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The financial downside to gun control bigotry

Beretta, the makers of the Model 92 pistol shown here, are expanding their operations to Tennessee due to restrictive gun laws passed in Maryland.
Beretta, the makers of the Model 92 pistol shown here, are expanding their operations to Tennessee due to restrictive gun laws passed in Maryland.
Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

Nearly one week after the Washington Times published an open letter from the head of Beretta USA about why his company is departing Maryland, today’s Town Hall finance column explains just what that state stands to lose because of the anti-gun myopia of its lawmakers and governor.

Hint: It’s big money and jobs, and according to Ugo Gussalli Beretta, CEO and president of Beretta Holding, S.p.A. – whose family name has been associated with firearms manufacturing for 500 years – all of that is going to much friendlier real estate in Tennessee.

It might be comparable to what would happen in Washington if the legislature and governor decided to ratchet down on the commercial aircraft industry because planes sometimes crash. South Carolina, Texas and/or other states would suddenly come into an economic boost.

Mr. Beretta noted in his open letter of Feb. 4:

“Our business has grown in recent years, and because of that, we needed to expand production in our U.S facility, located in Accokeek, just outside of Washington, D.C., in the Maryland suburbs.

“Unfortunately, as we were planning that expansion, Maryland’s governor and legislature voted in favor of new regulations that unfairly attack products we make and that our customers want.

"These regulations also demean our law-abiding customers, who must now be fingerprinted like criminals before they can be allowed to purchase one of our products.

“We have seen these types of legislative proposals in Maryland before, and they never seem to reduce crime. Maybe this is because the proponents of such legislation blame the product instead of human misconduct.’

“But in any event, because of these new restrictions and the pattern of harassment aimed at lawful firearm owners we have seen in Maryland over the decades, we decided to expand our facilities in a state that shows more respect for citizens who exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

Today’s reaction by Town Hall’s Michael Schaus includes this observation:

“These jobs are being lost (or relocated) as a consequence of knee-jerk, and irrational, fears over the very idea of firearms…

“Irrationality is no way to lead a nation into prosperity…”

But it can push some states toward that prosperity, while leaving others in the dust.

BULLETIN: The National Rifle Association announced Monday that it will file an amicus brief in the case of Drake v. Jerejian, a case filed by the Second Amendment Foundation and Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs that will help Garden State citizens who carry handguns outside the home for the purpose of personal protection.

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