Yesterday, Beretta USA announced their intention to move all manufacturing to Tennessee.
This is a big move for a major manufacturer. This move comes in the wake of the State of Maryland proposing and enacting several laws that would prohibit sale and manufacture of their firearms to citizens of the state. This is extremely unacceptable! Yet it is happening. The proposed laws were far worse for the people and the company than the one enacted, however the whole thing brings to question if it is worth staying in a state that doesn’t want you.
So, in a smart business decision, they decided to find a firearms-friendly state and move their operations down there. Several other companies have relocated due to the same type of laws being enacted in their states: Remington Arms, Kahr Arms, Magpul, PTR, and several others. This is again a smart decision on their part and will end up benefiting them in the long run. I don’t blame them in the least for looking out for their employees and their company interests. But what are the repercussions of doing this?
First of all, moving a large manufacturing facility is a huge undertaking, both logistically and financially. The cost would be millions of dollars, and would take a great amount of time. Production will be most likely be halted while the move is made. New manufacturing equipment is extremely expensive and takes time to set up and verify that it will do the job necessary. Despite all that, these companies have decided that it is still cost effective to move. What does that do to the areas they are moving to and leaving?
We are going to simplify things by looking at one company’s move. We’ll look at Beretta, only because I live in Virginia not far from them and I am familiar with the surrounding economy. The government in the State of Maryland (commonly referred to as “The People’s Republic of Maryland” by many Virginians) decided to make it harder for law-abiding people in their state to purchase firearms by enacting the Firearms Safe Act. This bill states that you have to jump through all kinds of hoops to purchase a firearm and you must register it with the state, which means they know exactly what you have. When it’s time, they can come get them from you, right? As a result of this law’s passage, Beretta felt threatened and rightfully so. Now they are leaving.
There are approximately 300 employees at the Maryland facility. Moving the manufacturing process to Tennessee means probably two-thirds of those employees will be moving to Tennessee. As a result, the area will lose taxes paid by those 200 people. Local businesses will lose income earned from those customers, and the state will lose taxes off of that income, and probably some of the revenue generated by the business overhead of those local establishments. You are looking at a large amount of income for the state of Maryland that is leaving abruptly.
Then you are also looking at the income from the facility itself. With all of the taxes imposed on manufacturing, the State of Maryland will be losing millions of dollars every quarter in income from the facility. Sounds to me like Governor O’Malley basically killed a large portion of the state’s yearly budget with one stroke of a pen. I call that a huge, bad business decision.
The next question is else will suffer due to the loss of income for the state. I have no idea, but you can bet it will not be government salaries. And you can bet that by removing funding from things that need it around the state, people are going to end up very unhappy with their government.
Best of luck to all of the manufacturers. I support you 100%. As far as the government is concerned, I hope it was worth it. Your stupidity is going to cost your state millions of dollars and votes.