There have been several manufacturers who have responded to the raft of knee-jerk, wrong-headed gun laws getting rammed through state legislatures that restrict law-abiding gun-owners’ ability to exercise their civil rights by publicly stating their intention to move out of the states that pass these restrictions. The ridiculous restrictions on magazine size and the laughably impotent so called “assault weapons” bans have infringed on the rights of their employees, put impossible restrictions on their businesses, and just generally been offensive to their continued presence. MagPul in Colorado was the first to start packing up and move to another state but we have just such a situation playing out here in the east, too. Beretta, the makers of several well-known firearms including the current (?) official sidearm of the US Army and Navy, the M9 pistol, has announced their intention to begin evaluation of making any future expansions in some state other than Maryland which has been their home for decades.
Prior to introduction of this legislation the three Beretta Holding companies located in Maryland were experiencing growth in revenues and jobs and had begun expansion plans in factory and other operations. 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.
While that’s a more tepid response than many were hoping for it’s clear enough that they are sending a pointing message to Gov. O’Malley up there north of the Potomac. My real question for Beretta is in 2 parts. First, do they really think, at this point, that the Governor is going to listen to them and suddenly instruct his law enforcement agencies to ignore the law that he just signed? I mean, Beretta says, explicitly, in their announcement that they worked to get the infringing components of that law changed or removed and, while successful on a few counts, their efforts overall failed. It’s not like they didn’t make it clear before the Governor signed the bill into law. He knew what they were saying, he just doesn’t care if they leave. Not enough to not sign laws that punish the law-abiding, anyway. So, what’s the point of this little mince-stepping maneuver? MagPul made the same efforts in Colorado but when their Governor signed off on the law, they didn’t issue a veiled threat. They started leasing buildings in other states and started loading shit on moving trucks. My recommendation to Beretta is to make good on the threat. Start packing.
Which is a nice segue into my next question: why not consider a very short move to the south and set up here in Virginia? We know how to respect the civil rights of your employees, we’re business- and gun-friendly, we have a motivated and skilled workforce and we’ve got a tax structure that makes Maryland look like… well… Maryland.
In any case, these people who cram these useless, feel-good-and-do-nothing laws are not going to be moved and they think you’re either bluffing or that we’d be better off if you didn’t exist anyway. Waste no more time. Get packing.