Anti-Gun legislation in Maryland hurts more than gun owners. It interferes with free trade principles on both national and international levels, and negatively affects the families of the companies involved.
“If we can save just one life…” came the battle cry of the anti gun lobby. Time and again it was heard all across the country during the reactionary period following the murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. In some states the fight was over before it even started, and the Constitution prevailed. In other states strict gun laws were passed to add to the thousands of gun laws already in existence nationwide, which continue to be ineffective at reducing illegal gun activity.
During their regular legislative session, Maryland passed the Firearm Safety Act of 2013. A bill designed to, according to a press release by Governor O’Malley’s office, “save lives” by banning certain so-called assault weapons and limiting magazine capacity among several other rules proven to effect only legal gun owners. It bears mention that unlike their Democrat run sister states like New York, this bill went through the legislative process rather than being rammed through in a middle of the night emergency session, at Christmas, before any opposition could be formed.
Honoring the process aside, what many of these Democratic leaders didn’t foresee was the side effect of such a bitter pill. You see, these types of strict, unconstitutional legislative actions have caused many firearms companies to re-think the location they choose to operate in… enter Beretta.
Beretta U.S.A. Corp is, for the time being, located in Accokeek, Maryland. Since the passage of the Firearms Safety Act they have announced their intentions to relocate in an effort to find a more “gun friendly” state. This in exchange for a state whose legislative process has not only interfered with their industry in general, but has also sought to crush free trade in firearms manufacturing and sales.
The new law, as it had passed originally, was not only about banning guns. It also would have forbidden Beretta from, according to Jeff Cooper, General Manager for Beretta U.S.A. “…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.” And therein lies the crux of it. The Maryland House of Delegates was able to overturn several of the strictest restrictions, but the fear of their return in future legislation has prompted Beretta to find a new home for their manufacturing facility.
So in an effort to “save just one life”, Maryland’s legislators have ruined others by forcing families to uproot, and created job loss in the name of yet another set of rules that will effect law abiding gun owners while doing nothing to prevent criminals from accessing black market weapons. But Beretta is trying to minimize the loss of their employees, and what’s more, they are making every effort to boost the local economy of their new home: Gallatin, Tennessee.
For their employees Beretta is “… using this time to meet with every Beretta U.S.A. employee whose Maryland job might be affected by the move to discuss with them their interest in taking a position at our new facility in Tennessee.” according to Mr. Cooper. Though they have chosen a Georgia based design firm for the project, Pattillo Construction, the firm has stated that they “want to use contractors and subcontractors located near the Gallatin area to support this project.” According to Mr. Adam Pearlman, President of Patillo Construction.
It seems as though Beretta U.S.A. is making every effort to turn an unfavorable situation into a positive opportunity that will reward Tennessee for it’s friendly atmosphere towards gun owners and manufacturers, as well as it’s non-interference with free trade economics. Additionally, Beretta management has shown great business sense in taking pains to retain the employee base they already have. It isn’t just a smart business decision to keep people who are already trained and proficient, but it is also great human character. We’ve seen the measure of those involved in the fight over the Second Amendment, and Maryland is lacking in more ways than one.