Beretta still has a short list (which company executives not released) of seven companies for possible expansion, but General Counsel Jeff Reh has revealed this week three states that are ruled out: their current base of Maryland, adjacent West Virginia, and Rhode Island.
The names of the seven possible states are subject of a great deal of speculation; three likely candidates are Tennessee, Texas and Virginia, with Virginia, where Beretta already conducts some manufacturing and warehousing that already has been outlawed in Maryland, the most likely of all.
Unlike those three states, which have strongly pro-gun bipartisan politics, the states ruled out vilify guns, gun owners and manufacturers. MD, WV and RI are almost monochromatic with anti-gun Democrats in Federal office, and that was the poison pill as far as Beretta was concerned.
Maryland is the current home base of the company and Reh has been careful to say that Beretta will not leave, but will instead expand in friendlier territory out of state.
West Virginia got blackballed largely because of anti-gun Democrat Joe Manchin’s involvement in the Schumer-Manchin-Toomey backdoor registration so-called “background check” bill. Manchin chose to make himself the face of the Schumer-written bill, and is reduced now to lying about what the terms of his “own” bill were. (The actual bill criminalized father-son transfers and lending a gun to a friend, as well as establishing de facto gun/owner registration. At one point, Manchin was willing to give up the registration provision, but Schumer insisted it stay).
The Charleston, WV Daily Mail published excerpts from a Jeff Reh letter to the Hardy County development authorities. In the letter, Reh noted that Beretta just couldn’t trust Manchin:
Reh also said Beretta was concerned that, after the December massacre in Newtown, Conn., Manchin aligned himself with Sen. Chuck Schumer, “one of the most anti-gun senators in the history of the country.”
“The fact that he had portrayed himself as a traditional pro-Second Amendment politician before and appeared to switch so quickly…is what caused me to second guess the credibility of his convictions,” Reh said.
What convictions? Guy’s a politician, but he hasn’t been convicted of anything. Yet. And that’s the only kind of conviction you can expect from a politician.
Rhode Island, a solidly Democratic stronghold for decades, is known for massive corruption, a strong Mafia and unions (sometimes the same thing), and has seen its manufacturing base collapse utterly over the last fifty years. The state has strict gun laws, that are not enforced against violent criminals, especially if the criminals are connected. RI would be a very strange choice for any gun company to relocate to, and it turns out that the politicians who asked Beretta to move there were members of the token Republican minority in the state house. Reh politely declined.
Some lucky state is going to net some good jobs at good wages. It won’t be MD, RI, or WV. Meanwhile, most of the way across the country, another state that’s happily bleeding off its gun-industry jobs sees one retailer throwing in the sponge.
Great American Pawn’s customers asked Gautreaux to stay open. Gautreaux is apprehensive about firearms fate in Colorado in the future. He said decided to close his door now when he still has a choice.
“I feel that that’s not going to be the end of it. They are going to try to do more,” said Gautreaux.
If the state legislature passes more gun control measures, Gautreaux said other gun sellers will be forced to follow his lead.
Well, to Governor Hickenlooper, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. They’d much rather have Gautreax and his employees on the dole, selling a vote for a handout.
So, in Colorado, you can’t buy Berettas; but in many Eastern states, they don’t even want the company making them.