Law Shield members nationwide will be interested to know that Beretta U.S.A. Corp., located in Accokeek, Maryland, has announced that it has decided to move its manufacturing capabilities from its existing location to a new production facility that it is building in Gallatin, Tennessee. Reason: Maryland’s anti-gun laws.
The Gallatin facility is scheduled to be opened in 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. But:
“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,” said Jeff Cooper, general manager for Beretta U.S.A. Corp.
“While we were able to reverse some of those obstructive provisions in the Maryland House of Delegates, the possibility that such restrictions might be reinstated in the future leaves us very worried about the wisdom of maintaining a firearms-manufacturing factory in the state,” he added.
Cooper said Beretta had originally planned to use the Tennessee facility for new equipment and for production of new product lines only, but “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.”
The transition of production from Beretta U.S.A.’s Maryland facility to the Tennessee facility will not occur until 2015 and will be managed so as not to disrupt deliveries to Beretta customers. Beretta U.S.A.’s 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.
“We have not yet begun groundbreaking on the Tennessee facility and we do not anticipate that that building will be completed until the middle part of 2015,” Cooper said. “That timing, combined with our need to plan an orderly transition of production from one facility to the other so that our delivery obligations to customers are not disrupted, means that no Beretta U.S.A. Maryland employee will be impacted by this news for many months.”
Cooper said the company will use this time to meet with every Beretta U.S.A. employee whose Maryland job might be affected by the move to see if they want to take a position at the new facility in Tennessee. If those employees are not willing to move, Beretta plans to lay out a long-term strategy for them to remain with the company while its production in Maryland continues.
Beretta U.S.A. anticipates that the Gallatin, Tennessee facility will involve $45 million of investment in building and equipment and the employment of around 300 employees during the next five years.
Beretta U.S.A. has no plans to relocate its office, administrative and executive support functions from its Accokeek, Maryland facility.