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WYPR's Senior News Analyst opines on recent Maryland news.

Beretta Should Reconsider Its Decision To Move

Tom Chalkley

Maryland’s new gun control law seems to be saving lives.

But just as promising statistics are released, a major manufacturer of hand guns says it will leave the state.

Part of the reason, Beretta says: even more restrictive gun laws may be in the offing. Let’s hope they’re right -- that is, about more efforts to keep guns out of the hands of miscreants and others willing or driven to harm us and our children.

No one applauds the loss of 160 good jobs. But it can’t be an either/or situation. You have to imagine there are other reasons for the move. Vincent DeMarco, a leader in the gun safety movement, suggested as much when he observed that Italy, where Beretta is headquartered, has more restrictive laws on firearms than Maryland. If restrictive gun laws were the reason for the move, he suggests, Beretta should be moving out of that country.

With its new law in place, Maryland saw gun deaths decrease 24 percent in the first five months of this year. The total number of homicides, suicides and accidental shooting deaths totaled 112, as compared with 147 the previous year. Homicides fell from 108 in 2013 to 89 so far this year. The statistics come from the Maryland State Police and the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention.

Fingerprinting is required now in six states including Maryland. The law also bans 45 types of assault weapons and limits magazines to ten rounds.

Beretta should reconsider its decision. Maryland’s new law seems to be making this state safer for everyone, including, by the way, Beretta’s workforce.

Your comments are welcome at [email protected].