Erica Ritz @ The Blaze:
Beretta USA is threatening to leave Maryland over new gun control proposals, the Washington Post reports, and they would take hundreds of jobs along with them.
“Why expand in a place where the people who built the gun couldn’t buy it?” Jeffrey Reh, general counsel for Beretta, asked.
The Washington Post explains:
Beretta, the nearly 500-year-old family-owned company that made one of James Bond’s firearms, has already invested more than $1 million in the [civilian version of a machine gun designed for special operations forces] and has planned to expand its plant further in Prince George’s County to ramp up production.
But under an assault-weapons ban that advanced late last week in the Maryland General Assembly, experts say the gun would be illegal in the state where it is produced.
Now Beretta is weighing whether the rifle line, and perhaps the company itself, should stay in a place increasingly hostile toward its products. Its iconic 9mm pistol — carried by every U.S. soldier and scores of police departments — would also be banned with its high capacity, 13-bullet magazine.
In testimony this month in Annapolis, Reh, who oversees the plant, warned lawmakers to consider carefully the company’s future. Reh pointed to the last time Maryland ratcheted up gun restrictions in the 1990s: Beretta responded by moving its warehouse operation to Virginia.
Lawmakers are justifiably concerned that Beretta– which won a contract in 1985 to produce the standard sidearm for all U.S. military personnel and has shipped more than half a million guns to the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines, according to the Washington Post– will leave its well-known home in Maryland.