After Governor Martin O’Malley signed a new Maryland gun control law earlier this week, Beretta made it official – they are expanding to other states.
The new bill’s restrictions would stop the company from bringing in standard M9 magazines into their Maryland facility or warehousing them. This would make production of multiple products more difficult. Additionally, the company’s ARX100 would now be illegal because it’s an “assault weapon.”
The restrictions on Federal Firearm Licensees found in the new law would also impact Beretta’s manufacturing.
David Higginbotham of Guns.com writes:
And there is always the chance that this one bit of legislation might be the gateway to more restricitve measures. With that in mind, Beretta released a statement appeared on their blog yesterday. The message of the statement is clear: “The idea now of investing additional funds in Maryland and thus rewarding a Government that has insulted our customers and our products is offensive to us so we will take steps to evaluate such investments in other States. At the same time, we will continue our current necessary operations within Maryland and we are thankful for and welcome the continued support of our employees as we do so.”
Beretta sees SB281 as an insult to their corporate presence. As such, they’re not going to increase their support of a state that insults them. The statement means they are staying and expanding out of Maryland. The carefully worded declaration that they will “take steps to evaluate such investments in other States” leaves them some room, but the message I took away from my visit to Accokeek at the end of March was that Beretta has every intention of expanding the company elsewhere.
Hopefully, the planned litigation gets this law thrown out, but I suspect it will have to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court before that happens so it could take a while.