For more than a century, America's gun makers were clustered near the East Coast. Today, after new gun legislation in states including Maryland, many are moving South, reports Scripps Media. Beretta USA is moving all of its U.S. manufacturing from Accokeek, Md. to Gallatin, Tn., bringing at least 300 jobs after being wooed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam. Beretta's decision to head South traces in part to the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Ct. In the political furor that followed, Maryland banned 45 types of assault weapons and put in place tough fingerprint, photo identification and training requirements. Beretta viewed the restrictions as the legislative equivalent of a declaration of war on its operations.
Shotgun maker O.F. Mossberg & Sons is expanding not in its home of North Haven, Ct., but in Eagle Pass, Tx., after being courted by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Colt Manufacturing is moving its Colt Competition AR-15 rifle production from West Hartford, Ct., to Breckenridge, Tx. The company cited new legislation that outlaws some of its products in Connecticut as the reason for the shift. PTR Industries left Connecticut for South Carolina. Others have moved to North Carolina, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and South Dakota, and many more are looking to make moves, said Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the U.S. firearms industry.