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Bryan Preston


February 25, 2013 - 7:16 am

The laughably nicknamed “Free State” may chase more business away with its hard left politics, according to the Washington Post.

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 machine 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.

“Why expand in a place where the people who built the gun couldn’t buy it?” said Jeffrey Reh, general counsel for Beretta.

The impetus for the move is Gov. Martin O’Malley’s “assault” weapons bill, which just passed through the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee. It bans the 13-round magazine, which clearly isn’t an assault weapon, and would  ban the civilian version of a rifle that Beretta intends to make in its Maryland plant, the ARX-100. If O’Malley’s bill becomes law, the firearm would be illegal to own, in the state in which it is made. A company move would take 300 well-paying jobs out of Maryland, most likely to Virginia to remain close to Washington. Beretta is among the US military’s firearm suppliers.

“We literally are part of the arsenal of democracy,” said Reh, sweeping his hand toward the production floor, where on a recent afternoon more than 1,000 of the military version of the pistol sat in various stages of assembly. “That’s why we consider this so insulting.”

One problem is, there’s nowhere that is truly save from “progressives” now. Beretta moved a warehouse operation to Virginia in the 1990s in response to the last major gun grab. The Beltway bandits and big government are turning Virginia purple, and demographics are pushing Florida and (hopefully not, but possibly) Texas in the same direction. If they get total control, “progressives” will just finish the work they’re currently doing — destroying what’s left of the private sector. Gun makers will be among the first to be sued or legislated out of existence. Just look at how Maryland is behaving. Mr. Beretta certainly is.

The company’s Italian patriarch, Ugo Gussalli Beretta, visited the plant shortly after O’Malley introduced his gun-control bill, and the two discussed the issue. But Reh declined to say if the two reached any decisions about what would happen if the governor’s bill passes.

“All I can tell you is, Mr. Beretta said, ‘There always seems to be a problem with Maryland.’ ”

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Governor O'Malley's entire focus is establishing his bona fides as the next Obama clone President (in truth he is even further left). He clearly cares less for Maryland, Maryland Businesses, Marylanders and other residents.

Personally I would love to see Beretta move to Texas.

You suggested "A company move would take 300 well-paying jobs out of Maryland, most likely to Virginia." I'm sitting here listening to Mark L blister Virginia re huge tax increases for mass transit and other vote enticements. The guilty parties (including their Gov) are purported conservatives. Hope Mark's diatribe reaches the Beretta's ears. Sounds like Va has a "Colorado" going there. Could well turn into an out of the frying pan and into the fire!
2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Coincidentally I'd just completed buying both a Berretta rifle and pistol in December, before the craziness. But seeing that the pistol was made in Maryland did give me pause to wonder "why there?" I'll also tell you that they make great accessories, sports apparel, and have wonderful customer service. Check out their web site. I look forward to their imminent relocation to a state that supports the Constitution.

2 years ago
2 years ago Link To Comment
Welcome to Texas - Love the high end Beretta firearms!
2 years ago
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