EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSGUN CONTROL LAWS
from Eyewitness News Online
Companies Considering Moving From States Proposing Strict Weapons Regulations
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Feb. 28, 2013 7:30 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 28, 2013 8:16 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Beretta USA, which makes one of the world's most popular handguns, is considering moving its manufacturing plant out of Maryland because the state is considering stricter gun laws.
"We literally are part of the arsenal of democracy," Jeffrey Reh with Beretta USA said. "That's why we consider this so insulting."
Beretta is the supplier of the U.S. military's standard sidearm. It employs 300 people at its Maryland plant. Another change the state is considering would limit magazine sizes to ten rounds. Beretta's 9 millimeter has a 13-round magazine. Previously, Beretta had planned on expanding its Maryland facilities. But that could change.
"Why expand in a place where the people who built the gun couldn't buy it?" Reh said.
West Virginia Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette says several states have gun makers displeased about recently passed or proposed new laws.
"There are a few companies that are in states that are acting above and beyond existing national gun laws and imposing greater restrictions," Burdette said. "And those companies are basically saying you know, we're employing your citizens, we're paying taxes here and you're not really being very supportive of us."
In addition to Maryland, manufacturers in Colorado and Connecticut could be soon be seeking a new home.
"West Virginia has a long history. We a great state for hunting and fishing and all of those other things that also fall under the Department of Commerce," Burdette said. "It's a manufacturing opportunity and we're more than willing to discuss it with them."
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