Beretta USA has announced its decision to move the entirety of its manufacturing capabilities from Accokeek, Md., to Gallatin, Tenn. The Gallatin factory, announced earlier this year and due to open in 2015, had originally only been meant for new machinery and the production of new products.
“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," Jeff Cooper, General Manager for Beretta USA, said. "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 said that the decision to relocate the Maryland production lines in their entirety was made in the best interests of the company's future. The company currently has no plans, however, to relocate its office, administrative and executive support functions from the Accokeek facility.
The transition will not occur until 2015, and Beretta intends to take precautions so as not to disrupt ongoing deliveries to its customers. Production of the M9 9mm pistol will continue at the Accokeek facility until all current orders from the U.S. Armed Forces have been filled. Company representatives expect that the Tennessee facility will involve $45 million of investment in building and equipment and the employment of around 300 workers during the next five years.
“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. "More importantly, we will use this time to meet with every Beretta U.S.A. employee whose Maryland job might be affected by the move to discuss with them their interest in taking a position at our new facility in Tennessee or, if they are not willing to do so, to lay out a long-term strategy for remaining with the Company while our production in Maryland continues.”