanding its operations to Tennessee where the company will open up a new plant, creating 300 new jobs. Beretta is planning to pour $45 million in investment money into the new plant, which will be built in Gallatin Industrial Park. The company is being welcomed with open arms by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam.
“Beretta is one of the world’s greatest companies, and their decision to expand into Tennessee speaks to the standards of craftsmanship and quality our state’s workforce embraces every day,” Haslam said in an announcement. “Attracting a legendary company like Beretta reinforces our goal of becoming the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high-quality jobs. I want to thank the Beretta family for their substantial investment in Tennessee and the 300 jobs they’ll create in Sumner County.”
Last year Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed into law extreme gun control measures despite strong objections from the public. Now, lawmakers are concerned Beretta's decision to expand operations in Tennessee, rather than Maryland, is an indication new gun control measures are stifling business and job growth in the state.
“I fear this is a part of Beretta’s long-term strategy to move their business and move to a state that has a fairer tax climate and fairer laws when it comes to firearms,” Maryland House Minority Leader Nicholaus R. Kipke, Anne Arundel Republican told the Washington Times.
Based on Beretta's stated reasons for expanding their operations outside of Maryland, lawmakers should be concerned and anti-gun legislators should rethink how they vote.
"Around March 2013 the Beretta family decided to expand its manufacturing and business operations outside Maryland, where Beretta U.S.A. is located. We started our search by looking only at States that have a consistent history of support for and likelihood of future support for Second Amendment rights," Beretta USA Board of Directors Member Jeff Reh said in a speech. "The Beretta family has manufactured products and done business from the same town in northern Italy for almost 500 years. This means that when Beretta chooses a location for its business, we plan not just in terms of a return on investment within the next few years. We also start with the possibility that we will be in that location for decades, if not hundreds of years, to come."
Currently Beretta employs 400 people in Maryland. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, overall the firearms industry employs more than 200,000 people, has an economic impact of over $33 billion each year and provides the federal government with more than $4 billion in excise taxes each year.