POLITICS

Indiana joins chorus of Beretta suitors

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Michal Conger

Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Indiana, today joined representatives of several other states in wooing gun maker Beretta, which has hinted it may leave Maryland with stringent new gun laws poised to pass the state legislature.

In a letter to company president Ugo Gusalli Beretta, Stutzman urged Beretta to relocate to Indiana, where he said the gun manufacturer would find a more pro-business, gun-friendly climate.

“In particular, Northeast Indiana offers a low-cost, strategic location for manufacturers like you and the Hoosier workforce is well equipped to meet your needs,” he wrote.

Earlier this month, Jeff Reh, general counsel for Beretta, told the Maryland legislature his company has poured resources into the state, but the new laws — which would ban some of Beretta’s products — could drive the company and its tax dollars elsewhere.

“That commitment is not one-sided, though, and deserves the respect of a corresponding commitment from the local community and from the state Government,” Reh said. “Instead, we are confronted with a state government that wants to ban our products at a time, by the way, when numerous other state governments are courting our investment. It is worth noting that these other states also do not try to blame a product for human misconduct.”

Stutzman responded to Reh’s testimony in his letter, writing, “You would find your commitment to local communities reciprocated in Indiana. Hoosiers would proudly welcome Beretta’s operation with a noticeably different tone and more competitive tax and regulatory structure than what you must navigate in Maryland.”

Last week, Virginia Republican lieutenant governor candidate Pete Snyder and West West Virginia House Speaker Rick Thompson also wrote Beretta offering their states as the gun maker’s new home.

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