Beretta has announced plans to build a factory in Tennessee and not in Maryland where it has been for 35 years. The new facility will create 300 jobs. Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley (D) and his anti-Second Amendment Firearm Safety Act of 2013 are to blame for the departure. Our Liberty and Freedom map shows you why Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia were site finalists.
Italian gun maker Beretta said Wednesday that Tennessee’s support for gun rights was a major factor in its decision to build a manufacturing and research facility in the Nashville suburb of Gallatin.
The $45 million plant is projected to be complete this year and create 300 new jobs.
Gun rights were “the first criteria for deciding to even consider a state,” said Jeff Reh, a member of Beretta USA Corp.’s board of directors.
Reh spoke to reporters after a press conference that included Gov. Bill Haslam and Franco Gussalli Beretta, the company’s executive vice president and director, as well as lawmakers and city officials.
Reh, who led the site search, said there were some states considered that “respect Second Amendment rights,” but they “didn’t have the type of support that we saw in Tennessee.”
Several states began wooing Beretta from Maryland after the company raised objections to a wide-ranging gun control measure enacted there last year. Company officials said Wednesday that they have reached capacity in Maryland, requiring the expansion elsewhere.
“We look forward to building operations here and being part of your community for many years to come,” Beretta said.
The other site finalists were Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.
Last year, lawmakers in Tennessee passed and the governor signed a measure that allows people with handgun carry permits to store firearms in their vehicles no matter where they are parked, including company parking lots.
When asked by a reporter if Beretta will allow its employees to keep guns in their cars at work, Reh responded, “if that’s allowed by state law, yes.”