Beretta Flees Anti-Gun Maryland — Moves Domestic Manufacturing to TN

By Dave Dolbee published on in News

The Backstory

In mid-May 2013, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley followed in the footsteps of New York, Colorado and Connecticut when he signed a new restrictive new gun bill that accomplished little more than suppressing the freedoms of law-abiding gun owners—and all but ensuring the loss of manufacturing jobs. Included in the legislation was an outright ban of over 40 “assault weapons” including the AR-15. It was not much of a surprise that the state’s gun makers went into crisis mode.

Bill_of_Rights

While lawmakers may be able to pass local restrictions, the industry is fighting back in the courts and with the purse.

Common to so many hurriedly written and poorly researched gun control laws, the new law made it impossible for manufacturers such as Beretta to manufacture or service certain firearms. At the time, Beretta issued a statement regarding the new law and called it an insult. Pro Second Amendment groups threatened to challenge the new law in court, which includes limits on magazines with capacities over 10 rounds and required handgun buyers to submit to fingerprinting.

Beretta was planning a new expansion and with its headquarters in Accokeek, Maryland was the logical choice. However, the new laws caused Beretta to rethink its plans. Beretta and others were able to work with lawmakers and gain some concessions, but the writing was on the wall. Beretta quickly announced it would hedge its bet and expand into gun-friendly Tennessee.

July 2014

A few weeks ago, Cheaper Than Dirt! interviewed officials at Beretta about the status of the move and reported the best information available at the time. During the interview, Beretta admitted that some details were still in discussion, but the plan was to move manufacturing of new products to Tennessee and leave the others in Maryland. That was a few weeks ago…

This week, Beretta issued the following press release announcing it would move ALL Maryland manufacturing to Tennessee and the reason should be no surprise to gun owners.

Beretta U.S.A. Corp., located in Accokeek, Maryland, announced today that it has decided to move its manufacturing capabilities from its existing location to a new production facility that it is building in Gallatin, Tennessee. The Gallatin facility is scheduled to be opened in mid-2015. Beretta U.S.A. had previously planned to use the new Gallatin, Tennessee facility for new machinery and production of new products only.

“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.

Beretta's new ARX-100 in action at Media Day 2014

Beretta’s new ARX-100 in action at Media Day 2014

“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 transition of production from Beretta U.S.A.’s Maryland facility to the Tennessee facility will not occur until 2015 and will be managed so as not to disrupt deliveries to Beretta customers. Beretta U.S.A.’s production of the U.S. Armed Forces M9 9mm pistol will continue at the Accokeek, Maryland facility until all current orders from the U.S. Armed Forces have been filled.

“We have not yet begun groundbreaking on the Tennessee facility and we do not anticipate that that building will be completed until the middle part of 2015,” continued Cooper. “That timing, combined with our need to plan an orderly transition of production from one facility to the other so that our delivery obligations to customers are not disrupted, means that no Beretta U.S.A. Maryland employee will be impacted by this news for many months. More importantly, we will use this time to meet with every Beretta U.S.A. employee whose Maryland job might be affected by the move to discuss with them their interest in taking a position at our new facility in Tennessee or, if they are not willing to do so, to lay out a long-term strategy for remaining with the Company while our production in Maryland continues.”

Beretta U.S.A. anticipates that the Gallatin, Tennessee facility will involve $45 million of investment in building and equipment and the employment of around 300 personnel during the next five years.

Beretta U.S.A. has no plans to relocate its office, administrative and executive support functions from its Accokeek, Maryland facility.

Will lawmakers in Maryland or other states realize the financial cost to their actions? Do you think this will influence gun control legislation in the future? Share your thoughts in comment section.

SLRule

Growing up in Pennsylvania’s game-rich Allegany region, Dave Dolbee was introduced to whitetail hunting at a young age. At age 19 he bought his first bow while serving in the U.S. Navy, and began bowhunting after returning from Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Dave was a sponsored Pro Staff Shooter for several top archery companies during the 1990s and an Olympic hopeful holding up to 16 archery records at one point. During Dave’s writing career, he has written for several smaller publications as well as many major content providers such as Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Outdoor Life, Petersen’s Hunting, Rifle Shooter, Petersen’s Bowhunting, Bowhunter, Game & Fish magazines, Handguns, F.O.P Fraternal Order of Police, Archery Business, SHOT Business, OutdoorRoadmap.com, TheGearExpert.com and others. Dave is currently a staff writer for Cheaper Than Dirt!

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Comments (125)

  • John Franco

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    It is great to see the weapons industry firing back economically at these idiotic democrat controlled state legislators. It is amazing how ignorant these governors and state representatives are in their poorly enacted infringing laws. Until we start voting in our best interest and begin to remove and replace these liberal puppets with Conservatives who will support the Constitution and our rights as Americans we will continue to see this kind of treasonous rogue behavior.

    Reply

    • Bob

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      Too bad there isn’t some clearing house info to make it easy to tell business owners of these states other facts of economic interest to them. It is not just the lost firearms businesses that they are losing, but possibly a vast tourist loss. I have crisscrossed this country traveling since a kid on family vacations and continued that all my life and now I’m retired and on the road all winter. I no longer even think of traveling to the states that will not let me carry concealed, let alone ban my having guns at all. There are an estimated 68 million gun owners in this country. Imagine if word could get out that all gun owners will not travel to states who won’t let us have guns? I all gun owners would do this type of boycott, once the tourist industry found themselves out of work, along with the loss of the manufacturing industry who have already moved, would be, so to speak, up in arms LOL! Seriously, can any industry afford to tick off 68 million potential customers?

      Reply

    • MikeC711

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      I wish I could find a LIKE button for your comment.

      Reply

    • Leandro

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      that answer is just what I would like to write myself ! ,simply awesome !

      Reply

  • Mr Donnie Lee Lowe

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    OUTSTANDING answer Vincent to the Arizona Apache…

    Reply

  • Joe retired SFC (E-7)

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    3 Round burst in Vietnam ? only if you were still fighting in Vietnam in the mid 1980’s . The above comment is what we call on active duty as a B/S story

    Reply

    • DaveW

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      No we did not have 3 round burst in Vietnam. Wish we had.

      Three round burst was developed much later, but it was based on lessons learned in Vietnam, which was my point. I did not intend to leave the impression that we had it in Vietnam. Only that the technology advances were based on lessons learned.

      Wish we had. Unless you were there, I would suggest you be careful what you call BS. As anyone who has experienced actual combat knows, very weird things happen which sound fictional to those who were not there. Some were downright funny in a warped sorta way, and some were just plain funny.

      IV Corps, Can Tho Province, Mekong Delta 1969-70
      21+ years service combat arms (1967-1988)
      100% disabled (Agent Orange)
      E7

      Reply

    • Juanito Ibañez

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      There were 3-Round Burst versions of the Colt M16 back in those days:

      Model 605B
      Model 606B
      Model 607B
      Model 610B

      Obviously “B” represented “Burst” – and these were 4-Position Selector-equipped:

      S-F-1-3

      Reply

  • DaveW

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    That is the definition given it by Sen Feinstein, etc, via the “assault weapons ban”. The definition had to be altered to include the AR-15 on the banned list. Prior to that, worldwide, an assault weapon had to be capable of switching the rate of fire to include semi and full auto/burst.

    This is easily done by politicians so that one thing can be two different things at the same time. The M-2 .50 cal machinegun (“Ma Deuce”) has select fire, It can be fired as a machinegun, or it can be fired semi auto fire. During WW2 it was used in the later state as a sniper weapon for picking off enemy trucks in convoys.

    Feinstein also included: a bayonet lug, carry handle, pistol grip/thumb hole, box magazine, and bipod. Look back in history and you find paintings and woodcuts of muskets and rifles with bayonet lugs, and hunters in Africa and Europe using bipods, Olympic competitors have long used rifles with pistol grips and thumbholes. The box magazine is simply another technology advancement dating back to the late 1800s. Not once in Vietnam did my group ever affix bayonets.

    I have never heard of any military using a semi-auto fire only weapon for an “assault rifle”. While advancing (“assault”) the user would have to pull the trigger for each round fired while being faced with an opponent having full automatic. Full auto is used for the purpose of suppressing enemy fire (keeping his head down and not firing at you) as you advance on a position. Three round burst was added because in Vietnam we found that we burned up a LOT of ammo with little return on our investment. When we took the field, we left a LOT of comfort items behind in order to carry more ammo. Three round helped slow us down just a shred so that we didn’t waste ammo.

    (I have some stories of confrontations where we burned up every round we had in just a few minutes with the enemy in plain sight and shooting at us… and nobody on either side was hit.. It’s very eerie when the last round is fired, it goes deathly silent, and you realize you now have nothing to shoot. In one particular case, the NVA reversed and faded back into the jungle, and we did the same on our side of the clearing. We returned to our base camp and partied to celebrate our luck!)

    No military personnel would ever voluntarily carry an AR-15 into battle in place of the M-16/M4, when the enemy is armed with AK-47, using a standard magazine capacity of 30 rounds (against our 20 in Vietnam); they also had 75- and 100-round drum magazines with their heavier round (7.62X39), and full auto rate of fire. The AK was patterned after the WW2 German assault rifle. The AK-47 was somewhat crudely constructed with looser tolerances and clearances than the M-16 which made it more dependable under bad conditions. The M-16 had to be redesigned with lower tolerances because early versions in Vietnam were prone to jams if not kept perfectly clean. That change made for a far more dependable firearm.

    It was common, when a war ended, for the US Government to allow combat troops to retain the personal weapons or to purchase them when they left the service. General Officers still have that privilege.
    This did not include crew served weapons. It did include fully automatic weapons (Thompsons, M-2 carbines, BARs, revolvers and pistols). The government sold tons of arms to recoup on war costs.

    In addition to my use of real assault weapons in and out of combat, I know a lot about the M-16’s history because my father’s unit, the Air Commandos were the first to test and adopt it for the USAF. I used in in the military and law enforcement for 21+ years. I own an AR-15 which I use for targets on the range.

    Piece of advice… Don’t believe all you read in Wikipedia. Articles are written by various sources. They often lack citations to back up what is said. This is not a professionally produced encyclopedia. Not saying it is intentional, just that it’s not always the complete picture.

    Reply

  • Wzrd1

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    Vincent, I’ve luggedaround an M-16, M-4, various testing models to maybe be fielded, 6.8SPC, etc.
    The difference between an M-16 and AR-15 *is* miniscule in a combat situation. Go full automatic or three round burst, run out of ammunition *really* quick. We used semi, with double tap method.
    So, from this veteran’s perspective, the difference is *really* small.

    Though, I do laugh over some idiots claiming that the M1-Garand was an assault rifle. It was a battle rifle, due to caliber. The en bloc clip only made it unservicable today in a military environment (The M-14 was far superior due to a box magazine and a bit of refining of the mechanism. I, personally, call it the M-1 done right.

    What I see here is reason of sportsmen, lack of reason of others, some fringe notions of what the Constitution intended (We’ll suffice it to say, my own research for a National Guard unit founded by Franklin is, *erm*, quite factual and Scalia actually educated me on previous history by a little) and (to be frank, the insane).
    *Some*consider *everything to be a conspiracy*. Well, let’s just say, I *do* know *what* conspiracies exist. I’m far from proud on a couple to a few.
    The reality is, gravity and reality share a common thing.They *both* suck in the morning.
    And reality also shares a 50/50 thing with many here.
    For, a broken clock is right twice a day.
    Something the rest of us fair far better..

    Good night.
    Tomorrow, I have to figure out how to afford to bury my father.

    Reply

    • ronald reynolds

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      wzrd1

      i am sorry to hear about your father. Especially since you must bury him tomorrow and here you are on a blog. Wow. This is when we need friends wzrd1. I don’t know you but God Bless You and your Dad!!!!!!!

      ronald

      Reply

  • George Hilbert

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    What happens after all the manufacturers have move to the last state and that state passes “progressive” legislation?

    (These math problems that this Web site makes you solve in order to post are too hard.)
    .

    Reply

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