Italian firearms company Beretta U.S.A. Corps announced it would relocate its manufacturing facility in Accokeek to its new production facility in Gallatin, Tenn., by mid-2015, citing Maryland’s Firearm Safety Act as major motivation for the move.
In a press release published Tuesday, Jeff Cooper, the general manager for Beretta U.S.A. Corp. explained that the company did not originally plan to move its manufacturing capabilities to Tennessee, but said a version of the Firearm Safety Act that passed the state senate included “obstructive provisions” that would have prevented Beretta from manufacturing, storing or importing products to Maryland.
“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,” Cooper stated.
Cooper said Accokeek employees would have the opportunity to apply for a position at the Gallatin facility or discuss ways to remain with the company until production in Maryland concludes. Approximately 160 workers are employed at the Accokeek facility, which has operated in Prince George’s County since 1977.
Beretta intends to keep its United States office, administrative and executive support functions in Accokeek, according to the press release.
In a written statement, Prince George’s County spokesman Scott Peterson said the county was disappointed with Beretta’s announcement, adding that it would have addressed any issues that influenced Beretta’s decision to leave the county.
“We work very hard to retain all existing businesses in the County, but the loss of this company will not deter us from continuing the incredible economic development successes that we have had over the past three years,” Peterson said.