Press Releases

Speaker of the House of Delegates, Richard Thompson

Release Date: 02/28/2013

House Speaker Urges Major Manufacturer to Relocate to West Virginia

CHARLESTON - House Speaker Rick Thompson has contacted the top executive of Beretta USA firearm manufacturer to offer West Virginia as the most suitable state for the company’s pending relocation.

“With available space and an available educated workforce in all areas of our state, you would have a wealth of opportunity to expand and grow your business here, where the people understand and care about your industry,” Speaker Thompson wrote in a letter to Beretta USA Executive Vice President Franco Beretta.

“If you are seriously considering moving your headquarters to another location, it would be in your best interest to take a look at West Virginia.”

Under an assault-weapons ban measure moving through the Maryland General Assembly, some of Beretta’s products would be illegal in that state. According to news reports, Beretta is contemplating whether to move part of all of the company elsewhere.

The Speaker believes that West Virginia is an ideal location for the company, and that the move would greatly benefit the state.

“When I learned of Beretta’s possible move out of Maryland, I felt I should act quickly to suggest coming here,” he said. “This company would bring hundreds of jobs to West Virginia, and showcase the state as a relocation spot for other industries.”

In the letter, Speaker Thompson notes: “As you may be aware, West Virginia has one of the highest rates of gun ownership in the country, only behind Alaska, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming. This combined with the state’s long support of the Second Amendment and our close proximity to your current headquarters, makes us an excellent choice for Beretta USA in your relocation efforts.”

The Speaker also told Mr. Beretta West Virginia would not support a law such as the one the Maryland General Assembly is about to pass.

“I look forward to hearing from you and if you have any available time, I would be glad to come to Maryland and explain in person why West Virginia would be an excellent choice for your headquarters or in fact any other expansion you may be considering,” Speaker Thompson stated.

If you would like more information regarding these issues, please contact my office:

Speaker Richard Thompson
Room 228-M, Building 1
Capitol Complex
Charleston, WV 25305

Phone: (304) 340-3210

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