Beretta U.S.A. Corp. announced on Tuesday that it plans to move its entire U.S. manufacturing operation from its current location in Accokeek, Maryland, to Gallatin, Tennessee, due to a fear of gun control legislation that may pass the Maryland Legislature in the future.
“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,” Beretta General Manager Jeff Cooper said in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Cooper said the gun manufacturer initially planned to use the new Tennessee facility only for new equipment and production of new product lines, but the company decided that it is “more prudent from the point of view of our future welfare” to move the full manufacturing operation to the new facility.
The new Beretta facility in Gallatin, Tennessee, is scheduled to be opened in mid-2015. Beretta U.S.A. is expecting the new location to involve a $45 million investment in building and equipment as well as the hiring of around 300 employees in the new few years.
“Administrative and executive support functions” will remain at the Accokeek, Maryland, facility.