While Beretta already announced in late January that it would expand its future manufacturing operations at its new Gallatin, Tenn., facility due to Maryland’s oppressive gun laws, things heated up today with the announcement that all manufacturing will now move to the far-more-firearm-friendly state of Tennessee. (Read the official press release here.)
Founded in Gardonne, Italy, in 1526, Beretta is not only the world’s oldest firearms manufacturer, but the family-held company is the oldest continuous maker of anything. Cavaliere Ugo Gussali Beretta has written about his concerns about the future of firearm manufacturing in Maryland, but the move surprised both the firearm industry as well as Maryland media outlets today. At stake are 160 manufacturing jobs that have been a boon to Prince George’s County. Maryland’s loss is Tennessee’s gain.
All manufacturing, which includes the standard sidearm of the U.S. military, the 9x19 mm U.S. M9, which still has active contracts, will move to Tennessee. Beretta is not completely abandoning the “Old Line State,” though, as it is said the company headquarters and some gunsmithing and repair operations will remain in Accokeek, Md.
While awaiting official word from Beretta, which we will follow up on tomorrow, the consequences of the anti-gun legislation passed last year and the current governor’s fascination with additional gun control in the state are clear. Not only did the company choose not to expand in the state, but now the jobs that have been there since the 1980s are moving to a far less hostile climate. We will have more as the story continues to develop.