Change: Beretta moves manufacturing from Maryland to Tennessee

Change: Beretta moves manufacturing from Maryland to Tennessee

U.S. Army practices with Beretta pistols on firing range.
U.S. Army practices with Beretta pistols on firing range. (Screenshot from Beretta YouTube video)

ACCOKEEK, Md., July 23, 2014 – Earlier this year, Beretta U.S.A announced that it was relocating some of its gun manufacturing activities from anti-gun Maryland to a new facility in Tennessee, a state where the company is being enthusiastically welcomed with open arms.

Today, the other shoe dropped, as the American division of this internationally renowned weapons manufacturer followed up by announcing that it will cease manufacturing in Maryland entirely, moving to its new Tennessee complex by 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,” the company stated in a news release. But after closely examining Maryland’s draconian new anti-gun measure, management concluded its best option would be to close Maryland’s manufacturing facilities entirely, as the news release explains.

‘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…. ‘[So] 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 company noted that its current 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.”

The company plans to offer current Maryland manufacturing employees various options to continue with the company if possible, including possible relocation to Tennessee, where it will be investing approximately $45 million in building and equipment and ultimately employ 300 manufacturing workers over the next few years.

Beretta regards itself as the “world’s oldest manufacturing dynasty, operating since 1526 in Italy. The company is privately owned and operated by members of the 15th and 16th generations of the Beretta family. Beretta supplies quality sporting and self-defense firearms to consumers worldwide. The company manufactures the U.S. Armed Forces M-9 pistol, the standard sidearm of U.S. soldiers since 1985.”

The company stated it has no current plans to relocate its office, administrative and executive support functions from its Accokeek, Maryland HQ facility.

Beretta is not the first weapons manufacturer to move its facilities and its well-paying jobs out of Second Amendment-hostile states where many of them had been operating for decades or more.

Remington, whose largest manufacturing plant is currently located in New York, another state that’s taken recent legislative action to restrict Second Amendment rights, also announced earlier this year they’d be building a major new factory in Alabama.

According to the website Yellowhammer, “The company is viewing the move into Alabama as an expansion, but it will likely impact their Ilion, NY plant as well. The New York facility currently employees around 1,200 people. It is expected to stay open, but with a reduced workforce.”

Other companies currently relocating or planning to do so include Magpul Industries, Kahr Arms, PTR Industries, Stag Arms and Sturm, Ruger & Company.

According to The Daily Caller, Magpul, “a manufacturer of AR-15 parts, accessories and magazines, warned anti-gun fanatics in the Colorado legislature “that the company would move if legislation banning standard capacity magazines passed. In March, Gov. Hickenlooper signed a ban, and Magpul set out in search of a new home, possibly in Texas.”

The company ultimately decided to move operations to Cheyenne, Wyoming and to Texas within the next 18 months.

“Most of the 200-plus employees will not be moving to Wyoming, where manufacturing and distribution will take place, said spokesman Duane Liptak,” speaking with the Denver Post.

“Moving operations to states that support our culture of individual liberties and personal responsibility is important,” CEO Richard Fitzpatrick stated in a news release, according to the paper. “This relocation will also improve business operations and logistics as we utilize the strengths of Texas and Wyoming in our expansion.”

Interestingly, two key supporters of Colorado’s anti-gun legislation were later ousted by a recall vote. Unfortunately for most of Magpul’s Colorado employees, that still didn’t keep the highly restrictive new law off the books.

Back east on America’s Blue Coast,, The DC notes Kahr Arms of Rockland County, N.Y., is moving next door to gun-friendly Pennsylvania.

Neighboring Connecticut, also turned gun-hostile, is getting hit hard in the manufacturing sector due to its recent restrictive moves. Semiautomatic rifle manufacturer PTR Industries plans to leave Bristol, Connecticut for Aynor, South Carolina, and another Connecticut gun maker, Stag Arms, is also talking with Palmetto State officials about moving there as well.

Ditto Connecticut’s Sturm, Ruger & Company, which earlier this month announced in a release that it plans to open “its third manufacturing plant, a 220,000 square foot facility in Mayodan, North Carolina. This will be the Company’s first major expansion in over 25 years and it is expected to be finalized in August.” It’s all part of that company’s gradual parting from its longtime home state.

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Terry Ponick
Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17