By Howard Stephenson
Utah State Senator, District 11
Yesterday, Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley signed SB281. The bill severely limits the Constitutionally-protected rights of American citizens in the State of Maryland.
The new law adds 45 guns to a list of banned weapons. It bans all “assault weapons” from being possessed or brought into the State of Maryland, and limits all magazine capacities to 10-rounds– among other things.
As a result, Beretta USA issued the following statement on their blog:
“The. . . law that passed is not acceptable, even with the improvements we were able to obtain. . . .The question now facing the Beretta Holding companies in Maryland is this: What effect will the passage of this law–and the efforts of Maryland government officials to support its passage–have on our willingness to remain in this State?
. . . Prior to introduction of this legislation the three Beretta Holding companies located in Maryland were experiencing growth in revenues and jobs and had begun expansion plans in factory and other operations. The idea now of investing additional funds in Maryland and thus rewarding a Government that has insulted our customers and our products is offensive to us so we will take steps to evaluate such investments in other States.”
In Maryland, Beretta has paid more than 31 million dollars in taxes. They currently employ more than 400 people. According to a guns.com exclusive from yesterday, Beretta has significant plans for growth and investment.
In light of Beretta’s statements and yesterday’s events, I opened a bill file.
My initial proposal will be to reduce obstacles and offer incentives to gun manufacturers located in the Beehive State. This might include eliminating sales taxes on machinery, equipment and replacement parts which are used in the manufacture of guns.
This is an exciting opportunity for Utah, and tomorrow’s Republican State Convention provides an additional exciting opportunity to open up a discussion about bringing Beretta and other gun manufacturers to our state.
At tomorrow’s convention I’ll have a co-sponsor list with me. I’m anxious to continue this discussion, and I hope that the other state legislators in attendance will find me and sign on to this opportunity for Utah.
When you see your State Representative or Senator tomorrow, send them my way.
Please contribute to this conversation. I can be reached here, or by leaving a comment below.
The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.
– Samuel Adams
[Update:] Beretta is being courted by a few of our cooler sister-states, but none with as good an economic climate as Utah. So far, they’re keeping tight-lipped about where they are headed.
[Update 2:] Publius Online provides a few more details.