Beretta Ditches Maryland Over Restrictive Gun Laws



Beretta, the famous gun maker, is moving its entire manufacturing capacity from Maryland to a new facility in Tennessee. There's no secret as to the reason for the move either—the company cites the state's ever-more restrictive gun laws as the reason to move its production lines and related investments and employment.

"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.

The Gallatin, Tennessee, facility, to which Beretta is moving all manufacturing, was announced only in January of this year. Ground has yet to be broken there and it's not expected to be completed until mid-2015. Yet the company is obviously eager to get out of its Maryland digs.

Employees in Maryland affected by the move will be offered a chance to move to Tennessee, or can remain with the company until it winds down its current contracts. In particular, Beretta produces the M9 9mm pistol for the U.S. military, though the Army announced plans for a new, harder-hitting pistol that would seem to spell changes for that production line—and a good opportunity for a shift in location.

Once completed, the Gallatin facility is projected to employ 300 people. Maryland, on the other hand, will be losing jobs.

When he signed the Firearm Safety Act last year, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley boasted that it includes "common sense reforms" in the "strongest gun safety laws in the nation." Common sense considerations of economic consequences from those affected by and offended by the laws apparently didn't make the cut.

Now, if only Beretta would stop selling its products to Maryland government agencies…

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  1. O’Malley thinks he’s gonna be president someday. This kind of shit means he’s totally unelectable.

    1. OTOH, the man can run his mouth at length and not say one meaningful thing, so he does have *that* aspect of electability.

      1. Yeah but that’s common in a politician. Nowadays you have to do something extraordinary to be electable. Like Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Or,George W Bush.

        1. Hmm. I’ll try again to defeat the squirrels:

          “The first President of Irish ancestry who plays in a band, has boyish good looks, and rolls up his shirt sleeves a lot.”

        2. Marry the right person, turn part black or be born to the right family.

    2. Does even he think he is running for President? I always assumed he’s really running for VP.

      1. I’d guess Joe Manchin.

    3. O’Malley is a moron in a state filled with morons. I never realized how happy I would be to get out of that place.

  2. I’m sure the good citizens of Maryland don’t want their coffers filled with what they consider to be blood money anyways.

    1. I’ve read a lot of people saying exactly that. If we could somehow tailor laws that would run Chick-fil-A or Hobby Lobby out of town, the Free State would rejoice.

      1. And that fucking Old Bay, don’t get me started!

        1. What’s wrong with old bay?

          1. Sorry — nothing. I was just being snarky. But I wouldn’t put it past “The Free State” to drive out what in effect is a signature product.

            1. Good, I’d be highly upset if I had to stop putting old bay seasoning on everything.

          2. It sold poison milk to transgendered school children..

            1. *And* raped my grandmother!

              1. Now THAT is just disgusting

                1. It takes all types to make a world, I guess..

          3. Trivia: Old Bay was originally created by Jewish spice merchant, Gustav Brunn, who came to the US in 1939 fleeing from Nazi Germany.

            1. See?! Zionism! Down with the supporters of Israeli imperialism and genocide.

  3. West Virginia lost out on a chance to land Beretta jobs – thanks to Joe Manchin.…../#comments

    1. Because Manchin supported the background check thing?

    2. LOL! Fucking beautiful..

  4. “Once completered”

    Freudian, because Maryland is receiving the peter in this deal?

    I find this to be outstanding news.

  5. If only they had built a fence….

    1. They’ll hobble the CEO.. He aint goin nowhere.

  6. That’s OK, Maryland will just use eminent domain to seize Beretta’s holdings in Maryland.

    I’m certain Beretta has taken state money at some point, when you do that you’re in the legislature’s pocket. And when you in there, you ain’t ever coming out.

    1. +1 Mayflower moving van moving everything out in the middle of the night

      1. Art Modell approves

  7. Yes, an Italy based firearm company its factory from Maryland to Tennessee entirely as a stand on second ammendment principles. The nearly $12 million in tax payer subsidies that Tennessee is giving them over the next 10 years had nothing to do with it.

    1. Is there a source you can direct me to for the claim about the subsidies?

      1. Project Clover: Inside the deal for Beretta:

        Clint Brewer, a spokesman for [Commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development] Hagerty’s office, said the state incentive package for Beretta totals $10.41 million. That includes $2.41 million in job training grants and $8 million to assist in construction and building improvements.

        1. Reading this now, thanks.

        2. I’m sure like most things, it was a multitude of reasons.

          Is 2% of your annual revenue really worth moving your entire base of operations?

    2. Other things being equal, Beretta would have probably preferred to stay

      1. Hard to say. The Army is ditching the M9, so they don’t have to be close to D.C. anymore.

        1. Not saying ditching the M9 isn’t a factor, but it’s expensive, time consuming and disruptive to up and move without a very a compelling reason.

          Many other manufacturers are leaving NY and CT for more friendly climates in other states, and I am sure that includes a mixture of tax breaks, subsidies as well as a friendlier political and cultural environment.

          1. They were going to be re-tooling their factory anyway, what with the M9 going away. They are, in effect, leaving an obsolete factory and moving into a new one. That’s an easier move.

      2. Again, they somehow manage to bear having a headquarters in Italy, despite Italy’s firearms laws being far more restrictive than Maryland’s. While the second ammendment angle may be good brand building with the customers, I doubt they really care about it.

        1. Well, if it is accurate that the proposed laws would have made it difficult or impossible for them to operate their business, the claim is not complete BS. Though the second amendment doesn’t have much to say about manufacturing arms.

        2. A fair point, though it is not uncommon for US subsidiaries to be run by US executives, and said executives may be sensitive to 2A issues or may have just used it as an opportunity to get a better deal elsewhere.

        3. despite Italy’s firearms laws being far more restrictive than Maryland’s

          You think they have to follow the laws in Italy? Even if Beretta didn’t get an exemption carved out for themselves, they don’t have to worry about enforcement of the law. You have to put half the local politicians on your payroll if you expect to do any business in the Old World.

        4. The marketing boost alone is worth a lot to them. Hardcore 2Aers will now have Beretta as one of their fave companies for this.

    3. Beretta opened the plant in Maryland to skirt the ban on the importation of “Saturday night specials” (affordable pocket pistols) due to the 68 GCA in the first place. They assembled pistols there from Italian and Brazilian made parts. They were forced to make them ought right domestically to placate the Johnson/Nixon administrations and Nixon’s ATF. I suppose they know all too well what a fickle mistress the government can be, and when the gettin’s good…

    4. Thanks TN for covering some of the moving and start-up costs but that isn’t why Beretta moved.

      The way the Maryland gun-control act was written, it was unclear if Beretta was going to be able manufacturer, warehouse, and/or import firearms and magazine over 10-rounds.

      In other words, fuck Maryland.

      1. The way the Maryland gun-control act was written, it was unclear if Beretta was going to be able manufacturer, warehouse, and/or import firearms and magazine over 10-rounds.

        I wonder if this will be the next tactic of the gunz-r-bad crowd – just make it illegal to make them.

        1. I wouldn’t put it past them..

          1. Apparently Beretta wouldn’t either, so they scrammed.

        2. I thought the latest tactics were taxing bullets, requiring them to be lead-free, and demanding that gun owners carry expensive insurance.

          1. and demanding that gun owners carry expensive insurance.

            HazelMeade agrees, because NOZICK…

  8. “I will pack up my husband’s engineers and leave you… to yourselves.”

    1. Lee Grant was a hottie.

  9. Too bad the ARX 100 is too little too late.

  10. Pickled ginger or wasabi? I get the whole cultural/historical relevance of pickled ginger but it’s not my cup o tea. Wasabi FTW.

    1. You mean green colored horseradish? Unless you go somewhere very, very fancy, you aren’t getting wasabi.

    2. Pickled ginger tastes like something. Wasabi tastes like burning.

  11. I had a 92F back in the day -pretty good shooter but the grip was like holding a two by four.

    1. Right!?!

    2. I liked them when I was in.

    3. I like the grip, but I got MAN hands, you dainty little girl.

  12. Beretta Ditches Maryland Over Restrictive Gun Laws in Response to Complex System of Interstate Incentives, Including Generous Free Publicity and a Complicated System Entailing Tax Cuts and Crony Payments

    1. Not that I’m complaining about Tennessee relative to most other governments. We’ve got it pretty good, all things considered.

      1. I’m sure the lack of state income tax was also a factor.

    2. Yes, it’s certainly a less exciting narrative.

    3. Beretta flees Maryland.

      The incentives might have tipped their decision to land in TN, but had nothing to do with getting out of Maryland.

      1. begin full pedant

        They would not have considered leaving Maryland had they not anticipated that another state would offer them a better deal. They had to have the better deal in place before they would’ve closed down operations in Maryland.

        end full pedant

  13. I bought a Glock over a Beretta a couple years ago.

    This move will make me consider Beretta again.

    Fuck Maryland (*pats Tennessee on the head*) I like Tennessee. Even though Univ of and Peyton Manning.

    1. I’m not sure I can get over the monstrosity that is Gatlinburg.

      And I was So. Fucking. Stoked. To roll into Gatlinburg in mid-July, to just hit town with a throat that’s dry, and think to myself, “I’ll stop and have a brew”.

      Reality was like a knife through my heart.

      1. That’s what you get for going to an illegal gambling establishment.

        I hope it was a combination bordello/unlicensed pub/gaming hall. The agorist’s trifecta.

    2. And Almanian makes my point about the value of this move as a marketing bonanza.

      1. BAM! Sold!

  14. 9mm.

    Sig, Beretta, Glock?

    1. So, I haven’t fired one yet, but when I picked up a CZ 75 at a gun show, it felt like it had been made for me. It’s on the top of my list once I move back to the States.

      1. To me, a CZ was a cheap version of an M9. Some of the workmanship was a little rough, but they fired real nice and never gave issues.

        Just like a Berretta.

        Understand the minor issues with CZ have been fixed, but they’re not as cheap anymore.

        I’ve never actually shot a Glock, and Sigs are too damn expensive.

        But I don’t think you could go wrong with any of them.

    2. Curious what the gang here thinks of 9mm vs. .40SW and .45ACP.

      I have a .45 and .40SW, and wonder if I should have a 9mm too.

      1. .45ACP If I ever have to shoot someone, I want to make sure they know it.

      2. Honestly, no real difference. I’d prefer the extra rounds of the 9mm over the big slow .45, and the .40 is a decent compromise.

      3. I think pistols are nice paperweights and slightly better than a knife if you have mislaid your rifle.

        1. “When a man with a .45 meets a man with a rifle, the man with a pistol will be a dead man”, right?

          1. Probably depends on their distance from each other. As a participant in one of our desert wars, a pistol is pretty much dead-weight when you can see for miles.

            1. This here. Under 10 feet, a knife is probably not much worse than a handgun if (and this is a big if) you are trained and willing to kill a man with one.

              Inside your personal handgun accuracy limit, handguns are equal to or a little better than long guns. Indoors, I might a favor a handgun because they are handier in tight spaces.

              Outside your handgun range, long guns FTW.

              1. No one wins a knife fight, someone just loses less.

      4. I prefer 9mm. If you shoot someone, they *will* know it and its a lot more controllable.

      5. I have a Para-Ordnance high-cap .45 for household use, and a Sig 9 for carry.

    3. I have a Sig P228. Love it.

    4. HK P7. Outshoots my longer-barreled beretta all day long.

      1. Beautiful gun, but where can you find one anymore? Also, was way expensive. Only thing I didn’t like about my brothers was the heavy spring.

        Squeeze cocking was the bomb.

        1. where can you find one anymore

          Beats me, had mine for 20+ yrs and it was $800… back then. Probably just have to scour the usual spots,, etc

    5. Get an older Sig. They retooled their manufacturing a few years ago, and the word is the quality fell off. The gun blogs could give the year and what the beef is with newer Sigs.

      1. They didn’t retool, much of the manufacture was actually done in Germany with assembly only occurring in the States. Even the move to total US manufacture didn’t completely destroy the brand (because they had been at it for years, first small parts, than slides, barrels, finally frames), it was Ron Cohen.

        Cohen was the same guy who shitted up Kimber. Kimber produced a very nice 1911 clone in three semi-custom versions that was fairly high quality and fitted reasonably well and sold them at decent prices. Cohen took over Kimber and started producing all kinds of silly-ass tarted-up pimp pistols with fruity-looking grips and oddball finishes and gave them names like “The Gambler” and “Sapphire.” Producing highly ornate pistols for presentation sales is all fine and dandy (Colt made the practice famous), but QA/QC took a fucking nosedive when this shit started. The spiffy models weren’t even that well-made. A bone charcoal color case hardened finish on a pistol with pronounced tooling makes just looks fucking dumb.

        Cohen has done exactly the same thing with Sig. The first thing this douchebag did when he took over Sig USA was to create the Prestige line and drop overall production quality.

        Oh and Stormy, Beretta has been talking about this move for over a year. It first decided not to move and apparently they were able to get Tennessee to sweeten the pot. Having the moving costs covered probably made them choose TN, but MD’s gun laws WERE the reason

    6. Love my Glock 17. Cheap, reliable, runs all day. All. Day. Truly great gun. Love it.

      I also love my S&W 686 in .357 Mag, for other reasons. Just a beautiful gun. Also extremely accurate, and 7 shot cylinder for “SURPRISE! I got one more!”

      Love them both.

  15. I only wish they hadn’t retreated inland; it just feeds the whole bitter clinger narrative.

  16. Now, if only Beretta would stop selling its products to Maryland government agencies…

    Does anyone but the US Military even use the M9/Beretta 92 series anyway?

    I can’t recall the last time I heard of a PD buying Berettas rather than either SIGs or some sort of Polymer Wunderkanone.

    1. The Storm is mostly polymer but still has a hammer – I like it but I’m out-of-date and dislike the trigger safeties on the striker pistols.

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